Wednesday 2nd December
10.00am: Opening Speeches
Gaylene Gould, Creative Director, WriteTalkListen
Conference Master of Ceremonies
Gaylene is a writer, broadcaster, coach and arts consultant. She has worked in the international cultural sector for twenty years and has programmed and produced across every artform and media. She has worked with a range of international organisations including the Toronto International Film Festival, British Film Institute, FILMCLUB, the Museum Service, Hot Docs Film Festival, and the Arts Council England. She has also directed documentaries for television and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s flagship art show Front Row. She is an experienced project director and established the Underground Railroad network to support and profile black British artists and creative entrepreneurs. She is a published writer, has lectured extensively and is currently working on her first novel, The Sacrifice. Gaylene is a qualified coach passing with Distinction from Relational Dynamics. She is a coach for The School of Life and offers consultancy through her company WriteTalkListen which specialises in developing creativity. She has coached artists and arts professionals and worked with organisations such as the National Theatre, Young Vic and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. @WriteTalkListen
Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive, HOME
Dave Moutrey is Director and Chief Executive of HOME formed from the merger of Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company in 2012 and is leading the project to create their new purpose built venue that will open in April 2015. HOME includes 5 cinema screens, education spaces, digital production and broadcast facilities, a 500 seat theatre, 150 seat flexible theatre, 500m2 gallery space, café bar, restaurant, offices and other ancillary spaces consistent with a production centre. It will be a ‘making place’, providing new opportunities for artists and audiences to create work in a different way together, as well as a social and cultural hub. Dave joined Cornerhouse in 1998 after eight years as Director of Arts About Manchester (now All About Audiences) the regional arts marketing and audience development agency. Dave had previously managed the Abraham Moss Centre Theatre in North Manchester. He is a qualified drama teacher and was until recently a practising artist and theatre producer who has worked on over 30 community productions with Greater Manchester based groups. Dave is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. @davemoutrey
10.30am – 11.30am: Keynote Provocations
Marianne Maxwell, Producer, National Theatre of Scotland
Marianne joined the National Theatre of Scotland in January 2006 as Marketing Manager, becoming Audience Development Manager in 2009 and, in 2012, Producer. She has produced the award-winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Dear Scotland and Let The Right One In. Beginning her arts career with 7:84 Theatre Company, Marianne has a strong background in engaging with audiences and participants for touring theatre. Her role at the National Theatre of Scotland involves finding creative ways for new, diverse audiences to discover live theatre, connecting rnnrse audiences to the best artists in the world and building relationships that last. Marianne joined Scotland’s renowned ‘Theatre Without Walls’ at its formation. Since then, she has played key roles in marketing, communication and social media campaigns, led the Company’s branding process, established its Audience Development function, pioneered work in access and equalities, and created and delivered some of its most innovative projects. In 2011, Marianne devised and delivered a totally original digital project called Five Minute Theatre. She continues to develop partnerships with the aim of exploring how to digitise live experiences; crowd source content and build online audiences. @NTS_Marianne
Anna Higgs, executive producer, High Rise, Duke of Burgundy
Anna Higgs is an award-winning producer and commissioner with a unique combination of film and digital experience across film, culture and the arts. Most recently as Head of Digital at Film4, she led groundbreaking innovation with projects including Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth, Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 and Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank. Other credits include the upcoming High-Rise starring Tom Hiddlestone, Sundance-winner Dark Horse and Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy. @AnnaEHiggs
Nick North, Director of Audiences, BBC
Nick leads the Audiences team at the BBC, which comprises planners, researchers and analysts in TV, Radio and Digital; central audience measurement specialists, marketing sciences and brand insight teams; and the Audience Services team handling direct interactions between the BBC and its audience. Nick joined the BBC in September 2014 from GfK where he spent 10 years in the management of its media research and audience measurement businesses, developing new data partnerships and technology acquisitions.
Michael Rosser (chair), News Editor, Screen International & Screendaily.com
Michael Rosser is the News Editor at film industry trade bible Screen International. As well as overseeing the management of Screen’s international network of correspondents and website ScreenDaily.com, which includes sending daily newsletters around the world, Michael edits the news in Screen’s film festival magazines in Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Hong Kong and more. Born in the UK, Michael began his career in newspapers before moving to London to work in the trade magazine business. After writing about marketing for two years, he joined TV trade magazine Broadcast. After two years, Michael left to write for global TV titles including TBI (Television Business International) and C21 International. He returned to Broadcast in 2007 to oversee international coverage and also revamp the magazine’s digital offering, relaunching its website in 2011. A lifelong love of film took Michael to Screen International in 2012, where he relaunched the title’s digital offering as part of an ongoing revamp of ScreenDaily.com and attends film festivals around the world, covering the global movie business..
Simran Hans, Freelance Writer, BFI, BuzzFeed, Little White Lies, Sight & Sound magazine
Simran Hans is a freelance journalist and film programmer specialising in race and gender. She has written for publications including the BFI, BuzzFeed, Little White Lies and Sight & Sound magazine, and has curated and hosted events in partnership with Barbican, BFI, ICO, Little White Lies, MUBI, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Tate and Underwire Festival among others. Currently she is programming and producing The Bechdel Test Fest, an ongoing celebration of films that pass the Bechdel Test and represent women in a positive and progressive light. Find out more about her work at simranhans.com and follow her on Twitter @heavier_things.
