John Carney

John Carney was a director and writer of sensitive Irish films, best known for the bittersweet musical "Once" (2006). Carney's movies brought together music and romance in an understated and emotionally nuanced way. Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1970, Carney was bassist for the Irish rock band The Frames in the early nineties, which was founded and led by "Once" star Glen Hansard. Carney made award-winning short films before he co-wrote and directed his first feature film, "November Afternoon" (1996). The film was critically acclaimed in Ireland but failed to reach any level of international success; similar fates befell its follow-ups "Park" (1999) and "On the Edge" (2001). However, the TV series "Bachelors Walk (RTE 2001-03), a comedy-drama about three mismatched roommates Carney co-created with his brother Kieran Carney and Tom Hall, proved an enormous popular success in Ireland. Outside his native land, it was "Once" (2006) that brought him into the spotlight. Carney directed the quiet film about two lost souls bonding through music, and developed the script through improvisations with its stars, Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Though understated and very low budget, the film earned millions worldwide and received massive critical acclaim. The success of the film led to a Broadway musical based on the story, which won multiple Tony Awards. Carney next returned to a project he'd set aside in 2004, a lighthearted Irish-village comedy called "Zonad" (2010). Returning to music, Carney wrote and directed "Begin Again" (2013), the story of a struggling singer/songwriter (Keira Knightley) and her record producer (Mark Ruffalo).