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  1. ITV Report

James Bulger's mother criticises Oscar-nominated film Detainment examining toddler's murder

Ely Solan (l) and Leon Hughes (r) portray Venables and Thompson. Credit: Detainment

A film documenting the death of toddler James Bulger has sparked further outrage after it was nominated for an Oscar.

Denise Fergus, James's mother, described herself as "disgusted" with the decision to nominate "Detainment" in the Short Film category on Tuesday.

The film, which tracks the arrest of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables over the infamous 1993 murder, was made without the permission of James's family.

A petition urging The Academy to revoke the shortlisting of Detainment has reached 90,000 signatures, but the decision to nominate it for Short Film generated renewed criticism.

The film was directed by 38-year-old Vincent Lambe, with Ely Solan and Leon Hughes portraying Venables and Thompson respectively.

Now Detainment could be set to win an Oscar when the awards ceremony takes place in Los Angeles on February 24.

A message in the petition called for the nomination to be retracted.

"It is a heartless thing to do, there was no discussion to James [sic] family about this movie being made and given the ok to go ahead," the message read.

"If any movie is being made that involves real life stories should always check with the victims families before they start filming and should be law."

The murder of James Bulger in 1993 shocked the UK. Credit: PA

Ms Fergus described herself as "angry and upset" over the nomination.

She tweeted: "I cannot express how disgusted and upset I am at this so called film that has been made and now nominated for an Oscar.

"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's life before he was brutally murdered and making myself and my family have to relive this all over again!

Denise Fergus criticised the making of Detainment. Credit: PA

"After everything I've said about this so called film and asking for it to be removed, it's still been nominated for an Oscar even though over 90,000 people have signed a petition which has now been ignored just like my feelings by the Academy."

Ms Fergus added that she hoped the film would not win the award.

The film is based on interview transcripts and records from the time.