Sophie Monks Kaufman, Staff Writer, Little White Lies
I have been staff writer at independent film magazine, Little White Lies, for the last two years. The job can be as inspiring as interviewing my arthouse heroes (Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Joanna Hogg, Xavier Dolan) and as banal as scheduling weekend tweets (kill me now). This year I branched into film programming by producing an event for Bechdel Test Fest. Signe Baumane’s animation about manic depression, Rocks in my Pockets took over my life as I negotiated with zero budget to acquire venue, distribution rights, panel speakers and other logistical necessaries. The sold-out screening at the ICA in August was my proudest professional moment. I occasionally freelance as a person that talks about film. Radio 4’s The Film Show and Barbican Podcast have invited me to contribute. In person I have performed pre-film introductions and post film Q&As at venues like the Picturehouses, the ICA and The Prince Charles. @sopharsogood
Charles Gant, Film Critic, Industry Commentator, Heat, Screen International, The Guardian
Charles Gant is the Film Editor and chief film critic of Heat magazine, the UK celebrity entertainment weekly. His freelance activities include writing two monthly columns for Sight & Sound’s “The Industry” section: “The Numbers”, on arthouse box-office; and “Development Tale”, on a film’s development journey. He writes a weekly UK box-office commentary for theguardian.com and another on the specialised exhibition sector for the BFI-backed Film Audience Network of independent cinemas. He is the UK Critic for trade paper Screen International and reviews films for Grazia and Picturehouse Cinemas’ magazine. He appears from time to time on Radio 4’s “The Film Programme”, presented by Francine Stock. Charles has served on the jury for the EE Rising Star Award since its inception, and on juries for BAFTA and Berlinale Shooting Stars. He votes in the British Independent Film Awards and London Critics’ Circle Film Awards. @charlesgant
Kevin Bourke, Arts writer and broadcaster, The Big Issue, Manchester Evening News
Kevin Bourke is an Arts Writer and Broadcaster based in the North West of the U.K. He was Film Editor of the country’s biggest-selling regional newspaper for nearly twenty years and is now a freelance contributor to broadcast, print and online outlets, including BBC Breakfast TV, BBC Radio, The Big Issue, Songlines, R2, Northern Soul, Creative Tourist, Manchester Confidential, No Depression and many more, as well as a consultant for festivals and agencies. He is very proud of his seat dedication in HOME’s Cinema 2. @bourke2Dfuture
Kate Taylor (chair), Film Programmer, BFI London Film Festival
Kate Taylor is a Film Programmer at the BFI London Film Festival. Prior to this she worked as exhibition and distribution officer for the Independent Cinema Office, programming for several arthouse cinemas across the UK and distributing independent films. Having co-founded and directed the London Short Film Festival from 2003-2009, she went on to work as Festival Director for the Abandon Normal Devices festival of new cinema and digital culture, and present the city-wide art programme for FutureEverything in Manchester, UK. Her freelance activities have included curating Project: New Cinephilia, a partnership with MUBI and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Kate also curates screenings and film culture discussion events as She Shark Industries, dedicated to switching audiences on with eclectic independent film programming. Everyone to the cinema. @sheshark
Ellen Tejle, Director, Bio Rio / A-Rate
Ellen Tejle, 31 years old from Sweden, Director of Cinema Rio in Stockholm since 2008. Been a member of Sweden’s equivalent of the Oscars jury for three years. An entrepreneur who is attracted to combine politics and culture, such as the A-rate campaign about representation in film. @ellentejle @A_rate_
Joan Parsons, Senior Programmer, Showroom Workstation
Joan is a life-long cinema fan, having worked in all areas of cinema operations and programming. As Senior Programmer, Joan is responsible for managing the film programme of the Showroom, its educational and cultural outputs and multiple partnerships. Joan was the festival director for Showcomotion festival for children and young people from 2011 to 2013, and has curated many seasons and projects at the Showroom. Throughout the last year, via her role as a member of the Film Hub North Cultural Leadership team, Joan has curated and managed ‘The Time Is Now,’ a major national project supported by the BFI, Pathe and Fox Searchlight, which celebrates the rights and fights of women on screen. Joan has a degree in Film Studies from Sheffield Hallam University. @joan_parsons @timeisnow15 @showroomcinema
Corrina Antrobus, Director / Film Journalist, The Bechdel Test Fest
Corrina Antrobus: Founder and director of Bechdel Test Fest – a roaming film festival celebrating positive representation of women in cinema. London-based film journalist for Huffington Post, The F Word, Virgin Movies and Sight & Sound and regular panellists and host at film festivals including Sheffield Doc Fest, Underwire, East London Film Festival, LFF and Cinema For All. @corrinacorrina
Ian Forrester, Senior “Firestarter” Producer, BBC R&D
Ian Forrester also known as @cubicgarden on twitter, is a well known and likeable character on the digital scene in the UK. He has now made Manchester, UK his home, where he works for the BBC’s R&D north lab. He focuses on open innovation and new disruptive opportunities via open engagement and collaborations with startups, early adopters and hackers. His current research is into the area of Future Narrative and Storytelling, with a technology he calls Perceptive Media. A new kind method of broadcasting, which pairs the best of broadcast with the best of the internet to create an experience like sitting around a camp fire telling stories. Interestingly this also crosses over into internet of things too. @cubicgarden
Jim Dummett, Director, Cinebox
Jim has been working on the tech side of cinema for a decade, in roles ranging from online editor on BBC documentaries, to building pop-up cinemas in the mud-splattered fields of Glastonbury Festival. Last year he took on the job of technical manager for London Short Film Festival, the first year the festival went 100% DCP. With 440 films over 10 days, it nearly killed him, but he’s returned to the fray for LSFF this year.
