Duncan Cowles is a BAFTA Scotland Award winning documentary filmmaker whose short films The Lady with the Lamp, Soft Toffee, Radio Silence, Directed by TweedieIsabella & Alexithymia have been selected for various film festivals at home and internationally winning a selection of awards, and gaining thousands of online views.

Duncan graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a 1st Class degree and a specialisation in documentary film, winning both the Audience Award and an Award for Distinguished work by the University at his graduation. He then went on to work for the internationally renowned Scottish Documentary Institute for three years on films such as I am BreathingFuture My LovePablo’s WinterSeven Songs for a Long Life, Donkeyote, and the upcoming Time TrialBecoming Animal & Nae Pasaran. He’s also been part of the programming team for feature documentaries at the Edinburgh International Film Festival since 2013.

His first short film The Lady with the Lamp received over 300,000 views overnight upon premiering online after its international festival run. He was then nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award & RTS Scotland Award in 2014 for his graduation film Radio Silence, which also toured internationally and went on to be staff picked on Vimeo receiving 35,000 views in its first 24hours online. Next, his short doc Directed by Tweedie, commissioned by Scottish Documentary Institute / Creative Scotland, won Best Scottish Short Film at Glasgow Short Film Festival, was shortlisted for a Channel 4 Innovation in Storytelling Award and then nominated for Best British Short at the London Critics Circle Awards 2016.

Duncan’s second Creative Scotland commission; Isabella won a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Short Film 2016, Best UK Short (19-25) and the BFI RAW Award 2016 at the BFI Future Film Festival, Best Scottish Short Film 2016 at the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2016 and the Audience Award at Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2016. The film has also been nominated for Best British Short Film at the London Critics Circle Awards 2017.

Recently in 2017 Duncan founded his own production company Relative Films Ltd and is currently working on his first feature film Silent Men which he took to IDFA Academy 2016 before being awarded development funding from the BFI, Creative Scotland & Whickers World Foundation.

In June, Duncan was also commissioned and has now delivered a new short film Taking Stock for Channel 4’s series Random Acts, due to air on TV December 2017. In September 2017 he was commissioned to create a new 30minute creative documentary for broadcast on primetime STV early 2018. He’s also a regular contributor to BBC Scotland’s ‘The Social’, and hosts a range of workshops for filmmakers of all ages.

In addition to his main work Duncan has worked on commercial photography projects such as weddings, graduations and portraits, and directed and edited brand/commercial video content for clients such as Toys R Us, Graham’s Dairy, Mental Health Foundation, QueryClick, IQ Chocolate, Uniform Dating, YourGP, TeamSky, Refugee Survival Trust, Code-Clan, Media Gang, Africa in Motion, Deep Casing Tools, R&A, QAA and more…

Download CV (in PDF format) here.

He also made this: gooddocumentaryquestions.com

Award Highlights

Winner – BAFTA Scotland Award, Best Short Film 2016
Winner – 2016 Scottish Short Film Award – Glasgow Short FF
Winner – 2015 Scottish Short Film Award – Glasgow Short FF
Winner – BFI Best UK Short Film & RAW Award 2016
Winner – Audience Award NoBudget Competition, Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2016
Winner – Vienna Shorts Two Month Artist Residency 2017 with Q21 & MuseumsQuartier
Winner – Best UK Short, Open City Documentary Festival 2017

Nominated – BAFTA Scotland New Talent 2014: Best Factual
Nominated – London Critics Circle Award – Best British Short Film 2017
Nominated – London Critics Circle Award – Best British Short Film 2016
Nominated – Royal Television Society Scotland Student Best Factual 2013
Nominated – Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show Audience Award 2013
Nominated – Channel 4 Award for Innovation in Storytelling
Nominated – Best UK Short, Open City Documentary Festival 2016
Nominated Best Documentary, LSFF 2016
Nominated – Creative Edinburgh Award 2017


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