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Director Of Programme, Curzon
Damian is Director Of Programme at BAFTA-winning Curzon with responsibility for the acquisition and scheduling of award-winning and critically acclaimed films, events and alternative content across Curzon cinemas and partner ‘Connect’ venues, and the Curzon Home Cinema platform. Previously Damian headed Metrodome Distribution’s theatrical, TV & new media divisions, managing the UK release of a range of theatricals including Frances Ha, What We Do In The Shadows, The Falling and Sunset Song; while overseeing the sale for broadcast and VOD of over 50 titles a year. Damian previously worked as Head of UK Distribution at The Works, Senior Programmer at Picturehouse Cinemas, as a projectionist and cinema manager.
Founder and CEO, Intermission Film
Sam is founder of award-winning film and entertainment agency INTERMISSION FILM, which provides innovative ways to market world-class films.
Beginning his career as a copywriter at Creative Partnership, he spent 6 years at Empire Design as they broke into AV, and helped establish LA vendor Create Advertising’s London office.
He formed INTERMISSION in 2012. His team of dedicated editors, producers and graphic designers have since worked with most of the major studios, mini majors, independents and TV networks, along with ground-breaking directors. To date they have garnered an array of awards, including nine Golden Trailer Awards and the Screen Award for “Creative Agency of the Year” and “Trailer of the Year” for three years running. Campaigns include titles as varied as: Straight Outta Compton, Beasts Of No Nation, Lady Macbeth, Burberry: The Life of Thomas Burberry, The Handmaiden and Amy.
Initially based in London, Intermission has recently expanded to Amsterdam and formed a partnership with leading UK and LA based entertainment digital agency ThinkJam.
Acquisitions Director, Arrow Films
Tom Stewart has over 30 years of experience in the Industry.
Tom has been Acquisitions Director with Arrow Films since 2010. Before that, he was General Manager (Home Entertainment) at Metrodome Distribution and Head of UK Sales at FremantleMedia.
After living in London for 14 years, Tom is now settled in York (an easy commute to London).
Director of Film, Premier
Jonathan Rutter is Director of Film at Premier, the UK’s leading entertainment publicity agency. He began his career as a film publicist in 1985 and between 1993 and 2006 ran the successful agency McDonald & Rutter with partner Charles McDonald. His work covers film productions, festivals, international campaigns and UK distribution, and he has handled films by most of the world’s leading film-makers including multiple titles with Robert Altman, David Lynch, Mike Leigh, Jane Campion, Pedro Almodovar, Gus Van Sant, Todd Haynes, Danny Boyle, Whit Stillman and the Coen Brothers. Titles handled by those directors include GOSFORD PARK, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, VERA DRAKE, THE PIANO, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, FAR FROM HEAVEN, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, MR. TURNER and CAROL. Other titles he has handled include THERE WILL BE BLOOD, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, DOUBT, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, FANTASTIC MR FOX, LOST IN TRANSLATION, SCHOOL OF ROCK, THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, THE PIANIST, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, JUNO, A SINGLE MAN, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, THE TREE OF LIFE, THE IRON LADY, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, THE ARTIST, THE MASTER and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. Recent titles handled include PHILOMENA, HER, UNDER THE SKIN, NYMPHOMANIAC, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, BIRDMAN, BROOKLYN, THE LOBSTER, THE REVENANT, FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS , LOVE & FRIENDSHIP, MOONLIGHT, and the forthcoming THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, THE SHAPE OF WATER and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI.
Publicity & Marketing Consultant
Chris Lawrance has worked in film distribution and publicity for almost 15 years, starting his career at Wired Publicity a broadcast film PR agency and then moving onto Icon Film Distribution for five years, managing publicity campaigns for a variety of films including Paranormal Activity, The Road, The Killer Inside Me & Buried.
