Film, TV & Theatre
Michael Keillor started out directing ads, pop promos and shorts films; Basically if it moved, he shot it. This led to a string of hit shows including SHAMELESS, MR SELFRIDGE, SILK, YOUNG JAMES HERRIOT and, most famously, the award winning third season of LINE OF DUTY.
“It’s stomach-clenchingly tense, visceral, shocking – television best watched in body armour”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian
Michael’s passion for bold and ambitious projects has since drawn him to work with a talented mix of writers who share his appetite for pushing boundaries and entertaining audiences. Most recently working with Jack Thorne to navigate raw emotion and heartbreak of a family facing the toughest decisions in BEST INTERESTS.
*****Guardian *****Daily Mail *****Times
****Telegraph ****Metro ****Independent
****Radio Times ****The Financial Times
“Beautifully directed by Michael Keillor, and the first-rate performances create a viewing experience that is far from easy but entirely absorbing.”
“Scriptwriter Jack Thorne’s stellar reputation for creating believable and poignant dramas from thorny social issues has only been enhanced by this four-part drama which ends with riveting court scenes and a conclusion that will hit you hard in the guts. Stunning.”
Ben Dowell, The Times
“One of the best (although not jolliest) TV dramas of the year.”
James Walton, The Spectator
“In one scene Nicci puts make-up on Marnie’s 11-year-old face — mad, absurd Instagram make-up — so she can go on her first and only date, to the cinema with a boy who fancies her and is also soon to die, so they can sit at opposite ends of a row (for fire safety reasons) in their respective wheelchairs, and love it. There are no words I can write to convey how beautiful a scene it is. It made me gasp. None of this is mawkish. What skill, from Thorne, from Horgan, from Moriarty, from all of them, to set up what they are about to lose, all the better to have us appreciate the unspeakable pain of losing it.”
Hugo Rifkind, The Times
Prior to BEST INTERESTS, Michael directed David Hare’s four-part political drama ROADKILL, charting the rise of a corrupt and self-serving politician, played with ruthless charisma and impeccable charm by Hugh Laurie.
“Good to be reminded of the enduring truths that power corrupts that charisma tells us nothing of a man or woman, that political ambition is rarely purely a craving to serve the public.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
Michael launched JK Rowling’s wounded investigator Cormoran Strike into the canon of world-weary on-screen detectives in STRIKE: THE CUCKOO’S CALLING.
"Vintage and modern, highly watchable and brilliantly cast, Strike is a sure hit"
Matt Baylis, The Express
Returning to political thrillers, Michael then directed CHIMERICA, an ambitious four-part adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood's Olivier winning play, set against the backdrop of the 2016 US Presidential election and the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.
“A strikingly intelligent drama, capturing big ideas without sacrificing story or character, and making the personal political and back again – particularly in the scenes set in China.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
While primarily a director, Michael also writes and develops his own long form projects with all the same energy, drive and originality that informs his filmmaking.
Michael is currently represented in the US by Phil D'Amecourt at WME, and Attorney Michael Schenkman.
2022 - 2023
BBC 1/ Chapter One Pictures
Director and Executive Producer.
The Forge/PBS/BBC 1
Director and Executive Producer
2018 - 2019
Playground Entertainment/Channel 4
Sky One/Hat Trick
YOUNG JAMES HERRIOT
BBC 1/KoCo Media
3 part series about the life of the young Vet.
* Rose D'Or Nominee, 2010.
Executive Producer: Sarah Brown
TOO FAR NORTH
Executive Producer: Derek Wax
Writer and Director. Love on the run with a girl and a gun.
BBC, Scottish Screen & Lighthouse Arts
Writer and Director. 15'. Father and son lost in the Highlands.
UK Film Council, Scottish Screen & Digicult
15'. Life, for a young man and an old soul.
Channel 4 'Coming Up' 2005
Writer and Director. 23'. Gang rivalry tears a friendship apart.