Writer / Director
Gilsenan graduated with First Class Honours in Modern English
and Sociology from Trinity College, Dublin where he received
the inaugural A.J. Leventhal Scholarship.
Gilsenan initially made a number of award-winning documentary
films about Ireland: THE ROAD TO GOD KNOWS WHERE (Special
Jury Prize, 1989 European Film Awards), STORIES FROM THE
SILENCE (both of which won two Jacobs Television Awards
(Irish Television Critics), PROPHET SONGS and BETWEEN HEAVEN
he made the documentary series GOD BLESS AMERICA for ITV
Network. These were six hour-long, highly personal portraits
of U.S. cities through the eyes of American authors - Gore
Vidal's Washington DC, Neil Simon's New York, Scott Turow's
Chicago, Marsha Hunt's Philadelphia, Patricia Cornwell's
Richmond and Garrison Keillor's Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
documentaries include the opening and closing episodes of
THE IRISH EMPIRE, an extensive history of the Irish Diaspora
for BBC, RTE and SBS Australia; EMERALD SHOES , an ITV Network
Special on the history of Irish Dance; THE GREEN FIELDS
OF FRANCE, a poetic film about the Irish who died in World
War One; PRIVATE DANCER, a behind-the-scenes portrait of
Ireland's first lap-dance club; MAURA'S STORY, the story
of a young Irish-American woman who became a Buddhist saint;
ROAD II which revisited THE ROAD TO GOD KNOWS WHERE; and
a portrait of playwright Tom Murphy SING ON FOREVER; and
THE GHOST OF ROGER CASEMENT, a documentary on the life of
English knight and executed Irish rebel Roger Casement,
which revealed the results of a forensic examination into
the infamous Black Diaries and which won an IFTA (Irish
Film & Television Academy) Award and Best Feature Documentary
at the Celtic Film Festival .
has directed film drama including Samuel Beckett's EH JOE,
the short film ZULU 9, an experimental film based on Paul
Durcan's poem SIX NUNS DIE IN CONVENT INFERNO; the experimental
feature film ALL SOULS' DAY, both of which he also wrote;
as well as the feature film TIMBUKTU for which he was nominated
for an IFTA as both director and designer.
also directs for the theatre. His productions include the
world premiere of Tom Murphy's THE PATRIOT GAME and ON THE
OUTSIDE/ON THE INSIDE for the Abbey; the Irish premieres
of Jean Genet's THE BALCONY and Tennessee Williams' SMALL
CRAFT WARNINGS; his own adaptation of John Banville's novel
THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE at the Gate Theatre; and recently Tom
MacIntyre's WHAT HAPPENED BRIDGIE CLEARY at the Abbey.
is currently finishing a four-part documentary on a major
psychiatric institution THE ASYLUM to be broadcast by RTE
Gilsenan is chairperson of the IRISH FILM INSTITUTE, a member
of the IRISH FILM BOARD, and the Board of INTERNATIONAL
DANCE FESTIVAL IRELAND.