Oorlagh George is an Oscar-winning filmmaker and artist. Oorlagh was born in Belfast and raised in New York. In January, she’ll be gone directing her debut feature film STRANGER WITH A CAMERA in County Down.
George began her career working on productions including Hotel Rwanda, Inside Man, American Gangster, Munich, Duplicity, and The International. She was a Creative Executive at Canadian financier Northwood Productions, on Mike Mill’s Beginners and Max Mayer’s Adam. Oorlagh won an Academy Award for producing the 2012 Best Live Action Short film The Shore, directed by her father, Terry George. In 2014, her first feature screenplay Stranger With A Camera, was selected by the Sundance Institute for the Screenwriting Lab. The project was subsequently supported through Sundance’s Directing, Producing and Composer’s Labs. In 2017, Oorlagh wrote and directed the lauded, educational, Virtual Reality short, Siroun, which has been distributed to 3,000 schools across the US and the Middle East. George is currently developing a television drama called Faultline, which she co-created with The Wire writer, Edward Burns, for Dirty John showrunner, Alexandra Cunningham. Oorlagh’s newest video art installation, Offsides, Was on display in April at The Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast. The triptych piece stars actors Brian F. O’Byrne and Seamus O’Hara.
What, for you, is the importance of our global diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?
Northern Ireland is one of the great storytelling cultures in the world. The oral tradition here is so strong it contributed to the length of the troubles, each side’s narrative was entirely compelling. Coming of age ins the post-peace process world, part of my job is to help tell stories about the magic of that reconnection that are as powerful as the stories which divided us.
Tell us how you connect to Belfast:
Easily. Who doesn’t feel at home in Belfast? It is a small and incredibly welcoming place to work. The city is cool because it never feels like it is trying too hard. Everywhere there are art exhibits, film shoots, new restaurants and all without the pretense you’d find in other cities.
You know you’ve got Belfast heritage when…:
You can’t stop talking about it.