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SPEAKERS

FOCUS 2022 will feature over 150 speakers from film, TV, advertising, games and XR. Below are speakers confirmed to date, with many more to be announced leading up to the event. See programme session details here.
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Col Needham

Founder and CEO
IMDb
Col Needham
  • Col Needham

    Founder and CEO, IMDb

    Col Needham is the founder and CEO of IMDb, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. Born and living in the UK, Col has had a lifelong interest in both technology and movies. After starting a computer games software business at the age of 14, he went on to complete a computer science degree at Leeds University before commencing a career in technology research in Bristol, England. 

    IMDb grew out of a personal database of movie information which Col created as a teenager, combined with similar data collected on the internet in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Col published the first version of IMDb online in October 1990 and coordinated IMDb as a worldwide volunteer effort from 1990-1996. IMDb incorporated in January 1996 with the volunteers as shareholders and IMDb became a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon in April 1998. IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment professionals, launched in 2002 and continues to empower its members to launch and grow their careers. 

    Col continues in his original role to this day, working from an office in Bristol with IMDb staff members in countries around the world. Col is a board member of Into Film and Film Independent, and he received a 2014 Creative Coalition Independent Spotlight award for his work to support independent filmmaking. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol in 2018. Col has been a jury member for leading film festivals around the world, including the Mumbai Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, and the Tribeca Film Festival. 

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Mike Goodridge

CEO
Good Chaos
Mike Goodridge
  • Mike Goodridge

    CEO, Good Chaos

    Mike Goodridge is an international producer and executive producer whose new company Good Chaos was established in 2017. He is co-producer on Ruben Ostlund’s Palme d’Or-winning Triangle Of Sadness and an executive producer on Jasmila Zbanic’s Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated Quo Vadis, Aida? 

    Jalmari Helander’s Finnish action film Sisu starring Aksel Hennie had its world premiere in Toronto in September, and Mike is in post-production on films by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, Qiu Yang, Sudabeh Mortezai, Shih-Ching Tsou & Sean Baker and Jessica Hausner. 

    Goodridge was previously CEO of UK-based production, finance and sales company Protagonist Pictures and put together the finance and distribution of hit films such as Cold War, The Lobster, Love & Friendship, The Florida Project, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, ’71, Calvary, The Rider, Lady Macbeth, God’s Own Country and Maggie’s Plan

    Among the films he has executive produced are Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, The Discovery starring Rooney Mara and Robert Redford, My Old Lady with Maggie Smith and Kevin Kline and Oren Moverman’s The Dinner starring Richard Gere and Steve Coogan. 

    He oversaw over 70 films at the company, and Protagonist films received multiple Oscar and BAFTA nominations, and Cannes, Venice and Berlin Film Festival prizes. 

    He has had a concurrent career as a festival director and programmer. He was artistic director at International Film Festival & Awards Macao in China from 2017 to 2021 and has worked at the Sarajevo, Locarno and Chicago film festivals. 

    He was a trade journalist, editor and critic for many years and has written three books on film. 

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Denitsa Yordanova

Head of UK Global Screen Fund
BFI
Denitsa Yordanova
  • Denitsa Yordanova

    Head of UK Global Screen Fund, BFI 

    Denitsa Yordanova was appointed Head of UK Global Screen Fund, a £7 million p.a. initiative of the UK government and the British Film Institute, in June 2021. Denitsa has over ten years of experience in the Media and Entertainment industry, across strategy, corporate development and investments, gained in leading corporate development and strategy roles, most recently in independent TV production at All3Media and Endemol Shine. Prior to this, she was responsible for business development and investment initiatives at Guardian Media Group, parent company of the Guardian newspaper, and helped spearhead its venture investment strategy and manage an investment fund of over £1 billion. Denitsa holds degrees from Colgate University and Stanford Graduate School of Business in the US, and a degree in Film and Media Studies from Birkbeck University in London. 

    LinkedIn

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Marc Lorber

SVP, International TV Acquisitions and Co-Productions
Lionsgate
Marc Lorber
  • Marc Lorber

    Marc Lorber - SVP, International TV Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Lionsgate 

    One of the most experienced international multi-genre creative content and programming executives, as well as an Emmy-nominated and Bafta-Award-winning producer; skilled in conception, acquisition, development, sales, strategic partnerships and co-productions, direct physical production and management/financial oversight, of both scripted and unscripted projects; formats and originals: In the US, the U.K., Canada, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, UAE, Egypt, KSA, Oman, Jordan, Morocco, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Philippines and extensively across the CIS, MENA and CEE regions, among the 20+ non-English speaking countries I have worked or lived in to date.  

