Tom has been making film and video projects of varying scales and styles for over a decade. Working primarily in the documentary form, he often assumes a shooting director role, and more often than not will be the editor of his own films. Regardless of format or output medium, the goal is alwaysthe same; telling stories honestly, simply and with respect for those in front of the lens.
In 2018, his feature documentary ‘Losing Alaska’ premiered at the IDFA documentary festival in Amsterdam and is currently touring festivals worldwide. In early 2019, his television documentary ‘Shooting the Darkness’ premiered to critical acclaim in Ireland, France and Germany.
Tom is currently working on a slate of factual projects and is an adjunct lecturer in Trinity College Dublin where he teaches ‘Moving Image for Digital Applications’ on the Interactive Digital Media Masters course.
2020- Producer/Editor - “The Afterlife of Pat Ingoldsby” - Currently in development, ‘The Afterlife of Pat Ingoldsby’ is directed by celebrated photographer Seamus Murphy as he conjures up a vision of the life, imagination and poetry of Pat Ingoldsby.
2019- Director/Editor - “Shooting the Darkness”
Funded by ARTE, RTE and BAI, ‘Shooting the Darkness’ tells the story of the local press photographers who covered The Troubles in Northern Ireland and what it cost them to effectively become war correspondents in their own home towns. Premiering on RTE One and ARTE in early 2019.
2018- Director/Editor - “Losing Alaska”
Sitting atop a melting permafrost, battered by coastal erosion and aggressive summer melt waters, Newtok, Alaska is set to be the first American town lost to climate change. This feature documentary funded by the Irish Film Board follows the village of Newtok over a period of 3 years as they try to relocate their community to higher ground. The film premiered at IDFA in Amsterdam in Nov 2018.
2017- Writer/Producer - “Too Old for the Road?”
Documentary following the lives of older Irish motorists as they face concerns including failing eyesight, licence renewal and the possibility they might no longer be fit to drive. First broadcast on RTÉ One, June 2017 achieving an average audience of 346,300 viewers & a 30% share.
2016- Director/Editor - “Shannon Shenzhen”
Collaboration with the photographer Matthew Thompson which explored the links between two very different urban spaces: Shannon in the West of Ireland and the city of Shenzhen in southern China. The resulting film work was shown at the Shenzhen Biennale in 2016 as part of the Irish exhibit.
2014 - Director/Editor - “Bloody Good Headline”
The film focuses on the men who sell the Evening Herald newspaper in Dublin city traffic. In their iconic, highly visible orange uniforms, these migrant workers are seen by so many Dubliners, but are rarely heard from.
2013 - Producer/Editor/DOP “There’s No Charge for the Hat”
Funded by the Irish Film Board’s ‘Reality Bites’ Scheme, this short documentary features Anne and Mick Forde who are the custodians of Father Moore’s Hat, a 200 year old sartorial relic reputed to cure ailments of the head.
2013 - Director/Editor - “Generation Sex”
Commissioned by RTE TWO, this one hour documentary focused on changing sexual attitudes among young Irish people, with particular reference to internet pornography and its effects on those who consume it.
2012 - Director/Editor - “In Bed with the Irish”
‘In Bed with the Irish’ was commissioned by RTÉ Television and aired in February 2012. The programme offers an intimate and light hearted portrait of just how much we share when we share a bed with another person and reveals what happens when Ireland tucks itself in and turns off the lights.
2011 - Director/Editor “The Fisherman”
Funded by the Irish Film Board’s ‘Reality Bites’ scheme, ‘The Fisherman’ is a short documentary about a third generation fisherman in Co. Mayo. The film has screened at the Corona Cork Film Festival, the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and in May 2012 and went on to a successful festival run.
2010 - Producer/Director “The 80s”
Commissioned by the Irish Film Institute for the Ireland on Sunday series, The 80s features octogenarians from all over Ireland holding forth on topics which exercise their minds. They share advice and wisdom earned over a lifetime of hard work, and share their feelings on debt, religion, ageing and the great unknown which awaits them.
2009 - Director/Editor “140 Characters”
Filmed over one week in Dublin city, 140 Characters features people from all sections of society, framed in same way, answering the same question. Some of the answers are funny, some are sad, all are revealing.
2008/9 – Director/Editor 'The Liberties'
A documentary film comprised of 12 portraits of the residents of this unique Dublin community, The Liberties was broadcast on RTE television in September 2009. The film premiered at the Stranger Than Fiction Film Festival in Dublin in June 2009 and went on to achieve critical acclaim in the national media.
2007 – Director/Editor - Sculpting Life: The Work of Rowan Gillespie
Directed/Edited by Tom Burke, Sculpting Life was produced for the RTE Arts Strand and was broadcast as part of the Summer Season 2007. Filmed in over ten countries worldwide, this one hour documentary takes a look at the personal and professional development of the sculptor whose piece “Famine” has made him one of Ireland’s most vital artists.