A Leeds Talent Agency is celebrating after news one of its actors is the star of an Oscar nominated film at this year’s Hollywood ceremony.

Actor James Martin, who has Downs Syndrome is represented by the YAFTA Talent Agency and is the star of An Irish Goodbye, the picture nominated in the Live Action Short Film category.

Charlotte Armitage, founder and managing director of the Yorkshire based agency said: “We are absolutely thrilled for James. When we initially saw the casting call for the film, we knew he would be perfect for the role, so for people now to see his phenomenal talent in an Oscar nominated film is fantastic news and a real inspiration for so many others.”

The award-winning talent agency also represents actors including NTA winner and Emmerdale star, James Moore, and Coronation Street actor, Liam Bairstow. Charlotte has been a passionate advocate for better representation and treatment of actors with disabilities in the film and TV industry over recent years, including hosting an event with the BBC and calling for all production companies to have a disability ambassador.

Charlotte adds: “I created the YAFTA Academy 10 years ago because there was so little opportunity in the north for quality training in the film and TV sector. The YAFTA Talent Agency was launched shortly after, and I set out to create an agency that would represent actors from minority backgrounds and challenge stereotypes and archaic ways of working. Although we’ve made great strides over recent years, including things like online auditions that mean actors with disabilities don’t have to struggle to get to auditions, there is still lots to do. Having inspirational actors like James is a brilliant example of what can be achieved.”

The 95th Oscar ceremony takes place on 13 March and An Irish Goodbye is nominated alongside four other films including Night Ride, The Red Suitcase, Le Pupille and Ivalu.