With a background in print and TV journalism, Ellis has been writing screenplays for over 15 years. He has had commissions from BFI, Channel Four, The Film Council, Rai (Italy), Fox Searchlight and the MEDIA programme.
With Brazilian director, Henrique Goldman, he wrote PRINCESA, an award-winning feature about a transvestite prostitute living in Milan. The film was screened at the Sundance festival 2001 and has been released in the US, UK, France, Germany and Scandinavia. He also co-wrote JANUARY 2ND, a comedy feature for director Matt Winn which screened widely at festivals.
A regular lecturer at the London Film School, Ellis also teaches creative writing seminars at the DFFB in Berlin for directors, writers and producers. He is an advisor at the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam, a tutor on the Low Budget Film Forum and has held creative writing workshops at the Scuola Holden in Turin and the Berlinale Talents.
He is currently developing a TV thriller series for Sixteen Films, producer Rebecca O’Brien and director, Tim Fywell. He is also developing a slate of feature projects with Clownfish Films, the company he runs with producing partner, Luke Schiller.
Editor / Screenwriter
Mark Solomon is a leading editor of animated feature films. Recent projects include Tim Burton’s FRANKENWEENIE, and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX for Gary Ross. Other credits include CHICKEN RUN, a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture, and SHREK, winner of the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. As a screenwriter, Mark has written several feature film projects in development. He also wrote a chapter for the book 'Transitions: Voices on the Craft of Digital Editing' committing to print for the first time, the unique challenges of editing animated feature films. An enthusiastic educator, Mark has lectured and taught workshops at film schools throughout the UK and in the USA. He lives in north London, with his wife and daughter.
Roger is on his third career. Having worked as an actor for twelve years with some of the UK's most prestigious theatre companies (including the RSC and The Traverse), he moved into television drama development at the BBC. There he worked with Tessa Ross (now Head of Film Four) developing series, serials and features such as Patrick Keiller's ROBINSON IN SPACE and the Amber Collective's THE SCAR.
He left the BBC to become Head of Drama Development at TalkBack Productions, and then made the shift to writing his own work. He is currently working on a feature screenplay and a novel. He has written the original book and lyrics for a musical, CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS, which will open at the Riverside Studios in July 2013. He is about to complete the follow-up to his short film SUNDAY. SUNDAY, featuring a voice-over by Bill Nighy, was screened for an extended run at the Renoir Cinema in London, and was selected for the 2010 London Short Film Festival. In 2012 he was script editor for KELLY + VICTOR.
Roger continues to work as a freelance script consultant and is a visiting tutor on the London Film School's MA Screenwriting and MA Filmmaking programmes.
Career Development Specialist
Shiona Llewellyn is a highly-regarded independent career development consultant, with many years experience of working effectively with individuals across the TV and film industries.Her approach is to ‘help people to help themselves’ to achieve their potential within a highly competitive international marketplace. Uniquely, she has an understanding of both the creative and the business aspects of production, and has considerable insight into how decisions which affect careers, are made.
After an academic training in psychology, Shiona had a successful management career in television and weekly magazine publishing before deciding to specialise in career development. Her clients include major broadcasters, independent production companies, universities, and individuals....and the LFS, where she also contributes to the MA Screenwriting course.She has recently been commissioned by Directors UK to design and deliver a workshop programme for women drama directors.
Shiona researched and wrote all the early careers information on behalf of Skillset, and authored both editions of their career handbook for TV, Radio, Film, Video and Interactive Media, which gave her unrivalled access to cross-industry experts.
Udayan Prasad has been directing documentaries, television drama and feature films since graduating from the National Film & Television School in Beaconsfield, UK. Among his numerous television credits are three single dramas written by Simon Gray for BBC Television - THEY NEVER SLEPT 1989, RUNNING LATE 1992 (Golden Gate Award for Best Television Feature1993), FEMME FATALE 1992. Two other single dramas, both written by Alan Bennett and also for BBC Television, were - 102 BOULEVARD HAUSSMANN 1991 (Golden Gate Award for Best Television Feature1991, BAFTA Nomination for Best Single Drama 1991), TALKING HEADS 2: PLAYING SANDWICHES 1998 (BAFTA Nomination for Best Single Drama 1998). More recently he directed two episodes of THE TUNNEL 2013 for Sky Atlantic and two episodes, including the finale, of THE MUSKETEERS 2016 for BBC TV.
