SANTA MONICA, California (WPVI) -- The famous green carpet was rolled out at the Oscar Wilde Awards for achievements in Irish filmmaking in Santa Monica Thursday night.
This year, there was more "green" on the screen than ever before, and a record number of nominations to celebrate.
"It's a like a pre-Oscar party," said filmmaker J.J. Abrams. "It's actually really fun every year."
That's exactly why Abrams, famous for his work in the "Star Wars" franchise, once again hosted the annual Oscar Wilde awards at his Santa Monica production house, Bad Robot. He invited both current Oscar nominees and old friends, like U2's Bono.
"I have been lucky enough to work there and visit and travel and get to know the people and the culture," said Abrams. "You can't go to Ireland and not fall in love with it."
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And this year, the Academy is showing lots of love to Irish filmmakers.
"This is a huge year," said Oscar nominee Colm Bairéad.
His film, "An Cailín Ciúin," or 'The Quiet Girl,' is nominated for Best International Feature Film. It's also making Oscar history.
"There are 14 nominations with Irish connections, and we're just really proud that we are one of them. We are here as the first Irish language film ever to be nominated at the Oscars, so means a lot to us," he said.
"The Quiet Girl" features 13-year-old Catherine Clinch in her debut.
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"I was just living a regular life, and then I did one audition and here I am," she said. "I never would have expected it. It has been so amazing. I am so grateful."
Of the 14 nominations with Irish connections, there are big blockbusters like, "Avatar: The Way of Water."
Dublin-born Richie Baneham is going for his second win for visual effects. He says there's something special about being celebrated by your home country.
"There is also a casualness to this party," said Baneham. "There is a friendly camaraderie to it that's really nice. It's great to hang out and see everybody and catch up."
Kerry Condon was honored last night for her role in "The Banshees of Inisherin." She's up for Best Supporting Actress and the film has a combined nine nominations.
Smaller films, like "An Irish Goodbye" are also getting their big place in the Oscar spotlight. It's up for Live Action Short Film.
"It's just been fantastic really," says Seamus O'Hara, who plays Turlough in "An Irish Goodbye."
"It's been such a surprise for us all. We made this little film in Northern Ireland on a farm and scrambled to get the money through Kickstarter and friends and family. We are so honored to be on the green carpet and then the red carpet on Sunday. We can't wait," said O'Hara.