8 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Tributes Paid To Celine Cawley
18 Dec 2008 :
Celine Cawley
Pic © Irish Daily Star
The Irish Audiovisual community and industry colleagues have paid tribute to Celine Cawley, founder of Toytown Films, who was murdered at her Howth home on Monday morning.

Industry colleagues in Ireland know Celine best for her very successful work within the commercials production business steering the helm of Toytown Films as Founder and Director. Her early career was an interesting mix of roles on the catwalk (for some of the biggest names in the fashion world) and in front of the camera as an actress (she had a small part in the James Bond film ‘A View To A Kill’ with Roger Moore). But her true passion came into play when she got behind the camera and into the production world when in London, in the 1980s she began working on TV dramas such as ‘London’s Burning’ and ‘Pulaski’.

From there she went on to work as producer in GPA Films from the mid-eighties until 1992. It was no surprise then that upon her return to Dublin, Celine established her own production company Toytown Films which soon became one of the largest commercial production companies in Ireland. Over the years Toytown Films, which has its base in Windmill Lane, has worked with a variety of advertising agencies and clients have included Diageo, Coca Cola, Heineken, VW, National Lottery, O2 and Carlsberg. Celine also put her sights on attracting foreign production companies into Ireland who would use Ireland as a location for big brand commercial productions. This proved very successful for Celine and her team, who coordinated large budget shoots for Volvo, Texaco, Kentucky Derby and Guinness UK.

Outside of her commercials work, Celine also produced the IFTA Nominated short film ‘Two Fat Ladies’ in 2004 for which director John Hayes won the Best First Short by an Irish Director at the Cork International Film Festival in 2003.

Keith Hutchinson from H2 Films who is also based in Windmill Lane paid his respects:

It is with a very heavy and sad heart that I find myself writing a tribute to a friend and colleague, so cruely, and all too soon, stolen from this world. Celine was the ‘Mother’ of Commercial Production in Ireland. Her contribution to the industry is unparallelled. Throughout her entire career she was at the forefront of the business, constantly producing great work, nurturing talent and leading by example. The industry has lost one of it’s leading lights, and she will be greatly missed.

“On a more personal note, I was always amazed by Celine’s kindness of spirit. Always the first with words of congratulations, or the first to send a gift for a newborn child or a wedding. It’s this kind of thoughtfullness for others that is a true reflection of the person that was Celine. Her presence will be missed, but her true kindness will never be forgotten. God Bless you Celine.

Producer John Mc Donnell of Fantastic Films, who was a close friend and colleague of Celine’s said:

Sitting here writing about Celine... I still can't believe that she is gone. She had a huge influence on me throughout my career on a professional level but more importantly on a personal level, supportive and encouraging when it came to family. She was always available with words of wisdom and comfort as you deal with the many obstacles that life throws at you. We worked together for many years and we referred to her affectionately as "Mum". She was a unique person with a heart of gold. I will miss her. My thoughts are with her family, many friends and colleagues.

Peter Brady, on behalf of Windmill Lane, has made the following tribute to Celine:

For more than 20 years Celine was a great client and true friend to Windmill Lane. In fact she got her first break in to this industry when she worked on reception here but was very quickly poached by a production company client who spotted her true potential. After a number of years gaining experience in the production sector she took the opportunity to set up her own company Toytown Films which she ran with great enthusiasm and passion. Coming full circle Celine came back to where she started her career and chose to base her successful company, Toytown Films in Windmill Lane. Sadly, we now all miss her vibrant presence and would like to extend our sincere sympathy to her family, friends and work colleagues.

The Irish Film & Television Academy stated:

Celine Cawley was a Member of the Irish Film & Television Academy and was highly respected within the industry. On behalf of her fellow Academy Members, the Academy sends it’s sincere condolences to Celine’s family for their terrible loss and acknowledge the loss for the industry as a whole.

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