October 2, 2018

This weekend, American audiences finally got the chance to catch up with Irish moviegoers, who have been raving about New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Mark O’Connor’s film Cardboard Gangsters for the past year. The crime thriller feature, which has been a massive hit in Ireland, had its US premiere on September 29 at the 4th Annual Irish American Movie Hooley.

Cardboard Gangsters was directed by Mark O’Connor, who wrote the screenplay with star John Connors. Connors has worked with O’Connor on three films so far, and has earned rave reviews for his lead performance in Gangsters as an angry and ambitious wannabe gangster who takes on more dangerous, established criminals. The role has already earned him the IFTA Actor Award.

“Myself and John,” Connors says about the film and its influences from the earliest days of the genre, “are fascinated by all that stuff, gangster movies, going all the way back.”

The film was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and has resonated with Irish audiences, quickly becoming the country’s biggest box office hit of 2017 and earning multiple awards, including Best Feature Film at the Manchester International Film Festival. It is still finding continued success on Netflix as well.

It was no wonder then that the film’s premiere in the United States was so anticipated. It screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago as part of the Irish American Movie Hooley. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Mark O’Connor, who brought his wife and young son along for the trip.

O’Connor grew up in South Dublin before moving to America to go to school. In December 2002, he attended New York Film Academy’s 6-week Filmmaking workshop. The intensive course provides a hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment and training from a professional faculty that work regularly in the industry. O’Connor received his education at NYFA’s New York City campus.

Before Gangsters, O’Connor wrote and directed several other films, including Dead SamuraiBetween the CanalsStalker, and King of the Travellers. He is currently developing the feature Soldier for a Summer and the television series Darklands.

The New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Mark O’Connor on the wild success of Cardboard Gangsters, and looks forward to seeing where his career takes him next!