    Lead a team whose focus is on scripted TV comedy and drama series and prestige miniseries for co-development/production, and/or acquisition/co-finance for rest-of-world distribution. Current greenlit projects include the BBC's returning hit comedies, Motherland- 2022 Bafta for Best Comedy, and The Goes Wrong Show; the returning hit BBC drama, The Pact; Ireland's Northern Lights, Canada's Wong & Winchester, Son of a Critch and Gray, New Zealand's Dark City, and multiple projects with STAN in Australia. I acquire formats for the US & UK markets for us to remake and also license out our scripted formats worldwide for remakes. 

    LinkedIn

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David Cornwall

Managing Director
Scorpion TV
David Cornwall
  • David Cornwall

    Managing Director, Scorpion TV 

    David Cornwall has been working in documentary Sales and Distribution for 20 years. Starting as a runner at Bullseye TV who were making clip shows and documentaries, he rose to become the Head of Sales and then went on to become Director of Sales at Zodiak TV where he worked with clients ranging from the BBC, Channel 4, NBC USA, CBC Canada, Discovery, Nat Geo, NTV Japan and TV4 Sweden. After cutting his teeth representing a variety of genres, he followed his passion and set up Scorpion TV in 2009 dedicated to selling the best thought-provoking documentaries and entertaining the world. 

    Twitter & LinkedIn

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Maartje Horchner

EVP Content
All3media International
Maartje Horchner
  • Maartje Horchner

    EVP Content, All3media International 

    Maartje leads the international assessment of scripted, non-scripted and format content. She has excellent producer relationships with a wide range of independent and All3Media group producers across all genres and around the world. She has over 15 years of experience in the TV industry.  

    Her background is in entertainment and factual production as she started her career at leading Dutch Producer IDTV. She moved to the UK in 2001 where she continued her career by working in acquisitions for independent distributor Chrysalis  

    Distribution and now heads up the Content team at All3Media International where she is EVP Content. 

    LinkedIn

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Roopesh Parekh

Producer/Executive Producer
Lucasfilms
Roopesh Parekh
  • Roopesh Parekh

    Producer/Executive Producer

    Roopesh Parekh is currently an Executive Producer for Lucasfilm’s Willow series for Disney +. Prior to this, he was the Series Producer on His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife for BBC / HBO and Bad Wolf

    Roopesh has produced several popular and acclaimed dramas, namely Mammoth Screen's BAFTA-winning series Poldark for BBC and PBS, BAFTA-nominated The Long Song for Heyday Films, and Ordeal By Innocence for Amazon & Mammoth Screen. 

    He has also worked for Neal Street Productions and Carnival Film & TV on the BAFTA-winning mini-series The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses - an adaptation of Shakespeare's historical plays. Roopesh is represented by Paul Hook of ICM Partners and is a member of BAFTA, Producers Guild of America & The Production Guild of Great Britain. 

    Twitter & LinkedIn

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Jason Solomons

Producer and Presenter
Jason Solomons
  • Jason Solomons

    Producer and Presenter

    Jason Solomons is a widely recognised figure in UK film and media. 

    Known as the “Voice of London Film” for his 25 years as film critic, presenter and interviewer on BBC Radio London, he is currently a popular podcaster and regular commentator on BBC News. 

    Having written for the Observer and The Mail on Sunday newspapers, as well as many magazines, Jason is currently film editor of The New European, contributing editor of A Rabbit’s Foot and curator and host of the Cinedrome at Greenman Festival, the leading arts and music festival in Wales. 

    In a new phase of his career, Jason is now an independent British film producer with several projects in active development, including an adaptation of the best-selling 

    memoir A Waiter in Paris and a comedy-drama, King of the Witches. He is also the host of Meet The Producer, a new podcast from the Production Guild of Great Britain. 

    www.jasonsolomons.com 

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Sumerah Srivastav

Writer / Producer
Sumerah Srivastav
  • Sumerah Srivastav

    Sumerah Srivastav - Writer / Producer

    Sumerah is a British, South Asian writer and producer working on both sides of the pond. Most notably, she has written on Golden Globe-nominated series LUPIN and the much anticipated final season of MANIFEST. Other TV credits include GOOD KARMA HOSPITAL, COLOSSEUM, MESSIAH, CASUALTY and EASTENDERS. With an MBA and a background in law, Sumerah also acts as co-Chair of the Equalities & Diversity committee at the Writers Guild of Great Britain. 

    Twitter & LinkedIn

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Pedro Lopes

General Content Director / Screenwriter
SP Televisão & Spi
Pedro Lopes
  • Pedro Lopes

    General Content Director, SP Televisão & Spi / Screenwriter

    Since 2007, Pedro Lopes has been Content Director at SP Televisão. In 2022, he was appointed as Content Director of SPi, a production company for international series and co-productions, within the SP Media Group. He teaches at the School of Communication and Media Studies and the Catholic University of Portugal. 

