After generating buzz out of the Toronto Film Festival, Boogaloo And Graham finds itself as one of the five Oscar-nominated live shorts. It also won a BAFTA trophy for best British short film. Boogaloo And Graham follows Jamesy (Riley Hamilton) and Malachy (Aaron Lynch) in 1978 Belfast, Northern Ireland who find pets in the two baby chicks that their soft-hearted father brings home. They nuture the pets into chickens, and well, that bothers Mum. The short, directed by Michael Lennox and written by Ronan Blaney, is based on the writer’s childhood experience.
Reflecting on the short’s Belfast backdrop, Lennox says, “During the 1970s and ’80s, it was normal for the army to be roaming the streets. However, if it happened today, I would think ‘Something is going on and that’s not good.’ Currently, there’s peace between the loyalists and the Republicans, but we have to be careful not to fall back.”
The film was funded through the UK Lottery in conjunction with a bigger Christmas family feature that Lennox is developing. Says Lennox, about making Boogaloo And Graham, “To promote the case that I could direct a film, I had to prove that I could work with a young cast, and working with children and animals can be tough.” Lennox saw 102 kids for the role, however, he found Hamilton at a kickboxing club. “I saw him arguing with his mother. He was so confident and brash.” When Lennox asked Hamilton if he wanted to be in the movie, the boy responded, “How many days do I get off from school?”
As part of the short’s awards campaign, Hamilton, in this video, reached out to President Barack Obama, telling POTUS that he wants to visit America and show the commander in chief Boogaloo And Graham.