LATEST

17th November 2023

NI Screen Script Reading Framework

I was very pleased indeed to learn this week that I was successful in my application to be added to Northern Ireland Screen’s ‘Script Reading Framework’ as a reader. As part of the role, I’ll be  providing constructive reader reports on full draft scripts, treatments, and short synopsis, hopefully helping to identify outstanding and potentially outstanding work from new and established voices.

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17th September 2023

Back to BFI

In my 6th year working with the BFI Film Academy, I’ve been invited to deliver more workshops to students on the subject of Directing Actors. The workshops will take place at Nerve in Belfast, and Amma in Armagh, next month. Once again, I look forward to being inspired by the next generation of Irish filmmakers…

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8th August 2023

Under New Management

I’m delighted to be joining the roster of actors at 42 Management & Production, and specifically to be represented by the wonderful Elle Cairns. After 12 years with Daniel Albert – first at Dalzell & Beresford, and most recently at DPA – I’d like to thank him for all his patience, wisdom and hard graft since I became his first client at D&B in 2011. To old friends, and new beginnings. Onward!

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15th June 2023

PG Cert in Audiovisual Post Production – Distinction

I have just got the results of the final assessments for my PG Cert in AV Post Production, and the news is good for graduation in July… with DISTINCTION! Among other things, I can now *officially*: use industry standard video, audio software and compression for the purposes of audiovisual delivery; and create an industry standard deliverables package for cinema, TV and online platforms. And I’ll soon have the piece of paper to prove it! Thanks to the staff at the Film and Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s, and to the Department fo the Economy for funding my place.

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2nd May 2023

EAMON now available publicly

After a couple fo years on the road, it’s time to share ‘Eamon’, my NI Screen funded short doc in which a mother speaks candidly about her son’s suicide. 

*TRIGGER WARNING* – This is a film about suicide.

Winner – Best Short Doc – 20th Clones Film Festival
Nominee – Best Short Doc – Performance Film & Media Insurance Short Film Awards

Directed and Edited by Jonathan Harden
Produced by Jonathan Harden
Camera: Michael MacBroom

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26th March 2023

BLUE LIGHTS premieres tomorrow night on BBC1

I am extremely proud of my involvement in this; it’s one of the greatest projects I’ve ever worked on, for so many reasons. Fantastically sharp writing, a wonderful ensemble cast, and all delivered to ensure maximum impact. Episode 1 is an emotional rollercoaster. Don’t miss it!

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31st January 2023

Back to the Causeway Coast with ASG and BNL

I’ll be directing a few more tourism reels for Visit Causeway Coast and Glens next week. This has been an absolute gem of a recurring job: sea, sand, and occasionally, sun!

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19th December 2022

PG Certificate in Audiovisual Post Production

I’m delighted to have been accepted into the PG cert in AV post at Queens, commencing in January. The course, funded by the Department for the Economy, offers meaningful upskilling in digital media skills in an area of strategic economic, social and cultural need in Northern Ireland.

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5th December 2022

Festive TV Spot shooting next week

I’m back with BNL next week, shooting a festive ad for broadcast. Drew Curran will DP over two days, while I take the helm. It’s the most wonderful time of the year… !

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7th November 2022

Stepping into Virtual Production

Delighted to be accepted on to the Ulster Screen Academy‘s course in Virtual Production – in association with ScreenSkills – starting next week. Tutors include Industry Expert and Virtual Production Manager and Producer, Monika Chowdhary Kuczynski; Declan Keeney, Director of the Screen Academy/Studio Ulster and special industry guests including James Thomas, Senior Virtual Production Executive at Prime Video & Amazon Studios

I look forward to deep diving into the world of Virtual Production!

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30th October 2022

EAMON wins in Clones

I was shocked and delighted to learn on Sunday afternoon that my short documentary, ‘Eamon’ had won Best Short Doc at the 20th Clones Film Festival.

Thanks to Nicola, a mother who lost so much and now gives her all to help others.

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11th October 2022

EAMON makes award shortlist

EAMON has been shortlisted from the UK-wide submissions for this years Performance Short Film Awards. The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony in London in November. You can watch a reel of shortlisted films here.

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6th October 2022

STUMBLING selected for 20th Belfast Film Festival

Myself and producer Tom Aarvold are over the moon that Stumbling will get a hometown screening at Belfast Film Festival next month. Venue and date still tbc, but we hope that we’ll be there, with as many of the cast and crew as we can muster. Come down and celebrate with us!

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2nd October 2022

STUMBLING starts screening at Indie Cork

If you can’t make it in person, you can watch Indie Cork’s official selections online until October 16th. More info here: https://indiecork.com

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21st September 2022

More BFI Film Academy Masterclasses

In my 5th year working with the BFI Film Academy, I’ve been invited to deliver more workshops to students on the subject of Directing for Camera. The workshops will take place at Nerve in Belfast, and Amma in Armagh, next month. Once again, I look forward to being inspired by the next generation of Irish filmmakers…

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14th September 2022

STUMBLING wins Audience Award

We’ve just been told that STUMBLING has taken the Audience Award for Best Independent Film at Chichester International Film Festival. And we’re delighted! I’m dedicating this one to the writer, the late Joseph Crilly, whose play On McQuillan’s Hill I directed in London just before the pandemic. To Joe.

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27th June 2022

Premiere Screening for STUMBLING

STUMBLING will premiere in August at Chichester Film Festival. We’re all very much looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen for the first time…

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1st June 2022

‘EAMON’ screening in competition at Docs Ireland

EAMON has been selected for the competition screening at Docs Ireland. The film rounds off a fantastic package of Irish shorts on Saturday 2nd July at 11:45am. See you there!

