Introducing the Films of Terence McDonald









26min 54sec






The films of Terence McDonald are held and preserved by the Irish Film Archive


Department for Communities, Garvin O'Doherty Group, Irish Film Archive, Maria McCloskey, Martin McDonald, Peter McDonald, William Kelly

Rights Holder

Northern Ireland Screen

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


William Kelly's film chronicles the work of Terence McDonald (1926 - 2001) - teacher, film historian, film collector and pioneering filmmaker from Derry.

McDonald made 35 films in his lifetime, covering a broad range of themes and genre; be it unflinching documentaries or slapstick comedies, explorations of mental health or of travelling theatre. Often, however, it was his hometown, Derry, that was the focus of his attention - the city vividly portrayed in A City Solitary and City of Londonderry.

A true cinephile, his artful works of fiction nod to classic cinema, referencing the likes of Peyton Place and Battleship Potemkin, Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati. 

A truly independent filmmaker, he undertook all aspects of production - filming, sound recording and editing - producing a body of boldly imaginative, technically sophisticated and award-winning work. Along the way he would work with the likes of John Hume and Father Edward (later Bishop) Daly.

Featuring interviews with McDonald's sons, Peter and Martin, and collaborator and fellow filmmaker, Father Mick Collins, this documentary details his playful, innovative approach to filmmaking. 

The Terence McDonald film collection is held and preserved by the Irish Film Archive (IFA). These films are made available by the kind permission of Peter Mc Donald and the IFA. 



A Northern Ireland Screen Production

Filmed and Directed by William Kelly 

Produced by Francis Jones and Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell

Special Thanks to Father Michael Collins, Martin McDonald, Peter McDonald and the Garvin O'Doherty Group 

Additional footage by Maria McCloskey

Supported by the Department for Communities


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