About

Barney Cokeliss

Barney Cokeliss is a multi-award-winning writer/director whose work has been selected by festivals including Sundance, TIFF and Venice.

He is currently directing ‘World on Fire’ for Mammoth Screen and the BBC.

Barney’s short ‘Night Dancing’ premiered on the opening night of TIFF and has just completed a festival run in which it has won over a dozen international awards.

He has just finished writing the pilot of ‘Heap House’ – adapting the dark, fantasy novel by Edward Carey – for Brandish Entertainment, and is developing a returning series as writer/director for Double Dutch Productions (Banijay), based on a story by China Miéville.

Barney is also an award-winning commercials director, shooting all over the world for clients including the NHS, Lexus, and Macmillan Cancer Support. ‘Like the Night’, Barney’s film for the legendary camera brand Leica, was shot on three continents, won a slew of major international advertising awards in 2021, premiered at the Victoria & Albert Museum and was released in UK cinemas.

Barney’s previous shorts include the 3D stereoscopic ‘The Foundling’, produced by Ridley Scott Associates, which won the Lumière Award alongside films by Scorsese, Wenders and Spielberg. One reviewer described it as “like David Lynch crossed with David Fincher”. ‘The Foundling’ was selected for Palm Springs and opened the Krakow Film Festival.

Barney also wrote and directed ‘Queen’s Park Story’, commissioned by the BBC, which premiered at Venice, and was described by The Observer as “the best British drama on television this year”.

Barney’s work reflects his talent for visual storytelling and emotional authenticity. “I’m drawn to projects where I get both to create cinematic impact and deliver something powerfully human”, he says. He marries a deep technical knowledge with an emotive touch with actors.

Barney lives in London. He took a double first in English Literature at Oxford, was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton and trained at the BBC as a Television Production Trainee. He’s a dual UK/US national and a DGA member.