Al Gore, star of documentary feature nominee An Inconvenient Truth
'I am thrilled for our director Davis Guggenheim and producers Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Burns and co-producer Lesley Chilcott. The film they created has brought awareness of the climate crisis to people in the United States and all over the world. I am so grateful to the entire team and pleased that the Academy has recognized their work. This film proves that movies really can make a difference.'

Melissa Etheridge, best song nominee for An Inconvenient Truth
'Al Gore has crashed through the barriers of partisanship and brought the single most important issue of our time to the forefront. To have this song recognized by the academy with a nomination brings me more hope that our generation can turn the current climate crisis around and make the earth a safe and healthy place for ourselves and our children. It was an honor to contribute to this project by writing 'I Need To Wake Up'.'

Jon Kilik, producer of best picture nominee Babel
'We certainly don't count on anything and we were very nervous and very hopeful. It's as much as we could have ever dreamed of.

I think two things [struck a chord with voters]. The movie had to work emotionally, had to connect with people and move them, and I think we achieved that. And I think in terms of pure cinema we're always looking for new challenges and this one was four different languages and three different continents and such a diverse cast and crew around the world. So proud that we were able to pull it off and have it move people.

It was a very challenging movie, physically for the actors out in the desert with the extreme heat. Non-actors mixed with seasoned pros. Same behind the camera - we worked with a very small group of experienced people from mainly Mexico and traveled with them to Japan and Morocco. And I think the Academy recognizes that as well as the story-telling.

As far as box office the timing is just perfect. Paramount in the States is going to give the movie a second life, the movie has now jumped up from 100 to 800 or more theatres. Around the world the timing is great because we just came out in the UK and we're playing very strong around all the world.

And as far as international stories, multi-cultural stores, I hope that it's something you see more of in the future. The interconnectivity of the world is reflected in this movie because it is what we're living in right now. It definitely opens that door.'

James Longley, producer, director of documentary feature nominee Iraq In Fragments
'I guess I am a little surprised. It's not like I was the only Iraq film out there. And not only one but two films from the Iraq group made it [other was My Country, My Country by by Laura Poitras] and I just talked to her on the phone and we're both in mutual shock.

I think anyone who's seen all the Iraq films wouldn't be too confused about them, they're all very distinct and about very specific angles. I thought any of them could have gone on the list. But I'm happy to be on the list with Laura Poitras' film. Both of ours are really about Iraq and Iraqis - it's interesting that it's these two.

The film is going to continue to be in theatres throughout the spring. It's in five theatres right now. It's a small release, there aren't a million prints. Still, I hope the fact that it's on the list means that a lot more people will probably see the film. I think it's great that it will draw a lot more attention to the subject and in particular to the plight of Iraqis themselves, which I think it's important to think about instead of looking at it only from our own point of view.

The film has been critically just amazingly successful and even had it not been nominated I wasn't worried about how to fund my next project. I don't make horribly expensive films.'

Davis Guggenheim, director of documentary feature nominee An Inconvenient Truth
'A lot of friends thought we were a shoo-in but I was worried people thought we were just a slide show.

I suspect people had the same response I had when I saw his slide show. It shook me to my core. And that's what I think people around the world see. I think ultimately it's a nomination for him.

For some people a nomination is just a slap on the back from their peers, for us it means more people are going to hear Al Gore's message and they're going to wake up to the truth. It's unadulterated joy - that thousands more people are going to see this movie.

It's in theatres around the world. It opens in Japan this week and Italy. And the DVD is selling like gangbusters [in the US]

Al Gore showing up to the Academy Awards is going to be a hero's return from the wilderness. He really was in the wilderness for a long time, speaking the truth that no one would hear. And I think it's a huge thing for him and for the issue to be at the Academy Awards.'

Deepa Mehta, director of foreign language film nominee Water
'I'm thrilled, elated. Perhaps it's the story, it all starts with that, that it's unique, even though it's very specific because it's about widows in India. It talks about people who have been marginalized all over the world. And it becomes universal. I was at a screening in Dallas and a black woman got up at the end and said we don't have widows like this in America but what we have are blacks who are treated exactly the same way. So I think perhaps because it made that leap from very specific to the universal.

It's the film message which has an opportunity now people realize this happens and widows do exist and like many people all over the world who are marginalized they will find a voice. That to me is very important.

If Canada hadn't nominated it and the rules hadn't change it wouldn't be there, I wouldn't be talking to you today. We were lucky the rules changed when they did.'

