Documentary
 

2017 – Éire Fhiáin

Director/Camera/Writer

2 x 50min documentary series for TG4/BAI

A Crossing the Line Films production

The wild west coast of Ireland, the extreme edge of the old world. Self confessed nature nut Eoin Warner takes a year long wander along this magnificent coastline to reveal the magical, hidden places and the wildlife that live there. A stunning visual and poetic treat.

 

 

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2016 – Peak Performance

Director/Camera/Writer

6 x 26min documentary series for Eir Sport/BAI

A Shinawil production

With unprecedented access into the world of Rugby, Horse Racing, Soccer, GAA and Athletics this six part series reveals the science behind the nations sporting success.

 

 

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2016 – Ireland's Wild Cities

Director/Camera

4 x 52min documentary series for RTE/BAI

A Crossing the Line Films production

 

Filmed in four of Ireland's great cities, this series follows the lives and adventures of a very different cast of city slickers – the wild animals that have moved in from the country and are making these cities their own. From the mesmerising aerobatics of starlings over a Belfast bridge to the urban foxes enjoying the delights of Montenotte to the otters slinking unseen past Galway's midnight revellers, Ireland's Wild Cities will go behind the scenes, to the highest rooftops, underground and underwater to reveal an extraordinary world of wildlife activity that goes largely unseen in Ireland's great cities.

 

Winner: Best Director (Television), Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) 2016

 

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2015 – Get the Numbers, Write

Director/Camera/Writer

3 x 52min documentary series for TV3/BAI

A Screentime Shinawil production

 

Five adult learners - all early school leavers; for whom issues of confidence, learning difficulties and family trauma has led to a negative experience of education - take on three projects for the benefit of local communities that are aimed at raising literacy and numeracy awareness and removing stigma. Presented by Sheana Keane.

 

 

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2014 – Connected

Consulting Producer/Director

20 x 25min reality series for RTE2

An Animo / Kite Entertainment production

 

6 women, 6 cameras… Each is their own director; free to tell their own story, to shoot what they want, when they want. Connected is more than a glimpse inside six very different worlds. Filmed over ten months and based on thousands of hours of footage Reality Television has never been this real.

 

Winner: Best Constructed Reality, Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) 2015

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2014 – A Sporting Chance

Director/Camera/Writer

3 x 52min documentary series for Setanta/RTE2/BAI

A Motive Television / Gyre & Gimble production

 

14 early school leavers from some of Limericks toughest neighborhoods have been selected for a unique challenge. They have ten weeks to come together as a competitive Tag Rugby Team to play at an international tournament. But they also must take on a series of literacy and life skill challenges, as they try and overcome past experiences of education.

 

Backed by Munster Rugby and Solas (formerly the VEC) the group are given an opportunity to transform their lives through education and sport. But can a group that society has given up on… learn to not give up on themselves?

 

Nominee: Best Constructed Reality, Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) 2015

 

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2013 – 21st Century Child - Series IV

Director/Camera/Writer

2 x 52 min documentary for RTÉ

An Animo production

 

This landmark observational series charts the lives of a group of children born in 2007 at the collapse of the Irish 'Tiger' economy.

 

Series four picks up as children are on the brink of turning five and the wider world is calling. We follow them as they reach that milestone and leave the shelter of their families to begin school. Filmed over the course of a year we get unprescedented access to the world of this group of five year olds, who by now have formed their own opinions on the world. 

 

 

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2013 – The Irish Road to Cheltenham

Director/Camera/Writer

5 x 25min documentary series for RTÉ

An Animo production

 

In this observational documentary series five well-known jump jockeys are followed through the 2012/2013 National Hunt season as they fix their focus on the Cheltenham Festival - The 'Olympics' of National Hunt racing. Jockeys Davy Russell (2 times National Hunt Champion Jockey), Nina Carberry, Andrew Lynch, Andrew McNamara (Andy Mc) and Robert 'Puppy' Power give unique access to their lives and a glimpse into the physical and mental lengths they go to for their profession.

 

 

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2012 – The Obesity Clinic: Last Chance for Weight Loss

Director/Camera/Writer

2 x 52 min documentary for RTÉ

A Screentime Shinawil production.

 

Filmed and directed by Gerry Nelson, this 2x52 minute observational series follows a year in the life of 8 people attending the Weight Management Service of Loughlinstown Hospital.

 

 

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2011 - Depression – Ireland's last Taboo.