    He has written for film and television and is the author of over twenty titles among shorts, feature films, telenovelas, mini-series, and series. His work featured in the main international festivals: Rockie Awards-Banff World Media Festival; Prix Europa; Festival de la Fiction La Rochelle; Monte-Carlo Television Festival; Roma Fiction Fest. 

    He won an International Emmy Award for Best Telenovela for Laços de Sangue and a Gold Medal at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards with Coração D’Ouro. In 2019 he was nominated for Best Screenwriter at the Seoul Drama Awards. 

    In 2019, he co-authored the Portuguese/Spanish series Auga Seca, the first Portuguese series aired on HBO. One year after, Netflix announced Glória, its first Portuguese original series, created and written by Pedro Lopes. Glória was the big winner of the 2022 Sophia Awards, in the category of best series/telefilm, awarded by the Portuguese Film Academy. Internationally, Glória was pre-nominated for the 2022 Platino Iberoamerican Awards in the categories of Best Series Creator and Best Series.  

    In 2022 a new series was announced for Globoplay - Codex 632 - in which Pedro Lopes was the head writer and showrunner. 

    LinkedIn

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Stephanie Poon

Associate
Harbottle & Lewis LLP
Stephanie Poon
  • Stephanie Poon

    Associate, Harbottle & Lewis LLP 

    Stephanie advises clients across the media and entertainment industry with a particular focus on film, television and theatre in relation to rights acquisition, development, production and distribution. She acts for a range of clients including production companies (from independent UK producers to major US studios and SVOD platforms), rights-holders, agencies and individual writers, directors and producers. 

    LinkedIn

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Caitlin McGivern

Associate
Harbottle & Lewis LLP
Caitlin McGivern
  • Caitlin McGivern

    Associate, Harbottle & Lewis LLP 

    Caitlin advises media and entertainment clients on development, production and rights exploitation in the film, television and theatre industries. She acts for a range of clients including production companies (from small UK producers to major US studios and SVOD platforms), rights-holders, agencies and individual writers, directors and producers. 

    LinkedIn

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Matt Cambridge

Marine Coordinator and Dive Supervisor
Marine Dept
Matt Cambridge
  • Matt Cambridge

    Marine Coordinator and Dive Supervisor, Marine Dept 

    Matt Cambridge is a highly experienced Marine Coordinator and Dive Supervisor who has worked in film and TV for 15 years.   

    He grew up messing about on boats, up the creeks of Cornwall, which led to a career in the Royal Marines. After retiring from the military, Matt turned his hand to various ventures around the world, including working in Risk Management and Marine Protection and Safety before finding himself in the Film Industry.  

    Equally, at home on, in or under water, Matt relishes solving the challenges of large complex stunt or dive sequences, leading his team to deliver the best solutions, working out the multiple logistics required; the more complex, the better…(or occasionally just a pond yacht in a swimming pool!) Matt enjoys all aspects of waterwork in the industry but especially loves the conundrum (Rubik's Cube?) of getting what the production needs artistically, with variable factors of wind, tide, weather, boats, depth, scripts, equipment, actors, and crew thrown into the mix. 

    Restless and curious by nature, his rare time off includes exploring remote locations, family and good food. And it usually involves a boat.  

    Currently, Jonjo and Matt are planning the next exciting chapter for Marine Dept and their future support for the underwater film industry in the UK. 

    https://marinedept.co.uk/

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Kayvan Mashayekh

Founder
Producers Without Borders
Kayvan Mashayekh
  • Kayvan Mashayekh

    Founder, Producers Without Borders

    Attorney turned filmmaker, Kayvan Mashayekh, began his career by writing, producing and directing an epic, independent feature film called, "The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam," which Premiered at the Moscow Film Festival in 2005 and had a successful theatrical run in the US for 53 weeks in 14 separate cities.    

    Mashayekh was the winner of the Relativity Media Special Prize of $25,000 at the 2007 Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi for his script “Batting for Palestine. One of the judges, Branko Lustig (legendary Oscar Winning Producer of “Gladiator" and "Schindler’s List), noticed him and subsequently took him in under his wing as an apprentice producer developing his slate of international, studio-grade projects. He is the Founder of Producers Without Borders a trusted, private network of curated international producers that collaborate, create and deliver content together. The closed group had its genesis as a series of film entertainment seminars and webinars since 2015 at world-class film festivals and markets (such as Focus London, BFI London, Cannes, Berlinale, FilmBazaar in India, State Film Agency of Ukraine, American Film Market, Amman International Film Festival (where Mashayekh has served as a Juror, Moderator and Speaker), El Gouna International Film Festival (as a Juror), and Cairo International Film Festival as a Speaker.    

