Feature films & documentaries

The Graceless Age: The ballad of John Murry

If a story is in you, it has to come out.

William Faulkner


Premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh 2023
Director | Writer: Sarah Share
Producers: Nuala Cunningham, John Galway, Aeschylus Poulos

Feature documentary on American singer songwriter John Murry who was on the cusp of greatness after the release of his album “Graceless Age” (2013) when his world fell apart.

He found solace in Ireland where he had washed up creatively exhausted and depressed and where, he said, the landscape and the people revived him. This haunting film sees John retrace his steps back to Mississippi to a neglected childhood, explore his family links to the Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner, and ultimately find understanding and redemption through his love for music.

The Swimming Diaries

Find the Wall and go through it, wherever it is for you, for each and every person it will be in a different place, their own personal wall, wherever they find it, the Wall, magical in its nonexistence, mythical in that you will never really find it, never really see it…

Susan Thomson, The Swimming Diaries


A Reel Art film, funded by the Arts Council
Premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival 2024
Director | Writer: Susan Thomson
Producers: Susan Thomson, Jen Dunbar
Executive Producer: Nuala Cunningham

Floating between conceptual documentary and experimental fiction, this film chronicles the 25,000 metres that Thomson swam during the period of her mother’s death. An adaptation of her book, it uses dance, music and memorial archives to translate text into movement. 

Notes from Sheepland

Notes from Sheepland has a streak of light, playful wit. There is also something of a lament about the film. What happens in this shepherd’s little corner of Ireland becomes a reflection of global events and challenges for everyone.

Screen Daily


Premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival 2023
Producer | Director | Writer: Cara Holmes
Exec Producer: Nuala Cunningham

‘Notes from Sheepland’ follows lipstick wearing, always swearing, no nonsense, artist and shepherd, Orla Barry. Through her fields, her digital diaries, and the pedigree sheep she cares for, we discover how the art is in the doing.

My Lost Russian Mother

Few films at this year’s Galway Fleadh were more memorable than Sam Jones’s My Lost Russian Mother. A fascinating, troubling story that reminds us to avoid hasty judgments.


Premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh 2023
Director: Sam Jones
Writer: Michael Beattie
Producers: Nuala Cunningham, Ciaran O’Connor

An intimate tale of secrets and lies, family and ethnicity and one young man’s odyssey from America to Russia, searching for his birth mother.

Irish filmmaker Sam Jones, in his first feature documentary follows US citizen Gabe, trying to trace the mother he and his sister were taken from in childhood when they were adopted into America. Gabe arrives in Russia high on expectation. He wants to know who he is and the truth about his childhood. What he finds is not the loving parent he hoped for.

The Secret Peacemaker

I cannot not think of a legacy that anybody should be more proud of than a legacy that created hope…it wasn’t just talk, peace was delivered…that’s huge.

Paul Crawford, Victims and Survivors Forum Member


Broadcast on RTÉ and BBCNI | 9-10 April, 2023
Director: Garry Keane
Producers: Ciaran O’Connor, Nuala Cunningham

In 1988, Father Reid was first seen by the world as he was photographed trying to save the life of a dying British corporal in the horrific aftermath of an IRA funeral. The haunted face of Father Reid as he delivered the Last Rites became symbolic of the thirty-year long conflict. But unknown to most, the photograph also captured a secret peacemaker at work. In Fr Reid’s jacket pocket were the first documents of a fledgling plan that would help end The Troubles.

Based on interviews recorded before his death ten years ago, the film charts his ambitious and perilous peace mission to stop the killing. Contributors include peacemakers Rev Harold Good and Rev Ken Newell, former Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, former SDLP MLA Bríd Rodgers, UUP’s Mike Nesbitt and Ian Jeffers, the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, and journalists Tim Pat Coogan, Brendan O’Brien and Mark Devenport.

Game of Truth

Intelligence, counterintelligence and licenses to kill always leave the same lingering question as heritage for the next generation: what exactly happened my loved ones?


