Mother of James Bulger says she is “disgusted and upset” by ‘Detainment’ Oscars nomination

The short film about Bulger's killers has been recognised in the 'Best Live Action Short Film' category

Denise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger, has said she is “disgusted and upset” after a film made about her son’s killers was nominated for an Oscar.

Detainment, which was directed by Vincent Lambe, recreates the moments before and after Bulger was taken from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside by 10-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in 1993.

The 30-minute film also depicts the police interviews which took place after the pair were apprehended, and describes itself as “a true story based on interview transcripts and records”.

Detainment was nominated yesterday for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, and Fergus responded to the news with a statement on her Twitter account (which you can read in full below).

“I cannot express how disgusted and upset I am at this so-called film that has been made and now nominated for an Oscar,” she wrote. “It’s one thing making a film like this without contacting or getting permission from James’ family, but another to have a child re-enact the final hours of James’ life before he was brutally murdered, and making myself and my family have to relive this all over again!”

As Fergus mentions in her statement, more than 90,000 people signed a petition prior to yesterday’s nominations announcement in an effort to ask the Academy not to nominate the film. Fergus now says that, like the petition, her feelings have been “ignored” by the Academy.

“I’m so angry and upset at this present time,” she added, before then voicing her hope that Detainment doesn’t win an Oscar next month.

Lambe has previously apologised to Fergus and her family “for any upset the film may have caused them”, and express his regret at not consulting Fergus before making the film.

“The film was not made for financial gain and nobody involved in the making of the film intends to profit from it,” the director added in a separate statement last month.