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Award-winning film director and AUB graduate Nick Rowland returns to Bournemouth


  • Alumni
  • |
  • Film Production


Calm with Horses, which stars Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar, is adapted from the short story of the same name by author Colin Barrett. Produced by Daniel Emmerson and Executive Produced by Michael Fassbender, the film follows Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong, who has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father. Torn between these two families, his loyalties are tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2019 and later screened alongside Scorsese’s The Irishman, Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit at London Film Festival.

Nick’s graduation film, Dancing in the Ashes, from the Bournemouth Film School at AUB showcased his drama-directing and writing talents in the engaging and heartbreaking story of a Jewish ballet dancer in WWII. The film was recognised by the Royal Television Society in 2013 when it picked up the award for Best Fiction at the student awards.

Speaking about Nick’s debut film last year, AUB Post Production Coordinator Mark Wilson said: “Nick’s success at Toronto International Film Festival clearly illustrates how the showcasing of smaller features at festivals can have a huge impact; propelling into the spotlight the work of emerging new filmmakers. Nick’s penchant for rich, developed and visceral characters really shines through in his feature film debut – it’s fantastic to see international critical acclaim and praise being heaped on one of our graduates.”

Nick went on to study at the National Film & Television School in London where he directed three short films, including rally-driving drama Group B starring Richard Madden.

Before working on Calm with Horses, Nick directed a number of episodes of TV dramas including BBC’s Ripper Street and Hard Sun.

Lewis Bayley, Bournemouth Film School Industry Liaison, said: “Graduates of Bournemouth Film School (BFS) at AUB go on to work in all areas of the screen industry so it’s always exciting to get the opportunity to hear where our alumni are now. We can’t wait to welcome Nick back to Bournemouth to screen Calm with Horses and deep-dive into conversation about the film and his journey as a filmmaker so far.”

Calm with Horses will screen at the Odeon BH2 in Bournemouth on Tuesday 17th March and feature an in-person Q&A with director Nick Rowland.

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