Dallas King, Marketing And Events Manager, Belmont Filmhouse
Dallas has over twelve years of experience working in the independent cinema sector. In 2003 he joined the Belmont Picturehouse in Aberdeen as a duty manager and 35mm projectionist, working his way up to the position of General Manager. In 2014, the cinema became the Belmont Filmhouse when it became part of the Centre For The Moving Image and he is now responsible for developing the marketing and events side of the business. He recently published his first book Ext. New York City – Discover The Reel New York On Location, a film book and travel guide to film locations in New York. @ChampCelluloid @BelmontFh
Diane Henderson (chair), Deputy Artistic Director, Edinburgh International Film Festival
A graduate of photography from Edinburgh’s Napier University, Diane first became involved in cinema exhibition in the 1980s through various roles at Filmhouse; one of the UK’s foremost independent Art-house cinema venues and home to the Edinburgh International Film Festival. In 1992 she took up a post at Edinburgh College of Art, and as the curator of the College’s year-round Exhibition programme worked with a wide range of artists from the UK and beyond. Then followed a period running Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema before a period buying and selling European documentaries as part of CinemaNet Europe. She took up her current post at Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2006. Diane is a voting member of Bafta UK and has served on the juries of various international film festivals. @edfilmfest
Ben Luxford, Director of Audiences, BFI
Ben worked in the UK Independent distribution sector for 10 years, releasing commercial, crossover and specialised titles (all of them great) into the UK market for companies such as Optimum Releasing (now Studiocanal UK), Artificial Eye and Koch Media. He has worked on over 200 titles including selling films such as This is England, Son of Rambow, Pan’s Labyrinth and We Need to Talk About Kevin into UK cinemas as well as overseeing all aspects of distribution for films including All This Mayhem, Amour, The Selfish Giant, The Great Beauty, Blue is the Warmest Colour and Le Week-end. @bluxford
Jon Barrenechea, Project Development Manager/Management Board Member, Picturehouse Cinemas/Film Hub South East
Jon Barrenechea is Project Development Manager for Picturehouse Cinemas, responsible for opening new cinemas and developing new projects. He also sits on the Management Board for Film Hub South East and on the Board of the Cinecity Brighton Film Festival. Previously, Jon was the General Manager of the Duke of York’s Picturehouse in Brighton, the UK’s oldest cinema. He is the Executive Producer of the award-winning documentary Hand Gestures, released in the UK in 2015. A former wannabe filmmaker, Jon studied film in New York City and worked in film production. @splendorcinema
Jason Wood, Artistic Director of Film at HOME and Visiting Professor at MMU, HOME, MMU
Formerly Director of Programming at Curzon, Jason has over 22 years experience in the independent sector. A board member of the Film and Video Umbrella, he has had his writing published in numerous periodicals and is the author of 10 works on cinema, the most recent of which is Faber’s New British Cinema. @jwoodfilm
Mel Larsen, Mel Larsen & Associates
Mel Larsen is an experienced market researcher, entrepreneur and coach and has worked in the arts, culture and small business sectors for over 20 years. Much of Mel’s work as a consultant has focused on supporting arts and cultural organisations in developing new and increased audiences. Her clients have included Arts Council England, The Australian Arts Council, Audiences London, CARIFORUM, Creative New Zealand, Audiences Central, Film and Video Umbrella, The British Council, The Royal Opera House, and StillArt in Sweden. Mel has also founded and led several community focused projects such as the Streatham Festival, an annual event in South London, for which she received a Lambeth Civic Award. She is author of ‘Arts Ambassadors: a practical guide’, published by Arts Council England. @deamprojectors
Annabel Grundy (chair), Arts & Events Producer
Annabel is a project manager, programme producer, arts marketeer and events expert working in UK film exhibition, education and creative industry development since 2002. In 2014-15, she spent a year working with Creative Skillset delivering industry engagement programmes for film, animation, games digital media and VFX. She has in the past worked as Film Adviser at the British Council promoting and showcasing UK film and filmmakers across the globe; Festival Producer for the East End Film Festival; Curator and Coordinator of industry programmes and services at both London and Edinburgh International Film Festivals. She likes helping creative people make things happen and her favourite films are La Grande Belleza, Strictly Ballroom, The Tulse Luper Suitcases and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Phil Dove, Head of UK Operations, The Light Cinemas
With a background in hospitality (Hope St Hotel Liverpool, Hilton Manchester Deansgate), Phil was invited by Light Cinema to lead the opening of their new UK cinemas with a brief to instill outstanding customer service in the teams, promote staff retention and create multi screen cinemas which genuinely reflect the needs & desires of local communities. His focus now is on consistent standards across the portfolio, the launch and maintenance of the Infinity membership scheme and recruitment & training for all new Light Cinemas. There are three Light Cinemas to date, and four cinemas will open in 2016 (Bolton, Walsall, Addlestone & Thetford) with a further nine sites signed off beyond that.
Marianne Maxwell, Producer, National Theatre of Scotland (see above bio)
John Summers, Chief Executive, Hallé Concerts Society
Chief Executive of the Hallé since 1999, John Summers was formerly Chief Executive of the Northern Sinfonia. He studied the cello at Trinity College of Music. While working as a freelance cellist with the Northern Sinfonia he was appointed to the management finally ending up as Chief Executive in 1989. Since joining the Hallé he has been responsible for a number of initiatives, including a significant expansion of the Education and Ensemble Programme, and the setting up of the Hallé’s own recording label. He was a member of the Board of the Association of British Orchestras from 1991, and in 1995 was appointed Chairman through until 1998. John was Lead Adviser for Music to the Arts Council of England from 2003–2005 and is currently President of the Lakeland Concerts Society. @the_halle @Hallesum
Richard Shaw (chair), Director, Marketing, Communications & Audiences, BFI
Richard Shaw, Director of Marketing, Communications and Audiences leads the BFI’s marketing, communications and audience teams, working across venues, DVD label, theatrical distribution, festivals and BFI Lottery Film funding. He began his career at Hull New Theatre where he was marketing manager for two years. In the mid 80s he joined the National Theatre as promotions manager, before moving to the English National Ballet in 1989 to become Director of Marketing and subsequently Deputy Executive Director. He joined the Royal Opera House as Director of Marketing to lead on marketing and public engagement strategy for the refurbishment and launch of its Covent Garden flagship building. For 10 years prior to joining BFI he was Executive Producer and Head of Development at Lion Television where he developed and created content for UK and international broadcasters.