His first theatrical feature was BROTHERS IN TROUBLE, 1995 (Golden Alexander Award for Best First Feature at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival). This was followed by MY SON THE FANATIC, 1997 (Directors Fortnight Cannes Film Festival, Best Feature at the Potsdam Film Festival), GABRIEL & ME, 2000 (Edinburgh Film Festival) and OPA!, 2005 (Toronto International Film Festival). His latest feature THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF (Sundance Film Festival) was released in the United States in 2010.
When not actively involved in production, he is a frequent visiting lecturer on directing and screenwriting programmes at several film schools including The National Film & Television School in Beaconsfield, UK; The London Film School; The Wajda School in Warsaw and the National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź́́, Poland. He is also an advisor and mentor on various international directing and screenwriting workshops.
Alexandra Stone heads CMP Film Ltd, where she is developing a slate of director-driven feature films. Upcoming projects include: Peter Capaldi’s Born to Be King starring Ewan McGregor and Kate Hudson; Lone Scherfig’s, Music & Silence adapted from Rose Tremain’s Whitbread winning book; The Beginning of Spring with director Peter Strickland starring Ralph Fiennes; Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things with Alejandro Chomski to direct and Alicia Vikander, Rupert Friend and Willem Dafoe to star; Hello Darkness by Sundance winners Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland and An Ocean Apart with Academy Award nominated director Lucy Walker to direct.
Alexandra Stone was previously head of development at Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company in London and Los Angeles. She oversaw a large slate of projects with filmmakers including: Bernardo Bertolucci, Terry Gilliam, Wim Wenders, Johnny Depp, Phillip Noyce, Richard Linklater, Noah Baumbach and David Cronenberg. Prior to that she began her career in Hollywood on the Warner Bros. lot at Paula Weinstein’s Spring Creek Productions working on films with directors such as Peter Weir, Lasse Hallstrom and Steve Kloves. Stone’s producing credits include David Mackenzie’s Young Adam (2003) starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton which premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Best New British Feature at the Edinburgh Festival: Menhaj Huda’s Kidulthood (2006) which won the Douglas Hickox Award at the British Independent Film Awards; Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation (2006) which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and Gerald McMorrow’s Franklyn (2008), starring Eva Green and Sam Riley which premiered at the London Film Festival.
Amanda has been a film executive and independent producer, joint-Head of Producing at the National Film and Television School, visiting lecturer at the RCA Film School, University of Westminster and London South Bank University. She was Artistic Director of PAL Screenwriters’ Labs, one of the founders and directors of Dartington Screenwriters’ Studio, and has been an advisor to the Arts Council of Great Britain Lottery Film Fund. She was a workshop board advisor on several Equinoxe screenwriting programmes in Bordeaux. Amanda has been a course leader on D&AD Workout Screenwriting and Storytelling for Film workshops since the beginning of the programme over ten years ago. She has been teaching screenwriting part-time at the London Film School on the MA Screenwriting and Filmmaking courses since 2005.
Amanda has worked at Columbia Pictures, was a consultant to the Samuel Goldwyn Company, Head of the National Film Development Fund and Head of Film Development at Goldcrest Productions. She set up Astoria Productions in partnership with Barbara Broccoli, where they produced Emmy-nominated ‘Crime of The Century’ for HBO. She has developed feature film projects through her own production companies Alchemy Productions and Doppelganger Films. Amanda has co-written screenplays, and is currently working on a novel and and cross-media projects. She has had solo exhibitions of her multi-media artwork, including afour month installation at the Grant Museum of Zoology in London. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College, University of London.
Gub is an award-winning producer, formerly a Head of Drama at Channel 4 and also a Controller of Drama at Granada where he co-created Cracker and won an Emmy for Prime Suspect. Highlights at Channel 4 included Young Person’s Guide to Becoming a Rockstar, Queer As Folk, and the prestigious millennium show Longitude. Prior to co-founding Artists Studio in 2009, he set-up and ran Box TV where his productions included; Trust, Gunpowder Treason and Plot, No Direction Home, The Last Enemy, Wind in the Willows (both BBC/WGBH) and the Prix Italia winning Sunday. He finished Combat Hospital for Global TV in Canada and ABC in the US, which he worked on as both executive producer and writer in 2011 and has just produced The Fall by Allan Cubitt with Gillian Anderson for transmission on BBC 2 later this spring.