Helen Mirren, best actress nominee for The Queen
'I would like to thank the Academy, it is a great honour to be nominated. When the idea of making The Queen was first mooted we had no idea that the result would have quite the impact it has had. It is astounding the way that audiences have responded by taking the film to their hearts.

It is one of the hardest roles to play not just a living person but one who is part of our everyday lives in Britain. Whilst her presence is with us from her image on the letters that come through our door and on the money we spend, we know so little of the woman behind the image. I hope that my performance has conveyed a sense of Elizabeth the woman as well as the Queen.

I am indebted to Peter Morgan for his tremendous screenplay and to director Stephen Frears who was a joy to work with and was sensitive to the nuance of the role.

I am so proud to be a part of this incredible film-making team and the recipient of this nomination.'

Susanne Bier, director of foreign language film nominee After The Wedding
'It was a few seconds of not really believing it and then complete excitement.

I think there are some really driven performances and a human recognisability which I think might transcend cultural barriers.

It will do a lot internationally because it does expose the movie a whole lot more than it would have had any potential otherwise. There are 5m Danish people, it's nothing. And it's a real narrow language. So having an Oscar nomination generates a general interest and makes it far more accessible than it would have been otherwise.

It has opened in a few places in Europe and done amazingly well. I guess it's because the pain of the characters is identifiable.

It's been a very long time [since Danish film was nominated]. I tried to look it up and I think it was 87/88.'

Rinko Kikuchi, best supporting actress nominee for Babel
'Wow. I'm very happy.

In terms of the whole journey on Babel when I was in the process of making the film on set it was more internal. After the movie came out as a product its been more glamourous. Two totally different dimensions combined.'

Patrick Marber, best adapted screenplay nominee for Notes on a Scandal
'I was very very surprised and pleased as punch.

They're writer voters. I suppose it's a quite written screenplay if that makes any sense. It's got voiceover, it's got jokes, it's got long dialogue scenes. I suppose you notice the writing in this film. And it's got four brilliant actors. It's a terribly boring thing to say but without the likes of Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy and Phil Davis it's nothing.

We shot the twelfth draft, I re-wrote on set when things weren't working, I re-wrote in post production, a lot of the voiceover got written during post production. Voiceover was always central to the film and the structure - it changed a lot in post production. Once you've got an assembly and you can see what you've got you need the voiceover to do different things at different times. So yeah it was a year and a half of enormously hard work. Quite enjoyable because I loved the novel and continue to love the novel. But I had to betray it quite extensively in places.

The timing for the film is absolutely perfect because it's about to roll out a bit wider in the States and it's about to open in the UK. So to be able to advertise the film with four Oscar nominations attached to it will I hope get it a bigger audience and more attention. If you make a film with two huge roles for two great female actresses in it to get them both nominated is important and incredibly useful.

For me personally it's absolutely thrilling to have an Academy nomination. It doesn't happen every day, it might not happen again. I remember this day two years ago [when he wasn't nominated for Closer] and the silence that descends upon a non-nominated screenwriter is like no other silence I've ever known. For a writer it's fascinating because you're someone who's job it is to observe and the observation of silence as opposed to the phone ringing off the hook and e-mails and texts piling in is fascinating. I've always said about nominations, not getting nominated is a bit like being nominated but not as much fun.

I'm a writer who revels in it all. I think more prizes for writers because we don't get recognized enough. We only come out of our holes once every few years. In a way the writers enjoy it more than anyone. The actors get loads of attention all the time. We never get attention.'

Leonardo DiCaprio, best actor nominee for Blood Diamond
'I'm honored to receive this nomination from the Academy -- especially in a year full of such worthy nominees. I'm grateful to everyone who has supported Blood Diamond. Being nominated is a tribute to everyone who worked on this film especially Ed Zwick. I am also thrilled for Djimon, Mark and Marty who are all so deserving of this recognition.'

The main impression were the calls from old friends who were genuinely excited for my good fortune and it touches me deeply.'

Bob Berney, president of Pan's Labyrinth distributor Picturehouse
'It's really exciting, I'm really proud of Guillermo and the team. When you see the film you realize how intertwined the director, the composer and the cinematographer are so I'm really pleased it went beyond the foreign-language category. The look of the film and the music are just so much a part of it.

It's a challenge in that sometimes people say oh it's the foreign-language category and it kind of gets pigeonholed into that. But it was in a way easier because I think the film really spoke for itself and people truly responded to the film. By coming in late in the game - we opened Dec 29 - it was our strategy to be the fresh, new, exciting film, but I think you can only do that if you really believe you have the goods.

