Kenneth Branagh has won his first Oscar following eight nominations at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood.
The actor-and-director – who has been nominated eight times – took the Best Original Screenplay honour for his movie ‘Belfast’ and hailed the accolade an “enormous honour”.
He said: “Thank you Academy voters, my fellow nominees I salute you.
“This is an enormous honour for my family , it’s a great tribute to an amazing city and fantastic people…
“This story is the search for joy and hope in the face of violence and loss. We lost some people along the way, Johnny Sessions, Jim Dornan, Leah Newman. We miss them, we love them, we will never forget them and we will never forget all of those in the heartbreaking, heartwarming, human, and amazing story of ‘Belfast’ on the fabulous island or Ireland.
“This means a lot, thank you so much.”
Branagh won the Oscar over Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay & David Sirota), Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson), King Richard (Zach Baylin), and The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt).
The film was based on his own experiences growing up in Belfast, with the filmmaker delivering a heartfelt speech after his first Oscar win.
Branagh had been nominated for an Oscar five times before this year, for Best Director and Best Actor for Henry V in 1990, Best Live Action Short Film for Swan Song in 1992, Best Adapted Screenplay for Hamlet in 1996 and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for My Week With Marilyn in 2011.
Branagh was also nominated this year for Best Director and Best Picture for Belfast, setting a record for being nominated in seven categories – but lost out to Jane Campion’s Power Of The Dog and CODA respectively.
The writer-director took to the stage to deliver a heartfelt speech in front of the packed crowd at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.