Kenneth Branagh has thanked Academy voters after his semi-autobiographical film Belfast gathered seven nominations at the 94th Academy Awards.

The director said it had been "a hell of a day" for his family and said his parents and grandparents would have been "overwhelmed" by the film's success.

"It’s a long way from the streets of Belfast to the Academy Awards," he said.

"Today, I think of my mother and father, and my grandparents - how proud they were to be Irish, how much this city meant to them.

"They would have been overwhelmed by this incredible honour - as am I.

"Given a story as personal as this one, it’s a hell of a day for my family, and the family of our film. I thank Academy voters for their incredible and generous recognition."

The film received nods including best picture, best director and best original screenplay along with best supporting actress for Judi Dench and best supporting actor for Ciaran Hinds.