Directed by Conor McCormack, "Christmas With Dad" is the story of a young man struggling to define himself through fatherhood. AJ is just 23 years old but already a father to seven children, five from his partner's previous relationships. They live on a sprawling council estate on the outskirts of Bristol: an area plagued by unemployment, drugs and anti-social behaviour, where fewer residents go to university than in any other area of the UK.
AJ's tough exterior conceals a sensitive young man, living through some of the defining moments in his life. The family home is full of noise and conflict as seven children compete for space, but amid the chaos young lives are forming. Filmed entirely within the physical setting of home, "Christmas With Dad" follows this most unusual family as they prepare for the festive season and ready themselves for the arrival of an eighth child. With remarkable access and insight, the documentary reveals a young man struggling to define his role as father, haunted by his own childhood and facing up to a very uncertain future.
"Christmas with Dad" premiered at the 62nd Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2008 where it was named the winner of the Scottish Documentary Award. The Jury commented on the very impressive overall quality of the nominated films, particularly "...the extremely high technical standard and the stunning cinematography". The jury felt that the winning film "Christmas with Dad" told: "...a beautifully structured story, introducing the viewer to a situation through subtly observed scenes and gradually revealing unexpected details that combined to produce an unforgettable portrait of a modern family."
In October 2009, "Christmas with Dad" received a nomination for Best British Short Film at the 12th British Independent Film Awards in December 2009, which "celebrate merit and achievement in independent British filmmaking, honouring new talent and promoting British films to a wider public." "Christmas with Dad" is the only documentary to be nominated in this category this year.