Eleanor Thornley, Film Hub Manager, Film Hub Central East/ Broadway Nottingham
Eleanor has worked in film exhibition for 11 years, starting as an usher and working most extensively in events, education & engagement. She is currently the Manager at Film Hub Central East, part of the BFI Film Audience network based at Broadway Nottingham. An unrepentant lover of cinema, she still gets excited every time the lights go down in the auditorium. @filmhubCE
Clare Sydney, Director of Marketing & Communications, HOME
Clare spent 13 years in London leading managing major marketing, rebranding and cultural change campaigns in the public, private and charitable sectors, before heading back to the north and the arts in 2010 as Head of Marketing & Communications at Cornerhouse. She became HOME’s Director of Marketing & Communications in 2015 and now manages the marketing, PR, audience development and research strategies for venue, which has received over 400,000 visitors since it opened in May. @clare4471
Ed Richardson, Co-founder, vot.io & Beautiful Everything
With 20 years of delivering projects that started in IT infrastructure Ed has a very good understanding of how technology can be used to help solve problems and improve experiences however complex, but without losing focus on the most important element, human interaction. Over the years he has delivered global projects for PlayStation, Umbro and Dr. Martens; assisted with brand and digital strategy for first direct, blinkbox, Oxfam, Fox’s Biscuits, AXA PPP and many smaller brands and businesses. The work has included websites, social, apps, advertising, digital infrastructure (incl. physical space installations), digital products and experiences in public spaces. He now uses his passion for improving experiences to help Beautiful Everything, the experience design consultancy he co-founded, and also the product he co-created, vot.io. vot.io has been developed with a particular focus on improving film experiences for both audience members and film screening organisers. When not working on digital experiences Ed is usually found in the great outdoors either fell running or biking in the hills. @digitalsignals @btflevrthng
Andy Young, Creative Director, Snook
Andy is a design and innovation consultant, an ideas person with a passion for start ups and entrepreneurship. He works across the private, public and third sector designing for customer experience and has a particular interest in making things happen at the intersection point between service design and technology. Andy’s expertise as a service designer, prototyper and his background in product design mean his capabilities extend across the full spectrum of design. He believes in asking difficult questions and challenging why things are the way they are. Andy listens to people with great sensitivity and skill and makes it simple for them to tell stories about the challenges and issues they are facing in their life and work. Andy’s flair is in how he works with people to turn their challenges into solutions – be that with individuals, or multinational organisations. @_andyyoung @wearesnook
Jemma Desai (curator / chair), I am Dora, Independent Cinema Office
Jemma is a film programmer at the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) and a freelance programmer for BFI London Film Festival. She is also the Founder of I am Dora, a curatorial initiative that explores female identification through the medium of film. @dorabyjemma
George Amponsah, director, The Hard Stop.
George Amponsah is a critically-acclaimed director who has made numerous documentaries, including features such as The Fighting Spirit (2007), about boxers from Ghana in pursuit of the American dream, and The Importance of Being Elegant (2004), about a bizarre cult of fashion led by the flamboyant Congolese singer Papa Wemba. Amponsah’s documentaries have been featured at numerous film festivals around the world. He became an obsessive maker of super 8 movies while at Art College in the early nineties. It was clear to him that he could explore questions about identity through filmmaking. This culminated in a post-graduate film that won him a scholarship to attend the documentary course at Britain’s National Film and Television School. Since then, George has won prestigious awards from the Post Office, the BBC, Kodak and The Royal Television Society. His career in television has seen him working with some of Britain’s most prolific television production companies, making numerous documentaries for mainstream broadcasters such as BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky 1. George was one of the first filmmakers to produce work for the Guardian Newspaper’s ground breaking website and has since made many online films for the Guardian’s £2.5 million fundraising initiative in Uganda: The Katine Project. George is currently in production on his latest feature length documentary (backed by Sundance Institute and BFI). Tottenham Born follows 2 of the closest friends of Mark Duggan, the man whose death at the hands of the police sparked the UK riots of 2011. Alongside the film work he continues to work as a documentary tutor with young people, using digital video as a tool with which to express views from outside the mainstream.
Maria Panagiotidi, research psychologist, Arctic Shores
Maria Panagiotidi is a research psychologist at Arctic Shores, a Manchester based start-up designing innovative science-driven games to measure personality traits. Her role involves translating findings from applied psychology, behavioural economics, and cognitive neuroscience to mobile games. She recently completed a PhD in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests include cognitive psychology/neuroscience, gamification, big data, and creativity. Biography coming soon. @mariapage
Guy Lodge, Journalist, Variety, The Observer
Guy Lodge is a South African-born film journalist. He is currently the chief UK critic for Variety and writes a weekly home entertainment column for The Observer. He holds an MA in screenwriting from the London Film School. @GuyLodge
Thursday 3rd December
Carol Morley, Filmmaker
Carol’s critically acclaimed hybrid feature Dreams of a Life, about 38 year old Joyce Vincent, who lay dead in her flat unnoticed for nearly three years, was released in the UK by Dogwoof, and acquired by Strand Releasing for North America. It was nominated for many Best Documentary awards in 2012 including , Grierson, Evening Standard and London Critics Circle. The Falling, released this year in the UK by Metrodome to critical acclaim, is a BFI and BBC production, starring Maisie Williams and Maxine Peake, and explores an outbreak of mass fainting in a girls school in 1969. She is currently writing a screenplay for BFI and BBC films set in Atlanta and based on a Major British writer’s novel. @_CarolMorley
Ben Roberts, Director of BFI Film Fund
Ben Roberts is the Director of the BFI Film Fund, the UK’s largest public film fund. He is responsible for overseeing the BFI’s wide-ranging support for talent development, feature film development and production, and international activity. He has 15 years film industry experience across international sales, studio acquisitions, UK distribution and film finance gained from his time as CEO of Protagonist Pictures since 2007, and before that at Universal Pictures International and the independent UK distributor Metrodome. @bfiben
Catharine Des Forges, Director, Independent Cinema Office
Catharine is the Director of the Independent Cinema Office, the UK’s national support organisation for film exhibitors and an organisation she founded in 2003. Their activities include offering programming advice and booking services to a network of cinemas and festivals, national and international training programmes and a national calendar of events for exhibitors including the indispensable Screening Days programme. Catharine has spent over 20 years working in the exhibition sector for a variety of organisations including the BFI, National Film Theatre and Arts Council England. She has worked as a freelance programmer and arts consultant and programmed for festivals and cinemas both in the UK and internationally. She has lectured on film at a number of UK universities, is a regular contributor to industry events and sits on the Film Skills Council at Creative Skillset advising on the training and development needs of the independent exhibition sector. @icotweets
Agnieszka Moody, Director, Creative Europe Desk UK
Agnieszka Moody is the Director of Creative Europe Desk UK, a promotion and information office of the European Union’s funding programme Creative Europe, led in the UK by the British Film Institute and British Council. Previously the Director of MEDIA Desk UK, Agnieszka has helped over four hundred British companies secure funding for their projects from the EU and also organised a range of industry events and conferences promoting international cooperation. A graduate of the Film Production Department of the renowned Polish National Film and Television School in Lodz, she has worked on several feature films including Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.
