Experiencing Interruptions?


An emotionally hardened young woman wrestles with difficult memories when her estranged father returns from time in prison. As he teaches her how to box, reconciliation seems possible, but their traumatic past will not be easily washed away.

  • Jonathan Harden
  • Bronagh Taggart
  • Sean A. Murray
  • Bronagh Taggat
    Key Cast
    The Fall
  • Michael McElhatton
    Key Cast
    Game of Thrones
  • Ian McElhinney
    Key Cast
    Game of Thrones
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    22,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Ireland, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Galway Film Fleadh
    July 14, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
    August 9, 2017
    North American Premiere
  • Short Film Festival in Drama
    September 20, 2017
  • Brighton Rocks Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    July 12, 2019
    Best Short Drama
  • Door County Film Festival

    United States
    February 16, 2018
    Special Jury Award
  • European Independent Film Award

    December 23, 2017
    Best Short Drama: Bronze
  • Richard Harris International Film Festival
    October 25, 2018
    Best Director: Nominee
Director Biography - Jonathan Harden

Jonathan is an actor from Belfast. This is his first film as a director and producer.

Film Credits as an actor include: Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Bad Robot, Lucas Film), Stephen Frears’ Victoria & Abdul (Working title), Ralph Fienne’s The Invisible Woman (BBC Films), and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Five Minutes of Heaven (BBC Films), as well as Another Mother’s Son (Bill Kenwright Films), The Truth Commissioner (Big Fish, BBC Films), The Ones Below (BBC Films), The Good Man (Manifesto Films), Whole Lotta Sole AKA Standoff (Generator Entertainment), Jump (Blinder Films), Ghost Machine (Generator Entertainment), and Ditching (Factotum).

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Director Statement

As as actor, it's easy to imagine you'd make the transition to directing easily; over nearly 20 years in the industry, I've learned to talk a pretty good game. But with Guard, I constantly felt like I'd bitten off more than I could chew. And I was producing at a scale that seemed to spiral daily. On set, I was calling Guard my 'One Film Film School'. I was only partly joking.

As a project, it began when my wife (an actor and TV writer) handed me a script to read. In our 16 years together, this had literally never happened; I get into trouble for reading over Bronagh's shoulder when I bring her a cup of coffee. This she was giving me to direct, but with one key cast member already attached: herself.

While Bronagh's been busy writing things that pay the bills, I've tried to write shorts and failed. It's hard, and to be honest, so few short scripts I have ever read get anywhere close to the point where I think "I want to act in this", let alone direct it. Guard was different. I wanted to do it. Or rather, I didn't want anyone else to do it.

We considered funding it with our own money, but eventually decided we wanted to do it on a scale that would allow me, and everyone else, to deliver on the promise of the script. We needed - I estimated - £8,000. And a lot of goodwill. A production company offered to make it with more than double our budget, but didn't want me to direct. We considered it, and declined. This was our project.

And so we launched a crowdfunding campaign that would see us raise well over £20,000, secure a post-production deal and - most exciting of all - a small cinema release (for one week, in place of commercials) in Northern Ireland. We pushed the campaign so hard that Bronagh ended up on the front of papers, in magazines, and on the radio. We were, by necessity, the highest profile unfunded, unmade short film in Irish cinematic history.

So the pressure was HUGE.

I slept an average of four hours on each of the three nights we shot Guard, and about the same in the week before we went into the edit. I was waking up in the middle of cutting a scene in my head, panicking that we'd have to reshoot most of it, and most of all, worrying that I'd look like a fraud and that I'd let down almost 300 people who had invested their money, time and expertise. No one ever mentions that bit in the crowdfunding blogs.

That said, they're right about one thing: you make a film three times. The script made me cry when I first read it. The filming nearly made me lose my mind. And the edit felt like a joyful rediscovery.

I hope people connect with our story. I hope we get to tell another.