    Prior to that, he became a member of the Producers Guild of America in 2008 and was chosen as its Middle East Representative in the International Committee, working closely to develop an outreach program with the PGA’s first ever Middle East Affiliate, The Royal Film Commission of Jordan. By creating workshops, seminars and events with RFC, the relationship has helped launch the careers of many talented producers in the region who have benefited from the bridge-building nature and educational importance of cross-border production by PGA mentor members for over a decade.    

    In June 2018, Mashayekh was elected as Co-Chairman of the International Committee for the PGA. In that capacity, he has been proactive in globally branding the World's largest trade organization of Film, TV, and Multi-Media producers with a membership of over 8500. He has increased the membership of the specific committee of 180 members he Chairs by over 100% since taking over from his predecessors, proving that when people feel empowered and motivated by action and results, they will be engaged to participate and add value to the group.  

    Mashayekh is also the Head of International for SIE Society, the leading alliance in Social Impact Entertainment whose mission is to connect, equip and amplify SIE organizations, creative and impact producers, CSR and SBCC practitioners.

    producerswithoutborders.com 

    www.siesociety.org 

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John Rakich

Supervising Location Manager
LMGI
John Rakich
  • John Rakich

    Supervising Location Manager, LMGI

    John Rakich DGCO / LMGI has been working as an Assistant Location Manager, Location Scout and now as a Supervising Location Manager for over 22 years based mostly out of Toronto, Ontario Canada. With a wealth of experience working on long and short format features and numerous television series for studios and streaming services.   

    He is the current President of the Location Managers Guild International and on the Directors Guild of Canada Ontario board as their current Location Caucus Representative.  

    A frequent speaker at college campuses, industry symposiums and a contributor of articles about filming in Ontario and Canada, production sustainability, labour workforce development and training, and the economic benefits of location-based filming; he’s also a regular panellist at San Diego Comic-Con speaking about locations and location scouting. 

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Harriet Lawrence

Supervising Location Manager
Harriet Lawrence
  • Harriet Lawrence

    Supervising Location Manager

    Having a deep love of architecture, beaches, churches, and every landscape in between, Harriet fell into Location Managing in the early 90s, accidentally finding a career she loved that suited her inquisitive and organised nature. Despite the early starts, sometimes miserable weather and endless rubbish, Harriet is happiest out and about and still, after 25+ years, thinks being a location manager is (probably) the best job in the world. Starting in commercials, Harriet has found the moon on Earth, Scotland inside of the M25, the Maldives in a Heathrow hotel and Wolverhampton in Central Scotland: she has filmed underground, over-ground, on beaches, mountains, prisons and stately homes.  

    For most of 2020/21, she was in the tidal muddy estuaries of Essex shooting an adaptation of The Essex Serpent and this Autumn has just wrapped on Emerald Fennell’s new film Saltburn. She has worked on all sorts of TV dramas, feature films, and stills shoots including David Copperfield, Avenue 5, Overlord, Suffragette, Burton and Taylor, Fleming, Parks & Recreation, Henry VIII, all the Outnumbered series, setting up the first series of Downton Abbey and many of Stephen Poliakoff’s films including Dancing on the Edge. Harriet is passionate about training the next generation and has for many years run the renowned Assistant Location Managers Training Course. 

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Jonjo Stickland

Company Director
Marine Dept
Jonjo Stickland
  • Jonjo Stickland

    Company Director, Marine Dept

    Jonjo Stickland owns Marine Dept - a dynamic Marine company supporting all aspects of filming in and around water - camera boats, platforms, safety, advice, diving, logistics, picture boats, artist training and more. Crucially they have a talented pool of boat crew and skilled divers who work round the world with Film and TV productions. Recent credits include Wonka, Luther, Wednesday, Essex Serpent, Swimmers, No Way Up, My Policeman, The Rig, Rebecca, Marengo, 47M, The Third Day, Slow Horses, and Mission Impossible to name a few. He has a brilliant and knowledgeable team behind him, showcasing a wide variety of skill sets, covering all aspects of Marine and Dive work, with the primary aim of working with production to find the best possible solution for their script requirements.   

    Jonjo started his career as a dinghy sailing instructor, moving into international yacht racing, whilst diving as a hobby. He stumbled upon film work whilst running a classic yacht on “Mamma Mia” and found a career that brought together all his skills in an exciting, creative industry where no two jobs are ever the same.  

    Since then, he’s gone from one film to the next, working through the ranks to marine and diving coordinator. Twelve years after Mama Mia, he formed Marine Dept and, since then, has become a leading Marine support company in the industry. Whether it’s ensuring cast and crew safety on water, sourcing picture boats, large-scale marine operations or you just want to sink your entire set underwater, he, and his team can help make it happen.  

    Jonjo is happiest with an eye on the horizon, wheel in hand, coordinating a huge fleet of picture boats! 

