My name is Seán
I’m a filmmaker.

I am a 25-year-old filmmaker named Seán Downey, and I specialise in capturing the vibrancy and authenticity of real-life events and dynamic social narratives.

With many years of experience, I have dedicated my career to capturing the vibrant energy and unique stories of diverse communities. My work spans a broad spectrum, encompassing collaborations with youth organisations, schools, activism groups, comedians, and various cultural collectives. This diversity allows me to authentically portray the lively environments and powerful expressions of different social movements. My approach blends these narratives seamlessly, showcasing my commitment to genuine storytelling and documenting the multifaceted aspects of real-life events.

© John McArd

When I’m not working as a filmmaker, I deliver multimedia workshops to kids around Cork City. I use this experience to create a fun and inviting atmosphere when working with schools and organisations. I am dedicated to connecting with people and creating a safe space for them to learn about the creative process.

© Zé Bateira

My portfolio spans a wide array of international projects, including creating music videos for global organisations such as the FAO, and extends to diverse global experiences in places like Rwanda, Cairo, and Rome. These projects have focused on important social issues, such as food sustainability, capturing the essence of diverse cultures and communities. My work has also led to significant collaborations, including providing support and editing for social media content of various artists and activists.

A highlight of my career has been working with Palestinian artist MC Abdul. This collaboration included documenting his groundbreaking performance in Qatar, which was notably his first time leaving Gaza City, and his exciting acting debut in New York. Through the variety of projects I take on, these experiences have contributed to a rich tapestry of visual storytelling, showcasing talents from different backgrounds and helping to amplify their inspiring stories to a wide audience, including a following that now exceeds a million.

In addition to my international work, I also work closely with a number of youth organisations in Ireland to produce promotional content and engaging videos, encouraging young people to take part in the creative process. I deliver multimedia workshops weekly through The Kabin Studio, where I teach young people a variety of multimedia skills. I also work closely with a music organisation called Music Generation, creating music videos in schools they work with. The most recent of the videos brought two schools in Cork together to do a cover of Aslan Crazy World using Lámh, which has since been praised by Aslan. In 2022, I also produced their 30-minute ten-year documentary, which premiered at the Everyman Theatre.

More recently, my journey as a filmmaker has taken a deeply impactful turn towards activism. I’ve been actively involved in documenting the expressions of Palestinian support in the streets of Cork City. My weekly forays into these demonstrations are driven by a commitment to amplifying the voices of activists on the ground, with an overarching goal of bringing global attention to the Palestinian cause. The videos I’ve produced in this vein have not only amassed tens of thousands of views but have also resonated with audiences worldwide, underlining the universal appeal of genuine, heartfelt stories.

© GMCBeats

The latest milestone in my career is the creation of The Spark. This project, released on May 15th for Cruinniú na nÓg, the national day of celebrating youth creativity, brought young rappers from The Kabin Crew, a youth and community arts space, and The Lisdoonvarna Crew, made up of kids in direct provision, together to create an electrifying song. The project has since garnered international attention, amassing over 8 million views on X (formerly Twitter) in just a few days, and millions more across other social media platforms.

The music workshops were held by Garry McCarthy & The Kabin Studio as part of the Rhyme Island initiative, with the beat produced by @papapedrobeats. Directing, shooting, and editing this project was an immensely rewarding experience, filmed at The Kabin and on location in Knocknaheeney, as well as at Cork venue The Pavilion. The worldwide response has been overwhelming, with The Spark making the front page of the Guardian online, being praised by Stereogum as a contender for song of the summer, and receiving accolades from influential US music journalist and DJ Anthony Fantano. NPR even referred to it as ‘a wholesome banger’.

This latest chapter in my career reinforces my dedication to sharing the voices of those often unheard, capturing true moments in a way that allows them to be remembered forever. My work, both at home and abroad, reflects a continual commitment to genuine storytelling and a passion for bringing life’s most important narratives to the screen.