Tony Grisoni worked in many different areas of film making before turning to screenwriting. QUEEN OF HEARTS, 1989 was his award winning first feature directed by Jon Amiel. He has worked closely with a number of directors including Michael Winterbottom, John Boorman, Rankin, Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker and Terry Gilliam (FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and TIDELAND). Grisoni is proud to count himself amongst the crew on board the ship of fools: THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE.
VANISHED - A VIDEO SEANCE, 1999 was made in collaboration with performance artist and poet, Brian Catling. He and Catling have gone to make other pieces for galleries and together host the annual celebration of the absurd, CABARET MELANCHOLIQUE. Other artists he has collaborated with include Oona Grimes and Dryden Goodwin.
In 2001, Tony Grisoni made the trek along the people smugglers' route from the Pakistan/Afghan border, through Iran and Turkey to Europe with the director, Michael Winterbottom. The resulting film, IN THIS WORLD, won the 2002 Berlinale Golden Bear.
In 2005 Grisoni collaborated with Simon Channing Williams of Potboiler Films, and Keith Fulton & Lou Pepe (directors of LOST IN LA MANCHA) to write and co-produce BROTHERS OF THE HEAD adapted from the novella by Brian W. Aldiss. More recently Grisoni wrote THE RED RIDING TRILOGY, 2009. Yorkshire Noir in the decade 1974 to '83. From the novels by David Peace. Produced by Andrew Eaton at Revolution Films for Channel 4. Directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. Also THE UNLOVED, 2009. Samantha Morton's directorial debut. BAFTA - Best TV Single Drama. Produced by Kate Ogborn and Michael Elliott for Revolution Films and C4.
Grisoni has also written and directed a number of short films including the BAFTA nominated KINGSLAND #1 The Dreamer, 2008, SYNCING, 2009, and the award winning THE PIZZA MIRACLE, 2010.
Frank Spotnitz is an award-winning writer, producer and showrunner best known for his work on The X-Files. His latest series, Hunted, aired on BBC1 and HBO Cinemax in autumn 2012. His other credits include Strike Back: Project Dawn, Night Stalker, Michael Mann’s Robbery Homicide Division, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm and Millennium.
Spotnitz serves as chief executive of Big Light Productions Ltd, a London-based production company specializing in trans-Atlantic drama series. Hunted, produced by Big Light in association with Kudos Film and Television, was an international spy thriller starring Melissa George. He created, wrote and executive-produced the eight-part series. HBO Cinemax has commissioned a spinoff. He is currently writing and executive producing a four-hour adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s classic novel, The Man in the High Castle, for Ridley Scott and SyFy.
Spotnitz served as executive producer, directed two episodes and wrote or co-wrote more than 40 episodes of The X-Files. He was a producer and co-writer of both X-Files feature films, 'Fight the Future' (1998) and 'I Want to Believe' (2008). He shared three Golden Globes for Best Dramatic Series and a Peabody Award for his work on The X-Files. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for writing and three times for Outstanding Drama Series.
Spotnitz began his professional life as a journalist, writing for United Press International, Associated Press and Entertainment Weekly, among others, as well as reporting for the seminal French pop-culture TV series, Rapido. Born in Japan, he received a BA in English literature from UCLA and an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute.
Sandy Lieberson has been a major figure in the film industry in Europe and America since the 1960s, having acted as agent for among others, Sergio Leone, Peter Sellers, Lindsay Anderson and the Rolling Stones. After producing Performance and Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus, he formed Goodtime/VPS with David Puttnam in 1970, going on to produce some of the most significant films of the 1970s and 1980s. From 1977 Sandy was first vice president of International Pictures and Marketing and later president of production at 20th Century Fox, supervising the international launches of, among others, the early Star Wars films, and supervising the production of films by Herzog, Roeg, Bertolucci, Zinneman, Kurosawa and Ridley Scott. Founder and Chair of Film London, Sandy launched the ground breaking Microwave Fund, Artists Moving Image and Production Finance Market. One of the founders of The Berlin Talent Campus and originator of the Producers Course at the NFTS, Sandy is currently an advisor and contributor to a wide range of organizations and projects dedicated to the development of talent and skill in the film and media industries.
Merle Nygate is a screenwriting lecturer, writer and script editor. She recently script edited Blast Films’ The Queen for Channel 4 and Sky TV’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s third novel in the series: Going Postal.