    Currently, Jonjo and Matt are planning the next exciting chapter for Marine Dept and their future support for the underwater film industry in the UK. 

    marinedept.co.uk

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Laurence Johnson

Sustainability Manager
Film London
Laurence Johnson
  • Laurence Johnson

    Sustainability Manager, Film London

    Having worked on set in Film and TV production for the last 15 years, I am very fortunate to now bring my two main passions, addressing the climate crisis and Film & TV production, together as Sustainability Manager at Film London. Working within the Production Services department, my goal is to support physical productions to lower their environmental impact, as well as other key practices around environmental and social sustainability in the industry, from connecting sustainable suppliers to key stakeholders to developing training and research. Through collaboration with the industry, my role aims to guide and aid the industry as we all strive to make the vital changes needed to move swiftly towards a low-carbon, sustainable future. 

    LinkedIn

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Christine Hartland

Co-founder / COO
My SMASH Media
Christine Hartland
  • Christine Hartland

    Co-founder / COO, My SMASH Media 

    Christine Hartland is an independent film producer and co-founder of My SMASH Media, the IP marketplace for the creative industries, with fellow independent producer Fiona Gillies. Christine and Fiona met on the Creative England Market Trader programme.   

    Christine’s debut feature the thriller WMD in 2008, was one of the first films to follow a reverse distribution strategy. She produced Containment, which was released and sold worldwide. She received Creative Europe and BFI development funding. She is a member of Women in Film & TV and Pact.   

    Christine is fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

    Twitter & LinkedIn

    My SMASH: LinkedIn

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Fiona Gillies

Co-founder / CEO
My SMASH Media
Fiona Gillies
  • Fiona Gillies

    Co-founder / CEO, My SMASH Media

    Fiona Gillies is an independent film producer and co-founder My SMASH Media, the IP marketplace for the creative industries, with fellow independent producer Christine Hartland. Fiona and Christine met on the Creative England Market Trader programme.  

    Fiona produced The Beat Beneath My Feet, which was in competition at the Berlin Film Festival and released worldwide. 

    She received funding from Creative England/BFI for Some Sweet Oblivious Antidote, starring Sir Lenny Henry and Wumni Mosaku. 

    She has been a mentor for Women in Film & TV. 

    Fiona is fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

    Twitter & LinkedIn

    SMASH: LinkedIn

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Ed Sayers

Director and Founder
straight 8
Ed Sayers
  • Ed Sayers

    Director and Founder, straight 8

    Ed Sayers is a London-based director and the founder of the global super 8 filmmaking challenge ’straight 8’: an experiment he started with colleagues in the industry in 1999. The challenge: to each make a short film on just one roll of super 8mm film, with no editing, seeing the work for the first time at its premiere. It has grown by word of mouth over 23 years with nearly 3000 films made, and screens at the Cannes Film Festival, on TV and in cinemas and other festivals around the world. Straight 8 Shootout is for industry companies to compete at straight 8 for charity.

    Twitter & LinkedIn

    straight 8: Twitter & LinkedIn

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Nahrein Kemp

Creative Diversity Partner
ITV
Nahrein Kemp
  • Nahrein Kemp

    Creative Diversity Partner, ITV

    Nahrein is Creative Diversity Partner at ITV working with commissioners and producers to help diversify ITV programmes both on and off-screen and delivering ITV’s Diversity Acceleration Plan.

    In her previous role as Film & TV Executive at Film London, she founded and ran the Equal Access Network (EAN) with support from the Mayor of London, HBO and UKTV.

    Under her leadership, over 390+ jobs were found for those from diverse backgrounds on productions for Netflix, Apple TV, Warner Bros, Marvel, Disney, HBO (amongst others) as well as in in-house roles at companies including Green Door Pictures, Two Brothers Pictures and Pathé. She also created the first ever Return to Work Scheme for parents/carers in TV (now in its’ third iteration) where Returners are ‘retrained’ and placed in paid Returnships (companies who have taken a Returner on the three schemes include Carnival Films, Molinare, Tiger Aspect and Cuba Pictures to name a few). She also created Breaking the Glass Ceiling, a Leadership programme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic professionals who received coaching and mentoring as well as access to top industry speakers as well as a Getting Into Film and TV, a new entrants programme which culminated in placements for participants at companies including Altitude, Heyday Pictures and Number 9 Films.

    She has more than 20-year industry experience across genres, in development and as a producer. In recognition of her diversity and inclusion expertise in film and TV, she joined BAFTA’s Diversity Steering Group which met with over 450+ professionals from all backgrounds and disciplines to conduct a major review to improve representation in BAFTA’s film awards. 

    Nahrein is also a member of the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Business Partnership Group, BAFTA’s Learning, Inclusion and New Talent Committee and SIGN and XR Stories EDI Advisory Board.

