Zooppa Featured Member: Mia Mullarkey

Mia 1This week’s featured Zoopper comes to us from Dublin, Ireland. Meet Mia Mullarkey, an award-winning filmmaker and founder of Ishka Films! Her “Granby Park” video won 1st place in both the Early Entry and Final Awards of the IBM: People for Smarter Cities campaign. Check out her full interview!


What first interested you in film?

Ireland’s main TV station, RTE, sent a crew to document my family when we lived on a remote island years ago. I was 8 and they asked me to narrate the documentary. That planted the seed. Before that I had a tape recorder and I loved making radio shows, and secretly taping my parents. After that, my dad bought us a camcorder and I made short films with my siblings as the actors.


What drew you to the Zooppa community?

A member of Zooppa contacted me about the IBM/ People for Smarter Cities contest and suggested I enter something, and boy am I glad they did. It’s a super platform for filmmakers starting out who don’t have industry contacts, but have lots of ideas and toys to play with. You can put things together for big brands and if you hit lucky it’s a great career booster.


What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?

I like being able to see other people’s submissions, to get an idea of the standard of work out there and what concepts inspire me or are fashionable (and thus to be avoided). I like being able to make a video without having to create a large pre-production package, although that’s just lazy of me.


What do you like to do when you’re not creating video masterpieces?

I try to see lots of shows, theatre, music, dance, and of course I watch films all the time. I try to get out of the country at least once a year. I used to be a dancer for a few years so I still love an oul boogie.


Where is home for you?

I live in Dublin, Ireland, and I have a film studio here.


Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?

I went to a Jesuit secondary school in Galway (west of Ireland) where I grew up. That was cool because the school had a liberal ethos (no gender division, no uniforms) and I was allowed to be an arty weirdo and a stoner. I did psychology and philosophy in college, which I loved, and that’s definitely a good foundation for becoming a filmmaker. Then I did a one-year MA in film, which gave me all the basics to go off and make movies.


What/where do you find inspiration for your films? Share a bit about your creative process.

I get National Geographic every month and I highly recommend that to everyone on the planet. My boyfriend is a book reviewer so he suggests great books for me to read. So far I’ve been making documentaries and music videos, but this year I started writing a lot. I want to incorporate my knowledge of psychology into my work more. And the obvious source of inspiration is cinema. I have a few favorite directors I try to watch regularly.


Which was your favorite Zooppa contest to participate in? Why?

The People For Smarter Cities contest because I knew straight away what video I would make. And we made the video very quickly with lots of help, because people were happy to get on board. A video about something positive for the world is always fun to make and easy to get collaborators on.


What are you currently working on (job, films)?

I have three music videos I’m directing this summer and two short documentaries in development.


What are you hoping to achieve in the future?

That’s not something you ever want to declare out loud, or at least I usually don’t. One’s dreams for the future are like the mysterious secret that keeps you going no matter what, and speaking them is like diluting them by making them ordinary with words.


Link us to any work/a portfolio that you would like mentioned.

Some award winning pieces:



Some pieces for fun:



Meme E

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *