Films Beyond Ideology
The Magician’s Niece is an independent film production company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We focus on thought-provoking narrative films and documentaries, though we also make music videos and other content. We make work in a range of languages and collaborate with artists, technicians and thinkers throughout the world. Our most recent project, documentary miniseries ‘Better Angels: The Gospel According to Tammy Faye’, was produced with Vice Studios, executive produced by Elton John and David Furnish and premieres at Sundance, 2024.
Our team comprises of Helen, Johnny, Peter and Alfie. Helen is a writer, director and producer who set up The Magician’s Niece in 2013, primarily as a vehicle for her own work, although she is involved in a range of other projects, including writing fiction and theory texts and lecturing in philosophy. Johnny retired from a career in government roles in 2022 and contributes to the company as a producer who oversees the logistics of our shoots, as well as our relationships with funding bodies and broadcasters. Peter is a writer and philosopher who works with us as a producer and in development, scriptwriting and fundraising. Alfie joined our team in 2022 as a writer and producer. He is a media theorist and is a senior lecturer in the Digital and Media Arts department at Royal Holloway, University of London.
The Magician’s Niece has produced several short films that have achieved extensive festival play and won awards. Videos and content made by Helen and The Magician’s Niece, mostly for Central American recording artists, have been viewed over 100 million times online. We have received funding from bodies such as Northern Ireland Screen and Future Screens and collaborate with creative labs and companies internationally, including Field Day at the University of Wisconsin and Agálmata Creative House and Vástago Producciones in Mexico. Our experimental philosophy feature film premiered in competition at Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Writer / Director / Producer
Writer / Producer
Writer / Producer
In 1960s Belfast, a little boy grows intrigued by stories of a far-off land: Jamaica. He dreams of escaping his conservative home and violent father, becoming a stowaway and working there on a plantation. One night, after a terrible school report, he resolves to run away.
A playwright with a dark past risks his life in returning to his home city to find out if a woman with whom he once had a passionate and illicit affair ever truly loved him, only to learn that it was only ever the unknowing and distance that kept their desire alive.
Music video for Spanish-language artist Melissa Romero.
In pre-Christian Ireland, a young, recently bereaved woman with no one left in the world, travels the land in search of a remedy that can bring her child back to life, only to find a cure not for the child’s mortality, but for the grief she can no longer bear.
A Guide to Making Love
‘A Guide to Making Love’ is an experimental philosophy feature film, combining theory, storytelling and comedy to explore the nature of human desire and challenge us to live beyond the tyranny of happiness and the frenetic pursuit of certainty and satisfaction.
The Blind Sea
A meditation through film on sea swimming, psychoanalysis and ambivalence.