Chris was then employed as Head of Publicity and Theatrical Marketing at Metrodome Distribution for a further 5 years, winning PR Campaign of the Year twice for his work on Frances Ha (2013) and The Falling (2015) & working with a wide variety of auteurs: Lukas Moodysson (We are the Best!), Francois Ozon (The New Girlfriend), Mia Hansen Love (Eden), Xavier Dolan (Mommy) & Brady Corbet (The Childhood of a Leader)
Chris has recently set up a film marketing and publicity consultancy and in the past year has handled numerous campaigns
including British hit Lady Macbeth, Personal Shopper and Francois Ozon’s recent releases Frantz and L’Amant Double. As well as consultancy work for the BFI, BAFTA & Open Palm Films.
Producer, Wildgaze Films
Amanda Posey is an Oscar nominated and BAFTA award winning film producer. She runs Wildgaze Films, one of the UK’s leading independent production companies, with her producing partner, Finola Dwyer.
Wildgaze’s most recent release is Their Finest, a comedy drama set in the 1940s. Directed by Lone Scherfig, starring Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy, it was released Spring 2017 to outstanding reviews. In 2016 their film Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley and adapted by Nick Hornby from the novel by Colm Toibin, took $39m at the US box office and was nominated for three Oscars (including Best Picture) and six BAFTAs, winning Outstanding British Film BAFTA.
Amanda’s previous producer credits include multi Oscar nominated & BAFTA award winning An Education, directed by Lone Scherfig; feature documentary My Nazi Legacy, and Fever Pitch, based on Nick Hornby’s best-selling memoir starring Colin Firth, as well as the US remake for Fox 2000, starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon.
Head of Global Film Publicity and Communication, Studiocanal
Suzanne Noble has been the Head of UK Publicity and Corporate Communications at Studiocanal in London since 2009 spearheading strategic campaigns for titles such as TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, FOUR LIONS, RUSH, ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA, LEGEND, PADDINGTON and SHAUN THE SHEEP THE MOVIE. Previously VP International Publicity at The Weinstein Company and Head of Publicity for Icon with 20 years of industry experience. Recently promoted to Head of Global Film Publicity and Communication for Studiocanal, nurturing a first class UK production slate in partnership with Working Title, Blueprint, Neil Street, Heyday Films, Warp and Aardman Studios.
Director & Co-founder, Ourscreen
Ian has over 17 years experience in connecting audiences with film and cinema.
In September 2008, Ian, together with David Kapur, started elevenfiftyfive, a film marketing agency set up to supporting the film industry. Via their passion for film, creativity and the desire to produce ground-breaking work, elevenfitftyfive generate original ideas for screenings, events, content, brand campaigns and more.
It is their mission to understand how people are engaging with film on a local level, globally. http://www.elevenfiftyfive.com
In April 2014, Ian became part of the team that founded ourscreen, the UK’s first platform to put the audience in control of their local cinema.
ourscreen allows the public, distributors, film makers and cinemas to influence content in their local cinemas. Simply choose the film, the time, the place and even the audience, selecting from a catalogue preview, recent run and classic movies.
This is people powered cinema!
Head of Film, Digital Cinema Media
When it comes to upcoming cinema releases, DCM’s Head of Film, Tom Linay, has the inside scoop. As Head of Film for the UK’s largest cinema advertiser, Tom has to know the film slate inside out, forecasting admissions and film profiles for all the UK’s major cinema releases. He’s also one of DCM’s key spokespeople, regularly in the trade press and presenting DCM’s biggest events, including the DCM Awards and Upfronts. He also waxes lyrical about film to brands and agencies across the media industry and hosts the DCM podcast, interviewing some of the most influential people in the cinema and media industry.
Before becoming DCM’s Head of Film, Tom Linay worked as a freelance film professional for six years in various roles through development, production, post production and distribution. During his time in the film industry, he worked as assistant to Ricky Gervais on the comedian’s directorial debut, The Invention of Lying.
