INDIE FILM CREDITS:
Stumbling (Drama, 70 mins, 2022)
Eamon (Documentary, 6 mins, 2022)
Leaving the Lake (Documentary, 2 mins, 2021)
Troubles (Drama, 11 mins, 2018)
Guard (Drama, 13 mins, 2017)
IFTA (directing chapter), RTS, Directors UK, Equity UK
NFTS – Documentary
QUB – BA (Hons) – 1st Class; MA – Distinction
As you’ll know if you read the text in big letters at the top of this page, I’m a director, and – after ten years in London – I’m now back living and working in Ireland.
I’ve been in and around the theatre, film and television industries for about fifteen years, and even though I started directing for the screen five years ago, I’ve been working up to it for a very long time.
On the way, I’ve developed new writing for the stage (including commissioning and directing Lisa McGee’s early work), produced the Irish premiere of The 24hr Plays, taught acting at University of Ulster, lectured in theatre at Queen’s University Belfast, and was Artistic Director of my home-town’s Lyric Theatre Drama Studio. In London, I was lucky enough to be directed by some of the best, both on screen and on stage – including Lynsey Miller, Stephen Frears, Lewis Arnold, Nick Murphy, Ralph Fiennes, Rian Johnson, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Howard Davies, David Farr, and Dominic Cooke. So you’ll see why I feel like I have something different to offer.
My first film, Guard – a film about domestic abuse set in working class West Belfast- was completed in 2017. It debuted at Galway Film Fleadh and has since screened in compeititon at over thirty festivals, including Oscar, BAFTA and EFA qualifiers. By the time it had won a European Independent Film Award in the Best Short Film category, I’d already moved on to child number two…
My second, Troubles, was another Belfast-set relationship drama, focusing on issues of male friendship and mental health, funded by BFI Network via Northern Ireland Screen. Having just been completed, the film was selected for inclusion in a BFI & NI Screen showcase event, hosted by BAFTA, before debuting in competition at the Oscar-qualifying Galway Film Fleadh. It closed out its festival run by taking the award for Best Short Drama at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival in 2020.
I made a return to directing for the stage just before the pandemic, with On McQuillan’s Hill – a vicious satire confronting the horrors of abuse and the corrosive legacy of conflict – at London’s Finborough Theatre. You can read more, including some of the critical responses on the ‘‘OMH‘ page.
After a difficult 2020 for all of us, I managed to complete two short docs and a narrative feature, all in 2021. The first, a self-shot short doc entitled Leaving the Lake, premiered at Docs Ireland last summer. The second, Eamon, another short doc, was funded by BFI via Northern Ireland Screen and took over three years to complete. On the subject of teenage suicide, it had its premiere in competition at Docs Ireland 2022 and won Best Short Doc at the Clones Film Festival in October. The third, entitled Stumbling, is a fictional documentary about strained relationships within a single family following a sexual assault. It runs at a tight 70 minutes, and was shot in the former UTV studio facility in Belfast over just three (yes, three) days. Stumbling had its premiere at Chichester Film Festival in August, and took the Audience Award for Best Independent Film.
I’ve also been known to work as an Assistant Director, and have directed a number of commercials, mainly shooting fast, in natural light, with non-actors. You can see some of what I’ve achieved in the highlight reel above.
Having completed a course in documentary filmmaking at the NFTS, and worked professionally as a photographer for a decade, I’ve also done some self-shooting – mostly on docs.
I’m interested in truthful stories that affect us on an emotional level and which allow the audience access to a world to which they might not otherwise gain entry. I love the dark humour that arises in unlikely circumstances – the kind I grew up around in 80s and 90s Belfast. I’m a passionate believer in diversity and in telling stories from underrepresented social and ethnic groups.
So that’s me.
Please email me for a bang up-to-date CV, links to full screeners, and an extended reel.