19th May 2020


As part of SMHAF, I'll be doing a Q&A for those who've availed of the opportunity to watch TROUBLES online, on Thursday via ZOOM. Book your place, here.


13th May 2020

TROUBLES 'Best Short Drama'

Troubles has taken the award for Best Short Drama at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. Thanks to the panel!

“After a gripping opening sequence, Troubles unfolds into a sensitive portrayal of two men struggling to connect to their emotions and reconnect to each other. The writing and performances are outstanding, making for a uniquely intimate viewing experience.”

The film will screen free online for a week starting next Monday, for Mental Health Awareness Week.


11th May 2020

NI Screen 'Directing Actors'

Following my session last year on making the transition from directing for the stage to directing for screen, I've been asked to deliver another workshop for Northern Ireland Screen. The session, focusing on Directing Actors will take place via Zoom in June.


13th February 2020

FIVE STARS from The Morning Star

“A production that’s enhanced by an exceptionally strong cast. Under Jonathan Harden’s direction, they deliver a real gem.”

I'll take that!


10th February 2020

ON MCQUILLAN'S HILL Reviews (Finborough Theatre, London)

“directed with a sensitive ear for snatching comedy from the jaws of conflict by Jonathan Harden” - **** The Stage

“Harden... knows instinctively when to let the play breathe, and when to push it on” - ***** London Theatre 1

“Jonathan Harden and an exemplary cast explore even greater depths to the always three dimensional roles. Behind the near mythical ambience there lie utterly credible characters. These are never less than real people with genuine lives and backgrounds” - **** The Spy in the Stalls

“Jonathan Harden's direction gets the pacing just right and manages to unfold this complex and twisting story in a way that makes it both comprehensible and completely gripping” - ***** London Living Live

“Harden’s direction leans into the bleakness... infusing the play something of a melancholic anger” - **** A Younger Theatre

“the emotional truth of the performances that [Harden] encourages starts to burn through, and by the second half of the evening, we feel the full heat of each revelation” - The Arts Desk

“The acting is stellar, as the anger, resentment and bottled up guilt of the play’s characters explodes until there’s nothing left to give” - SW Londoner


24th October 2019

IFTA Membership with full voting rights

I'm delighted that IFTA - the Irish Film and Television Academy - have welcomed me as a full member, in the Directing chapter. The next award ceremony will take place in Spring 2020, and I look forward to watching the nominated films and to lending my vote for the first time.


7th October 2019

THE EMPTY CHAIR goes into production

After a lot of setbacks, The Empty Chair has finally gone into production, with delivery set for January 2020. This is a very important project for me, so I'm delighted to be moving forward with it at last.


27th August 2019

NI Screen Directing Workshop

As part of a series of workshops aimed at theatre directors interested in crossing over into film, Northern Ireland Screen have invited me to lead a session based on my experience of having made that transition. The workshop will take place in October of this year, and anyone interested can sign up via the NI Screen website.


16th June 2019

Guard takes BEST DRAMA in Brighton

Another gong for Guard, this time for Best Drama at the Brighton Rocks Film Festival. Thanks to the judges, and congrats to all the winners in the other categories.


5th June 2019

Moving back to BELFAST

After ten years spent between London and the south coast, we're investing in a Belfast base again. Following our move back - currently scheduled to happen this month - we hope to open most of the year in and around Belfast, with occasional trips back 'across the water' for work. Exciting times!


23rd May 2018

London Stage Directing Debut

I'm extremely excited to be signed up to direct On McQuillan's Hill by Joseph Crilly, at the Finborough Theatre early in 2020. The play was first produced by Tinderbox at the Lyric Theatre Belfast in 2000, with The Guardian proclaiming the playwright to be "Ulster's Martin McDonagh". Joe, who had also been an actor, stopped writing for the stage soon after, and passed away in 2017, aged 55. A collection of his three plays was published in 2018.


16th January 2019

TROUBLES starting discussions at special screenings

Following invites from organisations including University of Ulster, I'll be attending special screenings of Troubles aimed at starting discussions around the topics of mental health and suicide.


25th December 2018

GUARD distributed to Indiegogo backers

At last, as Guard's festival run comes to a close, a downloadable version of the film has been sent to the hundreds of backers who helped make the film possible. Thanks again to every one of you!


