Padraig Trehy

Documentary + Film Director


  • Club Ceoil
    2016 — TV Documentary — 52 mins
  • Shem The Penman Sings Again
    2015 — Feature Film — 80 mins
  • Seamus Murphy: A Quiet Revolution
    2014 — TV Documentary — 46 mins
  • Echoes/Macalla
    2007 — TV Documentary — 26 mins
  • U Talk 2 Much
    2006 — DVD Release — 80 mins
  • The Kings of Cork City
    2005 — Short — 9 mins
  • My First Motion Picture
    2004 — Short — 6 mins
  • The Genius: Frank O'Connor and the Search for Organic Form
    2003 — Video Installation — 20 mins
  • Trying to Sell Your Soul, When the Devil Won't Listen
    2002 — Documentary Short — 25 mins
  • The Headstones of Seamus Murphy
    2001 — Documentary Short — 15 mins
  • 2022 — Winner
    Authored Works Award The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon — . Stupid August
  • 2006 — Winner
    Splanc! Award The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon/TG4 — . Echoes/Macalla
  • 2004 — Winner
    Cork International Film Festival — Made In Cork. My First Motion Picture
  • 2003 — Winner
    RTE/Cork Film Centre — Short Script. My First Motion Picture
  • 2002 — Winner
    Cork Film Centre — Creative Documentary. The Headstones of Seamus Murphy

Padraig Trehy has been working in film for thirty years, starting as a floor runner on WAR OF THE BUTTONS in the summer of 1993.  He worked with Hubbard Casting in Dublin, London and on location in the mid 1990s before returning to Cork to concentrate on writing and directing his own projects.  His first short documentary THE HEADSTONE’S OF SEAMUS MURPHY (2001) premiered at the Cork International Film Festival and was the recipient of the Cork Film Centre Creative Documentary Award.  In 2003 he won the RTE/Cork Film Centre Short Script Award and the ensuing film MY FIRST MOTION PICTURE won the Made in Cork Award at CIFF in 2004.  His documentary about the Sultans of Ping FC, TRYING TO SELL YOUR SOUL WHEN THE DEVIL WON’T LISTEN (2002) played numerous festivals and led to the concert film U TALK 2 MUCH which was released in 2006.

Padraig took up a position teaching film and contemporary visual culture at the Crawford College of Art and Design in late 1999 and has been teaching there ever since.  He has devised and/or directed a number of works for the theatre including, PLAY THE PIANO DRUNK (2001), HOWL (2006), THE FUTURE (2007) (based on the works of Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg and Leonard Cohen respectively).  Padraig has also worked in experimental video and installation such as The Genius: Frank O’Connor and the Search for Organic Form, which was commissioned for and screened on the writer’s centenary.

In 2014, his longer study of the sculptor Seamus Murphy, A QUIET REVOLUTION, premiered at CIFF.  The film was produced by Frameworks Films under the BAI Sound and Vision scheme.  His debut feature, SHEM THE PENMAN SINGS AGAIN premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2015 and screened at numerous festivals around the world and enjoyed a limited cinema release in Ireland in 2016.  The film is an experimental narrative which examines the facts and myth of the friendship between James Joyce and John McCormack and the influence of singing on the writing of FINNEGANS WAKE.  Reviewing the film in the IRISH TIMES, Donald Clarke described the film as “… a delightful, playful … full-on cinematic experience.”

In early 2020, he began shooting his follow-up feature, THE GHOST DANCE OF LITTLE CROWE, but shooting was suspended due to pandemic restrictions.  The film is now due for completion in late 2023.

In late 2022, Padraig was the recipient of the The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Authored Works Award which will enable the production of a feature-length silent film entitled STUPID AUGUST, which will continue the formal experiments of SHEM by employing elements of 1920s expressionism and surrealism to create a historical fantasy.  STUPID AUGUST is currently in pre-production and will screen in 2024.