So as much as we want to have strategic thinking, it's the film.

The great thing is that we're going to about 800 screens this weekend and it's playing in the multiplexes, it's playing in small towns and getting a great young audience, and there's no issue about the language at all. The imagery and storytelling really trumps any considerations or concerns about language. It's a wonderful thing that audiences in the States will accept films from anywhere in the world.'

George Miller, director of best animated feature nominee Happy Feet
'These are lovely little bonuses to all the hard work. I was in Los Angeles and having been nominated before its normally Australia in the middle of the night - at least here I get a decent night's sleep.

The big thing about something like Happy Feet is you go out on a bit of a limb. You try to do something different and a little bit special and a lot of the time you're not sure you're going to pull it off and then the film gets seen by a lot of people around the world and then you get nominated - it's a good feeling, it validates everyone's hard work.

We all of us as audiences are looking for something fresh that feels like you've not seen it before that might stick in your memory for a while longer and that's what we tried to do with Happy Feet. The average age of people working on the film was 27 and it's a big leap faith that everybody takes when you take on something like this.

And also people took it on - the studio, a lot of the actors and singers who came to the party, they put their heart and soul into it.

I think animation's here to stay, I'm certainly addicted to it. We'd like to do some more and we certainly have plans to do that. Making movies is very tough, people work incredibly hard and these awards are a celebration of that. And particularly when we're encouraged through them to push the envelope a little bit that's a very significant thing.

Amy Berg, director of documentary feature nominee Deliver Us From Evil
'Of course I'm surprised. Whenever you get a nomination it's always a great gift. But I'm just so happy they decided that this is important because the people in my film deserve to be able to speak about it. And it's such a huge issue that nobody wants to talk about. So any opportunity that you have to get more exposure for something as serious as this, where you have this huge institution that is hiding, aiding and abetting pedophiles and all these people that it has basically ruined their lives.

Right after we found out I called all the people in the film and they were crying it's so nice for them to have a voice that has been acknowledged and accepted.

A lot has happened since the film came out. Every time it's in the news it puts them [the Catholic church] on the hot seat again.'

Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment, US distributor of After the Wedding and Days of Glory.
'Our theatrical date for After The Wedding is March 30. We also wanted to avoid all the pictures that are out right now that have been in limited release expanding. This was very strategic in how we positioned this film.

Days of Glory we did a qualifying run of a week with the Weinsteins in November and that will in all likelihood come out in February.

With After the Wedding Susanne Bier is a worldclass filmmaker.We distributed her last film Brothers, and were just so disheartened it wasn't the Danish entry because the year that came out we felt that was best foreign language film. She's just finishing a film for Dreamworks right now. She's definitely a worldclass filmmaker and one of the best dramatic filmmakers working in any language.

The nominations say a lot about directors and world cinema in general. If you look at Babel getting the nominations it got, Pan's Labyrinth, Penelope Cruz getting a nomination: it certainly speaks that American audiences are definitely over the hump when it comes to subtitles. There are a lot of great filmmakers and they're not all American and they're not all out of Hollywood. '

Martin Scorsese, best director nominee for The Departed
'I am very pleased that The Departed has been honored with five nominations for this year's Academy Awards. I am particularly happy that the hard work of the entire cast and crew has been rewarded with a Best Picture nomination and that the specific contributions of Mark Wahlberg, our screenwriter William Monahan, and my longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker have been recognized with nominations as well.'

Judi Dench, best actress nominee for Notes on a Scandal
'I'm very pleased. I'm in frighteningly good company. It is very nice of The Queen to allow me in for a minute. It was one of the harder parts I have played. At the end of the day I was quite glad to get back to the person I am. I had the power to do it because of Richard Eyre. He steered me through the rougher waters of it.'

Ryan Gosling, best actor nominee for Half Nelson
'I have tremendous respect for all the actors in this category and it's a great honor to be in their company. It's extremely encouraging to see a small film be recognized at this level. By recognizing me I feel that it honors everyone I love and for that I am truly grateful.'

Heidi Ewing, co-director of feature documentary Jesus Camp
'I'm in an airport in Denver. We were on a plane and we found out because the captain announced it on the loudspeaker. We're totally shocked.

