Born in Cork in 1936, he is a graduate of UCC. Active in the Cork Branch of the Irish Film Society, he was founder/editor of its journal, Guth na Scannán. He began his film career in Dublin in 1958 as assistant editor on Mise Éire and Saoirse?, and made his own first film in 1959 on the sculptor, Seamus Murphy RHA. From 1960 to 1973 he made short cinema documentaries for Gael-Linn, and has worked since then for television and corporate patrons. His subjects have included social life, Irish traditions, history and the arts.He has now made over 80 documentaries winning some 20 international awards including the Silver Bear of the Berlin Film Festival, prizes at Moscow, London, Chicago and Oberhausen, and two Academy Award Nominations.
His cinema work has had international distribution through United Artists and Columbia Pictures; his television work has appeared on RTÉ, TG4, Ulster Television and Channel Four, with distribution by Thames Television Inernational.
Recent works include Cosc ar Ghnéas/A Ban on Sex, No Rootless Colonists/Na Gaeil-Phrostatúnaigh, Christ Church Through the Ages and a triptych treatment of the annual Fleadh Cheoil for the Brú Ború Centre in Cashel.
In 1995 he received the Irish Film Institute’s Annual Award, and at the 50th Cork Film Festival in 2005 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award and a retrospective of his work. He was elected to the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Over the years he has served on several state arts boards including the Abbey Theatre Shareholders, the Foreign Relations Committee and the Arts Council, and is a former Chairperson of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.
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