Below are a list of industry experts who will be speaking on our courses. Please keep an eye on this page as we announce new speakers.
Kolton Lee is an award-winning filmmaker, novelist and academic. He has made two independent features, Cherps and Freestyle, a comedy and urban romance, respectively. Kolton has also published novel The Last Card, a crime thriller set in the twin worlds of boxing and gambling, and taught Screenwriting and Directing at a number of different institutions. Until recently, he was the Programme Leader for the BA Screenwriting degree at Central Film School.
Nathaniel Martello White is a writer, director and actor. As an actor his theatre credits include People, Places & Things, Edward II (National); City Madame and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC). His film and TV credits include Silk, Death in Paradise, Misfits, Hard Boiled Sweets and Life Just Is. As a writer, Nathaniel’s theatre credits include Torn (Royal Court) and Blackta (Young Vic) and he has recently completed three short films Slap, Cla'am and Mars Tingz.
Nirpal Bhogal made his breakthrough with the critically acclaimed short film Cold Kiss which starred and was exec produced by BAFTA nominated actor, Ray Winstone. He then went on to direct girl gang thriller Sket, which premiered at the London Film Festival. Since then, Nirpal recast and directed the BAFTA award-winning series Misfits for E4 and has completed his second feature Firstborn, which is released on Netflix in March.
Tracy Elner is the author of Blue Eye, a self-published award-winning conspiracy thriller which has recently been optioned for TV/Film. Tracy’s unusual background as a businessman, environmentalist and dream alchemist has allowed him to think ‘outside the box’ to develop strategies to penetrate the business of media and TV. Tracy is also ambassador of the Going Blue Foundation – the first global campaign to fight water pollution at source.
Alicia Duffy is a multi-award winning writer and director. Her first feature All Good Children was selected for the Quinzaine at the Cannes Film Festival and her short films, including the BAFTA nominated The Most Beautiful Man In The World, have screened at numerous international film festivals. She studied Directing at the NFTS, and later, was selected for the Cinefondation Residence in Paris. Since 2016, Alicia has also been a visiting lecturer in directing at the London Film School (LFS).
Lee Magiday is a producer. Alongside Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney and Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee produced The Lobster, which was awarded the Jury Prize at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and nominated for best original screenplay at this year’s Oscars. Lee was Associate Producer on the Irish box office hit The Guard starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle. Lee previously worked at Element Pictures as Head of Development, before evolving into her role as a Producer.
Beru Tessema was born in Ethiopia and raised in London. He completed his MA in Screenwriting from the London Film School, where he graduated with distinction. He trained as an actor at RADA, where we went on to spend several seasons at Shakespeare’s Globe and other theatres around the UK. Beru has written, produced, directed and edited several short films including Absence (2013) and Verse (2014). He co-wrote feature Barley Fields on the Other Side of the Mountain (2016) and is currently preparing for his new feature-length fiction film.
Iris McPherson is passionate about all things media and is the founder of digital marketing studio filmtiki.com. After finishing her MA in Media Studies and Public Relations at the University of Vienna she went on to work in the film industry in New Zealand on local as well as Hollywood productions, including acting as the Co-ordinator of the Wellington Fringe Film Festival. In 2007 she started working as a Digital Marketing Consultant, specialising in strategic consultancy for the film industry. At filmtiki, Iris develops 360° communication strategies for clients, holds workshops and lectures, develops new courses on digital marketing and distribution and produces videos and multimedia installations for clients such Centropolis, Columbia TriStar and Film London. In 2016 Iris was added to the BAFTA VR Advisory Group as an associate member.
Heather Turner works as Project Coordinator and Community Manager at filmtiki. She is a writer and researcher, based in London with a background in broadcast and print journalism and a nearly 10 years experience in digital publishing. She regularly holds guest lectures in Emerging Technologies and Search Engine Optimisation at Regents University and has several years of experience with filmtiki and other clients as a project coordinator and social media consultant on a diverse range of viral ad campaigns in film and TV.
Dr. Lawrence Ampofo is digital strategy and foreign policy professional, with over 10 years providing advisory on strategic digital change. As the Founder and Director of Digital Mindfulness and Semantica Research, Lawrence focuses on increasing the capacities of companies to implement digital strategy across major digital programmes by promoting new ways of working and collaboration in an age of digital distraction and information overload.
Michael Gubbins is co-founder of analysis and consultancy company SampoMedia and the chair of the chair of Welsh screen agency, Ffilm Cymru Wales. Gubbins is an experienced journalist and writer and the former editor of titles, including Screen International and Screen Daily, and Music Week. He writes influential reports on the changing media environment in Europe and is a sought-after and experienced moderator, keynote speaker and organiser of conferences, think tanks and events around the world. He is a frequent lecturer on film at institutions including the London Film School, Media Business School and Reading University. He is on the board of Power to the Pixel and Met Film School.