Damian Spandley, Head of Theatrical, TV & New Media, Metrodome Distribution
Damian heads up Metrodome Distribution’s theatrical and TV & new media divisions having joined the company in 2013. Metrodome is an award-winning fully integrated rights management and distribution business, which provides its industry expertise to maximise revenues for producers of film and TV content across all distribution platforms in the UK and Ireland. In 2014, Metrodome launched an international sales arm alongside a new slate of Metrodome’s own in-house productions. In the last 12 months at Metrodome, Damian has managed the release of a diverse slate of theatricals that has included What We Do In The Shadows, Wong Kar Wei’s The Grandmaster, Mommy, The Falling and François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend. Upcoming titles include Tangerine and Terence Davies’ Sunset Song. And in the TV & new media space, Damian oversees the sale for broadcast and placement of over 50 titles a year with a broad range of broadcast, VOD and EST partners.
James King, Theatrical Sales Manager, Curzon Artificial Eye
After working as a freelance script reader and a stint doing theatrical sales for independent distributors Verve Pictures, New Waves Films and Arrow Films, James moved to the Institute of Contemporary Arts London where he ran the Film and Cinema Departments for two years. James then briefly worked in the BFI’s distribution department before joining Curzon Artificial Eye as Theatrical Sales Manager, where he tries to get exhibitors to play better films. @JamesGreeneKing
Katie Ellen, Senior Manager, BFI Film Fund
Katie Ellen is Senior Manager in the BFI Film Fund, responsible for the UK Audience Funds (including Distribution, Exhibition and Film Festival support) which are designed to connect audiences with a wider range of British and independent films. Recent projects include the successful releases of The Lobster, Wild Tales and The Falling as well supporting new marketing and alternative release strategies behind Cartel Land, Dior & I, 20,000 Days on Earth and Nymphomaniac She is also responsible for Film Export strategy and support, including the Film Export Fund for sales agents, and the US Distribution pilot scheme. Prior to working at the BFI, Katie worked at the UK Film Council in Distribution & Exhibition, and in production in New Cinema Fund at UKFC and at Myriad Pictures. She came to film from a background in finance.
Madeleine Probst, Watershed/Film Hub South West West Midlands/Europa Cinemas.
Madeleine Probst is the Cinema Programme Producer at Watershed in Bristol, a cross art form venue and producer, sharing and developing and showcasing exemplary cultural ideas and talent. She manages the Film Hub South West and West Midlands as part of the British Film Institute’s Film Audience Network and produces a portfolio of projects including DepicT! short film competition as part of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival and Conversations About Cinema, a BFI Film Audience Network initiative opening up up issues, debates and discussion through film. She has directed several international Europa Cinemas Audience Development Innovation Labs in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Mexico and Japan and is currently Vice-President of Europa Cinemas. Prior to this, she worked for Vital Distribution, the leading UK provider of sales, marketing and distribution services to over 75 independent music labels (vitaluk.com) FFI: visit: watershed.co.uk. @wshed @MaddyProbst
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive, Screen Yorkshire
Sally is Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire and for the last decade has been responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction. She joined the newly-created Screen Yorkshire in 2002 as its first Head of Industry Development, delivering new sector initiatives to boost company growth. She took over as CEO of in 2006 and guided the company through a period of significant expansion. When the network of screen agencies closed in 2011, Sally again restructured the company, relaunching it as a private business specialising in commercial content investment in film, TV and games. To date the Yorkshire Content Fund has invested in over 30 productions, including Peaky Blinders, Death Comes to Pemberley, ’71, Testament of Youth, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and, to be released in 2016, The Hunter’s Prayer and the feature film remake of Dad’s Army.