Director: Fabienne Lips-Dumas
Narrated by: Doireann Ní Bhriain
Producers: Sergio Ghizzardi, Cedric Bonin, Nuala Cunningham

Nearly 25 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the legacy of the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland shows no sign of abating. The response of the British government to the violence of the paramilitary organisations was based on intelligence, counterintelligence and an army of secret agents with licenses to kill or to facilitate killing. The results of their work were devastating to large numbers of people who firstly had to deal with the violent murder of family members and secondly with the state sponsored secrecy which still shrouds the reasons why they were killed.

Beagnach 25 bliain tar éis Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta, ní léiríonn oidhreacht na coimhlinte searbh i dTuaisceart Éireann aon chomhartha go bhfuil sé ag laghdú. Bhí freagra rialtas na Breataine ar fhoréigean na n-eagraíochtaí paraimíleata bunaithe ar fhaisnéis, frithbheartaíocht agus arm gníomhairí rúnda a bhfuil ceadúnais acu chun marú a mharú nó chun marú a éascú. Bhí torthaí a gcuid oibre tubaisteach do líon mór daoine a raibh orthu déileáil ar dtús le dúnmharú foréigneach bhaill an teaghlaigh agus ar an dara dul síos le rúndacht urraithe an stáit a shrouds fós na cúiseanna ar maraíodh iad.

Ireland’s Dirty Laundry

When modern day slavery decides to hide in a stack of dirty laundry, thousands of women are left with one weapon to survive: their forbidden story.

Shortlisted for Best Factual Series (Screen), Celtic Media Festival, 2023

Shortlisted for Best Specialist Factual Series, Royal Television Society Ireland Awards, 2023

Shortlisted for Sandford St Martin Trust Award, 2023

Award of Merit, Wilbur Awards, 2023


Two-part series first broadcast on RTÉ One | March 2022
Director: Gerry Gregg
Editor: Fernando de Juan
Producer: Nuala Cunningham

Built on the testimony of those who worked in Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries, this short documentary series tells the full, shocking story of a shameful system, created by the Irish State, but supported by all levels of Irish society, which enslaved over 10,000 women for decades.

These landmark films bear witness to the women’s experiences in their own words, before during and after their time in the laundries, and show how, even today, attempts are continually being made to try to silence them.

For the Birds

A random conversation turns to parenthood, sin and past secrets. Could the story Esther longs to expiate by feeding pigeons be that of other Irish women…in legions?

Winner, Best Irish Short Film, Dingle Film Festival, 2022

Special mention, Malta Short Film Festival, 2023


Short documentary
Premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh | July 2022
Director | Editor: Ciaran O’Connor
Cinematography: Philip Graham
Music: Patrick O’Connor


This documentary is the result of a chance meeting in an Irish seaside town. Esther Wright’s incredible story mirrors that of thousands of Irish women who experienced life in some of the country’s mother and baby homes in the 20th century.

Thinking outside the box: Schrödinger in Ireland

How on earth did a Nobel prize winning physicist end up in Ireland just before the outbreak of WWII?


Documentary broadcast on RTE One | 16 Nov. 2018

In 1943 Prof Erwin Schrödinger gave a series of lectures in Trinity College Dublin entitled “What is Life?”.  It would lead to one of the greatest developments in modern science.  

Seventy-five years on from those momentous lectures, Ireland’s Prof Luke O’Neill, a world-leading Immunologist has some questions. Who was Erwin Schrödinger? What was the impact of his work? 


Of all the films that have been made about the IRA in recent years, this is by far the most powerful, honest and disturbing.

Winner, Best Cinematography, Camerimage 2018


Director: Maurice Sweeney
Film: Kate McCullough
Producers: Nuala Cunningham, Ed Moloney

World premiere: Hot Docs Festival, Toronto | April 2018
European premiere: Sheffield Doc Fest, June 2018 | Galway Film Fleadh, July 2018. Also played in 2018 at the Belfast and Derry film festivals and the Chicago Irish Film Festival.

A cinematic yet intimate and complex portrait of Dolours Price, militant IRA activist, hunger striker and dissident Republican. Two years before she died, she gave a filmed interview to journalist Ed Moloney on condition that it would not be broadcast in her lifetime. Now for the first time her story can be told in full and entirely in her own words.