25th October 2018

Best Director nomination at RHIFF

Thanks to the jury at the Richard Harris International Film Festival for their nomination in the Best Director category for Guard. Very pleased to see Michael McElhatton also nominated - for Best Actor - in the same film.


24th October 2018

BOTH films make award shortlist 

Both Troubles and Guard have made the final shortlist of 22 films for the first Performance Short Film Award, alongside some outstanding filmmakers and their shorts. Thanks to Performance Media and the jury for the selections.


16th October 2018

Cork announces 2018 selections, including TROUBLES

At last, it's official! Troubles will be screening as part of the Irish Shorts section at this year's prestigious Cork Film Festival. And thanks to assistance under the British Council's Short Support Scheme, I'll be there to see how it goes down. Couldn't be happier!


5th October 2018


There more festival news for Troubles in the pipeline, but this week we're celebrating the film's selection for the Irish Shorts showcases in both New York and LA, thanks to Irish Screen America. Meanwhile, Guard has added laurels from the Richard Harris International Film Festival, plus nominations from the NY-based Fatherhood Image Film Festival, and the LIFFT festival in India.


14th September 2018

More festival news for GUARD

In the same week in which we found out that Guard has been selected for both Kerry Film Festival and Carlow International Film Festival, we also received the news that Brian Philip Davis picked up the award for 'Best Editing' for his work on the film, at Oil Valley Film Festival, with Bronagh Taggart taking a Special Jury award for her performance.


22nd August 2018

GUARD breaks 20 festival mark

With recent good news from both Montana Independent Film Festival and Oil Valley Film Festival (in my mum's native Pennsylvania) Guard has now been selected for over twenty festivals worldwide, including two Oscar qualifiers, a BAFTA qualifier, and an EFA qualifier. So far, it has screened in nine countries, across three continents, has been nominated/shortlisted nine times, and has taken two awards. Thanks to everyone who helped us get this far.


26th July 2018

GUARD wins 'Nordie' for BEST DRAMA

Guard took the Best Drama award at tonight's inaugural Northern Ireland Short Film Awards, in a sold-out ceremony at the Empire in Belfast. Thanks to the judges, and congrats to all the other nominees and winners.

17th July 2018

TROUBLES qualifies for exclusive British Council scheme

Following some early selections by leading international festivals (more to be announced soon), Troubles has qualified for the British Council's prestigious Short Support Scheme, which exists to help UK-based filmmakers to show their work internationally. Benefits include travel grants, promotion of the film to key festivals, and access to an annual calendar of events and showcasing opportunities.

14th July 2018

GUARD nominated for Best Short Film at PIFF

We've received notification not only that Guard will be screening in competition at this year's Prague Independent Film Festival, but has also been nominated for Best Short Film.

22nd June 2018

TROUBLES selected for Galway Film Fleadh

With the embargo now lifted, I can confirm that Troubles will debut in competition at the Oscar qualifying Galway Film Fleadh next month. Date and time to follow...

12th June 2018

GUARD mominated for five awards

Following the official announcement this afternoon, I'm able to confirm that Guard has been nominated for five Northern Ireland Short Film Awards, including Best Drama and Best Drama Director.

1st June 2018

THE EMPTY CHAIR awarded production funding

My short documentary, The Empty Chair, which will explore the impact of teenage suicide on three families, has been awarded production funding by BFI Network via Northern Ireland Screen.

7th May 2018

Inspire back THE EMPTY CHAIR

Today we received final confirmation of financial support from Inspire via their Change Your Mind campaign, meaning that regardless of what happens with other funding applications, one way or another, the film will be getting made. Great news.

2nd April 2018

Festival run continues for GUARD

Guard's international festival run continues over the next few  months, as it screens in competition in Belfast, Atlanta, South Carolina, Ingolstadt, South Dakota, Plymouth, and Pune. Full details are on the Laurels page.

12th March 2018

Skills Fund award for NFTS Documentary Course

I'm very excited to have been successful in both my application to study at the National Film & Television School, and in having secured course funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Skills Development Bursary. The journey begins on May 14th...

7th March 2018

TROUBLES selected for BAFTA Showcase

Troubles has been selected for inclusion in the next BFI Network/Northern Ireland Screen showcase event at BAFTA, taking place in April.

8th January 2018

More festival selections for GUARD

Over the next few months, Guard will screen in competition in Utah, Door County, Dublin, Manchester, Nottingham and London. Full details are on the Laurels page.