Course Tutors

Frank Spotnitz

Writer-Producer

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.

Frank Spotnitz's website View Frank Spotnitz on IMDb

Sandy Lieberson

Producer

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.

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Richard Kwietniowski

Writer-Director and LFS 6th Term Tutor

Writer-director, born in London to Anglo-Polish parents. After studying literature then film at University of Kent at Canterbury, became Visiting Research Scholar in Film at University of California at Berkeley before returning to the UK to work in the independent film sector and higher education. Short films including Alfalfa and Flames of Passion were distributed internationally. Work as a director for British TV received Royal Television Society and D&AD (Gold and Best of Year) awards and a Prix Italia nomination. Feature-films Love and Death on Long Island (John Hurt and Jason Priestley), and Owning Mahowny (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie Driver) both made Best of Year critics’ lists. Awards include prizes from Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, New York Film Critics Circle, US National Board of Review, and BAFTA. He teaches directing, screenwriting and acting-to-camera at a range of institutions in the UK and beyond, and has contributed to many European initiatives in feature film development. His LFS directing workshop for film students and actors has just celebrated its 300th edition. His name is easier to pronounce than it looks: Kfee-etnee- ov-skee.

Sue Austen

Producer and LFS 6th term Tutor

Sue has worked in independent film and television production since 1982.  Her career began at the now legendary Goldcrest Films, where she worked for four years on programmes produced for the new Channel 4. After Goldcrest’s collapse Sue spent a short time as a freelance script editor, before joining Granada Films as Head of Development.  Whilst there she worked on a number of feature films including David Hare’s STRAPLESS and Aisling Walsh’s first feature, JOYRIDERS.  Sue left Granada to co-produce the medical thriller, PAPER MASK, co-funded by Film 4 and British Screen, released in over 70 territories and selected as the closing film in Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990. 

Sue then spent 5 years working at the European Script Fund, part of the MEDIA (Creative Europe) organisation and returned to production in 1997 with her first television film, VICIOUS CIRCLE, developed and produced for BBC Films and Irish Screen. This was followed by the BAFTA nominated comedy drama DONOVAN QUICK starring Colin Firth. Over the next twelve years she produced more than 50 hours of primetime television drama for BBC1, BBC2 and ITV and received a second BAFTA nomination.

She continues to develop new productions as well as tutoring and lecturing part time at the London Film School, Goldsmiths University, Serial Eyes and Regents University.

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Mike Leigh

Writer/Director, Chair of LFS

Writer-director Mike Leigh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Camberwell and Central Art Schools in London, and at the London Film School, of which he is now the Chairman.

His first feature film was Bleak Moments (1971); this was followed by the full-length television films, Hard Labour (1973), Nuts in May (1975), The Kiss of Death (1976), Who's Who (1978), Grown-Ups (1980), Home Sweet Home (1982), Meantime (1983), and Four Days In July (1984).

Other feature films are High Hopes (1988), Life Is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993)), Secrets and Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All Or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) Another Year (2010) and Mr. Turner (2014).

He has written and directed over twenty stage plays. These include Babies Grow Old (1974), Abigail's Party (1977), Ecstasy (1979), Goose-Pimples (1981), Smelling A Rat (1988), Greek Tragedy (1989), It's A Great Big Shame! (1993), Two Thousand Years (2005) and Grief (2011).

Photographer Eamonn McCabe.

View Mike Leigh on IMDb

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