Director/Camera

3x 1 hr BAI funded documentary to be shown on TV3

An Animo production.

 

While Ireland plummets into the depths of financial despair many claim to be thoroughly depressed… but do we actually know what we are talking about?

 

Depression is Ireland’s (and the worlds) most common mental problem, yet it is still steeped in stigma and misinformation. This three part documentary series takes an honest and realistic look at depression, in an effort to normalize and demystify one of Ireland’s most debilitating illnesses.  Broadcaster Ray Darcy who is well known for his keen interest in mental health presents the series.

Nominee: Best Documentary (Series), Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) 2013

 

 

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2010 – Children in Charge

Director/Camera/Writer

1hr documentary for RTE

Subotica.

 

Little is known about Ireland's young carers; in the eyes of the state they are invisible. Yet everyday throughout the country young people quietly care for sick or disabled relatives, bound by bonds of love and loyalty.

 

With exceptional access to four families, this thought provoking film reveals for the first time what life is like when a child takes on the role of caring for a parent.

 

Nominee: Best Documentary, Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) 2011

Winner: Best Documentary, Irish Medical Media Awards 2011

 

 

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2008, 2009 and 2010 – ‘This is Me’

Director/Camera

3 series of 8 x 25min documentary series for RTÉ

An Animo production

 

We live in society where the is a pressure to conform is immense. Difference is frowned upon. But what if you aren’t ‘the norm’? Can you live a normal life if you have a disability? This is Me is a unique and truly inspiring observational documentary series.

 

Gerry filmed and directed eight documentaries across three series exploring the worlds of, Epidermis Bullosa - ‘Touched by a Butterfly’; Deafness - ‘The Hearing Aide’; Williams Syndrome - ‘Making Plans for Alan’; Multiple limb loss - ‘Stand up and Fight’; Epilepsy - Not Out’; Juvenile Arthritis - Growing Pain’; Multiple Sclerosis - ‘MS and me’ and Albinism - ‘The White Rose’

 

 

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2009 - Building the Emirates: Better city, better life

Director/Writer

26 min documentary

FQC media.

 

The unprecedented population and urban growth that has taken place in the last 40 years has shaped the identity of the UAE. As the staggering pace of development picks up in the 21st century, the social and infrastructural challenges associated with this pace of change are being tackled in the most innovative ways. Inspired by the theme of EXPO 2010, this high-definition film explores how the creation of better cities build better lives for the people of the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

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2009 - The Riordans: Tea, Taboos & Tractors

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ – 

A Wildfire production

 

It was thirty years ago, Ireland's legendary television soap opera The Riordans came to an end after an unprecedented fifteen years run. Centered on a fictional farming family, The Riordans delivered domestic drama, high comedy, agricultural advice while broaching controversial topics like contraception and marriage breakdown. Thanks to farming bachelors and bikinis it made rural Ireland sexy.

 

Michael Riordan, one of its main characters, was played by Chris O'Neill and in this entertaining documentary his daughter, actor Aisling O'Neill ('Carol' from RTE's 'Fair City'), journeys back into her father's past to rediscover this cutting-edge drama series and social phenomenon.

 

 

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2008 – ‘Forbidden Love’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A Mint production

 

2008 saw the impending visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland- the first State visit to these shores since 1911. A perfect opportunity for this - at times humours - film to question if our interest in the British royal family really did end with the signature of the Treaty in 1921.

 

After all these years could this former colony have secretly kept a place in our hearts for the Monarchs that once ruled us?

 

 

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2007 – ‘Charlie Bird explores… The Ganges’

Director/Writer

2 x 40min documentary for RTÉ

A Crossing the Line Films production

 

Well-known Irish Broadcast Journalist Charlie Bird explores the mighty Ganges River in India. Traveling 2500kms upstream from the Bay of Bengal to the Himalaya - a daunting six-week journey - Charlie experiences life and death in this ancient land. Yet there are two Indias living side by side and the intrepid explorer investigates how the fabled mysticism of the Indian people sits with the country’s explosive economic transformation as India rushes headlong into the 21st century.

 

 

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2007 – ‘The Wedding Veil of the Princess of Connaught’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for TG4

A Kairos production

 

This highly visual film recalls the glorious history of lacemaking in 19th-century Ireland through the story of a 100 year-old Carrickmacross lace veil, originally made for Margaret, the Princess of Connaught.

 

The veil is now a priceless heirloom of the Danish Royal family being worn at no less than eight Royal brides. But when Crown Prince Frederik married Australian commoner, Mary Donaldson in 2004, the Danish people waited to see if she would wear the priceless veil.

