Arts Q&A: Film director Aoife McArdle on Flannery O'Connor, PJ Harvey and gay marriage

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Omagh-born film director Aoife McArdle

Aoife McArdle has directed the new short Equal Love for Absolut Vodka and music videos for Jon Hopkins, Simian Mobile Disco and James Vincent McMorrow

1. When did you first think of directing as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I remember watching old movies with my parents when I was seven and thinking "I want to be a director".

My first steps into directing were via photography, then beseeching friends' bands to let me make their music videos.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

The Fall in London; Public Enemy at ATP; Daft Punk in Dublin when I was a teenager and they were touring the Homework album.

I have to put four and say PJ Harvey at Coachella in 2011. I love her.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Talking Heads.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island and why?

Selected Ambient Works Volume One by Aphex Twin. It always puts me in a good mood.

5. And the book you’d take to a desert island and why?

Flannery O'Connor – The Complete Stories. I love her dark sense of humour.

6. Top three films?

So hard to choose as there's too many great ones but I always comes back to La Dolce Vita, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Taxi Driver.

7. Worst film you’ve seen and why?

Left Behind starring Nicholas Cage. It's hilarious and terrible in every way.

8. Favourite authors?

Flannery O'Connor, JG Ballard and Philip Roth.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I like watching football and tennis but I'm not very sporty, unfortunately.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

I've never been but I'd like to go to Hawaii.

11. Pet hate?

Any intolerance of people's right to equality. For instance, it's a disgrace that gay marriage still isn't allowed in Northern Ireland that’s why I was keen to direct Absolut Vodka's new film Equal Love.

12. What’s your favourite...

Dinner? Anything Italian.

Dessert? Anything chocolate.

Drink? Margarita.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

Janine and Tania, amazing women I know from years of living in London.

14. Is there a God?

I don't know. Sometimes I think there can't be, but it would be nice to think there was.

Aoife McArdle was commissioned to produce Equal Love as part of a huge global campaign by Absolut Vodka. It features a never-ending kiss, symbolising freedom, self-expression, and an equal world accepting of all of people. Her debut feature, Kissing Candice, about an imaginative 17-year old girl growing up in a broken community in Ireland, will be released at the end of this year.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access