The Irish-language movie An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) has been selected by the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) as Ireland’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at next year’s Academy Awards.

An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) was produced by Longwoods Cleona Ní Chrualaoí as part of the Cine4 funding scheme for Irish-language film, in partnership with Screen Ireland, TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)

Based on the short story Foster by Claire Keegan, An Cailín Ciúin stars newcomer Catherine Clinch as a young girl sent to live with relatives in rural Ireland in 1981, where she is welcomed with open arms.

The film, directed by Colm Bairéad, made history in Ireland as the first Irish-language film to win the Irish Film and Television Academy Award for Best Film in March.

“It’s a film that Irish audiences and audiences around the world have taken to their hearts,” Bairéad told Morning Ireland. “It’s been an extraordinary whirlwind since the film made its premiere in Berlin back in February.”

He added: “It’s exceeded all of our expectations. You never quite know when you set out to make a film, how it’s going to be accepted – critically, or by the audiences. On both fronts the film has blown us away in terms of how it’s been received . . . it’s really struck a chord with audiences.”

Its other awards on the night included Director, Actress, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Original Score, and Rising Star.

The film was also honoured at the Dublin and Berlin film festivals earlier this year.