Some Reviews & Awards



The Hardest Hit, RTE/ October 2018.

Irish Times review


My War on Drugs, TV3 / January 2018 – The Irish Times.

Irish Times interview with Anne Buckley.


Schizophrenia- The Voices In My Head/ The Sunday Times, Liam Fay, 24/09/17

A quietly groundbreaking documentary which laid out the realities of the condition with rare clarity and eloquent candour (…) Most mental-health documentaries are better at eliciting sympathy than empathy. The Voices In My Head, by contrast, was a skilfully immersive experience.


Peter Mc Verry, A View From the Basement


I Am Traveller


 John Joe


We Need To Talk About Pornography / The Sunday Times, Liam Fay, 11/01/15  Would-be serious programme’s about porn are one of TV’s cheapest tricks. They usually turn out to be cynical exercises in barely disguised titillation (..) however Kim Bartley’s series is a worthwhile endeavour. Monday’s opening instalment offered an intelligent often surprisingly frank overview of the subject, exploring it from multiple angles without lapsing into cheerleading or censoriousness. The programme’s most heartening feature was the candour and savvy displayed by its gallery of “ordinary”contributors, male and female.


Girl On The Undercard/ The Irish Independent, John Boland, 30/11/2014
In the week of Katie Taylor’s latest triumph, Kim Bartley’s film, Girl on the Undercard (RTE2), was an absorbing profile of an Irish woman boxer who, in Taylor’s words, “paved the way for the likes of us”. Ten years ago, Bartley made the award-winning The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, an on-the-spot documentary about a failed coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and in its own way her latest film, orginally made for Setanta Sports, was just as vivid and engrossing.


The Scholarship/ The Irish Times, August 31st 2013   – a powerful documentary: warm, nonjudgmental, matter-of-fact.”

The Scholarship/The Irish Times review, Sept 7th 2013   – its director, Kim Bartley, was heard occasionally off camera – hit a perfect observational balance between warmth for the participants and cool pragmatism.

The Scholarship /The Herald, Sept 5th 2013 “It’s a tribute to the warmth of the kids, the richness of their stories and Bartley’s skills as a filmmaker that you find yourself holding your breath for them at every turn.”

The Scholarship/The Sunday Times, Liam Fay, Sept 2013 “Dexterously directed by Kim Bartley, The Scholarship works on multiple levels: social, political and cultural. It is also highly entertaining.”


Faraway Up Close/ The Sunday Times Culture Magazine “Kim Bartley is a bullet dodging film-maker who doesn’t shy from bringing attention to the problems of the world. Bartley has made a career as a film-maker with a cause, whose work is underpinned by a sense of outrage and political and social injustice. Even the new series of Faraway Up Close seems driven by Bartley’s sense of purpose. Looking over her career, it is obvious that Bartley’s concept of “human interest” goes beyond soft-focus shots of starving babies.”


The Revolution Will Not be Televised/ Washington Post Dec 12, 2003. “The handheld, news-breaking immediacy of “Revolution” is intoxicating. You are right in there with the people of Venezuela, good, bad and ugly. And if the structure of the movie is somewhat sketchy, it’s understandable. This was shot, as it were, from the hip. And that’s the kind of white-knuckle filmmaking that makes documentaries more powerful, at times, than dramatic movies. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is an extraordinary piece of electronic history. And a riveting movie.”

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised/ Roger Ebert, a remarkable documentary by two Irish filmmakers that is playing in theaters on its way to HBO. It is remarkable because the filmmakers, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain, had access to virtually everything that happened within the palace during the entire episode. They happened to be in Caracas to make a doc about Chavez, they had access to his cabinet meetings, they were inside the palace under siege, they faced a tense deadline after which it would be bombed, they stayed after Chavez gave himself up to prevent the bombing, they filmed the new government, and there are astonishing shots such as the one where Chavez’s men, now back in power, go down to the basement to confront coup leaders who have been taken prisoner. Why no one on either side thought to question the presence of the TV crew is a mystery, but they got an inside look at the coup — before, during and after — that is unique in film history.” Roger Ebert


 The New Irish: After the Bust, The Independent. The New Irish: After the Bust is tucked away at an unfriendly 8.30pm on Friday evenings, but from the one episode I’ve so far seen, its focus on how immigrants are surviving the economic downturn is deserving of a look. Ainars, a 33-year-old from Latvia, came here when the Celtic Tiger was beginning to roar and spent almost a decade profitably working in construction. The crash, though, saw him homeless for the best part of a year, having become estranged from his partner and two Dublin-born children, and he soon fell victim to alcohol dependency, though he found some refuge in the Capuchin Day Centre, which provides 500 meals a day to the homeless.

Kim Bartley’s film accompanied him as he made a bid for social and economic rehabilitation, though it was dismaying near the end to discover him on yet another round of bingeing. An arresting and sobering film.”


Unsettled- From Tinker to Traveller/ Sunday Times Culture Magazine:Unsettled- From Tinker to Traveller stood out because it offered a more rounded view, allowing travellers themselves to challenge the raft of misconceptions nurtured by Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

“Irish Independent – Weekend Review
This was an affectionate and affecting film.”

Irish Times – Weekend Review 
“…an intriguing, engaging documentary”


Liam Fay, The Sunday Times , 2007
“Directed by Kim Bartley, a superior film-maker, the show (Charlie Bird Explores The Amazon) was undeniably well made and visually dazzling. It was also distinguished by an attempt to delve into the intriguing politics of the river, not least the degrading effects on the region of global warming and commercial exploitation (…)






2018 IFTA Nominations: Best Director & Best Factual Documentary for Schizophrenia, The Voices In My Head.


I Am Traveller – nominated for Best Documentary IFTAs 2016.
The Scholarship- Class of 2018 Nominated for Best Documentary IFTAs 2014. 

The New Irish (2012)

Nominated for TV Iris Award, Prix Europa, October 2012.

Winner, Visual Media – Mama Awards 2012.

Nominated for Best Documentary series, IFTAs 2013.

Tinker to Traveller (2011) – Nominated for Best Documentary IFTAs 2012.

 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

Winner of 12 international awards and 3 nominations.

Theatrically released in US by Vitagraph.


Banff World Television Festival

Global Television Grand Prize & Best Information & Current Affairs 2003.

Chicago International Film Festival, Silver Hugo[53]

ESB Media Awards, Best Documentary & Journalist of the Year

European Broadcasting Union, Golden Link Award (Best Co-Production)

Galway Film Fleadh, Best Documentary

Grierson Awards, Best International Feature Documentary

International Documentary Association, Joint Best Feature Documentary

Leeds International Film Festival, Audience Award

Los Angeles Wine & Country Festival, Best Documentary

Marseille Festival of Documentary Film, Best International Feature Documentary

Monaco International Film Festival

Golden Nymph Award (Best European Current Affairs Documentary)

Peabody Award, Excellence in Television Broadcasting

Prix Italia, Television Documentary

Seattle International Film Festival, Best Documentary


ESB Irish Journalist of the Year Award, 2003.