Andrew Ormston, Director, Drew Wylie Projects
Andrew is Director of Drew Wylie Projects, working to support development across the cultural and creative industries. He works across Europe with governments, agencies, cities, arts organisations, creative businesses and Higher Education. He is a cultural expert working with the European Commission, the Council of Europe Compendium, international projects and agencies. Andrew is a Board member of Berwick Film Festival (BFMAF), NN Contemporary Art, SURF regeneration network. and Critical Friend to the Creative People and Places programme. He directed a number of festivals and venues prior to leading cultural services in Birmingham and London, establishing FILM Birmingham and the Urban Fusion Capital of Culture legacy programme. Andrew regularly publishes and presents papers about topical issues in the sector, is a Fellow of the RSA and holds a MSc in Arts, Environment and Culture from the University of Edinburgh. Current projects include European Capital of Culture preparations, venue network development and new models of rural creativity. @drewwylieltd
Shona Thomson (chair, contributor) Curator, producer. A Kind of Seeing
Shona is a curator and creative producer facilitating and delivering successful cultural participation projects across cinema, live music and sound art under the banner of A Kind of Seeing. With a focus on shared heritage, A Kind of Seeing projects are collaborations with clients, artists and communities reaching audiences across Scotland and internationally. Until June 2015, Shona produced the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in Bo’ness which has become a key event in the UK cultural calendar. Currently, Shona is producing Made in My Toun, a Scottish archive film tour within BFI’s Britain on Film programme, and is International Projects Officer for Festivals Edinburgh, supporting the city’s twelve major festivals to develop and sustain their position as the world’s leading Festival city. Projects in development include: a live music and cinema tour of Scottish fishing communities with international beatboxer Jason Singh; and Sensing Place, an action research project identifying new models for creative participation in remote communities. @Urbantwitcher
Grant Keir, Producer, Faction North Ltd
Grant develops and produces film, TV drama, documentary and cross platform projects with a range of national and international partners. Recent productions at his Edinburgh based production company, Faction North, include: ‘From Scotland with Love’, (2014) archive and music feature documentary for BBC Scotland and Creative Scotland, distributed by Park Circus: “hypnotic”, The Independent; “hugely affecting”, The Guardian; “spellbinding”, Radio Times‘A Very Unsettled Summer’, (2013) feature film co-production, with finance from Film I Vast (Sweden), BBC Scotland and CNC Romania, writer/director Anca Damian, (BBC2 Scotland September 2014, Warsaw & Goteborg International Film Festivals 2014);‘Takeaway’, short documentary, for SDI Productions & Creative Scotland, director Yu-Hsueh Lin, (Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2012). @grantkeir @factionnorth
Virginia Heath, Writer/Director, Faction North, Sheffield Hallam University
Virginia Heath is a multi award winning writer and director with UK and New Zealand nationality. She has recently finished directing the BAFTA Scotland nominated feature length archive and music documentary From Scotland With Love (75’) which has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from press and public alike – “hypnotic” The Independent; “hugely affecting” The Guardian; “spellbinding” The Radio Times.Her short film Relativity (10’) won ‘Best Short Film’ at the Berlin International Film Festival (2002) and was nominated for the European Film Academy Awards. She won a National Film Board of Canada Cross Media Challenge Award (2009) for the powerful My Dangerous Loverboy Film and Cross Platform Project about the sex trafficking of teenagers. @virginiaheath
Heather Maitland, Arts Consultant
Heather Maitland is an arts consultant, author, trainer and Associate Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick. Heather has worked as a marketer for a wide range of arts organisations and supported over 100 arts organisations as head of two of the UK’s audience development agencies including working closely with Cinelincs, one of the first cultural cinema consortia. Her current projects include benchmarking cinema audiences in the Republic of Ireland, working on audience development with 32 contemporary music ensembles in 18 EU countries and helping the Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester create an audience development action plan. Heather has nine books on arts marketing and audience development to her credit and writes a regular column for the Journal of Arts Marketing. She has delivered over 200 seminars and workshops around the world.
Phoenix Fry, Creative coordinator, Cinema Forever, Deptford Film Club
Phoenix is a freelance film programmer and event project manager. His projects include Deptford Film Club, YouTube Cat Video Film Festival, Design on Film, Mondo Pop, Nollywood Now and New Cross + Deptford Free Film Festival. In 2014 he was project manager for the UK-wide BFI Sci-Fi season. At the time of writing, he is planning a series of ‘immersive’ screenings at his local wave pool. @deptfordfilm
Katie Bruce, Producer Curator, Glasgow Life – Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)
Lives and works in Glasgow. Katie Bruce is Producer Curator at the Gallery of Modern Art, GoMA, Glasgow, where she has worked for the past 12 years. In her previous role, Social Inclusion Coordinator, September 2002 – February 2012, she worked on the outreach projects and artist residencies for the Social Justice Biennial programmes. Recent curated exhibitions and programmes have explored play, health and participatory artist practice, alongside the works in Glasgow Museums’ Collection. She is the curator of exhibitions at the gallery including PLOUGH, with Rachel Mimiec (2013): Alasdair Gray Season: Spheres of Influence 1 (2014/15); Dark Days with Ellie Harrison (13 -14 February 2015): Moving Images Season with Katy Dove and Clyde Reflections (April – July 2015 ) and Ripples on the Pond (1 May 2015 -24 April 2016) exploring intersections of women artists’ practice on paper and film. Bruce is interested in the expanded field of curatorial practice and institutional models which led to programming the Internet Cat Video Festival at the gallery in 2015, following on from her work with play, encounter and participation in a key exhibition ATELIER PUBLIC (2011, and re-presented in 2014). Some these lines of inquiry are documented on her blog. www.playablespaces.wordpress.com. @myplayspace @GlasgowGoMA
Kate Taylor (chair), Film Programmer, BFI London Film Festival
(see above for bio)
Selina Robertson, Film curator, researcher and writer, Club Des Femmes
Selina Robertson has worked for over 15 years in the film industry. She worked at the BFI in Production, Sales and Exhibition from 1998-2003. From 2002-2005 she co-programmed BFI Flare. In 2005 she became a freelance film programmer and writer. In 2007 she co-founded Club Des Femmes, a queer feminist film curating collective and she moved to Berlin. From 2007-2012 she was Programme Director of Britspotting in Berlin. In 2010, she joined the Soho House Group, working for Soho House Berlin as Head of Cinema. From 2012-2015 she worked at the ICO as Senior Programmer. She currently works as freelance film curator and writer and in October 2015 began a PhD at Birkbeck researching London queer feminist film curating practices and the link to political activism from 1979-to present. @clubdesfemmes
