Graham Cantwell is an IFTA nominated, award winning Irish director and writer. He achieved early acclaim when his short film A Dublin Story won several awards domestically and internationally.
In 2008 he directed Anton (international title Trapped) which stars IFTA winner Gerard McSorley. The film was picked up for distribution at the Cannes Film Festival and has sold to over 40 territories worldwide. It was nominated for three Irish Film and Television Academy Awards, had a three week domestic theatrical release and hit the Top 10 in DVD sales charts at Christmas on its release in Ireland.
In 2010 he directed a pilot called The Guards for TV3, the first ever home grown single drama commissioned by the broadcaster, set in the dynamic world of the Irish police force.
In 2014 his romantic comedy feature film The Callback Queen had a successful cinema release in Ireland and the UK. Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin hosted a run of screenings of the film at his Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe the same year. In 2016 the film was nominated for two Irish Film and Television Academy Awards.
Graham co-wrote romantic comedy feature film Poison Pen with Artemis Fowl creator Eoin Colfer. As a director he also helped develop the script and look book for an adaptation of Jennifer Johnston’s novel Fool’s Sanctuary.
His LGBT short drama LILY, won the Tiernan McBride Award for Best Short Drama at its premiere screening at The Galway Film Fleadh. The film also won awards at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival, FilmOut San Diego and numerous other festivals worldwide. At the Santa Fe Film Festival Graham was recognised with a Courage in Cinema award for his work highlighting the issue of bullying of LGBT teens. Most recently the film won the Iris Prize Youth Award at the Iris Prize Festival, the blue riband event on the LGBT Film Festival circuit, commonly known as the LGBT Oscars.
His most recent feature film is adaptation of LILY called Who We Love which premiered at The Galway Film Fleadh in 2021.
Graham has also worked extensively in theatre. Most notably he directed a sell out run of the European premiere of stage play Babylon Heights with writer Irvine Welsh in 2006. He also collaborated with the writer on a staged reading of A Letter from Death Row, a true life story about wrongful imprisonment, which featured actor Gary Lewis.
In 2002 Graham founded The Attic Studio, an organisation that ran free weekly workshop and networking sessions for writers, directors, producers and actors. The studio ran for 10 years, had a membership in the thousands and helped foster the careers of many of Ireland’s leading lights in the film and television industries. He served as chairman of Filmbase, a not for profit organisation set up to support and develop the careers of budding filmmakers in Ireland, and he is co-founder of Film Venture, a successful training facility and film production company.