A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY IRISH & IRISH AMERICAN AFFAIRS 
Spring 2019 / VOL. 19 ISSUE 1

Editor’s Note:

 

Documentarian Brendan J. Byrne Background

Courtesy of IMDb

 

Brendan J Byrne, Producer/Director, Executive Producer, Brendan Bryne of Hotshot Films began his filmmaking career in 1992 with an award-winning debut film The Kickhams (1993, C4), an exploration of political identity told through the story of his Gaelic football team. This was followed by How Far Home (1998 C4), the story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four for Channel 4's prestigious 'Films of Fire' season. This documentary united individuals from The Birmingham Six, The Bridgewater Three and The Guildford Four for the first time on television and received 'Pick of The Day' in 7 national newspapers.

 

His  2016 feature-documentary Bobby Sands: 66 Days, broke box office records in Ireland.  In 2000, Bryrne produced and directed the critically acclaimed Lines of Fire, a film celebrating the poetry of the Northern Ireland Troubles featuring poets Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin and Michael Longley together with actors Stephen Rea, Adrian Dunbar, Brid Brennan and Ian McElhinney.

Byrne has been a long time collaborator with international auteur John T. Davis (Shellshock Rock, Hobo, Dust on the Bible, Power in the Blood) and produced his feature length autobiographical film The Uncle Jack in 1996. Byrne has executive produced over 50 hours of television for BBC Television. In 2005, Brendan was the Irish producer on The Secret Life of Words, the Pedro Almodovar-produced film starring Tim Robbins, Sarah Polley and Julie Christie.

Other credits include;

Calvet (Co-Executive Producer) - explosive documentary charting the miraculous life story of Jean Marc Calvet, whose transformation from French Foreign Legion soldier to successful artist, will be launched this year.


Men of Arlington (Producer), an intimate portrait of London's Arlington House whose residents are mainly Irish alcoholics who left Ireland in the 1950s in search of work. Winner of the Best Irish documentary award at the 2011 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Other recent credits as Producer/Director include

Breaking the Silence (BBC 2010), a harrowing account of the trauma faced by families in the aftermath of suicide. Winner of RTS award for Best Regional Programme 2010.

Ballybrando (RTE Dec 2009), the story of the greatest Marlon Brando never seen, featuring the only unseen movie footage of Marlon Brando. Other significant credits include;

Breakout (BBC Sept 2008) the gripping story of the 1983 Maze Prison escape.

Blind Vision (BBC April 2007) the remarkable story of Richard Moore and his attempts to get his eyesight back and to meet the soldier who shot and blinded him 30 years ago.

Sons of Ulster (April 2008) charts eight inmates from Hydebank Prison as they stage Frank McGuinness's emotive play about the 1st World War 'Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme'.

Television through his production company Hotshot Films. These include Hear My Prayer, nominated by the BBC for the prestigious Royal Television Society 'Best Regional Documentary' award, A Tale of Two Cities (narrated by Kenneth Branagh) and SSecond Chance School (BBC 2008) Brendan is producing a feature film called JUMP! in early 2011. Jump! is written by Lisa McGee (Raw, Being Human) and will be directed by Kieron J Walsh (When Brendan Met Trudy, Kitchen).

New Irish Documentary Looks at Lost Lives of Hart Island

 

By: James Bartlett

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