American Golden Picture

International Film Festival


AN INTERVIEW WITH Damien Donnelly, PRODUCER & DIRECTOR

As a producer and film maker, please introduce yourself and let us know why you became a filmmaker ?

Hi, I am Damien Donnelly an Irish Film Producer based in Kilkenny, Ireland. I commenced my Filmmaking Career about 18 years ago. I graduated from the European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs (www.eave.org) programme in 2006. I have “ hands-on” experience across a wide range of projects in Film Production, Digital Cinema (Distribution), Radio Production and Creative Digital Media.

I was attracted to Film making as I love creating things, solving problems, ensuring project delivery and travelling the world meeting Filmmakers!

My motto as a Producer is “ Experienced in getting things done! “


Please give us some information about the films you made so far, and about your experience in film industry.

To-date, I have participated in over 30 diverse projects and counting! Projects have included a Feature Length Movie “ Winter’s End “ 98-minute Thriller to a range of diverse shorts – “ The Fridge “ B-Movie Horror, “ Lift Off “ Drama, “ Homo Sapiens in Space “ Comedy Science Documentary.

Roles undertaken in the Film Industry have included Writer, Director, Producer, Associate Producer, Line Producer, Video Assist.

I am an IFTA ( Irish Film and Television Academy  (www.ifta.ie) Member: Producer’s Chapter.


How you got started in the film world. What sparked your interest in visual storytelling ?

I undertook a 7 week film-making course in Kilkenny. The course covered all aspects of Production from Story Idea generation, Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production and Delivery. I am a Movie Fanatic. From my early childhood, I would head to the local cinema

to escape into the Visual story-telling world of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., Ferris Bueller, Back to the Future, Home Alone to name

but a few! I become fascinated by “ How did they do that “ in creating these wonderful stories. This sparked my interest in becoming a filmmaker.

What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Filmmaking Heroes for me would include: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, John Hughes, Thelma Schoonmaker, Patty Jenkins, Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Alan Parker, Walter Murch, Luc Besson to name but a few.


Why did you decide to tell this specific documentary in “ Homo Sapiens in Space"?

Inspired by NASA’s extra-ordinary achievements, this Movie Short pays homage to modern documentary makers ( especially Nature Programmes ) and their power of storytelling.


When we see your film, it’s amazing ! We’re sure it was quite difficult to reach these shots in your documentary short.

Can you share how you started and finished this film, what were some of the challenges you encountered

while producing and how did you overcome them and how did you grab these shots?

“Homo Sapiens in Space“ was created to participate in Cinespace (www.cinespace.org), a Short Film Competition created by

NASA in partnership with The Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS). Part of the rules of engagement require participants to

utilise NASA’s vast Video & Audio Library. A minimum of 10% of your project has to feature NASA Footage. In Cinespace’s 2019 Competition,

one of the themes highlighted was Humans in Space. I decided to set my story up as a day in the life of the astronauts

in the International Space Station. I spent a lot of time initially looking at clips, b-roll. listening to audio and compiling potential

clips to use from the NASA archive. Interesting Factoid: the Daily Activities Clip is one continuous B-Roll Clip from the Archive. 


Your film “Homo Sapiens in Space" was officially selected in the American Golden Picture International Film Festival. Did you have any other burden during making this film?

I was thrilled to receive the news that “Homo Sapiens in Space" has been officially selected in the

"American Golden Picture International Film Festival"

Onwards and upwards ! The biggest Challenges in making this project was getting a Sir David Attenborough voice-over artist to fit the bill.

The Internet came to the rescue through Fiverr.com and the wonderfully talented Jack-Daniel Hunter in Perth, Australia.

Kevin Hughes my wonderfully talented Filmmaking Buddy/“Homo Sapiens in Space" Editor eliminated the other

challenge of bringing the story elements all together through the art of editing.

What was the most meaningful moment for you in the entire process?

Delivery of the project. Having all the elements created for “Homo Sapiens in Space":

Logline, Story Synopsis, Poster, Master File, Subtitle, Closed Captions, Electronic Press Kit.

Once in place, the movie can find its audience, evoke emotions and travel the world.


For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn?

Story is key! Script writing is key! It’s all about the Story in the end.


Distributing the film is important too. What did you do so far for distributing your film?

Presently, the movie is undertaking the Film Festival Circuit 2020. Hopefully, it will be selected and win some prizes and gain recognition. Ultimately the goal is to get it up on various SVOD & VOD Platforms in the near future.


What are your filmmaking goals?

Continue making meaningful engaging content. Maybe even win an Oscar!


What are you currently working on and what can you tell us about your next project?

I am presently developing a Third NASA Cinespace Short Film Entry for 2020. In the next few months, will be producing a Short Drama called “The Spectator". “The Spectator" tells the story of love between completely opposite people at a Sports Event.


GOOD LUCK Damien