CEO, Trafalgar Releasing
Marc Allenby has 20 years experience within the cinema industry spanning exhibition and distribution. Starting at Picturehouse Cinemas, Marc initially specialised in brand activations for the chain. He then moved into ‘event cinema’ at its advent, helping establish Picturehouse as the leading UK cinema group in this space and, at a high, accounting for 15% of Picturehouse Cinemas box office. As ‘event cinema’ began to develop, Marc switched focus to distribution, initially developing the UK and then the global market.
He has worked with all the major Arts organisations in the cinema space including the Royal Opera House, NT Live, Royal Shakespeare Company, Metropolitan Opera, Bolshoi Ballet and Glyndebourne alongside unique and innovative ‘one-off’ cultural events such as Monty Python Live, Andrew Dominick’s One More Time With Feeling and David Gilmour live at Pompeii.
In February 2017, Marc helped facilitate the management buyout of Picturehouse Entertainment, re-establishing the company, with its experienced 18-strong team, as Trafalgar Releasing.
Managing Director, Substance
Substance is a media and marketing agency specialising in digital, publicity, social, outdoor experiences and all things creative. Established in 2004, the company has offices in both London and Los Angeles and specialises in delivering world class digital campaigns for the entertainment industry and beyond. Clients include Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate, Netflix, Curzon, Thunderbird Releasing (formerly Soda Pictures), Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, Universal and Manga Entertainment.
Colin joined the company in 2005 and became the Managing Director over two years ago. He leads the UK arm of the business, which has a range of strengths, from publicity and social media services through to multi-territory campaign analysis and a creative studio. On a day-to-day basis, Colin works particularly closely with Twentieth Century Fox as well as expanding the company’s theatrical film expertise by working with clients such as Netflix and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. Colin’s passion for innovation and digital combined with years of experience in the film industry and beyond make him the perfect judge for the Screen Awards.
Head of Worldwide Sales, Protagonist Pictures
Vanessa Saal was born in Chicago, USA and grew up in New York, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and Milan. She graduated from Brown University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics with Honours. She began her career at Focus Features International in 2005 based in New York. In 2008, she moved to Paris to work at Kinology as an international sales and acquisitions executive at its inception.
Vanessa Saal then joined Studiocanal in 2010 as VP of International Sales, was promoted to SVP in 2012 and represented titles such as Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER SPY, the Coen brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Jaume Collet-Serra’s worldwide box office hit NON-STOP, and David Heyman’s production, PADDINGTON during her time there.
Vanessa Saal took on her current position as Head of Worldwide Sales at London-based Protagonist Pictures in 2014 where she’s been overseeing sales on last year’s Cannes Jury Prize winner, Yorgos Lanthamos’ THE LOBSTER, this year’s Cannes Jury Prize winner, Andrea Arnold’s AMERICAN HONEY, Whit Stillman’s LOVE & FRIENDSHIP, and Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE.
Director of Cinema, Chapter Arts Centre
Sally Griffith joined Chapter Arts Centre in 2009 as Director of Cinema and has worked in cultural cinema exhibition and film education for over 20 years. She is also Director of BFI Film Hub for Wales which supports independent exhibition venues across Wales and links to the UK wide BFI Film Audience Network.
As the flagship venue in Wales with a year round dedication to world and independent cinema in all its guises, she is responsible for the programme and supporting festivals and a whole range of special events across the year, as well as Chapter’s Engagement & Learning strategy. A former Juror for Europa Cinemas at Cannes Director’s Fortnight, Sally is currently leading on the development of Anim18 – a UK wide celebration of British Animation and led on Roald Dahl on Film as part of the 2016 centenary.
Prior to working at Chapter, Sally was Head of Film at Derby QUAD and Film Education at Metro Cinema.
Founder, Calamity Films
David Livingstone was President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution at both Universal Pictures International and Working Title Films. During his career in London and Los Angeles, he has been responsible for the worldwide marketing, advertising, publicity and promotional strategy for over 100 films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Trainspotting, Billy Elliot, Elizabeth, United 93, Johnny English, Bean and The Usual Suspects.
