Kevin Allen (director)
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|Kevin Edward Allen|
|Born||15 September 1959|
|Alma mater||Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts|
|Occupation||Director, writer, producer, actor, video diarist, TV presenter.|
|Relatives||Keith Allen (brother)|
Lily Allen (niece)
Alfie Allen (nephew)
Kevin Allen (born 15 September 1959) is a film director, screenwriter, film producer and actor. Allen came to promimence with the notable BBC film "On the March with Bobby's Army", and for writing and directing his debut feature movie, the Welsh cult classic Twin Town.
Kevin Edward Allen is the son of a Royal Naval submarine engineer, younger brother of comedian/actor, Keith Allen and uncle of both singer songwriter, Lily Allen and Game of Thrones actor, Alfie Allen.
He was born in Gosport, England, near his father’s submarine base, but spent most of his childhood in his mother’s homeland, Wales and British military outposts such as Malta and Singapore, where he attended Royal Naval schools, before the family settled back in Loughor, Wales in 1969. There he went to Penyrheol Comprehensive School, where his only interests were drama, art, technical drawing, football and rugby.
Allen made his stage debut in a Gang Show with the 1st Loughor Scout Troop and was a founding member of the West Glamorgan County Youth Theatre and a member of the National Youth Theatre of Wales, before choosing the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts over completing his A levels. In London he worked during the college holidays selling ice-cream from a van, frying fish in the London Zoo cafeteria, working in the post-room at Thomsons Holidays, at the laundry at The Whittington Hospital, and being taught to cook by a Moroccan chef at The Dorchester, where he was a kitchen porter.
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During the early 1990s he continued to act, starring with Hugh Grant in the BBC’s The Trials of Oz and alongside Kristin Scott Thomas in Channel 4's 'Look at it This Way'. Allen also featured in many episodes of The Comic Strip, also on Channel 4, and his was a regularly seen face in Absolutely Fabulous, The Bill, French and Saunders, Murder Most Horrid and Bottom. He worked as a runner in almost every department on many film and TV productions, prompting him to buy his first Super-8 camera with which to cut his directorial teeth on small experimental films and pop-promos for 'Pete Sing - The Rocking Sikh', among others. He then landed himself an early S4C Welsh-language film commission 'Yr Darian' (The Shield) set in Naples when Diego Maradona secured the city with its winning of the Italian football league - and Allen’s unique behind-the-scenes camera technique became the springboard for his future film-making success.
He next starred on stage, alongside Dawn French in Ben Elton's West End hit Silly Cow at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He also starred with Dame Diana Rigg in Howard Brenton's Berlin Bertie  at London's Royal Court Theatre (directed by Danny Boyle). He received a Fringe First Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1988 for his starring role in Sean Mathias' A Prayer for Wings directed by Dame Joan Plowright.
Allen made the notable film 'On The March With Bobby's Army' (BBC-1991) - a highly acclaimed 2-hour solo undercover film covering English football hooligans at the Italia 90 World Cup. His ground-breaking behind-the-scenes filming techniques contributed significantly to sports TV coverage evolving into what it is today. He presented the BBC football series Standing Room Only and wrote and directed several documentaries for the BBC, including 'Bombay Brown Wash', 'Booze Bores Barbours and Brilliance' and 'Rotten to the Core'.
Allen’s debut feature movie, a cult classic, was Twin Town. It was BAFTA-nominated and a BAFTA Cymru winner and premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Twin Town was also nominated for a Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and helped launch the film careers of actors Rhys Ifans and Dougray Scott.
He supervised and developed projects in Hollywood including ‘Coming Out’ for Milk Wood Films and 'Cheek to Cheek'‚ a feature film collaboration with Gene Wilder. Allen set up Airstream Films at this time‚ developing a diverse slate of feature projects with his producing partner, Kate McCreery.
He then directed Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.
After his mainstream success, Allen chose to bow out of Hollywood, so relocated with his young family to the Republic of Ireland in 2004, where he designed and built a timber eco-house and became a rare-breed pig farmer. In 2005 Allen adapted the Luis Stevenson classic book ‘Treasure Island’ as a feature Film and TV series for Working Title Films.
Allen and playwright/novelist Patrick McCabe were organisers and creative directors of The Flat Lake Literary & Arts Festival which was held annually for five years in County Monaghan, Ireland from 2007 to 2011. The Flat Lake was a favourite performing venue of Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney, Colm Toibin and a star-studded array of Irish literary giants.
Allen's film version of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood was shot in two language versions, English and Welsh, and the Welsh film was selected as the British entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. and was nominated for a BAFTA award in 2015 and several BAFTA Cymru awards. He played a key role in assisting Swansea City Council's 2017 bid to become the 2021 UK City of Culture.
With author Pat McCabe, Allen helped create the Flat Lake Literary & Arts Festival in Ireland. He farmed rare-breed saddle-back pigs and introduced the Mangalitza strain to Irish pig farming.
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