2020 Grand Jury Point of View: Tracey O'Halloran

Tracey O’Halloran is a London based, multi-award-winning filmmaker and scriptwriter who has worked across television, commercials and corporate films.

NYF TV & Film Awards | October 16, 2019

New York Festivals Television & Film Awards Grand Jury 2020 Interview profiles prominent award-winning Broadcast executives from around the globe. As industry leaders, they understand the elements that go into creating compelling award-winning nonfiction content.

Tracey O’Halloran is a London based, multi-award-winning filmmaker and scriptwriter who has worked across television, commercials and corporate films. In 2019 she won a Grand Award and Best Direction at the New York Festivals Film and TV awards, as well as the Grand Prix Award at the 2018 Cannes Corporate Media Film & TV Awards, making her the first British filmmaker to win the Cannes Grand Prix. Winner of over 30 film awards, Tracey has experience producing and directing drama, documentary, animation and comedy, always striving to find the best way to tell a story with humor and emotion. Passionate about social issues, her films have been used to champion change, raise awareness and shed a spotlight on the most vulnerable in society.

NYF: How do you think to be an award winner yourself will help evaluate this year’s submission?

Tracey O’Halloran: As a Grand award winner I know that it’s not necessarily the glossiest or the most expensive films that will win over the judges, so I’ll be looking for entries that are creative, original and bold in their storytelling and execution.  I want to be able to look at a film and say, ‘Wow, I wish I’d made that’ and be mad that I didn’t. 

NYF: Where do you see the industry evolving in the next 5 years?

Tracey O’Halloran: The industry is undergoing lots of change at the moment so it’s difficult to predict the future.  Where I hope it will evolve is to achieve gender equality behind the camera. I was delighted to win Best Direction at last year’s awards but we’re still a long way to achieving 50/50 parity behind the lens. We need to see the perspective of a much more diverse range of people to truly reflect the world around us.

NYF: What are the biggest challenges facing content creators in today’s world?

Tracey O’Halloran: Due to phones and social media, everyone’s a producer so we need to find ways to stand out and show that we offer creative, high-quality content that can cut through the noise. And in fake news, post-truth world, people need to be able to trust us.

Keeping up with the pace of change and adapting to it, whether, from technology, distribution or audience viewing habits will also be an ongoing challenge. We’re already seeing technology disrupt other industries so why should TV and film be any different? We’ll need to invest in equipment and brilliant, creative people to navigate this brave new world. 

NYF: What would you love to do as your next project?

Tracey O’Halloran:  It’s been an absolute privilege to make emotive, award-winning films that shed light on some serious issues. I’ll never shy away from these projects as they’re my passion, but I think I’d like to make a film that makes people laugh instead of cry. I work with some phenomenally talented people so we’re always ready for a new, creative challenge! Now more than ever the world needs to smile and feel joy. 

For more information or to enter the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, please visit: or view the 2019 Winners Showcase.