Barney Cokeliss

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

A recent advertising project is ‘Like the Night’ – a 2-minute cinema commercial for legendary camera brand Leica, currently nominated for Direction at the Clio Awards.

The film launched at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, alongside an exhibition of 50 of Barney’s photographs, before a UK cinema run.

‘Like the Night’ is enjoying a run of wins and nominations at the 2020 and 2021 awards show, including current nominations for Barney in  both direction and cinematography at the Ciclope Awards. Other 2020 gold and silver wins for ‘Like the Night’ include the Kinsale Shark Awards, Creative Circle Awards and the Cresta Awards. The film has two current nominations at the British Arrows Awards.

Barney has just delivered the screenplay for the feature adaptation of ‘Heap House’ – the first in the ‘Iremonger Trilogy’ of gothic YA fantasy novels by Edward Carey – for Brandish Entertainment.  He is currently developing  a series based on a China Miéville story for Tiger Aspect, is attached to write and direct a film set in the world of 1980s pop stars adapted from Steve Barron’s memoir ‘Egg and Chips and Billie Jean’ and to direct an original drama series for Tiger Aspect, written by Julie Gearey.

Barney’s latest short, ‘Night Dancing’, was an opening night premiere at TIFF, was selected for Lincoln Center’s prestigious Dance on Camera festival, and is currently completing a festival run in which it has won over twelve international awards, including: Best Short Film at the Frankfurt Biennale for the Moving Image; the Audience Award at the 2020 Kinetoscope Film Festival; the Audience Award at the 2019 Saturnia Film Festival; Best Director, Best Editor and the Audience Award at the Utah Dance Film Festival; and many others.

Barney’s work reflects his talent for cinematic storytelling, emotive expression and authenticity. “I’m drawn to projects where I get to create cinematic impact and deliver something powerfully human”, he says.

He has directed commercials in 26 countries for clients including Lexus, Credit Suisse, VW, Peugeot, Budweiser and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Campaign Magazine named his Macmillan Cancer Support ‘Falling’ one of the top 10 commercials of the year, and it was honoured at the AICE Awards in New York. Barney’s commercials for the National Health Service have won awards year on year, and his ongoing 45-spot campaign for CIC Banque was recently voted number 4 in the top 10 of all French campaigns.

Barney’s 3D stereoscopic short, ‘The Foundling’, was commissioned by Philips and Adam&EveDDB and won the Lumière Award (the premier award for 3D film-making) alongside films by Scorsese, Wenders and Spielberg. One reviewer described it as “like David Lynch crossed with David Fincher”. ‘The Foundling’ was selected for the Palm Springs ShortsFest 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 lives in London. He studied English at Oxford, was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton and trained at the BBC on the Television Production Training scheme. His photographs have been exhibited at the V&A Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts.