About Curious Dog Films

Adrian McCarthy is the founder of Curious Dog Films which was established in late 2019. He has been making documentaries since the late 1990’s and was previously the co-owner of Wildfire Films. A multi-award winning producer/director, he has made many hours of television and feature doc’s for national and international broadcasters and funders like RTE, Screen Ireland, BAI, TG4, Channel 4, BBC Four, Virgin Media, Setanta, ARTE Germany, YLE Finland, SBS Australia and The History Channel.

Adrian’s work covers a broad range of subjects across the arts, sport, politics, music, comedy, social issues, mental health and the ups and downs of life.

His previous documentaries include: the award winning ‘ROUGH RIDER’ film, on controversial Irish journalist and former pro-cyclist, Paul Kimmage as he returned to the Tour de France. It was described as ‘Remarkable. A superb film, a sad story of unrequited love‘ by The Sunday Independent and ‘Excellently paced, well crafted and beautifully filmed‘ by the Irish Times. The IFTA nominated, ‘PORTRAIT OF A GALLERY’ was filmed over three years inside the walls of National Gallery of Ireland. The Irish Times described it as ‘a brilliant piece of art criticism. In this documentary, the National Gallery gets a depiction worthy of its renovation‘. Adrian produced the highly acclaimed ‘ANTHONY FOLEY – MUNSTERMAN’ on the story of the sudden death of the Munster rugby coach; ‘A moving and uplifting documentary. A poignant tribute’ – Sunday Times. His IFTA winning ‘HIDDEN IMPACT – Rugby and Concussion’ was described as ‘an excellent documentary making for deeply unsettling yet essential viewing‘ by The Irish Times. After his documentary ‘GRAHAM LINEHAN – FUNNY BUSINESS‘, The Irish Times said ‘A cracking profile. It was as assured an hour of television as you’re likely to see all year. Although it’s no surprise given it was the work of Adrian McCarthy. ‘GILBERT O’SULLIVAN – Out On His Own’ a profile of the tenacious songwriter; ‘An honest film about a complex man on a mission to do it his way – Radio Times. Adrian produced and directed ‘SMALL FAR AWAY – THE WORLD OF FATHER TED‘ for Hat-Trick Productions/Channel 4 –  ‘A brilliant documentary‘ The Business Post and given five stars and described as ‘Lovely Stuff‘ by Time Out, London.

In February 2024 we travelled to Boston and New Hampshire to begin filming our featured documentary BORN THAT WAY about Patrick Lydon, visionary social pioneer, trailblazing champion of ‘ability’. While facing his final battle, we view the world through his unique lens. Directed and Written by Éamon Little, Produced by Adrian McCarthy, Exec Produced by Aideen Kane, Craig Martin & Earl Bridges, Edited by Keith Walsh. Funded by Screen Ireland, CNaM, RTÉ, S481 and Private Funders.

In December 2023 we finished making ‘IMOGEN FROM THE HEART‘, our 50 minute arts documentary for RTÉ on artist Imogen Stuart. Described as ‘A beautiful meditation on the long, still robust life of Imogen Stuart’ by Keith Duggan, Irish Times. The doc is directed by her grandson, film-maker Emile Dinneen, who has been filming her across the last 13 years, working to craft an intimate and insightful portrait of this extraordinary woman and artist. The film opens a door into a childhood growing up in the Second World War in the heart of Nazi Berlin, to a life in the bohemian world of Maud Gonne’s family in Ireland, escaping a difficult marriage in the 1960s to working as a sculptor and single parent in conservative Ireland. Produced by Adrian McCarthy, Editor by Mirjam Strugalla and our Exec Producer in RTÉ  was Aifric Ní Chianáin. In February 2024 it was shortlisted for an RTS Ireland Award in the Specialist Factual category.

In May 2022 we completed post-production on CLODAGH, our Curious Dog Films arts documentary, funded by RTÉ/BAI, on inspirational New York based designer Clodagh. With Oda O’Carroll on board as director, Adrian McCarthy producing, Matthew Kirrane as DoP and Brenda Morrissey as editor, we filmed in Spain, Ireland and New York. Described as ‘A fantastic documentary’ by The Irish Times. The film has had numerous screenings at film festivals in the US, Canada and Sweden.

In 2021, Adrian was the series producer/director on the 3 x 1hour series ‘OUR TOWN‘ following the lives of young people in the seaside town of Bray, Co. Wicklow – produced by Curious Dog Films/Wildfire Films for RTE. Made with a great team that included film editor/writer Brenda Morrissey, producer Oda O’Carroll and co-director Judy Kelly. Described as ‘A beautiful portrait of young people in all their strength, vulnerability and wisdom. A compelling portrait of a town and community‘ by Patrick Freyne in The Irish Times. And, ‘Our Town felt wholly authentic, faithful and heartfelt. An organic and coherent piece of documentary making‘ by Eilish O’Hanlon in The Sunday Independent.

OUR TOWN Cast and shooting crew

Also in 2021, he directed the 2 x 1 hour THE KILLING of FATHER NIALL MOLLOY, produced by Sharon Lawless and Flawless Films. The controversial 1980’s story was broadcast on RTE One in September. Liam Fay in the Sunday Times described it as ‘An engrossing delve into the many mysteries that still surround this most intriguing of 1980s scandals. Adrian McCarthy’s elegantly made two-parter worked exceptionally well on distinct levels: both as true crime documentaries and vivid social histories. The jaw dropping strangeness of late 20th Ireland has rarely been more evocatively encapsulated’. In April 2022, it won the RTS Television award for best factual series.

From originating ideas, building trust with participants and securing funding, Adrian has extensive experience across all aspects of the production process. His doc’s have won numerous awards including IFTA’s, Radharc Awards, RTS Award, National Media Awards, Best European Documentary award and also nominated for Prix Europa and Celtic Media Festival.

In Curious Dog Films, we likes collaborating with passionate, talented individuals and teams, in order to create thought provoking documentaries that will make us laugh, cry and scratch our heads as we make sense of the world around us. He is also working as a freelance director and producer.

Current Projects

Some projects In Development;

WHIDDY – A rural community in the south west of Ireland welcomes an International oil company with hopes and dreams, but it turns into their worst nightmare. A feature documentary film on the remarkable story around the arrival of Gulf oil to Whiddy Island, and how ten years later, in 1979,  a disaster where fifty people lose their lives, rocks West Cork and Northern France to its core. It is also a story about a seafaring community in Brittany, the men who loved the sea, and the families whose lives were changed forever. Adrian’s father worked as a fireman on that unforgettable night, so this one is personal. In Development with Screen Ireland and RTÉ.

If you have a unique story that you feel is important to tell, then do get in touch. Always happy to chat or meet for a coffee or a pint 🙂