Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins

Acclaimed as a writer and as a director, Mark Cousins began to nurture his interests primarily in two places: the library and the movie theater. Growing up in the tumultuous society of Northern Ireland during the 1970s was particularly difficult for Cousins and his twin brother Jeffrey, as their parents were Catholic and Protestant, a source of controversy at the time. Cousins found an escape in books and at movies, and his love of literature, film, and art would only strengthen as he moved toward adulthood. Cousins enrolled at the University of Stirling in Scotland, where he met his longtime life partner Gill Moreton. He graduated in 1987 with a degree in film and media studies, and soon got to work hosting the low profile documentary film series "Moviedrome" (BBC2, 1988-2000). He would become a more prominent force as a host of the series "Scene by Scene" (BBC, 1996-2001) which saw him interviewing cinematic greats like David Lynch and Roman Polanski, and as an author, publishing a number of books on film history and criticism, including Imagining Reality: The Faber Book Of The Documentary (1998). The Story of Film (2004) was adapted into a fifteen-part documentary in 2011, which Cousins directed and narrated himself. Directing documentaries would prove to be a major strength for Cousins, and he would helm successful films like "The First Movie" (2008), "A Story of Children and Film" (2013), and "Here Be Dragons" (2013). Additionally, he partnered with actor Tilda Swinton for a mobile film festival known as Pilgrimage in 2009, in which they hauled a three ton portable movie theater through the Scottish countryside. Their journey was chronicled in the documentary "Cinema is Everywhere" (2011).