Seamus Egan, Aoibhín Egan, Anne McCarthy, Jake Egan, Kitty Egan, Baz Ashmawy, Aislinn Egan, Caroline Boughton, Ruth Egan
The Odeon Cinema in Charlestown, Dublin 11, was the location for the third annual LauraLynn Oscars ceremony last Saturday night, which saw eight wonderful short films made by LauraLynn families premiere at a black tie event featuring limos, a red carpet reception, screaming fans, and an invite-only exclusive screening.
The evening ended with each movie receiving its very own ‘LauraLynn Oscar’, presented on the evening by 2FM radio presenter Tracy Clifford.
Kildare native Aoibhín Egan (7) and her family starred in “Clubber: the Loveable, Forgetful, Clumsy Alien”, a heart-warming film about a very special visitor who appears bringing chaos, drama and love to their home. The film was awarded Best Comedy, and the special LauraLynn Oscar was presented to Aoibhín after the premiere by Tracy Clifford.
The LauraLynn Oscars is a much-loved event in the hospice’s calendar and involves LauraLynn children, their siblings, and their parents writing, producing and starring in their very own short films with the generous help of industry professionals.
Shot on location in various counties around Ireland, the films span a range of genres, including comedy, action, animation and drama, with all films edited and produced by Windmill Lane Studios. Each year the Oscars aim to foster whole family engagement while therapeutically supporting anticipatory loss within the family, with the final output of the project providing a tangible, post-bereavement legacy for families to cherish.
Baz Ashmawy said: “The children and their families have put so much work into these films, and it really showed: each production was of a really high professional quality, and everyone involved can be hugely proud of them. We all had such a ball today, starting with hair and makeup at LauraLynn followed by VIP transport to the cinema, and then the red carpet with screaming fans. It was an amazing evening with memories that everyone will cherish.”
Rachel Nolan, Interim CEO of LauraLynn, added: “We’re delighted that this has been another successful year for the LauraLynn Oscars. A core part of our service is creating fun memory-making activities for the children and their families, which is why projects such as this are so vital: they offer the opportunity to set illness aside for a while and to create ever-lasting experiences that are cherished by everyone involved. The films were top-notch, and each was witty, innovative, and touching in turn – it was an event that everyone will remember for some time.”
LauraLynn, the only dedicated children’s hospice in the State, provides clinical care, healthcare support, and palliative care services to children with exceptional and life-limiting conditions. It costs €5.2m per year to run LauraLynn’s Children’s Hospice, €4.2m of must be generated through fundraised income from events and activities.
Of the 3,840 children with life-limiting conditions in Ireland, it is estimated that more than 700 of them require specialist hospice care. Close to 350 children with a life-limiting condition die each year, most within the first year of life.