Uzma Hasan is the driving force behind Little House Productions, which focuses on bringing subversive stories to global audiences. Her latest feature, Nirpal Bhogal’s Firstborn (2016) premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016 ahead of a worldwide sale to Netflix. Her first feature The Infidel (2010) was released internationally receiving critical and commercial acclaim. She was Executive Producer of multi award winning documentary Flying Paper (2014). In addition to Little House Productions, Uzma consults for international film funds including Eurimages, the Council of Europe’s film fund, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Doha Film Institute and Harvardwood, the official network of Harvard alumni in the entertainment and media industries. She sits on selection committees for the British Independent Film Awards, Film London and Mira Nair’s Maisha Filmmaking Labs.
Victoria Mapplebeck is an award winning writer and director. She created Channel 4’s first interactive documentary series, Smart Hearts, in which web cams streamed live from the subjects homes for over 18 months. She has spent the last 15 years working in cross platform production and more recently has specialised in mobile filmmaking and producing online video with impact. Victoria is currently in production on Text Me an award winning interactive multiplatform arts project produced in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Text Me is a live and online platform in which participants can collect, curate and share stories from their digital past. In 2014, Text Me won The Merging Media Prize for Best European Cross platform Project and was also featured in Wired magazine.
Tom Grievson is head of distribution and marketing at HanWay. His early experience was in the independent film sector, as Head of Theatrical Marketing for Metrodome Distribution where he managed marketing campaigns that included; Spellbound, Chopper, Donnie Darko, and The Corporation. Following Metrodome, Tom worked for Warner Brothers UK and launched blockbusters, including; The Hangover, Sherlock Holmes, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Horrible Bossies & Inception. Tom has worked for Entertainment One UK on campaigns including Angel's Share, Killer Joe, The Sweeney, Looper Breaking Dawn Part 2 & The Impossible.
Alison Norrington is a writer/producer, Founder & Chief Creative Director of Storycentral, a London-based entertainment studio that incubates and develops ground-breaking transmedia properties with global partners in film, television, animation, publishing, advertising, branding, theme parks, Virtual Reality and gaming. Alison specializes in storytelling that amplifies fan incubation and engagement, experience design, extending IP & franchises, community build through story and storyworld strategy, incubation & development – all centered around a strong robust core of story architecture, theme, awareness of audience and experience design. Over her 22-year career she has worked with and consulted to SundanceTV, CBS Interactive, Walt Disney Imagineering, FOX International, AMC Networks, DR (Denmark), Harlequin Mills & Boon, McCann, Coca Cola, DeBeers Group of Companies, UK Police Force, Schleich GmbH, F&W Media, Eurovision Broadcasting Union, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre.
Baby Isako is an emerging screenwriter. Her stories are known for their unique themes, direct dialogue and richly detailed black characters. Among her best-known works are 'The Love is a Losing Game' plays (2010) and Venus Vs Mars series (2011). Isako received a number of accolades for this work. Winning best web series at the Screen Nation awards and having over half a million views online. The hit web drama has now been commissioned by Sky Living. Her next sold out play, 'Bag Ladies' (2012), divides its narrative between the past and present. It received great reactions from her audience. In 2014, she released the Bag Ladies short film, which was screened at Festival de Cannes 2014 film corner and a official selection for the International Black Women festival. Currently Isako has taken steps into a new arena, the world of podcasting with her new podcast series ‘Kinks and All’.
Lisa Walters works as part of the Channel 4 development team; keeping a keen eye on emerging talent and sourcing ideas for compelling, bold, ground-breaking Channel 4 Drama. She was a key part of the script process on Coming Up’s single film Ellen and managed to convince producers Jessica Barden was perfect for the lead role. She facilitates all C4 drama’s new talent initiatives and is script editor for this year’s 4Screenwriting. She’s also part of the development process for 4Stories- Channel 4’s scheme which gives 3 writers and directors the opportunity to make a Channel 4 serial and Lisa will be seconded to assist production of the series. Lisa graduated from the NFTS script development diploma course this year, developing a feature script with (now BAFTA winning) writer Elena Ruscombe-King (a recent NFTS MA Screenwriting graduate). Passionate about giving new voices a platform and keen to educate her colleagues on emerging talent, she hosts monthly short film screenings at Channel 4 coined “Walters Presents” for colleagues- commissioners, creatives and execs- that are already hugely popular.
Paul Trijbits is the co-CEO of FilmWave, the UK based film and television production company established in 2012 with Christian Grass. Paul's most recently executive produced J.K. Rowling’s, The Casual Vacancy for the BBC and HBO, and Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. FilmWave is currently in pre-production on the adaptation of David Levithan’s best-selling young-adult novel, Every Day. Paul was previously managing director of Ruby Films and prior to that Head of the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund. His producer and executive producer credits include Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, Stephen Frears’s Tamara Drewe, Andrea Arnold’s, Fish Tank and Kevin McDonald’s Touching The Void.
