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UCC Film Studies graduate, Shaun O'Connor has secured a place on the Academy Awards’ 2021 longlist

8 Feb 2021
Shaun O'Connor, MA Film Studies 2006

UCC Film Studies graduate, Shaun O'Connor is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer. His latest short film, 'A White Horse' has secured a place on the Academy Awards’ 2021 longlist. His photography exhibition, ‘Personal Space: Travels in India’ chronicled five months’ solo travel in India, while his films have won accolades at the Cork Film Festival and DC Shorts. His work has been screened on RTE and he has directed and edited music videos for the likes of Julie Feeney and Declan Sinnott. 

Course studied at UCC:
MA in Film Studies 2006

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 Society screening of Die Hard in the evening.

How did your time at UCC help you in your career?
It was invaluable. Aside from 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 people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
Dr Gwenda Young and Professor 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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