Paul Ridd, London Cinemas & Acquisitions Coordinator, Picturehouse Cinemas
Paul Ridd works closely with Picturehouse Programming & Acquisitions Director Clare Binns on the Programming and day to day running of the key London sites East Dulwich, Clapham, The Ritzy and Picturehouse Central. He also works on acquisition for the company’s distribution arm, Picturehouse Entertaiment, with recent release titles including The Connection, Dark Horse and The Lobster. Alongside Docs expert Chris Harris, he programmes the company’s specialist film strand Discover Tuesdays, a company-wide showcase for the very best in World Cinema, Art House and Documentary. @PaulRidd
Gabrielle Jenks, Director, Abandon Normal Devices
Gabrielle Jenks is the Director of Abandon Normal Devices. She was previously at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and is a creative producer and film programmer interested in interdisciplinary practice. An advocate for the role of festivals in supporting emerging talent and practice she has over 10 years of curating and programming work for a number of diverse organisations like the tate, Liverpool Biennial, Google, Siemens and the BBC. She is executive producer of feature films by Gillian Wearing and AL&Al and has worked extensively with internationally established artists like Eva and Franco Mattes, the Yes Men, Oneohtrix Point Never and Rafael Lozano Hemmer. She sits on the UK advisory group for Rhizome. @gabrielle_jenks
Rhidian Davis, Cultural Programme Manager, BFI
Rhidian Davis is a curator and writer and has been based at the BFI for ten years. As Cultural Programme Manager he has marshalled the collaborative forces behind major BFI projects including KINO: Russian Film Pioneers (2011), ‘The Genius of Hitchcock’ (2012), ‘Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film’ (2013), ‘Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder’ (2014) and ‘LOVE’ (2015). He was previously at the Lux Centre for Film, Video and Digital Arts, running Pandaemonium: Biennial of Moving Images 2001 and the Critical Images series of interrogations of convergent media, and spent two years with GDIF producing giant outdoor cross-artform events across London, including the Mayor of London’s Trafalgar Square programme. @rhidiandavis
Lisa Brook, Director, Live Cinema
Lisa is the director of Live Cinema UK: the country’s only organisation focused on bringing artists, exhibitors, distributors and producers closer together to create amazing experiential cinema. She recently acquired funding from Arts Council England to conduct the world’s first industry research into live cinema. Live Cinema also offers a full range of services for UK film events and festivals including event planning, PR and marketing, design, social media, fundraising and development, and programming. Lisa works with clients and partners across the UK including the BFI Film Audience Network, Sneaky Experience, Leeds International Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Bradford City of Film and the National Media Museum, with collaborating live soundtrack artists including DJ Yoda, British Sea Power, Public Service Broadcasting and Asian Dub Foundation. Prior to establishing Live Cinema UK, Lisa held senior positions at Leeds International Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest. @livecinemauk @lisa_brook
Tony Jones, Director, Cambridge Film Trust
Tony Jones has been involved in cinema programming since 1968 – founding the much loved Arts Lab in Birmingham. From Birmingham, he moved to Cambridge Arts Cinema in 1978 and ran the Cambridge Film Festival from year 5 through to the present day. He co-founded City Screen in 1989 – building up the Picturehouse chain to 16 sites. He left City Screen in 2005, but continued programming the Arts Picturehouse Cambridge and the Film Festival. In 2012, after the sale of Picturehouses to Cineworld, he has continued to programme the Festival from the Picturehouse. In 2014 he took over the Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds and is currently restoring the original cinema as a 180 luxury seat screen in addition to its 117 & 71 seat screens. The Cambridge Film Festival celebrated its 35th edition this year and was critically well received – but with over 150 programmes proved a difficult and challenging programme for the public! – The Festival has always presented retrospectives and seasons, as well as contemporary German and Catalan film and Micro Cinema – curated for Cambridge by James Mackay and Will Fowler. The Victor Sjostrom short season was very well received and, as usual, allows the Festival to celebrate Silent cinema, with an especially adapted projector and projection booth for the college venue. The Cambridge Festival closed this year with the premiere of ARENA NIGHT AND DAY – a continuous 24 hour programme commencing at @ 12noon o Sun 13th – Mon 14th @ 12 noon, entirely comprised of Arena recordings at the precise time, and seamlessly put together by Anthony Wall and Emma Matthews to celebrate 40 years of Arena. Not satisfied with conventional screenings, Tony has long been a champion of Drive in Cinema, projections in spectacular locations and boutique 2k screenings – recently presenting SUFFRAGETTE to over 80 MP’s in Portcullis House and CHEF to an audience of foodies in the Truman Brewery. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of 2001 the Festival presented an outdoor 70mm projection at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. These projects are now presented with DCI equipment and always with full back up. Cambridge Film Trust has presented in a wide range of locations, Wells, Ely and Canterbury Cathedrals, Trafalgar Sq, Kirkstall Abbey, Bletchley Park, and many National Trust locations and the annual Bank Holiday simultaneous screenings at Grantchester using its own transmitters, radio licences and headphones, screens and DCI Projection. These events provide an invaluable stream of funds for the Film Trust and the Trust has a well earned reputation for its commitment and quality of presentation.
2.30pm – 3.30pm: Data is Beautiful, Honest. (Cinema 2)
Alex Wood, Product Manager EMEA, Veezi
Veezi is a cloud based cinema management tool for the independent cinema market which is part of the Vista Group. Alex leads the London-based Veezi team which manages Veezi across the EMEA region. Alex graduated with a History and Ancient History degree from the University of Leicester, before joining Bauer Media where he spent 5 years on the radio team. Alex joined Vista as an Applications Consultant in 2013 where he worked with the London and international teams on services and projects throughout EMEA and was particularly involved in Vista’s first introduction to the Russian territory. In 2014, he was selected to take over the management of Veezi in the EMEA region and to focus on providing great ticketing solutions to the Indie Cinema market. Veezi’s success in the EMEA market has been due to Alex’s dedication to the product and his love of Indie Cinema.
