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Writer and director George Clarke talks about the special relationships in his life

We ask personalities about the special relationships in their lives

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 23/10/2015

Movie maker: George Clarke
Movie maker: George Clarke

The 38-year-old is a writer and award-winning film director, and runs Yellow Fever Productions. He lives in Newtownards with his husband, Kenny Martin, and two children, Leo (12) and Tobyn (9). George will be showcasing a series of independent movies at the new Belfast Contained pop-up venue in Corporation Street, Belfast, every Wednesday.

My husband, Kenny

We met online on I went online to cancel my subscription and thought I would send one last chance message and then met Kenny. As soon as we saw each other, it was love at first sight - we instantly connected from that moment. Kenny works for a company that makes and manages booking systems for campsites around the UK.

My children, Leo and Tobyn

The kids spend one week with us and one week with their mum, although sometimes we miss them so much we kidnap them for a couple of days.

Everything we do has to be second to the kids, be it organising the Yellow Fever Film Festival or jetting off to awards ceremonies.

They've both been brought up on film sets for the last eight years. They met Kenny on the second or third date after we started going out, and they fell in love with him straight away.

When we got married, Leo was the best man and Tobyn was the flower girl.

My parents

My parents, George Clarke and Alison Pettifer, split when I was about 14 and my dad moved to Canada, although he moved back a year ago to retire. He was a carpenter by trade, and my mum has always worked in care homes.

I'm close to my parents, although with the kids we don't get to see each other that often. They have always been very supportive of what I've done in the film industry for the last eight years.

They know how my mind works and that I really believe in what we're doing.

My mentor

A long-term hero of mine is someone who hasn't been here - Jackie Chan.

I've watched his movies since I was four or five-years-old, and I read or watch every interview I can get my hands on.

I've never touched a drink, drug or cigarette because I read as a kid that he did the same.

We've never met, but I know he's heard about me because Mike Leeder has made him aware of me.

My celebrity crush

I have to choose Grant Gustin. He plays the title character in the TV series The Flash.

Fantasy dinner party

I would have to invite Jackie Chan, obviously, as he's my hero.

Then, I would ask Charlie Chaplin, as he was a huge influence on Jackie, but I've grown to love him, too. I created a film on YouTube called Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller five years ago that got the most YouTube views in 2010.

Next, I would ask Robin Williams. He was always very funny, and finding out more about him after his death made me appreciate him even more.

Finally, I would ask my Nana Kitty, my granny who passed away about three years ago. She's dearly missed and I've never met a funnier pensioner.

Person I go to for advice

In terms of advice in the industry, I've made a great friend in former actor Mike Leeder. He's been working in the Hong Kong film industry for the last 25 years.

He came to our festival in 2009 and we've been close ever since.

Also recently, Gary Flynn, commercial director (T13), the sustainable social space at Titanic Quarter, has given me wonderful advice - I've always been the artist and not the business person, but Gary has definitely given me so great business advice.

  • George's latest film, Blood Harvest, which recently won two awards at the Freak Show Horror Film Festival in Orlando will premiere in Belfast at the Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival this Sunday, October 25, at the Movie House, Dublin Road. For tickets and more information, pay a visit to www.yellowfever

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