Paul Rowley is a visual artist and filmmaker. He first began making films in 1995. Since then he has completed over 30 shorts, documentaries, video installations, and experimental films. His first feature drama THE PARTICIPANTS is now in festivals.
Paul’s work has received many awards over the past years including the Glen Dimplex award, the Irish American Art Award (both the under 35 and overall prize), the New Langton Arts Award, and nominations at the Irish Film and Television Awards. His work has been funded by the Irish Arts Council, the Irish Film Board, Culture Ireland, and the New York Foundation for the Arts among others. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell artist colony, the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, and the Atlantic Centre for the Arts in the US. He was the winner of the Irish Film New York Rising Star award.
Collaborative partnerships are a central part of his work. Many of his projects have been created with other artists and filmmakers such as Nicky Gogan, David Philips, Tim Blue and Emily Manzo. Paul and David’s first short film Suspension was completed in 1998 and won a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2000 they won the Glen Dimplex Artists’ Award, the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s annual contemporary art prize. They have continued to collaborate on a variety of projects since, principally video installation works and experimental film. Their latest public commission, Local Time, is a sixty screen permanent installation in the International arrivals terminal of Los Angeles airport.
In 2007 Paul along with Nicky Gogan and Maya Derrington founded the production collective Still Films. The company produces documentaries, artist films and experimental films. Still Films have received slate funding from the Irish Film Board, have been nominated for two Irish Film and Television awards, and recently were awarded the Michael Dwyer Discovery Award by the Dublin Films Critics Circle for their work.
Feature films include Seaview, Pyjama Girls, The Participants, The Rooms, and Build Something Modern. Seaview, which Paul co-directed with Nicky Gogan, was filmed in the former Butlin’s holiday camp at Mosney, Ireland, which is now used as a holding centre for asylum seekers. The film eschews the traditional talking heads approach to documentary and instead uses the style of video installations to create a portrait of this very particular place and the people who find themselves stuck there for years on end. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and toured to many festivals internationally, including Hot Docs, Sheffiled Doc/Fest, Silverdocs, and the DMZ doc festival in Korea where it was awarded a special jury mention. Seaview was also nominated for an IFTA (Irish Film and Television Award).
In 2010, Paul completed a feature length experimental film, The Rooms. Funded by a Project Award from the Irish Arts Council, the film looks back at the ruins of the 20th century and presents a world abandoned that somehow continues to operate. The film had its premiere in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin and it’s international premiere at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Paul and Nicky co-directed a second collaborative feature documentary, Build Something Modern, a Reel Art commission funded by the Irish Arts Council. The film looks at the little known phenomenon of Irish architects designing hundreds of modernist buildings in Africa in the 1960s and 70s, many of them never traveling to supervise the work, but instead designing solely by correspondence. The film premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival.
As editor Paul has worked for the Criterion Collection – the foremost distributor of foreign and art-house films in North America. He also edited several other Still Films feature documentaries, including Pyjama Girls and Nightdancers.
Paul Is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. He serves on the selection panel for the Bogliasco Foundation, has been a juror at the Sheffield doc/fest and was Director of Programming for GAZE, the Dublin International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.