Born in Bristol and raised in Cork, Oonagh Kearney studied English and Philosophy at University College Cork where she began writing and directing for the stage. She completed her Masters in Irish Theatre at Trinity College Dublin in 1999 and wrote her thesis on Samuel Beckett. In 2001, she was selected for the inaugural Rough Magic Seeds Program for emerging Irish playwrights.
Having assisted theatre directors Joe Dowling and Anne Bogart, her introduction to film began with casting Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley in 2005. The following year, Oonagh moved to London to study at the National Film and Television School. Upon graduating, Oonagh cast five feature films. Since 2009, she has written and directed award-winning shorts and shown her work at international festivals.
Her films often explore characters at emotional and ethical crossroads. She is interested in family, the tensions between our private and public selves and the role of play and imagination in our lives. Current work investigates the potential of choreography on screen to communicate personal experiences and relationships. Adopting striking visuals and inventive mise-en-scène, she works with diverse visual forms from fiction and experimental documentary to dance on film. Oonagh was selected as a UK Guiding Lights director in 2011. Her mentor is Clio Barnard. Since 2012, she is a guest lecturer on the BA in Film at the University of Suffolk.
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