IT SOUNDS like the storyline of one of his own movies:

a director arrives for the first time in New York City to see his latest work screened to industry insiders at a trendsetting film festival.

John McPhail does not have to write the script for the rest of this story … this is real life.

That is quite an achievement for a Glasgow man who decided last November to take a year out to concentrate on his big passion, making films.

The 27-year-old's short film, V For Visa, has its North American premiere at Robert de Niro's TriBeCa Film Centre today in the Bootleg Film Festival.

It is the culmination of months of work that has taken him on a tour of the UK film festival circuit, seen his films screened in Canada and America and garnered award nominations along the way.

He said: "I can't wait to see my film being screened. It will be played before the two main feature films at the festival tonight.

"It was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival last month and I didn't think anything could top that - seeing my film at Edinburgh Filmhouse, that's a big deal.

"But to have my film screened at Robert de Niro's cinema in New York is amazing."

The 12-minute film tells the story of an American living in Scotland whose visa is about to expire.

If he is forced to go home he will have to break up his band, so there is only one alternative - get married to the band's stalker.

His ambition is to make the next great British romantic comedy - a Gregory's Girl for the modern age.

He said: "I would like to get Scotland back on the map.

"I make nice, sweet films. Not at all like the way I am. My girlfriend would never say I was romantic, she would laugh at you."

John graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music And Drama's digital film and television course six years ago and specialised in camera and lighting work.

He worked as a camera assistant on films, tele­vision series and adverts but was always looking for something more. After a year in Australia, he started to do more writing.

"I have always been into films, even back when I was at school.

"I loved drama and on school holidays I would have a video camera and be doing narration when I was really young."

Notes, the first film from his Worrying Drake production company, won Best Scottish Film at last year's Bootleg Film Festival.

Another film, Just Say Hi, has been shortlisted for the Virgin Media Shorts competition.