Job title: Teaching Fellow, School of Design

Tel: +44 (0) 131 6515 867


Research outputs: David Cairns on Edinburgh Research Explorer

David Cairns is a filmmaker and critic.

Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1991, he made several short films, culminating in the multi-award-winning CRY FOR BOBO (2001), a ten-minute comedy which portrayed clowns as a persecuted minority. It won the Royal Television Society award for Best Regional Programme and proceeded to pick up twenty-odd prizes at festivals around the world.

Struggling to get a feature film off the ground, David then moved sideways to criticism, starting the blog Shadowplay and swiftly garnering commissions from Sight and Sound magazine, The Believer and numerous online publications.

Through the blog, David made contact with filmmaker Paul Duane and together they hatched the idea for a feature documentary about forgotten French film producer Bernard Natan, a man virtually erased from film history. Paul was able to raise funding in Ireland and in 2013 the film screened at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival (one of the most exclusive and prestigious film festivals in the world), Dallas Video Fest, Pordenone Festival of Silent Film, the Lumiere Festival in Lyon, and now has several other screenings lined up as well as the strong possibility of television and cinema sales.

In addition, David has not abandoned fiction filmmaking. His script for feature-length horror, Cell 6, has just been filmed under the title Let Us Prey, and another project is under consideration at a major American studio. He hopes to balance fiction, documentary and criticism in future, perhaps even combining them further, while continuing to teach part-time.

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