Irish director, Mike Hannon’s cinematic documentary, The Cloud of Unknowing has been nominated for the Best British & Irish Short Film Award, at the 38th London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.
The film was nominated for the London award, by IndieCork Film Festival, the only Irish festival which participates in nominations for the London Film Critic’s Circle. The Cloud of Unknowing also won IndieCork’s Best Irish Short Film award last October.
The winner of the 38th London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Best British &Irish Short Film will be announced at a red carpet awards ceremony on January 28th.
The five films vying for Best British & Irish Short Film were announced by actors Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) and Morfydd Clark (The Man Who Invented Christmas) at the Mayfair Hotel, London, on Tuesday 19th of December.
Director, Mike Hannon, flew to London to introduce his film to the assembled film critics. Originally from Youghal in Co. Cork, Hannon’s previous award winning work includes the half hour TV documentary My Beamish Boy and the observational film Rats Island.
The Cloud of Unknowing is a documentary on a modern day hermit who dedicated his life to the mystical tradition of contemplative prayer. Rodney Thompson, a Cork man, spent almost thirty years in an isolated cottage in Connemara in pursuit of solitude, silence and prayer. Without electricity or running water, Mr. Thompson lived simply, prayed ceaselessly and welcomed visitors to his hermitage close to Roundstone, Galway.
Filled with majestic vistas and robust Connemara weather, the film allows the viewer to step into the mind of a hermit, as the natural world unfolds at an unhurried pace.
When I was introduced to Rodney I was struck by his graceful and calm benevolence. I wanted to communicate something of this in the film. He has followed an ancient mystical tradition, dating back to the third century Desert Fathers and Mothers. And his way of being in the world is a blissful respite from the ever increasing hectic pace of contemporary life. As a documentary filmmaker, I’m perhaps more motivated by questions of form than content. So the film that I made is not a conventional biography of Rodney Thompson. Instead, it’s oriented towards the experience of the viewer. It tries to move beyond words and images, much like contemplative prayer itself. It’s a very relaxing film.
Mike Hannon, Director
With the beautiful cinematic style perfectly complimenting the meditative content of the film, Mike Hannon’s ‘The Cloud Of Unknowing confirms cinema’s capacity to enable us to experience the world through other eyes, in this case those of a contemporary hermit.
We’re thrilled for Mike to receive this important nomination in recognition of his immense talent, and indeed, it reflects well on Irish filmmaking in general. IndieCork is the only Irish festival that nominates to the London Film Critics Circle, and we will certainly be hoping for the film to do well.
Mick Hannigan, IndieCork
The winner of the 38th London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Best British/Irish Short Film will be announced at a red carpet awards ceremony on January 28th.
Previous Irish winners have included:
Saoirse Ronan (British/Irish Actor 2015)
Michael Fassbender (British/Irish Actor 2008 and 2011, British/Irish Supporting Actor 2009)
Colin Farrell (British/Irish Newcomer 2001)
Ben Cleary (British/Irish Short Film 2015)
Neil Jordan (British/Irish Director and British/Irish Screenwriter 1992)
Roddy Doyle (British/Irish Screenwriter of 1992)