Alumni Spotlight

Shaun O’Connor - Filmmaker

9 Oct
Shaun O’Connor

Award-winning filmmaker, Shaun O’Connor, has just launched his first photography exhibition, ‘Personal Space: Travels in India’ which chronicles five months’ solo travel in India, all shot on a mobile phone. Shaun’s short films have won awards at the Corona Cork Film Festival and DC Shorts among others. His work has been screened on RTE and he has directed and edited music videos for the likes of Julie Feeney and Declan Sinnott. ‘Personal Space: Travels In India’ is currently showing in St. Peters, North Main Street and continues until 30th October.

Course/subjects studied in University College Cork:
MA in Film Studies.

Best memory of UCC:
Sitting around with fellow students, having robust debates on films old and new. We could be in class watching Battleship Potemkin during the day, then rush off to catch a Film Soc screening of Die Hard in the evening.

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
It was invaluable. Aside from the learning so much about the history of film, it was through my class that I met the people who collaborated on my first video projects. Those got into a few film festivals and things took off from there.

What is your advice to current UCC students:
Take full advantage of the resources available to you in the college, get involved in societies. And stay in touch with your lecturers and friends after graduation!

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
Gwenda Young and Laura Rascaroli, who ran my course, were fantastic lecturers and have been incredibly supportive of my work since. It’s been amazing to see the department go from strength to strength in the meantime. I meet them and their students every year at the Fastnet Film Festival!

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
I attended as many of the UCC Film Society events as I could - screenings/quizzes etc. It was great, such a vibrant community of filmmakers and fans.

Favourite UCC legend or superstition:
Watching the RTE documentary on George Boole I was amazed to learn the circumstances of his death - he had developed a cold and his wife, an early proponent of homeopathy, supposedly treated him by wrapping him in wet bed sheets. He subsequently died from pneumonia. Boole had devised the logical foundation for digital communications, yet his own life was lost to quackery and magical thinking. It’s such a fascinating, tragic collision of modes of thought.

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