JULY 2023

World on Fire Series 2 to air from July.  I was delighted to be one of the three co-lead directors on this epic WW2 series for Mammoth Screen / BBC One / PBS Masterpiece, with a stellar cast led by Lesley Manville and Jonah Hauer-King.  My episodes are Ep 2 and the season finale.

Sunday nights from July 16th. In the meantime here’s the trailer:

MAY 2022

Off to Belfast to begin work on World on Fire s2 for Mammoth Screen / BBC One / PBS Masterpiece.

MARCH 2022

A new commercial for the NHS – this time about cancer – and a win in the British Journal of Photography ‘Portrait of Humanity’ award.  More soon!

14 FEB 2022

Barney’s new commercial for the UK National Health Service and M&C Saatchi is launched today.

“Barney Cokeliss has directed a gem of a film for the NHS highlighting the need for us all to be aware of the signs of an impending heart attack. 

With a creative script from Ben Golik & Tom Kennedy at M&C Saatchi, Barney & his team have made a film that takes an everyday situation and turns it into something other-worldly and unsettling, driving home the message that we should take even minor symptoms seriously.

“This was just the kind of dramatic project I love to get stuck into”, says Barney. “Dealing with a potentially life-and-death issue justifies the most powerful visual storytelling, and it was gratifying that we could do so much of the effect in-camera”.

Lit atmospherically by Daniel Landin and with VFX work courtesy of Glassworks, the film is set in an A-road lay-by with a driver having stopped because he’s not feeling quite right.

Chest pains begin and his body is squeezed by a gripping, restrictive pair of arms that emerge from his clothing as he breathing becomes heavier and he starts to sweat.

The take out here is…if you experience these symptoms…call 999 immediately. It might just save your life.”

Barney also photographed an accompanying national print campaign alongside directing the film.

  • Creative Agency – M&C Saatchi 
  • Chief Creative Officer – Ben Golik
  • Creative Director – Tom Kennedy
  • Producer – Angela Zabala
  • Project Director – Kevin Earland
  • Strategy Director – Richard Story
  • Strategist – Hannah Thomson 
  • Account Director – Katie Mandel
  • Senior Account Manager – Emma Lowrey
  • Production Company – Mad Cow Films
  • Director – Barney Cokeliss
  • Producer – Nicholas Unsworth
  • Executive Producer – Peter Chambers
  • DOP – Daniel Landin
  • Art Director – Samuel Waters
  • Editor – Bill Smedley @ Work Editorial
  • Post  – Glassworks
  • Music – Mark Sayfritz
  • Sound Design and Mix – Ben Leeves @ Jungle Studios

NOV 2021 – a new film for French bank CIC, shot in Serbia for Australie.GAD (Paris).  More soon…

22 SEPT 2021 Barney’s photograph of the boy in Soweto from Leica ‘Like the Night’ is exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of the delayed Summer Show (runs until 2 Jan 2022).

It was singled out in the Times’s review of the show by Rachel Campbell-Johnson.


14 APRIL – CLIO SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED!   ‘Like the Night’ is nominated for Direction, and also for Original Music!

More to follow.  Just back from a great shoot in Chicago for Gyro, and gearing up for a shoot in France for Australie.

Wonderful to be reunited with Sharone Meir, DP (‘Whiplash’) and an honour and a pleasure to work with Ted, Andy and Corrine again for Insperity.



Like the Night, Barney’s cinema commercial for legendary camera brand Leica has been doing well at the 2020 awards shows.

Currently nominated for both his Direction and his Cinematography at the prestigious Ciclope Awards, Barney has so far been awarded at the 2020 Kinsale Shark Awards, the 2020 Cresta Awards and the 2020 Creative Circle Awards.  The film is also currently nominated twice for the 2020 British Arrows Awards, was awarded David Reviews coveted 5-star rating and named in’s top 10 of the year.

Like the Night was launched at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum – the UK’s national centre for photography – alongside a collection of Barney’s still images from the project. Barney wrote the concept for the film, directed and handled key cinematography duties.

Shot in New York, Soweto, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Lesotho, Bucharest and New Orleans, the film is an evocation of the night, seen through from the perspectives of street photography.

The film reinterprets Byron’s poem She walks in beauty like the night, embodying the “she” of the poem in a diverse group of female photographers, and presenting “beauty” as the being beauty of the night: a beauty which includes the mysterious, the foreboding, the lonely and the ominous.


  • TIFF world premiere – joint highest rated short on the festival app
  • Lincoln Center Dance on Camera (the world’s oldest dance film festival) – official selection.
  • Audience Award – 2020 Kinetoscope Film Festival
  • Audience Award – 2019 Saturnia Film Festival, Tuscany.
  • Best International Film – Bucharest International Dance Film Festival 2018
  • Jury Prize – LA Dance Film Festival 2018
  • Best Director  – Utah Dance Film Festival 2018
  • Audience Award – Utah Dance Film Festival 2018
  • Best Editing – Utah Dance Film Festival 2018
  • Special Jury Award – Deep In The Heart Film Festival (Texas) 2018.
  • Additionally, Honorific Mention – Mexico City Videodance Festival, Best Short Film – Biennale for the Moving Image, Frankfurt  and Outstanding Achievement in Film-Making – Newport Beach Film Festival. Other selections include Aspen ShortsFest, Whistler FF.


