His first feature “Ailsa” won the Euskal Media Award for Best First/Second Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival. His second feature “I Went Down” (BBC films) starring Brendan Gleeson, also won the New Directors at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1997. It also won the Jury Prize, Best Screenplay and Special Mention from the FIPRESCI Jury. At Thessaloniki, Paddy won the Best Director Award and at the Bogota International Film Festival is won Best Film in 1998. The film was selected for Sundance in 1998 and got a US threatical release. It was released internationally in 26 territories worldwide.
In 1997/98 Breathnach produced “Southpaw”, a feature documentary that was selected for Sundance in 1999. It got a US and UK theatrical release. Breathnach then went on to direct “Blow Dry” which was released in the US, UK and Ireland in Spring 2001, for Miramax. It starred Natasha Richardson, Alan Rickman, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Nighy and Josh Hartnett and Rachel Leigh Cook. I was also released worldwide.
His next film was “Man About Dog” which was produced by Robert Walpole and Simon Channing Williams and was released in 2003 becoming one of the most successful independently produced Irish films at the Irish box office. In 2005 he produced “The Mighty Celt” starring Robert Carlyle and Gillian Anderson. Breathnach completed “Shrooms” a horror film set in Ireland in 2006. It was released in the UK in autumn 2007. It became one of the best performing Irish films in the UK in some years. It was released worldwide thereafter opening in the top ten in both Spain and Russia. He completed another horror “Red Mist” in 2008 and is currently working on an adaptation of Conor McPhereson’d play “The Good Thief”. He is also working with Mark O’Halloran on “Perdido Amor” a film set in Cuba.
Breathnach has served on the board of the Dublin International Film Festival and Filmbase, and he was also the Irish Representative of Jury for the European Film Festival, a festival of European Cinema coordinated by the European Parliament.