Back home in Cork for film festival

Carrigaline filmmaker, Ken Williams will see his short, Gustav screened at the Cork Film Festival. He talks about Sunday lunches in The Bosun with his gran, sacred Friday nights, and his love of football.
Back home in Cork for film festival
Carrigaline filmmaker, Ken Williams with daughter Daisy and son Geof.

TELL us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a filmmaker from Carrigaline but currently I’m based in a town called Hertford — just outside London — where I live with my wife, Ellen and two children Daisy aged three and Geof, six months.

I do a lot of work in Cork so divide my time between them both. I’m a writer/director and make films with another Carrigaline man, Denis Fitzpatrick.

Gustav is our sixth short film together and is due to be screened on November 16 at the Cork Film Festival. We’re also working on some exciting projects for next year.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday nights are sacred in our house so Ellen and I try not to make plans that involve anyone else. Fridays are for Graham Norton and wine on the couch, or if we have a babysitter, we head to the cinema — recent favourites include The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Foxtrot and The Farthest.

Lie ins or up with the lark. which is it for you?

I haven’t been able to lie in since I lived in Sydney, so I’m always up before the kids.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Unfortunately, yes. Making films and writing things are both very time consuming so I grab time whenever I can. You’ll often find me in one of Hertford’s pubs or cafés on a Sunday afternoon bashing the keyboard and downing coffee.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Ellen and I both love New York so maybe a few nights in The Plaza might be an idea. I’ve never been to Vienna though and really fancy it. Or perhaps Denis and I could go to LA (sorry Elles!).

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I find Cork really relaxing and pretty much all my favourite places are there, that’s why I come home so much. We live in Riverstick, so Kinsale is just down the road, and you’ll often find me on the Dock Beach for a walk, followed by a pint in the Dock Bar.

Further afield, we love Barley Cove and spend as much time as possible there.

Ken Williams and Denis Fitzpatrick’s comedy short Gustav will be screened as part of Cork Film Festival.
Ken Williams and Denis Fitzpatrick’s comedy short Gustav will be screened as part of Cork Film Festival.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

With young kids in the house and a busy job, weekends are precious family time, but we do make time for friends too. Elles and I love a gig so we try to go as often as we can, we’ve just seen The Slow Readers Club and I’m going to Tricky with my brother next month.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I’m a regular down at Hertford Town FC and served on the Board for six years until work commitments forced me to take a break. I always keep an eye out for Cork City’s results too and was delighted with the double.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Entertained please. My brother Seán is the head chef in The Supper Club in Kinsale so anything cooked by him usually works.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

There are so many. Down west it’s toasted specials in O’Sullivan’s in Crookhaven and goujons in The Bunratty in Schull. When I’m home for the Cork Film Festival, I’m about every day and always surprised by the choice and quality.

So, if I’m not supping a pint in The Dock Bar, I’ll have a coffee in Nine Market Street in Kinsale, or pints in The Roundy and dinner in Greenes Restaurant and a cocktail in Cask.

I worked in Reardens Bar for years too, so I’ll always pop in to say ‘hi’ to Sully and the gang. Sunday lunches in The Bosun with my gran are a big family tradition.

Sunday night comes around too fast. how do you normally spend it?

Sunday night is emails and one eye on the Strictly results show and, if United have won, maybe watch Match of the Day 2 on BBC before bed.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

The alarm goes at 4.30am and I’m at my desk writing by 6am — and planning next weekend by lunch!

Ken Williams and Denis Fitzpatrick’s comedy short, Gustav, will be screened on Thursday, November 16 at 12 noon in The Gate Cinema. The cast includes Seán T. O’Meallaigh (An Klondike), Charlene Gleeson (Penny Dreadful), Glen Barry (Game of Thrones) and Aoibheann McCann (Soulsmith). Gustav features as part of the Irish Shorts Programme 4: Dreams and Memories. It is also playing on Sunday, November 19, as part of Best of Cork Shorts at 3pm in The Everyman.

The Cork Film Festival runs from November 10- 19. For full details and tickets on Gustav, and all films, visit

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