This shocking film brings viewers deep inside the IRA and charts one woman’s journey from passionate idealist into disillusioned cynic. The documentary charts Dolours’ journey from passionate idealist into disillusioned cynic. It’s an Irish story but also a universal tale of the journey taken by activists throughout time, from idealism to regret to guilt and then anger and has never been more relevant.

Storm Front in Mayo

June 1944: could the world’s greatest military invasion depend on a tiny voice echoing from Europe’s most westernly headland?


Documentary broadcast on RTE One | 6 June 2019
Director: Gerry Gregg
Producer: Nuala Cunningham

On the 75th anniversary of the epic D Day landings, this documentary uncovers the incredible story of Ireland’s unknown but critical role in WWII and how in the summer of 1944 the timing of the D Day landings came to hinge on readings taken by a 21 year old girl in a tiny remote weather station on Europe’s most westernly headland.

This documentary includes a special interview with the now 96-year-old Maureen providing a living link to a unique moment in history, when military might and meteorological analysis collided. Contributors include Susan Eisenhower (granddaughter of the General), renowned historian Antony Beevor, D Day veteran Joe Cattini , a selection of military experts, meteorologists and archive footage, this fascinating documentary paints an incredible picture of Ireland’s previously unknown role in one of the most pivotal events in world history.

Coming Home

None of them could have ever dreamed that a day like this would happen. The Event Manager of the Mansion House said he had never seen anything like it in all his years. Even the Gardai were crying.


Documentary broadcast on RTE One | 6 June 2019

Contributing survivors: Elizabeth Coppin, Deirdre Cadwell, Elizabeth (Anne) O’Dwyer, and Delia Hanney.

Featuring: President Michael D. Higgins, Norah Casey, Maeve O’Rourke, Katherine O’Donnell, Claire McGettrick, Christy Moore, the Hothouse Flowers.

The area of Dawson St in Dublin outside the Mansion Home has been the scene of many a joyous homecoming but surely none so emotionally charged as the evening of 5th June 2018. 250 survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and their families were honoured and celebrated by the President, Government, City of Dublin and more importantly, for them, by the Irish people.

Centred on a series of interviews with the Magdalene survivors, Coming Home tells the story of those two dramatic days in Dublin. Produced in conjunction with event organiser Norah Casey, this uplifting documentary offers Irish audiences an opportunity to relive this extraordinary event through the eyes of the women who were at the centre of it all. It offers the women themselves, and all those who were involved in its organisation, the chance to reflect on what it felt like at the time and what impact it has had on their lives since.

Chester Beatty: honorary Irishman

Looking at the life of Chester Beatty and the incredible collection of St Paul’s letters and other items he bequeathed to the Irish state.


Documentary broadcast on RTE One | 28 Dec. 2018
Director: Ruth O’Looney

2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Chester Beatty who was responsible for amassing what has been called the finest private collection of manuscripts and books of the 20th century. As a result of his gift to the nation Beatty became the first person to receive honorary citizenship of Ireland and upon his death, the first private citizen in Irish history ever to receive a state funeral.

This fascinating documentary offers us a unique insight into the man, his amazing collection and the work that goes into preserving it.

Backlash: the war on human rights

Could this be? The slow agony of what once used to be the very foundation of our freedom and dignity?


Produced in association with Front Line Defenders

This documentary looks beyond individual attacks to highlight the alarmingly concerted attack by the powerful on the very idea of human rights.

All around the world, Governments are becoming far more malicious, creative and insidious in the way that they suppress critical voices and repress and discredit the work of NGOs and human rights defenders. This is increasingly happening even in countries that profess to support democracy and human rights. Unless we act now, our society faces a fundamental challenge as to what type of world we’re going to live in.

Way to Go: Death and the Irish

If death is the only 100% certainty out there, why are we so reluctant to talk about it?


Presenter: Norah Casey

This frank and revealing film features first hand experiences of a broad range of people including healthcare professionals and people who are dying. All speak openly and honestly about going through what will be the last months of their own lives.

