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Associate Professor
Year Started at JMU: 2016
Contact Info

Professor Imelda O’Reilly is a native of Ireland.  Her work as an independent filmmaker has screened internationally and garnered several awards. Her films and feature screenplay have screened or been represented at film festivals, including Cannes, Rhode Island, Cinequest, International Film Festival de Creteil, WorldFest Houston, BAM and the Richard Harris International Film Festival. 

As a commissioned writer on Song For New York with Mabou Mines her work was developed through the Sundance Theater Lab and New York Theater Workshop.  She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Morocco where her film Bricks, Beds and Sheep’s Heads was a Regional Finalist for the Student Academy Awards.

Imelda’s short film Eggs and Soldiers was broadcast on RTE television. It screened at over 60 festivals to date across nine different countries.  It won a Tonino Guerra Award for screenwriting from the Chicago Art-House Blow-Up Film Festival and an Award of Excellence at the Broadcast Education Association. In addition, it received awards from Accolade Competition, Global Shorts, Los Angeles and IndieFest Film Awards. Her feature screenplay Beneath the Boy’s Cry won Best of Festival at the BEA Awards in 2017.

Imelda has several projects in development. Her feature screenplay titled We’re the Kids in America was an official selection of L’Atélier Cinéfondation that is part of the Cannes International Film Festival for 2018. It also received an Honorable Mention from the Stowe Story Labs and won “Best Of” competition from the Broadcast Education Association in 2019. It was also workshopped through the Moving Picture Institute Screenwriting Fellowship. It placed in the top 10% of the Nicholls Fellowship in 2019.

Her work has received support from the Sundance Theater Lab, Mary Redman Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation. Her plays were produced in downtown Manhattan at the CSV and Mabou Mines. She has a collection of poems titled I Wake In Half Dream published by Lapwing Press. Her short story Stovepipe appears in Shenanigans published by Septre in the UK. 

Most recently she has completed a short documentary film titled Tumbling Towards Home. It had its world premiere at Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival. It has won awards at WorlfFEST Houston, Accolade, WildSOUND Feedback, Independent Shorts Awards, Indie Short Fest to date.

She earned an MFA with honors from Columbia University. Imelda spent three years in Singapore as an Arts Professor in the Graduate Film Program for New York University TischAsia. Prior to NYU she taught at Barnard College, Hunter College and the School for Visual Arts. Imelda was  a juror for the Asia/Europe Film Festival, the Chicago Blow-Up Film Festival and the screenwriting competition for the Inwood Film Festival.


Fulbright Fellowship

New York Foundation for the Arts

The Irish Arts Council

Culture Ireland

The City University of New York

The Critical Language Enhancement Award in Morocco

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