 

As the love story of the century plays out in Denmark… the film charts the rise and fall (and perhaps rise again) of Irish lace from the cottages of Ireland to the palaces of Europe and on to the couture designs of acclaimed Irish designer, Helen Cody.

 

 

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2007 – ‘Jack Doyle: A Legend Lost’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A Mint production

 

Jack Doyle was the real thing: a heavyweight boxer from the mean streets of Cobh; blessed with the looks of Rudolph Valentino, the voice of Count John McCormack and the right hand of Jack Dempsey. ‘The Gorgeous Gael’ hung around with Clark Gable in Hollywood; married movie stars; sold out concert halls with tearful renditions of ‘Mother Macree’; and made a fortune. In the depressed and impoverished Ireland of the 30s and 40s, Jack Doyle was the worlds most famous Irishman.

 

Yet forty years on Jack’s story had become a cautionary tale of wasted talent and squandered millions. Another forgotten Irish man dying penniless on the streets of London.

 

Where did it all go wrong for the Gorgeous Gael?

 

 

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2006 – ‘What in the World’

Director/Writer

2 episodes in 6 x 25min documentary series for RTÉ

A KMF production

 

‘What in the World’ is a hard-hitting political series that provides an unambiguous counterpoint to the complacency of current political perspectives. The series illustrates the human consequences of global economic inequalities and human rights contraventions by focusing on how people encounter these issues in their daily lives. Gerry Nelson wrote and directed two documentaries in the series, ‘Black Death in Dixie’ and ‘Coca: Leaf of Life?’

 

 

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2006 – ‘This Note’s for You!’ - SONGWRITERS AND THE SONGS THEY WRITE

Director/Writer

6 x 26min documentary series for RTÉ

A Crossing the Line Films production

 

A landmark six part series; TNFY examines popular music through the eyes of the songwriter.

 

Presented by broadcaster and musician Tom Dunne, this series goes behind the stars and razzmatazz to explore with songwriters their experiences of writing and producing songs; hits that changed their lives or duds that never graced a radio wave. The series delves into the mechanics of pop and rock and roll, revealing some of the secrets of popular song writing, exposing the business and the technical skill and hours of work necessary for success; and also how often the elusive elements of luck and coincidence come into play.

 

The series features some of Ireland’s most gifted songwriters…

 

Phil Coulter, Gemma Hayes, Mundy, Declan O’Rourke, Damien Dempsey, Neil Hannon, Mick Hanly, Tim Wheeler, Brendan Graham, Roger Doyle, Liam O Maonlaí, Fiachna O’Braonain and Paul Brady

 

 

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2005 - ‘Kosovo: The Hand of Friendship’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for Abu Dhabi Television

A Trident Films production


This documentary tells the story of the vital aid given by the United Arab Emirates to Kosovo during its greatest hour of need. Throughout this violent ethnic conflict the UAE were both physically and financially on hand to assist and support as many as 400,000 refugees fleeing unthinkable atrocities including starvation, rape and torture.

 

Moving between contemporary divided Kosovo and archive footage of the all too recent past, this film brings the viewer into the lives of real people. Personal reflections, experiences and reunions take us to the heart of the story - one of both war and friendship.

 

Narrated by Martin Bell O.B.E.

Nominee, Best Documentary, Dubai International Film Festival, December 2005.

 

 

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2005 – ‘Dear Frankie’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ – Jan 2006

A Mint production

 

She was Ireland’s first Agony Aunt. On her daily radio show, Frankie Byrne castigated unworthy boyfriends and bone-idle husbands in between Frank Sinatra records and the adverts for Jacob’s biscuits.

 

Frankie was far from the prim moralist she appeared to be on air. In her private life she was ‘a mans woman’, who loved parties, racing, gambling and drinking pints. Yet her own life with tinged with sadness and a sense of unfulfilled dreams who couldn't heed her own advice.

 

Frankie kept much of her life hidden from the public eye. In a different age, her over-indulgence in alcohol, and a long affair with a married man went unreported in the press. However the thing Frankie kept most secret of all was the birth of her daughter whom she gave up for adoption. If it had become public, her career and reputation would have been destroyed.

 

 

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2004 – ‘Family Fortune; DeValera’s Irish Press’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A Mint production

 

This critically acclaimed documentary exposes the truth behind the DeValera family’s control of the Irish Press newspaper.

