Tom Ryan is an Irish filmmaker currently based in the UK. Having learned his trade working on indie movie shoots in New York, Tom returned to Ireland and made his first feature film as a writer/ director ‘Trampoline’ at the age of 25 for EUR1000 and which was later sold to Amazon Prime Video.
After the success of ‘Trampoline’ Tom began work on his next project ‘Twice Shy’ – a road trip movie following a young couple travelling from Ireland to the UK as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. ‘Twice Shy’ had great success on the festival circuit which included a screening at the Cannes Film Festival along with earning Tom a Rising Star award in LA and a Best Young Director award in Australia. ‘Twice Shy’ as a critical and commercial success upon its theatrical release in the summer of 2017. Dublin Film Critics Circle hailed Tom as a ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ in 2017.
I fell in love with Pognophobia and the characters within as soon as I read the first draft of the script. As a director I am always looking out for characters with heart, who are doing their best to get through their day whilst facing personal issues known only to them. When considering a project to direct it is always important that I try to imagine the project from the point of view of the audience. When reading Pogonophobia I did so with that mindset and connected with the material immediately. The main character of Cyril is so wonderful and complex while at the same time strangely relatable as I feel that everyone has personal insecurities that they feel embarrassed by. It is almost a rarity to see such a decent character with a heart of gold on screen these days. Also, to have the antagonist of the tale be the mindset of the protagonist is such an interesting approach to a short film like this. Cyril is ultimately his own enemy as he is lacking the confidence to be himself and follow his heart. It is my job as director to successfully translate him to the screen and tell this story in such a short time frame which I feel will be a fantastic challenge that I am very excited about.