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Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE

Managing Director of Global Strategy
Pact
Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE
  • Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE

    Managing Director of Global Strategy, Pact

    Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE is an international development expert with over 20 years of experience in the broadcast industry (television and radio). This includes Managing Director, Commercial Director and Broadcast Development Director roles at local, national and international television channels.   She is also a thought leader and expert speaker in the broadcast industry.

    Dawn has had a varied media career which spans over 25 years, which started with five years working for one of the UK’s largest radio groups before launching her career in TV.

    She has produced and directed hundreds of hours of live entertainment shows, including brand-integrated programmes and hundreds of hours of factual and documentaries.

    As a pioneer of local TV, she launched one of the first local terrestrial TV channels in the UK, where she remained for a further two years as Managing Director.  Dawn then went on to be involved with the launch of a second channel, which was the UK’s first short film channel which aired on the Sky platform. In her final year, she successfully launched the channel into a further seven European countries.

    Not satisfied with having experiences in both TV & Radio, Dawn also ventured into the literary world when she became a published author with her best-selling non-fiction book in June 2006.

    Dawn is currently the Managing Director of Global Strategy at Pact, working with industry and government to develop a robust export strategy.

    About Pact
    Pact (Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television) – the UK’s trade association that represents and promotes the commercial interests of independent feature films, television, animation and interactive media companies. Pact represents over 500 companies across the UK that are known for some of the world’s most iconic TV shows, such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey, X-Factor and award-winning documentaries.

     

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Samantha Perahia MBE

Head of Production UK
British Film Commission
Samantha Perahia MBE
  • Samantha Perahia MBE

    Head of Production UK, British Film Commission

    Samantha worked in theatre stage management and film and television production, post-production and locations before joining the British Film Commission (BFC) in 2004.

    Samantha worked closely with Government and industry in developing the UK’s Creative Sector Tax Reliefs and was seconded to run the Certification Unit at the UK Film Council overseeing British qualification for the Film Tax Relief.

    As Head of Production UK, Samantha leads the UK team, providing tailored production support, guidance and troubleshooting to major international film and television projects from development through to delivery. She additionally oversees the BFC’s work supporting and promoting the UK film and television infrastructure globally and is responsible for liaising between the industry and Government to secure and maintain production-friendly policies.

    She was instrumental in the creation of the BFC’s Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production guidance which was launched in June 2020.

    Samantha has assisted on many high-profile projects for international film and television clients including A+E, Amazon, Amblin, AMC, Apple TV+, Disney, HBO, Lionsgate, Lucasfilm, Marvel, MRC, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, Starz, Twentieth Century Studios, Universal and Warner Media.

    Samantha was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2019 for services to the film and TV industry.

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Sara Putt

Managing Director
Sara Putt Associates
Sara Putt
  • Sara Putt

    Managing Director, Sara Putt Associates

    For 30 years Sara has run Sara Putt Associates, an agency for freelance technicians and production personnel based at Shepperton Studios. The company represents some of the finest freelancers both in the UK and internationally, working in all areas of film and TV.

    Sara Putt Associates also runs an in-house Trainee Scheme and Foundation supporting the next generation of freelance talent including those entrants from less traditional backgrounds.

    Sara is a BAFTA Trustee, & is Deputy Chair of the BAFTA TV Committee. She is also a Trustee of the Film and TV Charity and Deputy Chair of Women in Film and Television.

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Lyndsay Duthie

CEO
The Production Guild of Great Britain
Lyndsay Duthie
  • Lyndsay Duthie

    CEO, The Production Guild of Great Britain

    Lyndsay Duthie is an award-winning film and television expert with over 25 years of experience in the media industry: as an educator, television executive producer and broadcaster – with credits for BBC, ITV, C4, C5, SKY and Discovery. Lyndsay’s academic career led her to become Professor of Media Education and Head of School for Film, Media and Performing Arts at the University for the Creative Arts and retains a visiting professorship here. Lyndsay has regularly appeared on SKY News, ITV and BBC as a media commentator. She is also the co-author of The TV Studio Production Handbook (Bloomsbury). Lyndsay has served on the board for Women in Film and Television (WFTV) and has judged for the International Emmys, Royal Television Society and BAFTA Awards. She is currently on the committee for the Royal Television Society (TVC) and the National Advisory Board for the British Film Commission and a member of BAFTA.

    https://productionguild.com/

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Anna Mansi

Head of Certification
British Film Institute
Anna Mansi
  • Anna Mansi

    Head of Certification, BFI

    As Head of Certification, Anna works closely with key stakeholders in government and across the Screen Sectors to provide advice and guidance on the application processes for all the cultural tests, co-production treaties and policies relating to all the Creative Sector tax reliefs for film, High-end, Animation Television, Children’s Television and Video Games. Anna regularly speaks on panels at conferences and events to promote tax relief such as the Children’s Media Conference, the Develop Games conference and many others. In addition, Anna has organised BFI-led seminars and events for all the Screen Sectors.