Stephen Follows is a writer and producer based in Ealing Studios and has produced feature films, short films and online film series. Stephen’s scriptwriting has won Virgin Media Shorts, the Reed Film Competition and IVCA awards; has been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards, Viral Video Awards, LA Movie Awards and long-listed for a BAFTA; and has been championed by Mike Newell, James King, Stephen Fry, the Daily Telegraph and Le Monde. Stephen has written for comedy shows such as ‘Newsrevue’ and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. Stephen has written for Moviescope magazine on issues relating to Producing and was Editor In Chief of ‘Short Cuts’ magazine. In the past Stephen has been a member of the Executive Committee of the New Producer’s Alliance.
Nabil Elouahabi is a British-born actor - most recently appearing in HBO The Night Of and the hit show The missing. His theatre credits include: Oil (Almeida) Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State (National Theatre), Fireworks (Royal Court), I Call My Brothers (Arcola), The Nightmares Of Carlos Fuentes (Arcola); Love your Soldiers (Crucible, Sheffield); The Great Game – Afghanistan (Tricycle/US tour); Crossing Jerusalem (Tricycle); Rest upon the Wind (Middle East Tour); Spakleshark (UK Tour); East is East (Oldham Coliseum); Wish (Ovalhouse). His television credits include: The Night Of, The Missing, 24: Live Another Day, Top Boy, Mad Dogs, Strikeback, Law & Order, Generation Kill, The Path To 9/11, EastEnders, Only Fools & Horses, As If. His film credits include: Sandcastle, Hyena Road, Reign of the General, Zero Dark Thirty, Towerblock, Junkhearts, Blitz, Journey to Mecca, The Boat People, Charlie Wilson’s War, Code 46, In This World, Ali G indahouse, The Sum of all Fears.
Leo Davis is a Casting Director with a career spanning over three decades. Based in the United Kingdom, she mainly works with renowned British and European directors.
Her long list of credits on acclaimed national and foreign feature films includes Antichrist by Lars von Trier, Hannibal Rising by Peter Webber, The Queen by Stephen Frears, Irina Palm by Sam Garbarski, The Constant Gardener by Fernando Meirelles, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Peter Webber, Skagerrak by Soren Kragh Jacobsen, Sunshine by István Szabó, and many others. Leo has always been involved in the discovery of new acting talent. She is a founding member of the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN), the first association of its kind aimed exclusively at casting directors for feature films.
Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith is the founder and CEO of the Film Festival Doctor, a consultancy & management service which works with emerging and international film makers designing effective film festival, sales, distribution, film finance, film development and on-line marketing strategies. Currently her company have won over 200 awards for their clients and her team have supported over 485 creatives across the world. Rebekah and her team are currently working on several short films and feature films including the multi award winning feature length documentary PLACEBO: ALT. RUSSIA which had its Dutch Premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam & the BAFTA shortlisted NOMA: FORGIVING APARTHEID.
Peter Gerard is General Manager of Entertainment Experience at Vimeo. In his role, Gerard oversees strategy, product, engineering, curation, operations and marketing for Vimeo’s viewing destinations on the web, TV and mobile, including Vimeo Originals and the open platform for free and VOD films and series. Prior to joining Vimeo, Gerard was founder and CEO of Distrify, a direct-to-fan video-on-demand service and online social cinema-marketing suite based in the UK. Gerard has also produced and directed a number of award-winning films, including the winner of a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award.
Gillies MacKinnon studied at the National Film and Television School in the early 1980s and went on to become one of the most prolific and versatile British directors of the 1990s. MacKinnon has made several critically acclaimed films, eliciting superb performances from his cast and winning top awards at Rotterdam, Berlin and Edinburgh along the way. Films include The Playboys (1992) with Albert Finney, A Simple Twist of Fate (1994) with Steve Martin and Gabriel Byrne, Small Faces (1996) with Kevin Mckidd, Regeneration (1997) with Jonathan Pryce, Hideous Kinky (1998) with Kate Winslet, and Pure (2002) with Molly Parker and Keira Knightley.
Araceli Camargo is a cognitive neuroscientist, science communicator, and is the Lab Director for The Centric Lab, which is in partnership with UCL. As a science communicator she has worked with clients ranging from the NHS to Lloyds TSB to Nike. The themes of her science communication talks centre around attention and memory. Prior to becoming the Director of the The Centric Lab, Araceli undertook a masters in neuroscience at King’s College London, where she studied the attentional differences between people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and normative individuals. The study was part of the EU-AIMS, which is the largest single grant for autism in the world, and the largest for the study of any mental health disorder in Europe.