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Meet Cai O’Leary

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cai O’Leary.

Cai, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am originally from Wales and have a mixed Welsh-Irish heritage. I trained at one of the UK’s leading Drama schools and worked as an Actor for fourteen years before moving behind the screen to concentrate on Writing and Directing.

Traveling around the world and learning about new cultures through my own eyes has always been passion of mine. It’s a passion that led into my love of language learning. Culture and language are a huge part of my storytelling.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road, I’m sure there are very few in the Film industry who have found it plain sailing. But I also wouldn’t change it for the world and I have had a wonderfully exciting journey so far, one that has allowed me to travel and meet so many amazing people. The inconsistencies of work are a constant issue, but I don’t think this ever changes, no matter the level of success you have. But that makes it all the more exhilarating when you do get the opportunity to do what you love and actually make a Film.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a writer-director and my works are very naturalistic in style. A lot of my influences come from Asia and Northern Europe so I believe my style is very different to most Directors working in Hollywood. My stories are very character-driven and realistic. I like to work in different languages and to draw out of my stories what brings people together as opposed to what separates us. On a personal note, I just find these types of stories more interesting, so the stories come more naturally to me.

My Films are certainly not ‘commercial’, but there is a very strong audience out there who love this style of filmmaking, an ever-expanding one as well.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
My industry has already seen some huge changes over the past five years or so with the move over to streaming. It’s actually really difficult to tell where that leavers genre Films, I guess we will learn as we go and adapt as we need.

On a personal note, I am hoping that with the constant flood of remakes and blockbuster Movies that the audience starts to crave more Independent cinema, grittier style Films with deeper storylines and characters. This will in turn open up more possibilities for Filmmakers like myself to tell our stories.

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Image Credits
Adam Gibson

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