David has worked with some of the world’s leading directors including Joel and Ethan Coen, Paul Greengrass, Sydney Pollack, Richard Curtis, Joe Wright, Edgar Wright, Brian Singer, Ron Howard, Jodie Foster, Robert Altman, Anthony Minghella, Kevin Macdonald, Tomas Alfredson and Matthew Warchus.
He has now moved into film production and founded Calamity Films. Pride (2014) was his first feature film. It was the closing night film at Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival 2014, opening night film at Hamburg Film Festival 2014 and screened as part of Toronto Film Festival 2014. The film received 7 BIFA nominations, winning Best British Film, three BAFTA nominations, including Best British Film, and a Golden Globe Nomination. David won a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Producer alongside writer Stephen Beresford.
Head of Theatrical Marketing, eOne
Chris has worked in theatrical film marketing for over ten years and currently holds the position of Head of Film Marketing at Entertainment One. He started out at independent distributor Metrodome working on films such as Away From Her, Days of Glory and The Counterfeiters, before relocating to Asia to work as a Marketing Consultant for Bigfoot Entertainment in their Hong Kong and Cebu offices. In 2009, Chris joined the BFI to work specifically on their series of festivals and special events including the prestigious BFI London Film Festival. He returned to the world of distribution in 2009 at Studiocanal where he spent five years working across a range of films including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Searching for Sugar Man, The Imitation Game and Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep the Movie. As Director of Marketing at Pathe, from 2014 Chris was responsible for the leading the marketing campaigns for the likes of Selma, Suffragette, Julieta and Viceroy’s House.
In his current role at eOne, Chris oversees the marketing function of the Theatrical team with recent projects including The Death of Stalin, Suburbicon and The Papers.
Managing Director, Independent
Andrew Orr has worked in the Film industry for 18 years across with extensive experience across all areas from development, financing, production, post production, international sales, marketing and distribution.
Andrew Orr is currently the Managing Director at Independent, a London based Production and Sales Company. Established in 2005, Independent is now one of the longest established sales companies in London with the library of over 71 Films including titles such as
London to Brighton, Hallam Foe, Moon, Starred Up, Metro Manila.
Andrew also works closely with Independent Productions, sourcing material and generating new ideas. Andrew is responsible for raising and closing financing on all Independent productions including We Need To Talk About Kevin, Mr Nice and The Falling. Andrew has also Exec Produced 3rd party acquisitions, including What We Did On Our Holiday. In 2015, Andrew produced Level Up, a feature based on his original idea. The film was sold to Universal and was released theatrically in North American in 2016.
Independent is one of the foremost sales companies for theatrical documentaries and has sold Oscar nominated Exit Through The Shop and Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry. In 2016, Independent represented Jim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger which was invited to official selection at the Cannes Film Festival; I Am Bolt about Olympic champion Usain Bolt and Supersonic, about Oasis.
Andrew formerly handled Acquisitions and Business Affairs for The Works International and was involved in the Acquisitions and Sales of over 40 titles including 24 Hours Party People, Sweet Sixteen, Bend it Like Beckham, Whale Rider, In this World and My Summer of Love .
Director, Acquisitions And Production, Universal Pictures International Entertainment
Having grown up in Canada, Amit graduated from Vancouver Film School specializing in Film Production. After plying his trade as a cinematographer for a year, he moved to Europe to pursue a wider film education through practice.
Since relocating, he has spent his whole career at Universal, having started at the Amsterdam office in 2011 and moving to the London headquarters in 2013.
During his time at the studio, he has risen the ranks to become a key dealmaker on behalf of the UPHE Acquisitions and Production team.
Amit has been responsible for the acquisition of films including Brawl in Cell Block 99, Ingrid Goes West, Personal Shopper, 71’, The Overnight, Cold in July, Cop Car, The Salvation, The Overnight, Ronaldo & Escobar.