Derry filmmaker Andrea to take director’s seat for new TV drama

Andrea Harkin.
Andrea Harkin.

A talented Derry filmmaker is set to direct a new BBC One drama based in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Screen has announced that ‘Come Home’ is to be directed by local woman, Andrea Harkin.

Produced by RED Production Company, cameras roll on the three, 60-minute episode series this month.

Written by BAFTA and Emmy winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehust, Come Home is described as “a powerful, absorbing and deeply emotional family drama”. Set and filmed in Northern Ireland, it explores the messy realities of parenthood and marriage.

The new drama will star Paula Malcomson (Ray Donovan; Broken) and Christopher Eccleston (The A Word; Fortitude).

Andrea has previously directed three episodes of BBC3’s drama-thriller Clique, starring Aisling Franciosi and Louise Brealey.

Her most recent short film, The Party, was nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Short 2017 and has screened at many festivals internationally, also winning the nomination for the European Film Awards: Best European Short, at the Cork Film Festival. Andrea’s first short film The Flyer was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland new talent award in 2008.

In 2009 she was the NI Screen-supported scholar at the prestigious National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield. After studying directing there, she graduated in 2011. In 2012 Andrea was accepted onto Northern Ireland Screen’s first Shadow Directing training scheme.

She was then selected for Channel 4’s Coming Up scheme, which is funded by NI Screen, gaining her first broadcast credit with the single drama Sammy’s War (2013). She then went on to direct two episodes of BBC NI’s drama 6 Degrees (2014). Andrea was selected for Northern Ireland Screen’s Emerging Auteurs scheme to support the development of her first feature film The Rain Days, and she took part in the Edinburgh International Film Festival talent lab in 2016 to further develop this project.

Richard Williams, CEO, NI Screen, said; “Talent development is a large part of our work here at Northern Ireland Screen and one which we are incredibly passionate about. We are delighted to have been able to support Andrea over recent years and are immensely proud of the progression she has made. It is wonderful that she is able to return to Northern Ireland to work on such an exciting network drama project with great talent attached. We wish her and all the cast and crew of Come Home a very successful shoot.”

Come Home is the first network BBC drama commission to be announced since the renewal of the BBC and NI Screen partnership agreement in April this year. This joint agreement sees the BBC and NI Screen work together to invest financially and creatively in developing an internationally competitive screen industry in Northern Ireland.

Come Home has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.