Reel Borders studies how borders are imagined through film


Michael Mc Monagle

Reared on a small farm with a background in community development. I have a wonderful partner and 3 great children. Now I do some writing, filming, long distance hiking/cycling/kayaking and planting trees. I was privileged to be involved in all the roles in making the documentary "Triang Times".

Manus Brennan

I am a retired second level teacher from Donegal Town, who following my retirement in 2014 took a one year full time course in Video and Film Production at the Nerve Centre in Derry. Since then I have worked with my fellow director Michael McMonagle on a number of local documentaries and have appeared as a featured extra in two major films, "God's Creatures" , featuring Paul Mescal and Emily Watson and "All the Saints and Sinners", with Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds!

Sean Harkin

I’m 29. I am an IT engineer working on Quality Control. I make sure the websites people use to buy life insurance work properly with no issues, by running tests on the websites every day and fixing any issues that arise from the tests. I have completed a digital marketing course, for work, along with my studies of video game development. My passions are videos games, technology, and entertainment (Movies, TV). I have been playing video games since I was 5 and still going strong. I enjoy watching movies, tv shows and editing videos (for fun and for projects).  I have built my own computer (twice) and a server for my home. I enjoy learning and using new technologies to make life better, easier, and more fun.  During this project my main role was editing and sound for the film. My secondary roles where Cinematography and co-director.

Seamus Gordon

Born in Donegal Ireland 1957, I have a lifelong interest in cinema/film. I was a cofounder of Letterkenny Writers Group in 1988 and now I am a current member of  The Diamond Writers Group, Raphoe, Co. Donegal. As a member of the Blue Group production ‘Crossing Lines’ for the Reel Borders Project, I have assisted across a range of roles including  camera, script and story development, driver, locations etc. 

Diana Cheung

I am an emerging filmmaker with experience in writing, producing and directing and works across documentary and drama genres. After a long career in community development, I began my film and TV career as a researcher and have worked on a number of films for broadcast, including the BBC NI True North Series, ‘Border Country, When Ireland was Divided’ for BBC & RTE, ‘Different League: The Derry City Story’ for BBC & RTE. My recent work include 'Life of Ryan', funded by Northern Ireland Screen, a short film about an aspiring actor from Northern Ireland, who is a double-leg amputee and currently transitioning to prosthetic legs. The film screened in the ‘Disappear Here Film Festival’ in 2022. And Northern Chirish, co-produced with Erica Starling Productions, a short film about young creatives in NI from the Chinese community, funded by Community Relations Council and Northern Ireland Screen. The film screened in ‘Docs Ireland’, ‘Foyle Film Festival’ and ‘Irish Film Festival London’ in 2022. Recently I have been working on my short drama ‘The Girl with the Lion’, which will be screened in Summer 2023. Alongside filmmaking, I am a creative arts tutor working with The Nerve Centre, Derry to facilitate workshops and projects in the creative industries aimed at fostering young talent. I am also the producer and host of the ‘Being Chirish’ podcast, a platform for the Chinese-Irish community and other minority communities in Ireland to share their stories. 

Margaret Gordon

Having retired from Tusla in December 2016, I have developed an interest in story telling.  I have self-published two childrens’ books and has just completed a draft of her first novel “The Swaddling.” I continue to write stories that delve into the lives of ordinary people, because I know that everyone has a story. More recently, I have pursued training in the areas of Art and Design,  Photography and Documentary Film-Making. I directed the short documentary “Crossing Lines”, narrating the story and assisting the production with a small group of film-makers.

Tom Hannigan

Born in Derry. Retired Employment Services officer. I worked 15 years for EURES. European Employment Services. I enjoy walking in Nature and discovering the wonder that is all around us. I have been interested in photography and video for 30 years. Directed a few short video films.I have lived both sides of the Irish border all my life, father from Derry, mother from Donegal. I enjoy travelling in Europe.

Emer O Shea

My name is Emer O Shea. I have had a life long interest in nature and landscape photography  and during the pandemic directed my skills towards the production of short movies for instagram.I was thrilled  when I got an opportunity through 'reel borders ' to work under the expert tutelage of Irene Gutiérrez Torres. I was casting director on our movie and codirected and coproduced with 2 film making colleagues.


Molly Phillips

I’m 26 from Derry. I’ve lived in Derry most of my life but spend some time in London for university where I studied film at the university of Greenwich. For this film I acted as writer and director as I tried to explore the idea of memory on the Irish border through myths and legends and stories from and of Ireland.

Gemma Gfeller

A recent international relations graduate now living in Berlin. I started my interest in film-making several years ago when I took a course in my hometown Derry. Now I have explored this interest further recently with a wonderful documentary film making course (with the wonderful Irene). I have focused on a topic that is becoming more important in my life than ever before; borders and issues with identity; as I realise that people close and dear to me have a much more complex relationship with these topics.

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Funded by the European Research Council.
Starting Grant #948278

The Reel Borders logo is designed by Joris Bochman
The Reel Borders website was built by Irene Gutiérrez and Silvia Almenara-Niebla