 

Founded by Ireland’s revolutionary hero Eamon DeValera in 1931, the Irish Press was purported to be a paper for the people of Ireland. Thousands of ordinary men and women in Ireland and America answered ‘Dev’s’ call to invest their savings in the publication. But those who placed their trust in ‘The Chief’ would receive little in return.


Extensive research (both in Ireland and the United States) has unearthed the forgotten files of the Irish Press. For the first time they show how DeValera turned a publicly funded company into a lucrative family business.

 

 

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2004 - ‘Chasing the Rainbow’

Director

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A KMF production

 

Broadcaster Rodney Rice was the only Irish journalist ever to be banned from South Africa for his critical reporting of the oppressive and inhuman treatment of the majority Black population. Now ten years after the first inclusive Democratic elections, he re-traces his steps in South Africa, meets old friends and looks critically at what has been achieved in the meantime.

 

 

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2003 - ‘Lethal Legacy – Landmines in Lebanon’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for Abu Dhabi Television and History Channel

A Trident Films production

                 

The people of South Lebanon are attempting to return to normality after twenty-five years of civil war and occupation. However their land is locked in the grip of landmines, making progress painfully slow.

 

Whilst the film describes the horror of landmines and their enduring legacy, it also delivers a message of inspiration as local people make huge efforts to regain control of their lives.

 

Narrated by Martin Bell O.B.E.

 

 

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2003 - ‘The Strange Case of the Irish Crown Jewels’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ; History Channel; Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A Crossing the Line Films production

 

Disaster struck on the eve of King Edward VII's royal visit to Ireland in 1907 as the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from Dublin Castle - Britain’s most impregnable Irish stronghold. The priceless gems, known as the Regalia of the Order of St Patrick, were a symbol of the unity between the British Crown and the loyal landed gentry in Ireland.

 

The theft caused uproar but far more sensational were the rumours of cover up and homosexuality within Royal Circles that led right to the King's Palace in London. What was to have been a showcase investigation and pursuit of the guilty, became an exercise in obfuscation and cover-up. The true story of the Irish Crown Jewels was never meant to be told. Almost 100 years later and the fate of the Irish Crown Jewels is still unknown.

 

Nominee Best Documentary and Best Editing, Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) 2003.

 

 

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2002 - ‘Eamonn’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A Mint production

 

Eamonn Andrews is Ireland’s most famous broadcaster ever. In the UK he was their first television personality, enjoying enormous success with ‘What’s my line?’ and later ‘This is your life’. His shyness and apparent ordinariness made the public adopt him as one of their own, keeping him on top of the ratings for over forty years. Yet his personal insecurities drove him into disastrous business ventures and punishing work schedules that would ultimately lead to his end.

 

 

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2001 - ‘Irelands Own’

Director/Writer

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A Mint production

 

The magazine ‘Irelands Own’ recently celebrated its centenary and despite its critics continues to outsell glossy rivals with sales of over 45,000 weekly. Given that ‘Irelands Own’ avoids celebrity, contention, even advertising, its continued success makes for a publishing conundrum. ‘Ireland’s Own’ is an affectionate, and at times hilarious, journey into the offbeat side of ‘middle Ireland’.

 

 

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2000 - ‘Faith, Hope and Plastic’

Director

1hr documentary for RTÉ

A Kairos production

 

Lourdes, in the French Pyrenees, is one of the Catholic churches intensive prayer units. It is the site where 142 years ago Bernadette Soubirous, an illiterate peasant girl, received visions of the Virgin Mary. When visiting pilgrims subsequently began to be cured of their ills the word 'miracle' rang out and the shrine hit a jackpot that’s been paying out ever since.

 

Faith, Hope and Plastic not only charts a week in the company of the largest Irish pilgrimage as they embark on a holiday with a hint of holiness but also examines the plight of the ordinary person still praying for that miracle.

 

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1999 – ‘Ever Ancient, Ever New”

Director

8 x 26min documentary series for RTÉ

A Kairos production

 

The Christian Bible - the word of God absolute, or an ancient text that is open to interpretation?

 

For many people quotes from the Bible are familiar, but is it “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”? Can we really “Turn the other Cheek” if someone wrongs you completely?

 

Focusing on eight pieces of scripture this remarkable series explores and juxtaposes the stories of ordinary people whose lives exemplify the words of the bible – either by accident or by design.

 

 

Gerry Nelson Director - Filmography
 

2010 - present

2010 - present