Carl Mackenzie is an ambitious and visionary writer and director who aims to make fresh and dynamic high-concept films with commercial appeal. In 2016, after a successful career in London, Carl made the decision to make a full-time career change to the industry to work as a writer, director and producer under his production company, Lizard King Entertainment. Carl began collaborating on short films and other projects with the industry's top up and coming talent, while honing his craft.
In 2016, Carl wrote, produced and directed short film/TV pilot 'The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan'. The film starred Eva Pope (‘Waterloo Road’, ‘Silent Witness’, ‘Coronation Street’), Ellie Paskell (‘Waterloo Road’, ‘Shameless’) and Cristian Solimeno (‘Footballers’ Wives’, ‘Rush’). The film was screened in a special showcase at BAFTA 195 and was aired as part of the Short Film Show on Showcase TV, where it was awarded Best Fiction/Drama. It was also awarded the Jury Special Mention for Outstanding UK Film at Manchester Film Festival in 2017 and went on to receive nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Eva Pope) at the California Women’s Film Festival in Hollywood, and Best British Short, Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Eva Pope) at the Southampton Film Festival 2018. The film gained worldwide distribution and is available on Amazon Prime and Google Play.
In 2018, Carl was commissioned by new and innovative leadership development company, Claridade, to write, produce and direct promo short film ‘Just a Day’, which explored the lack of empathy in people’s everyday lives. Shot over three days, the film follows Mike, your average city worker going about his daily routine. During his journey to work, Mike encounters people that add to his morning annoyances. What Mike doesn’t see is that these people are facing their own struggles and he might be able to help them, if only he would look a little closer. The film was released through Claridade’s social media channels and gained worldwide distribution and is available on Amazon Prime and Google Play.
Carl is currently in pre-production with debut feature film 'Unseen Scars' which he wrote and is attached to direct and produce. Unseen Scars is due to go into full production in Spring 2021 and is an original and powerful film that highlights the issues faced by returning veterans and those who are suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Having seen first-hand the issues that affect those suffering from PTSD, this film has a personal connection for Carl. The story follows military veteran, James, who on his return from service, has difficulty adapting to civilian life. With the world now very different, James is eventually forced to seek help from psychologist, Dr Simon Kirby. The film is to be produced by the highly regarded Gareth Jones. Throughout his career, Gareth has represented, sold and distributed more than one hundred independent feature films, including ‘Withnail And I’, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and Sundance winner, ‘Secretary’.
Carl is also in development with his second feature film '3 Days in Ibiza' which is scheduled to shoot early 2022.
In addition, Carl was also the founder and CEO of the Chelmsford Film Festival, which he launched in 2017. Chelmsford city’s first ever film festival, Carl was responsible for running and organising the festival, which focussed on promoting local and international talent. One of the highlights of the 2-day festival was presenting the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema. This has been awarded to Alice Lowe ('Sightseers', 'Prevenge'), to Julian Glover ('Game of Thrones', 'Star Wars', 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade') and to Alan Ford ('Snatch'). Through Carl’s work with the festival, he has strived to inspire and educate the next generation of filmmakers in the local community by working closely with the film colleges and universities in the area.
Carl Mackenzie is a member of Directors UK.