Jonathan Fletcher, Co-founder, vot.io & Beautiful Everything
Jonathan has over 15 years’ industry experience working in integrated and digital brand communications. Starting his career by helping first direct manage the seismic shift from print advertising to online. Passionate about storytelling, Jonathan has managed a number of global product launches, creating a suite of award-winning film content and development of interactive digital experiences for sponsorship of 2 major football tournaments using data. He’s incurably curious and creatively ambitious and these qualities, combined with his flair for digital innovation, now drive his commitment to producing the very best experiences. As a co-founder of Beautiful Everything and co-creator of vot.io, Jon now combines his skills and past to focus on crafting the experience of watching films out-of-home and helping a number of other brands shape their customer experiences. Jon has a great passion for film and this passion in part motivates his desire to making watching films deeper and more rewarding to audiences. When not creating the “ultimate experience” Jon can be found carving berms on his mountain bike. @fletchupnorth @btflevrthng
Anthony Thornton, Head of Digital Content, BFI
Anthony Thornton, Head of Digital Content leads the digital content strategy and audience growth for the BFI working across BFI.org.uk, BFI Player and other digital products.He is a multi-award winning digital executive who worked for Time UK for over a decade. He was digital director heading up the Southbank division that reached over 6M users every month, including Marie Claire, InStyle, Look, Woman & Home and Wallpaper. Prior to that he was Group Digital Editor of IPC Media’s men’s division and editor of NME.COM, establishing it as Europe’s biggest music editorial website with over 6.5M visitors. He is three times holder of the digital editor of the year award – twice by the British Society Of Magazine Editors and once by the Periodical Publishers Association. @athytn
Tim Robey (chair), Film Critic, The Telegraph
Tim Robey has written on film, and occasionally books, for the Daily Telegraph since 2000. He is co-editor of The DVD Stack (Canongate), a guide to the best versions of movies available globally, and turns up on Radio 4’s Front Row, the Film Programme, Monocle FM Radio and BBC Film 2015. @trim_obey
Claire Aguilar, Director of Programming and Industry Engagement, Sheffield Doc/Fest
Claire Aguilar is Director of Programming and Industry Engagement for Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the leading showcases of documentary films and digital media in the world. She is the programmer for the festival and is responsible for industry training and mentoring. Prior to Sheffield, she served as funder and co-producer for independent filmmakers and public media at the Independent Television Service (ITVS). She has commissioned programming from the global community of independent producers, and has curated for the PBS series “Independent Lens”. She has served as a programming consultant, advisor and jury member for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, STEPS, Firelight Media, IDFA, Visions du Réel, Eurodoc, WGBH, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and many other media organizations. A second-generation Filipina American, she has a BA in Communications Studies and MA in Film and Television Studies from UCLA. She serves on the boards of Women Make Movies, EDN (European Documentary Network) and Firelight Media. @Claire_Aguilar
Jeanie Finlay, Artist and Filmmaker, Glimmer Films Ltd
Jeanie is a British artist and filmmaker who creates intimate, funny and personal documentary films and artworks. Her focus is on creating compelling portraits and is obsessed with telling other people’s stories. Her work is known for its innovative approach to engaging with audiences in meaningful ways. Her work includes ORION: The Man Who Would Be King (87 mins, Tribeca, BBC Storyville, Creative England, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Broadway) The project was awarded a Future documentary award from React to create a wraparound artwork – I am Orion. Panto! (71 mins) BBC Storyville, The Great Hip Hop Hoax (88 mins, SXSW) for BBC Scotland and BBC Storyville (Grierson and Bifa nominated – Best documentary), Sound It Out (75 mins, SXSW, winner – Cinema Versa – Best documentary) a portrait of the very last vinyl record shop in Teesside, Goth Cruise for IFC (USA,75 min, most downloaded title ever on IFC) critically acclaimed doc Teenland (BBC4 60 min) and award winning interactive documentary Home-Maker. @JeanieFinlay
Sonja Henrici, Producer, Co-director, Scottish Documentary Institute
Sonja Henrici recently completed Seven Songs for a Long Life by Amy Hardie, her fourth feature documentary as producer, for which she developed an outreach campaign in collaboration with Hospice UK. She is co-director of Scottish Documentary Institute and co-founder & director of SDI Productions. After years of working at Edinburgh International Film Festival as core staff, she joined SDI in 2004 at its inception, and has developed SDI ever since, becoming co-exec producer of Bridging the Gap and many award-winning short documentaries, running the Interdoc programme, producing feature documentaries (Future My Love, I Am Breathing, Pablo’s Winter), and investigating new business models and outreach campaigns through our Virtuous Circle initiative (2011-14). She is an active member of IPS (Independent Producers Scotland) and keen to improve opportunities and funds for filmmakers. She’s producing new international projects, including the untitled David Millar Project by Finlay Pretsell, Donkeyote by Chico Pereira, and execing new upcoming Scottish talents, including Paul Fegan’s Where You’re Meant to be. @scottishdocinst @sonjahenrici
Oli Harbottle, Head of Distribution, Dogwoof
Oli has been at Dogwoof since 2006, and was part of the original team who made the decision to specialise in documentaries after the release of BLACK GOLD the following year. As Head of Distribution, he is responsible for acquisitions and overseeing all film releases, which over the past few years have included the highly successful and innovative campaigns for titles such as The Age of Stupid, Restrepo, Dreams of a Life, The Spirit of ‘45, The Act of Killing, Blackfish, Dior and I, The Look of Silence and Cartel Land. @olidogwoof
Anna Frew, Creative Producer and Research Assistant, Abandon Normal Devices Festival and Salford University
Anna Frew is a Manchester based researcher whose work explores how the way we tell stories is transforming within digital media. Currently undertaking a PhD at Manchester School of Art, Anna’s design led research questions the essence of what makes a narrative engaging. Closely linked to her PhD is her role as a Creative Producer and Research Assistant at Abandon Normal Devices and The University of Salford. Here she is working on Project Daedalus to explore the potential of drone technology in cinematic and digital arts contexts. Also working at Manchester School of Art as an Associate Lecturer, Anna is chiefly concerned with what’s next? With her vision firmly faced towards to future of technology and storytelling. @al_frew