Tommy Collins (filmmaker)

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Tommy Collins, sometimes referred to as Tom Collins, is an Irish filmmaker. Two of Collins's Irish language works (Kings and The Gift) have been Ireland's entries into the Foreign Language Films category at the Academy Awards.[citation needed]


Brought up in Derry in Northern Ireland, Collins received an M.A.(Hons) from Dublin City University.[citation needed]

His broadcast career began as the photographer on the documentary Mother Ireland (1986), which won a Femme Cathodique Cinematography award.[citation needed]

His later works include Hush-a-Bye Baby (1989) (producer) with Sinéad O'Connor and Emer McCourt, The Bishop's Story (1994) (co-producer) with Donal Mc Cann, Bogwoman (1997) (director) with Rachael Dowling and Peter Mullan, and Dead Long Enough (2006) (director) with Michael Sheen.

He also wrote and directed Teenage Kicks - The Undertones (2006), a 'rockumentary' on the Derry band The Undertones. The film received a five-star review from the Times of London.[citation needed]

He has produced or directed 13 documentaries including More than a Sacrifice, (1996) First Love, (1997) Cambat D'une Mere, (1998) A Mother's Story, (1999) The Johnie Walker Story plus Donal Mc Cann - It Must Be Done Right.(2000). He directed The Boys of St Columb's, a documentary for BBC and RTÉ in 2009.[citation needed]

In 2007 his film Kings, which tells the story of a group of young men who left the west of Ireland in 1977 for London, was entered as Ireland's choice for Oscar nomination. Kings was placed in the Best Foreign Language Film category as it was filmed in the Irish language.[1] The film stars Colm Meaney, Brendan Conroy, Donal O'Kelly, Donnacha Crowley and Sean O'Tarpaigh. Kings was nominated for a record 14 Irish Film and Television Awards in 2008; won the Gold Torc at the 2008 Celtic Film and Media Awards; picked up a Special Commendation at Prix Europa Best Drama 2008; won Best Cinematography Award at the Hamptons Film Festival 2007;[2] was awarded Best Film at the Weschester Film Festival 2007 and was awarded Special Commendation Foyle Film Festival 2007.

Collins won the Director's Guild of America / Ireland New Finders Award in 2007.[citation needed]

He subsequently directed a documentary on the British Education Act of 1947, which led to free secondary education in Northern Ireland. The film, called The Boys of St Columb's featured Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane and John Hume.[3]

In 2014 he produced and directed An Bronntanas ("The Gift") for Irish Film Board, Northern Irish screen, TG4 and the Broadcast Authority of Ireland.[citation needed]

He subsequently produced Penance (2017) and an original script Priest Hunter.[citation needed]. Penance is distributed by Cinema Epooque[4]


  1. ^ "Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann - About Irish Film / News / Ireland selects KINGS for Foreign Language Oscars Nomination". Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. ^ "SDGI » Tom Collins". Screen Directors Guild of Ireland. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  3. ^ "RTÉ Television - Programmes - Factual - The Boys of St Columb's". 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  4. ^ "Cinema Epoch Takes U.S. Rights to Tom Collins' Irish Movie 'Penance'". 1 October 2018.

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