I thought that Deliver Us From Evil was going to take 'the religion category' - I thought the Academy would never select two films about religion. I thought they would self censor. I thought there would be one film about Iraq and one about the uncomfortable state that Americans feel right now about the separation of church and state or about religion. I never ever thought that we would all make it together. To tell you the truth My Country, My Country and Iraq in Fragments were brilliant films and Deliver Us From Evil was a brilliant film and I feel like the quality is so high and I'm so honoured to be part of it. I felt for sure Deliver Us From Evil was going to take the religion category. Of course the films have nothing to do with each other at all. Last year we were shortlisted for The Boys of Baraka.

I'm so proud and so happy for everyone that worked on this movie because it was so hard to make and so difficult to get right and everybody worked their fingers to the bone and gave up a lot of their lives to make this film. We were not a shoo-in.

By chance our DVD comes out today. Bringing attention to the subject matter and giving the film another bounce. We will have a television release in the spring on A&E.

The exciting thing about our film is it provokes a very heated debate, with no answer.

As a filmmaker, anyone who says that an Academy Award nomination is not some kind of watermark and very important recognition is not being honest with themselves. It's a real demarcation point in your career and I'm really honoured. I hope this gives us an easier way into making other films that we feel are important.'

Adriana Barraza, best supporting actress nominee, Babel
'I am excited, happy.

When my daughter was born I was so happy. I thought in this moment I am a mother. In this moment I thought I am an Oscar nominee. And when my husband asked me to marry him.

I was very really paying close attention to doing what Alejandro wanted me to do. He wanted people to be moved by Amelia's character and to put themselves in her place and I think we have achieved that. Amelia and every other character in Babel are so human. The human reactions are recognized by human beings everywhere.

Yee Chung Man, costume design nominee for Curse Of The Golden Flower.
'I'd like to thank the director Zhang Yimou and producer Bill Kong for giving me the chance to work on this epic film. We've spent a lot of time and effort creating these costumes, and I am very glad that we are being recognized by the Academy.'

William Monahan, best adapted screenplay nominee for The Departed
'This is a very great honor. In writing, rewards can be kind of thin on the ground, and it's nice to be recognized. Thanks to the Academy voters and to everyone who made The Departed a success.'

Paul Haggis, best original screenplay nominee (with Iris Yamashita) for Letters from Iwo Jima
'It was a complete surprise. I really didn't expect it. There were some wonderful, wonderful screenplays this year. But then of course if you work with Clint you should never be surprised if there's attention drawn to your work because of your association with him.

Neither of us [him or Yamashita] spoke Japanese. I was writing Flags of Our Fathers and Clint approached me and I said I don't really feel qualified to write it, so let's find a Japanese writer. I'll write the story, I'll steer the process but I think we need somebody who has a better understanding of the traditions and that life. I found Iris through an agent friend of mind. Iris brought a lot to the table, a lot of wonderful research. My main focus was to get Iris and I to think of the Japanese as the heroes of this piece, not the villains. It was actually difficult for Iris as well, because she's Japanese-American.

I love both Letters and Flags Of Our Fathers. The nominations for this one really benefits it because it's a very small film and it's in a foreign language. It's terrific for the film to get the nomination.'

Paul Greengrass, best director nominee for United 93
'I was thrilled obviously.

The film has demonstrated its legitimacy but we never expected anything like this. It's good that in the broad run on films there's a space for movies that engage with what's going on. Hollywood's got to provide a broad mix of films. Entertainment is the core business but it's also absolutely vital that it keeps that connection with movies that challenge and are difficult. And it has done that. It's a very rich period for those movies at the moment.

It's a great honour for all of us involved in the film. And I know those families are very, very touched. There have been e-mails and calls. I'm thrilled for them too and I'm very proud to have been part.'

Henry Krieger, best song nominee for Dreamgirls
'I am honored by the three Academy nominations I have received today for the original songs from Dreamgirls. What an incredible experience it has been and continues to be, to be asked by the amazing director Bill Condon to enrich the score for Dreamgirls with original songs for this movie. This completes a musical journey begun over 25 years ago. I am delighted to share these nominations with my co-writers Scott Cutler and Anne Preven for 'Listen,' Siedah Garrett for 'Love You I Do' and Willie Reale for 'Patience,' along with Bill Condon, the producers and the entire cast and production team of Dreamgirls.'

John Woodward, CEO of UK Film Council
'This is a really great start to the year for the British film industry. Today's 15 nominations for British films and talent come on the back of a number of wins at the Golden Globes and high hopes for the forthcoming BAFTAs.'