Jonathan Romney

Jonathan Romney is a British screenwriter, director and film critic based in London. His latest short L'Assenza was made under the BFI/Lighthouse shorts scheme, and stars Stephen Mangan and Amanda Ryan. It has played at festivals worldwide including New York, London, Morelia (Mexico), Glasgow, Dublin, Palm Springs, Melbourne and Telluride, and was nominated in the Best Shorts category of the 2013 British Independent Film Awards.

He has written and directed two other shorts – A Social Call (2002) and man goes to the doctor and the doctor says…(2001), a single-take film in the Film Four/Dazed and Confused ‘Stop For A Minute’ series of one-minute films. He also wrote the short One Eyed Jacques, directed by Richard Clark (2001).

He has recently co-written the feature History’s Future, directed by Dutch-based artist/film-maker Fiona Tan; currently in post, it was shot in Dublin, Paris, Barcelona and Leipzig, with a cast including Mark O'Halloran, Denis Lavant, Anne Consigny and Manjinder Virk.

Jonathan is the weekly online film critic of, and also writes for Sight & Sound, The Observer, The Guardian, Screen International and others; for 12 years, he was film critic at the Independent on Sunday.

His books on film are: Atom Egoyan (BFI), Short Orders: Film Writing (Serpents Tail) and Celluloid Jukebox: Popular Music and the Movies (ed. with Adrian Wootton, bfi). He is the London Film Festival’s programme adviser on French cinema and in 2007 was decorated Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts and des Lettres by the French government.

He’s currently developing a feature; like L’Assenza, it features elements of pastiched film-within-a-film.

[bio courtesy of the filmmaker] 


Recent Reviews


"L'assenza" is a 20 minute diamond that playfully explores the paradoxical conundrum of the film lover. Life and art do not imitate each other; instead they share a weird symbiosis...


OK, its just a 20 minute short about a guy who sees himself in the background of a movie and becomes obsessed by it with which is strange and even...


Mostly impressive existential panic by way of cinematic obsession, hints of The Twilight Zone much appreciated whilst it parodies Italisn cinema of the '60s (specifically La Notte). Doesn't quite stick...


entertaining enough.


very much like a "twilight zone" episode in concept and pacing, especially the ending. favorite part: watching the film within the film change slightly as the protagonist watched it.