New York Festivals awards The Great Guide to the Future


Dave with Pepper. I think it was love at first sight.

Delighted to receive the news that The Great Guide to the Future, a series I wrote and directed, has been honoured at the New York Festivals Awards.

The series was awarded a Bronze World Medal for the episode on ‘Relationships’ and a Finalist Certificate for the episode on ‘Housing’. Congratulations to Tile Films and all the team involved in making the series such a wonderful success.

Links to the two episodes.

The Great Guide to the Future

ARGTTF - SFI Full Treatment (02-12-15) copy

Congratulations to the entire team involved in the making of The Great Guide. The series received a major thumbs up from the Accolade Global Film Competition.

It won an Excellence Award in the following categories:

Award of Excellence: Television – Programme/Series

Award of Excellence: Documentary Short

Award of Excellence: Nature/Environment/Wildlife

Award of Excellence: Direction (Martin Dwan)

Award of Excellence: On-Camera Talent (Jonathan McCrea)


John Count McCormack

I couldn’t let today pass without acknowledging that today marks the anniversary of the death of Ireland’s first global superstar, John Count McCormack. He made over 800 recordings and sold in excess of 200 million records. He was more than a singer of Irish ballads. To this day he is still regarded as one of the 20th century’s finest exponents of the music of Handel and Mozart.  Hope you enjoy his take on Handel’s ‘Come My Beloved’ from Atalanta.


And here’s his performance of ‘Ireland, Mother Ireland’ from his film ‘Song O’ My Heart’, which he made in 1929 for Fox Pictures. He was paid the phenomenal some of $500,000 for six weeks work.

The Great Guide to the Future

The first episode of ‘The Great Guide to the Future’ will air on TV3 this coming Saturday, 8th July, at 5pm. I wrote and directed this globetrotting series for Tile Films. Over the course of six episodes the award winning journalist Jonathan McCrea explores the incredible world of science and nature, meeting remarkable people in extraordinary locations along the way. The first episode looks at the future of energy. Some argue that nuclear power needs to be embraced if we’re to minimise the impact of global warming. Jonathan goes in search of the facts. He visits Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, and a place outside Oxford, England where scientists are pursuing the holy grail of energy production – clean, cheap and limitles energy by creating minature suns on earth.

JET Tokamak

Interior of JET Tokamak, Culham Centre of Fusion Energy

SDGI Annual Meeting

It was wonderful to hear our keynote speaker, Lone Scherfig, talk about her career last night. A particularly memorable moment was her anecdote about Paul Greengrass. Whenever she was having creative/budget issues with her producer on ‘Their Finest’ she would say something along the lines of – ‘If I was Paul Greengrass we wouldn’t be having this conversation’. It was said of course in jest. When the film was released she got a surprise email from a total stranger, none other than Paul Greengrass. He loved the film! It was heart warming to hear one great director reach out to another to congratulate them on their work. I’m still waiting for that email Paul. 😉 An excellent and revealing interview by Dearbhla Walsh.

Lone Scherfig

Lone Scherfig

A great deal of thanks needs to be given to our outgoing Chairman, Ciaran Donnelly, for all his work over the past eight years in promoting our cause. I hope his recent meetings with Dee Forbes, the Director General of RTE, does lead to a transformation in the way the broadcaster engages with directors, and other talent for that matter. Time will tell.

The role of Chairman has now passed on to Maurice Sweeney. The SDGI manifesto for the year ahead is ambitious. I wish him, the other board members and Birch Hamilton, our resilient and ebullient Executive Director, the best of luck in the year ahead.

Finally, I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to the volunteers who give freely of their time to assist Birch in administering our Guild.