    Anna is a Board member of the Content Board of the FOCUS Conference. She is in the GI Biz 100 women in the UK Games Industry, a trustee for the Video Games industry’s charity ‘Games Aid’ and an ambassador for AutisticaPlay the video games arm of the charity Autistica. She is also a Patron of Safe in Our World, the video games industry mental health charity. She is a member of BAFTA, the Production Guild of Great Britain and Women in Film and TV.

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Steve Davies

Chief Executive
APA
Steve Davies
  • Steve Davies

    Chief Executive, APA

    Steve is a lawyer and advises on any issues of concern for APA members; particularly complex contractual, copyright or insurance issues. Alongside this, he oversees all APA events and serves as an ambassador for the industry.

    As a member of the APA Council, which meets monthly to review objectives and strategy, Steve is focused on the APA’s main objective of creating the best possible business environment for its members.

    Steve is also a member of the board of the Advertising Association, Executive Vice President of the CFPE and one of the founders of the World Producers Summit in Cannes.

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Kaye Elliott

Director of High-end Television
ScreenSkills
Kaye Elliott
  • Kaye Elliott

    Director of High-end Television, ScreenSkills

    Kaye Elliott is Director of High-end Television (HETV) at ScreenSkills, setting the strategy and overseeing all aspects of HETV industry investment in skills support for UK freelancers and production companies. The Director reports directly to the High-end TV Council made up of every UK broadcaster and UK-based streamers as well as representatives of independent production companies, Pact and Bectu.

    Previously Kaye was Deputy Director of Partnerships and Head of Production Services at Creative England where she was responsible for developing partnerships with national and international industry, as well as overseeing the delivery of a suite of support services to film and TV production across the English regions.

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Neil Hatton

CEO
UK Screen Alliance
Neil Hatton
  • Neil Hatton

    CEO, UK Screen Alliance

    Neil Hatton is Chief Executive of the UK Screen Alliance and a non-executive director of Access: VFX which champions inclusion and diversity and strives to improve socio-economic opportunity via an outreach programme to schools and colleges outside of the usual demographic catchment profile for the sector.

    Neil’s background is in broadcast post-production where he was an editor/MD/owner for 20 years, and he was a pioneer of non-linear editing. He was appointed CEO in 2016 and is the organisation’s principal spokesperson and policy advocate.

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Michael French

Head of Games
Games London
Michael French
  • Michael French

    Head of Games, Games London

    Michael runs Games London and is responsible for a programme of activity that covers the annual London Games Festival, of which he is also festival director, inbound and outbound trade missions, a training programme and year-round work connecting games studios with investors.

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Lefteris S. Eleftheriou

Film Commissioner
Film Cyprus
Lefteris S. Eleftheriou
  • Lefteris S. Eleftheriou

    Film Commissioner, Film Cyprus

    Lefteris S. Eleftheriou is a Certified Film Commissioner and a Director, Head of Filming Unit at Invest Cyprus. In his capacity, Lefteris is proactively promoting Cyprus, for more than twelve years, as an attractive destination abroad in key economic sectors of the economy.

    In 2013, Lefteris took a lead role as part of a team assigned to prepare the strategy for the development of the film industry in Cyprus. Following intense efforts, in 2017 the Council of Ministers adopted the Cyprus Film Scheme. Representing Invest Cyprus, Lefteris is now the Chairman of the Cyprus Film Commission, the body responsible for assessing applications for the Scheme, also leading the national effort for the promotion of Cyprus as an attractive film destination.

    As of 2022, Lefteris is an elected member of the board of directors of the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN), the official association of the film commissioners in Europe.

    Lefteris holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and Philosophy from the Hunter College, New York and a Master Degree in Politics from New York University, having also attended law courses at the University of London and Political Communication courses at the University of Cyprus.

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Valentine Nonyela

Actor/ Producer
Valentine Nonyela
  • Valentine Nonyela

    Actor/ Producer

    Valentine Nonyela is an award-winning actor and producer. His 1991 film young soul rebels won the Critics prize at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. He produced his first movie Ngozi Onwurah’s Welcome to the Terrordome in 1995.

    Whilst initially combining acting and producing he now mainly focuses on producing content ranging from reality series Love Island Hungary to feature films such as the Award-winning historical drama the Shepherd and Urban gangster film Badness.

    Operating with creative production units based in London, Budapest and Cyprus he has produced a slate of works ranging from short films with artistic content such as Branded to Horror films such as Nefarious and Blood Carpets.

    Working from Concept to completion on each project he accesses finance, assembles the creative team and sees the project through to distribution. His passionate about improving diversity and equal opportunities in all areas of content creation and is exciting about bring forward new stories and new voices.