Previously she assessed, sitcom, comedy drama series and full-length features for BBC Comedy Commissioning for six years. During that time, she script edited, BAFTA winner A Very British Sex Scandal for Blast; Blackbeard, a major factual drama for Dangerous Films transmitted on BBC1, wrote another two-hour factual drama about William the Marshal, a medieval knight for Pro-Sieben and a further factual drama for the Smithsonian Channel.
In addition, she lectured at the University of Surrey, London Film Academy and trained film development executives. She has previous commissions for writing original sitcoms from Carlton, Yorkshire, Channel 4 and Granada (Dark Ages) as well being a writer/producer on BAFTA nominated interactive movie, Running Time.
Aisling is a graduate of The National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield, England. She has written and directed feature and television films as well as directing a number of highly acclaimed television series. Her television credits include; Damage – which she wrote and directed and was nominated for Prix Europa in 2007, Fingersmith – which was nominated for both a Bafta and Royal Television Society Award in 2005, The multi award winning 2002 television film – Sinners, Trial and Retribution and Doctor Finlay for which she won a Bafta Award in 1992.
Her film credits include; the multi award winning Song For A Raggy Boy which she wrote and directed, Joyriders – for which she won the Irish Tribune Arts Award and Invisible State – Ireland’s segment for the European Film Ominbus in 2004. Recently she completed filming The Daisy Chain a psychological drama starring oscar nominee Samantha Morton, due for release in Autumn 2008.
Dean Craig worked as a freelance script reader and script editor in the UK for several companies including Working Title, BBC Films, and Miramax, before heading to New York University to take a summer filmmaking program in 2002. Shortly after, he began work on his first feature screenplay CAFFEINE. It was produced independently in the US in 2005, and starred Mena Suvari, Katherine Heigl, Breckin Meyer & Mike Vogel.
Craig's second feature, DEATH AT A FUNERAL, was released internationally through MGM in 2007. It featured Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, Rupert Graves, Kris Marshall, Ewen Bremner, Daisy Donovan & Peter Dinklage, and was directed by veteran filmmaker Frank Oz. The film went on to win 3 audience awards for Best Film at the HBO US Comedy Festival in Aspen, Best film at Locarno International film festival in Switzerland, and Best film at the Provincetown Festival, and achieved considerable international success, reaching no.1 at the box office in several countries, including 5 weeks in Australia.
DEATH AT A FUNERAL has since been remade as a Bollywood film, and as a US version starring Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Danny Glover, Luke Wilson, James Marsden, Peter Dinklage and Tracy Morgan, and directed by Neil Labute. It is due for worldwide release in spring, 2010.
Since 2007, Craig has been hired as screenwriter on several US feature film projects including DOWN AND DIRTY PICTURES, an adaptation of the acclaimed expose of the independent film industry written by Peter Biskind; ASSHOLE, for Warner Brothers, and AFFECTED PROVINCIALS COMPANION for Jonny Depp and Graham King. As well as developing several of his own projects, he is currently writing THE FRENCH EXCHANGE, for Pathe, and FLORENCE OF ARABIA, an adaptation of the book by Christopher Buckley, produced by and starring Charlize Theron.
He has also worked in TV both in the UK and US, writing AMERICAN COP for Fox television, AMNESIACS for Greenroom productions, and FRESH, a seven part sit-com for BBC 3, due to air in September 2009.
After a successful career as a film editor of documentaries, TV drama and film, Olivia Hetreed moved to the other end of the production line. She wrote a series of highly acclaimed family films for ITV including The Treasure Seekers and The Canterville Ghost.
The hit film Girl with a Pearl Earring, adapted from Tracy Chevalier’s best-selling novel and starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson, was nominated for and won multiple awards worldwide. Non-film work includes The Canterbury Tales: The Man of Law’s Tale for the BBC and Zero for Radio Four. She wrote Series One of The Roman Mysteries, a landmark TV series for CBBC. Olivia is currently working on a feature adaptation of Wuthering Heights for Ecosse Films and a major drama series for ITV, among other projects.
Olivia is an experienced mentor to developing screenwriters and works with students at the London Film School, Royal Holloway College, University of Westminster and others, as well as giving master-classes and many panel appearances. As Chair of the Film Committee at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain she tries to represent the best interest of screenwriters and raise their profile inside and outside the industry. She is also on the Board of the Screenwriters’ Festival.