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8th January 2022

BLUE LIGHTS

I’m taking a break from directing over the next few months to act in a new drama for BBC1, from Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson, the duo behind the striking The Salisbury Poisonings. Blue Lights starts filming in mid February and I should be wrapped on my scenes before the end of May. It’s another fantastic opportunity to watch a highly experienced director – Gilles Bannier (Trigger Point) – at work.

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3rd December 2021

‘EAMON’ signed off by NI Screen

I’m delighted that the picture-lock and credits of my short doc, EAMON, have been signed off by the funders and I can now complete the film. Even though it’s just 6 minutes long, this project has taken over three years and has been the most difficult film I’ve made to date.

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10th November 2021

Lisburn Virtual Christmas Lights Switch On

I’ll be directing ten minute video to be be broadcast online in place of an in-person switch on event. The video will be fronted by CBeebies presenter Gyasi Sheppy, and will feature the Lord Mayor, local traders, and a very special surprise guest in red… (key aspects include multi-cam, green screen, and more)

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12th October 2021

More Tourism Commercials on the Causeway Coast

After directing 4 x 30′ tourism commercials for the Causeway Coast and Glens earlier this year, I’ve signed up to direct some more for the same agency/client next week Let’s hope it stays dry(ish)…

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15th September 2021

BFI Film Academy Masterclasses

Following on from the lecture I delivered to graduating students in 2018, I’m delighted to have been able to accept an invitation to deliver a series of masterclasses to students on the BFI Film Academy program, on the subject of Directing for Camera. I look forward to being inspired by the next generation of Irish filmmakers…

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14th September 2021

EAMON completes production

Over two years after I was first awarded funding for the project from BFI via NI Screen, principal photography on EAMON ended today. The audio edit is already complete, and with post due to commence towards the end of November, the finished film should be delivered this side of Christmas.

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30th August 2021

STUMBLING completed

“Whatever way you look at it, it’s weird”

Just six months since I was first contacted by the producer, STUMBLING is complete. Five interviewees. One chair. No filter. I’m very proud of this, my accidental feature debut, and look forward to sharing it at festivals soon. Huge thanks to Michael MacBroom (DOP), and the late, great Joseph Crilly (original script).

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2nd August 2021

LEAVING THE LAKE selected for Docs Ireland

LEAVING THE LAKE – my self-shot mini doc on the artist Nicola Nemec – has been selected for competition in the upcoming Docs Ireland festival, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see this tiny, gentle film begin its journey…

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11th April 2021

STUMBLING achieves ‘Climate Positive’ status

We’re delighted that our producer, Tom Aarvold, has taken steps to make STUMBLING a climate positive production. Already a low carbon production by nature, with zoom rehearsals, limited cast and crew and only three shoot days, we still have unavoidable emissions from transport, building and equipment use. Tom has calculated these, and offset ten times the amount – including planting a tree in Northern Ireland for every person involved in the project – going beyond carbon neutrality, to create a net environmental benefit from the making of this film.

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9th April 2021

Mini doc commission

As we take a short break in shooting STUMBLING, I’m turning my attention to a mini doc about Northern Irish painter, Nicola Nemec, commissioned by the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The finished film, which I will also shoot and edit, will last approximately 3 minutes and will form part of the centre’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

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26th March 2021

STUMBLING goes into production!

We turned over on STUMBLING today for the first time. The full cast will be announced shortly, but I’m very excited by the company we’ve been able to assemble, and the team we have around them. The old UTV studio is proving the perfect location, and barring a handful of exterior shots, will be our home until we wrap on April 23rd…

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12th March 2021

Tourism Commercial set to film this month

I’ve just signed up to direct 4 x 30′ tourism commercials for the Causeway Coast and Glens. I’ll be working for BNL and their client ASG on the project, shooting seventeen locations in four days, from Portstewart to Cushendall. Let’s hope it stays dry…

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12th Feb 2021

New Film Project: STUMBLING

I’m pleased to be starting on a brand new 60 minute film – entitled STUMBLING – with Doreen Productions, London. Michael MacBroom is on board as DOP, Deci Gallen will provide an original score, and I have adapted the script from a radio play written by Joseph Crilly. Pre-production starts on Monday…

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9th December 2020

First look at TIME starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham

The news is out, so I can at last say what I’ve been working on for the past few months: TIME is a brand new drama from the great Jimmy McGovern, being directed by the equally amazing Lewis Arnold (Des, Broadchurch, Humans). I’ve been back and forth to Liverpool and Shrewsbury playing the part of Brendan O’Connor, one of Sean Bean’s fellow inmates in this “visceral, emotional and high-stakes portrayal of life in a British prison”.

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17th June 2020

GUARD & TROUBLES Available To Rent

19th May 2020

Both GUARD and TROUBLES are now available to rent and buy from our new Irish Short Film Player, here.

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TROUBLES Q&A via ZOOM

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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7th October 2019

EAMON goes into production

After a lot of setbacks, EAMON has finally gone into production. This is a very important project for me, so I’m delighted to be moving forward with it at last.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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5th October 2018

TROUBLES for LA and NYC

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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1st June 2018

EAMON awarded production funding

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

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7th May 2018

Inspire back EAMON

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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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26th February 2018

BFI Academy Masterclass Lecture

Alongside GUARD and TROUBLES writer Bronagh Taggart, I’ll be delivering a masterclass lecture to students at the BFI Academy next month. I look forward to learning more about the next generation of filmmakers…

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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.