    Having vast experience in the industry with over 37 years of work means he has attracted relationships that five him access to a vast client list that includes celebrities, Stars and film makers. Val’s films have been featured in film festivals and film markets around the world from the Cannes Film Festival to being featured in documentaries on Channel 4.

    In 2017 Val established Unified Entertainments Productions to produce feature films and content for the international market. He pioneered a cash rebate pre-finance with a triple a Bank in order to facilitate efficient investment vehicles for film financing.

    He holds an Economics degree and a Masters degree in Education from the University College of London

    Producer

    Weak Days 2021
    Love Island Hungary (45 Episodes) 2019 RTL Hungary
    Love Story (60 Episodes) 2019 RTL Hungary
    Legend Hunt 2021 ORF Austria
    Badness 2021
    Split 2021
    Take 3
    Nefarious 2020
    Attack of the Unknown
    Born Again
    (short)
    Branded (Short)
    The Last Bite
    The Shepherd
    Always with
    you (short)
    Dragonflies Only Live for 24
    Hours Blasted (Short)
    Blood and Carpet
    Co- Producer
    Welcome II the Terrordome

    Actor

    2018 Badness
    Victor Obe
    2006 Casino Royale
    Nambutu Embassy Official
    1987 – 2006 The Bill (TV Series)
    Kenneth Obonyo / Raymond Yorke / Dexter King /
    1999 – 2004 Holby City (TV Series)
    Celestine Okaru / Ronnie Cornwall
    1998 On the Eight Ball (TV Short)
    Kudjo
    1996 Frontiers (TV Series)

    1996 Thief Takers (TV Series)
    Robert Killigrew
    1995 Welcome II the Terrordome
    Spike / African Man
    1994 Minder (TV Series)
    Mike
    1994 A Touch of Frost (TV Series)
    Ritchie Gibbs
    1993 Us Girls (TV Series)
    Gary
    1992 Get Back (TV Series)
    Policeman
    1992 Downtown Lagos (TV Mini-Series)
    Taiwo Kayode
    1991 The Body Beautiful (Short)
    Peter
    1991 The Play on One (TV Series)
    State research bureau man
    1991 Young Soul Rebels
    Chris
    1988 – 1990 South of the Border (TV Series)
    Rufus Parker
    1989 London's Burning (TV
    Series) Maddox
    1987 Dear John (TV Series)
    Duane
    1987 Rockliffe's Babies (TV
    Series) Willmott
    1986 Casualty (TV Series)
    Errol

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Nic Guttridge

Story Consultant/Executive Producer
Nic Guttridge
  • Nic Guttridge

    Story Consultant/Executive Producer

    Nic Guttridge is an international story consultant and executive producer. Based in London, 
    England, he works closely with filmmakers and production companies to maximise the 
    editorial impact of their ideas and rushes across the full spectrum of documentary and 
    factual productions, for broadcast, theatrical, festival and online release. Projects include 
    the Netflix feature documentary The Spy Who Fell to Earth and the AACTA nominated 
    series The Night Caller for Sky/ Sundance Now. 

    Previously Nic was an award-winning director for 15 years, with over 100 credits for all 
    major UK and many international networks. He is also an experienced and highly regarded 
    industry trainer who runs workshops in storytelling, directing, shooting for the edit, and 
    interview techniques, and is a mentor for Documentary Campus Masterschool and Campus 
    Istanbul.

    Nic is a former board member and long-serving chair of Directors UK’s Factual Committee.

    LinkedIn

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Lori Balton

Location Scout
Lori Balton
  • Lori Balton

    Location Scout

    From Tbliisi to Hanoi to Lençóis Maranhenses, veteran Scout Lori Balton is grateful for a career that lets her explore the world. The first location pro accepted into AMPAS, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, she is also a member of the Television Academy.  She has worked with some of the best directors, and designers in the business.  Credits include:  Heat, Argo, Being the Ricardos, Maverick: Top Gun 2, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, A River Runs Through It, Inception, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Memoirs of a Geisha, Seabiscuit, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and 5.  

    A believer in giving back, Balton was a jurist for the 2021 EUFCN Location Award and the Location Guide’s Inaugural Movers & Shakers Awards.  She has been featured on numerous podcasts and master classes most recently at the Shooting Locations Marketplace in Valladolid, Spain. Balton is the co-founder and former president of the LMGI.  She co-founded and co-edited the Compass Magazine for 8 years, and produced the award show until 2020.  Accolades include the LMGI Trailblazer Award, many California on Location Awards and nominations, and an LMGI Award and nominations.  When not chasing incentives, she lives in Venice, California with her husband, and rescue dogs. 

    www.loribalton.com 

    imdb.me/loribalton 

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