One half of writing duo Cairns and McCartney.
A film fanatic since his early teens, John’s first screenplay, Dead Letter, was granted a development deal by British Screen. He gained an MA in Video Production at Bournemouth Uni before joining the staff as a lecturer in writing and production.
Returning to his native Belfast, John was a founder member of Screenwriters.ink, the innovative Belfast-based writers’ group. There he met Michael and a shared love of taut, commercial thrillers led them to forge a writing partnership.
An American citizen, Michael traveled the world before setting up a successful furniture import and retail business. He then shifted careers to pursue his true love…storytelling.
John & Michael won NI Screen’s New Talent Focus competition in 2012 with the script A Patch of Fog. It was produced by Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects) and directed by Oscar nominee and BAFTA award winner Michael Lennox (Boogaloo and Graham).
A Patch of Fog had its world premiere at TIFF 2015 and was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016.
John and Michael were nominated for Best Debut Screenwriter at the British Independent Film Awards 2016.
DateProduction (role)CompanyProject details
Date: 2015Production (role): A PATCH OF FOGCompany: The Fyzz FacilityProject details: BIFA nominated for Best Debut Screenwriter (John Cairns and Michael McCartney)
Debut at Toronto International Film Festival
Starring Stephen Graham and Lara Pulver
Date: 2016Production (role): THROWDOWNCompany: Fastnet Films