We also hear thoughts and anecdotes from well-known figures such as actor Gabriel Byrne, broadcasters Marian Finucane and George Hook, plus comments from members of the general Irish public.

Lives on the Line

Seven gunshot wounds.
Sixty-eight days in ICU.
A thousand reasons to keep up the fight.


Broadcast on RTE One
Narrator: Martin Sheen

This moving and fascinating documentary follows an Irish human rights organisation, Front Line Defenders, as their head Mary Lawlor goes to Guatemala to visit one of the people they support.

Dr. Yuri Melini was shot at point blank range outside his mother’s house in 2008. He was hit seven times and spend 68 days in intensive care. Even though he recovered, his life remains in danger. However that has not deterred him from his work to protect Guatemala’s natural environment and indigenous people. Both are in danger from the seemingly endless mining and logging corporations which are devastating the land.

Secret Billionaire: the Chuck Feeney story

There is more happiness in giving millions silently than there is in stacking them noisily.


Narrator: Richard Crowley
Director: Ciaran O’Connor

Featuring Bertie Ahern, Niall O’Dowd, Billy Hutchinson, Gerry Adams, Alan Parker, Harvey Dale

Secret Billionaire is the story of how one man made and then gave away a multi-billion-dollar fortune, and how Ireland in particular has benefited from this astonishing act of generosity – to the tune of over $1.2bn. Until 1997, all of this was done on one condition: that Feeney’s name never be disclosed, the beneficiaries sworn to secrecy about the identity of the donor.

Feeney, now 78, has finally agreed to step out of the shadows to be interviewed by RTÉ‘s Richard Crowley in this world exclusive documentary. He has also, and for the first time, allowed his family and closest allies to speak to us about his life and work. His motivation for coming forward? To inspire Ireland’s wealthy elite into following his example of ‘giving while living’ – a message all the more salient in these straightened times.


Unflinching, bleak drama with strong cast, visual imagination and narrative flair…outstanding. This film shows what can be done with a small budget, a lot of talent and the courage to tell a painful story.

Irish Times

2nd Prize in Best First Feature category, Galway Film Fleadh, 2004


Feature film
Director | Producer: Ciaran O’Connor

Starring: Ruth Negga, Karl Shiels, Martin Dunne, Jasmine Russell, Niall O’Brien

Taiwo is an African immigrant coming to Dublin for the first time and by illegal means, hoping to gain a new life, free of the everyday fear in her own country. However, she has been marked for a life of enforced prostitution. She escapes her traffickers, but is forced back into Dublin’s seedy underworld of vice and drugs to survive. Keely falls for the beautiful Taiwo and tries to save her from herself and the sharks that circle her, but eventually both must pay a price.

As Ireland confronts the issue of immigration, Trafficked tackles it head on. “This story is about the prostitution, degradation and rape of women who are brought to this country.” says Director Ciaran O’Connor, “I believe the time has come for these issues to be addressed in a graphic manner and forced into the public domain. Filmed in Dublin in a hit and run style, Trafficked has a gritty, grainy feel that gives the film an immediate and exciting texture.

Niall Tóibín: Séo Man

One of the top 5 performing documentaries in the history of the TG4 station.


Screened on TG4 on Christmas Night 2008
Selected for screening on 2008 Cork Film Festival closing day
Director: Sean O’Cualáin

In this candid documentary, Niall Tóibín talks honestly about the highs and lows of his life and work, from his definitive portrayal of Brendan Behan and his career as a dramatic actor to the controversially explosive satire of his television appearances and his phenomenally successful one-man shows.

Throughout his long and celebrated career, Niall Tóibín has established himself as an accomplished actor, a superb raconteur, a mordant satirist, a gifted linguist and a pioneer of stand-up comedy in Ireland. He has entertained us now for the best part of half-a-century – but he has also challenged and provoked his audiences. This documentary provides unprecedented access to Niall Tóibín, granting us a unique insight into his professional and personal life. Interviewees on the documentary include Eoghan Harris, Gabriel Byrne, David Kelly, Noel Pearson and Brian Mac Lochlainn.