Barney is currently writing a series adaptation of Edward Carey’s spooky YA novel Heap House for producer Charles Brand (‘Billy Elliot’).

Next, Barney is adapting a China Miéville story for Tiger Aspect (Peaky Blinders) as writer/director.

Barney is also attached to direct an original series by Julie Gearey (show-runner of the forthcoming Intergalactic for SKY) for Tiger Aspect.


What a pleasure to make two 48″x 56″ c-type analogue hand prints from 6x7cm negative for a collector in South Africa.  Digital is ever-improving, but for depth of tone and feel, you can’t beat prints like these, where it’s all photochemistry.  Not a single microchip has been involved from the moment the shutter is released to the moment the print goes on the wall.

Thanks to Bryan at Artful Dodgers for the master-printing and Kevin O’Neill for hand re-touching a few dust spots with painstaking care.



A great Chicago shoot in Jan 2020 with Andy Mamott, Ted Wahlberg and Corrine Serritella at Gyro Chicago/Denver for Grant Thornton.  Lovely to be working with them again so soon after our Insperity adventures.  First time shooting with wonderful DP Laura Merians. Tony Harding at Them Media EP’d with his usual style and grace. Margaret Thomas was our unflappable local producer.  Steve Morrison edited for us again with his usual calm, care and ingenuity.

More pics and film to follow.


A Jan/Feb 2020 return to Serbia to shoot the new tv campaign for CIC Banque with my friends and longtime collaborators at Australie (Paris). Pics and film to follow.

Merci to the très doué Owen Oppenheimer at The Quarry for the bilingual editing in London and Paris!

Barney’s new cinema commercial for Leica UK recently launched at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London before its run in UK cinemas. More info

Shots named it one of their top 10 most-viewed pieces of the year.

Thanks to Leica UK for being such a supportive and open-minded client, and to the whole team behind the film, including: composer Anné Kulonen, editor Ben Corfield at Stitch, colourists Simone Grattorola and Myles Bevan at Time Based Arts, VFX maestro Duncan Malcolm at Glassworks and sound supremo Ben Leeves at Jungle Studios. Production was rather global – thanks to Barbara Kranz and Frank Hasselbach at Bubbles Film Berlin, Tony Harding at Them in NYC, Caroline Crowther at Kojak in South Africa, Alex Molea at Icon Films Bucharest and so many more. Oh, and George Gordon – aka Lord Byron – for writing the words.

As well as screening the film, the V&A Museum exhibited fifty of  Barney’s photographs taken as part of the same project. Prints of some of these have also been shown at the Leica store in London and can be purchased through them as limited-edition digital c-types. See the updated photo gallery for some of the images.

The film and the stills were all shot on the Leica SL with the legendary Leica M lenses.

A trip to the Jo’Burg winter to tell a powerful real-life story for MiWay insurance. Thank you Caroline Crowther of Kojack Films for the opportunity, Matt and Chris of DDB Jo’Burg for the creativity and Devin Toselli for cinematography. Nic Goodwin did a beautiful job of the edit. Music by Anné Kulonen.





What a pleasure to go to Cape Town for a prehistoric adventure for Zweifel Chips – Switzerland’s (and the world’s) best potato chips, and a loyal client.


Thanks, as ever, to Nadia Rosasco of RosasNCo for production, Carmen Amos and Martin Jacobson of Juice for service production, Ben Corfield for editing, Anné Kulonen for music and the indefatigable Devin Toselli for cinematography, which in this case involved running over steep rocks with the camera to the point where most mortals would have collapsed.

A wintry New York shoot for Insperity from Gyro Chicago. Thank you Corrine Serritella for thinking of me, Andy Mamott and Ted Wahlberg for the lovely script and effortless collaboration, and Tony Harding of Them Productions for making it happen. A pleasure of a production from beginning end. And it’s just won an award (details to follow).  Martin Ahlberg was the DP and Steve Morrison the editor, both complete gents. Costume by Elodie Ozanne. Music by Chopin and Anné Kulonen.




A great shoot in LA for Scout Chicago to raise awareness of Narcolepsy.

Rick Conrad and Chris Siek created, Cheryl Lindquist agency-produced, Tony Harding of Them Productions EP’d – thank you one and all. And thank you Sharone Meir for DP’ing, Bob Ackerman for the edit and Anné Kulonen for the music.

Always a joy to make large analogue prints of my photographic work.  Thanks to Bryan O’Leary at Artful Dodgers (seen here for scale!) for the masterful printing.


New work:

Delighted to announce my first piece of work with Them Media, the boutique NYC production company run by Tony Harding.  Shot in LA and posted in NYC. Two more US projects coming soon.

US National Highway Traffic Safety Agency ‘No Excuse’ for The Tombras Agency, Knoxville TN.
Creative team: Brian Potter and Nick Vagott, Agency producer: Laura Lepre, Produced by Them Media, NYC., DoP: Sharone Meir, Edit: Spot Welders, NYC, Post: Freefolk NYC, Music: Anné Kulonen, Producer: Kathleen Handwerk, EP: Tony Harding

‘Night Dancing’ wins 9 international awards