Paddy Breathnach co-founded Treasure Films with Robert Walpole in 1992. In the intervening time Breathnach (director) and Walpole (producer) have completed numerous projects including shorts, TV series, documentaries and award-winning features.
Breathnach progressed successfully from his first fiction short, ‘A Stone of the Heart’ which won the Special Jury Prize at the Cork Film Festival 1991, to feature length projects beginning with the documentaries ‘The Road to America’ and ‘The Charlton Years’. Both dealing with the Irish soccer team, they became the most successful Irish sell-through videos ever.
Breathnach and Walpole again worked together on ‘WRH’ a six-part documentary series for RTE set in the regional hospital in Waterford.
Breathnach’s first feature film, ‘Ailsa’, produced by Ed Guiney, won the Euskal Media Award for best new director at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Adapted by Joseph O’Connor from his own short story, ‘Ailsa’ is a tale of male obsession and violence set in south Dublin. On its release in 1994 ‘Ailsa’ was perceived as a ‘European’ film, both in theme and style and it coincided with a period of unprecedented growth in the Irish film industry.
Perhaps Breathnach is best known for ‘I Went Down’, a gangster road movie which employs Hollywood's genre codes and places them in modern day Ireland among small time criminals. Released in 1997 ‘I Went Down’ won the Best New Director and the Jury Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival and won Best Director at Thessalonica 1997 and Best Film at Bogota International Film Festival 1998. It was critically acclaimed worldwide and also won numerous awards for screenwriter Conor McPherson.
Breathnach and Walpole co-produced the feature documentary ‘Southpaw - The Francis Barrett Story’ directed by Liam Mc Grath and selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 1999.
Breathnach also directed 'Blow Dry' from a script by Simon Beaufoy, writer of 'The Full Monty , ' the film starred Josh Hartnett and Alan Rickman and was released by Miramax in 2001.
His most recent feature as director 'Man About Dog', which was produced by Robert Walpole and Simon Channing Williams from a script by Pearse Elliott was released last year, taking over €2.1 million at the Irish Box Office, becoming one of the most successful independently produced Irish films ever at the Irish Box Office. It stars Allen Leech, Sean McGinley, Pat Shortt and Fionnula Flanagan.
Last year he produced 'The Mighty Celt' with Robert Walpole and Paddy McDonald which shot in Belfast in May 2004, starring Robert Carlyle and Gillian Anderson. The film, which is being handled worldwide by The Works, was backed by BBC Films, the Irish Film Board, the NIFTC and TV3, and recently premiered in competition at the Berlinale. It will be released by Metrodome in Ireland and the UK on 26th August, 2005.
Breathnach has served on the board of the Dublin Film Festival and Filmbase, and he was also the Irish Representative of Jury for the European Film Festival, a festival of European Cinema co-ordinated by the European Parliament. He is currently working on a number of projects, including a horror 'Shrooms', which is written by Pearse Elliott, and a self-penned Irish language supernatural Western, 'Swordland'.