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DEC 1st 2012
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Mary McGuckian 
Career Achievement Award
  
 
About Mary McGuckian
Writer, Director, Producer
  
Born and raised during the ‘troubles” in Northern Ireland, innovative filmmaker Mary McGuckian completed her formal education in the Republic of Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, where she graduated with a degree in engineering. It was during this time that she became involved with 'Trinity Players', appearing in over 30 productions and juggling many behind-the-scene roles including producing, designing, directing and lighting and various other duties. Despite her demanding under-graduate lecture and exam schedules, this Irish tigress managed a full-time theatre commitment on the side!

After graduating, McGuckian took her boundless passion for theatre and politics on the road to follow an autodidactic post graduate education in literature, theatre, acting and directing studying in various European cities as London, Paris and Verona, Italy. During this time she wrote a number of avant-garde plays and movement pieces that were produced in England and Ireland. Her most acclaimed work was the long-running stage adaptation of Brian Merriman's poem, “The Midnight Court.”

Returning to her roots in the early 1990s, when the Irish film industry was emerging, McGuckian set up her own production company Pembridge Productions to develop and produce feature films. The company produced three pictures which Mary wrote and directed – an adaptation of the WB Yeats play “Words Upon The Window Pane,” “This Is The Sea,” (an adaptation of her own play 'Hazel') and “Best,” the life story of Northern Irish footballer George Best.

In 2001, Mary established Pembridge Pictures with her brother Garrett in London to develop and finance a slate of co-productions with international funding from the UK, Canada and EU. The first film under the Pembridge Pictures banner was the adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s classic Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Bridge Of San Luis Rey,” which was filmed in Spain, with a formidable award winning cast including F. Murray Abraham, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

Most recently, Mary has turned her attention to explore a new revolutionary filmmaking technique aimed at integrating a more collaborative style of production that focuses on performances creating more compelling contemporary dramas for audiences.

Since exploring this modern unscripted style of filmmaking, Mary has written, produced and directed the ‘Amorality’ comedy trilogy each set in their own amoral world: “Rag Tale,” a black comedy about the coke & caffeine world of newspaper tabloid journalism; “Intervention,” a dark comedy exploring behind-the-scene world of relationship addiction, and the tragic comedy “Inconceivable,” a look behind the world of fertility clinics.

These unique stand alone independent films are produced in collaboration with Award winning producers Jeff Abberley (“In Bruges,” “The Constant Gardener,” “Pride and Prejudice”) and Martin Katz (“Hotel Rwanda”) along with an equally impressive British and American award winning ensemble cast including Simon Callow, Charles Dance, Colm Feore, Rupert Graves, Ian Hart, Jennifer Jason Leigh Andie MacDowell, Malcolm McDowell, Elizabeth McGovern, Bill Paterson, Amanda Plummer, John Sessions, Sara Stockbridge, and Jennifer Tilly.

Mary continues to challenge and redefine conventional filmmaking with her signatory innovative style. At the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival, Mary began production on the Amorality Trilogy Plus One production - “The Making of Plus One with Kate, Cate and George, The Story of a Hollywood Nobody.”

Starring Michael Eklund in a breakout role along with Suzan-Lori Parks, Donna D’Errico, Lothaire Bluteau and collaborating with the same company of ‘Trilogy” cast and crew, “Plus One” is a hysterical candid look at the celebrity obsession fuelled by the modern day film industry where the incongruous clash from the creative and commercial worlds of independent feature film making.






 
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Philippe Mora
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TheWIFTS 2012

 

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