Yana Georgieva - Bankside Films
Yana was born into a family of professional photographers in Bulgaria and has always shown an interest in photography and film making. After studying fine arts at school for eight years, Yana attended the University of Salento, Italy, where she graduated with a BA in Science and Technology of Fine Arts: Cinema, Theatre, Music and Fashion.
Since graduating from the University of Kingston MA in Filmmaking, Yana has worked on various television programmes in production and film distribution as well as producing and directing multiple short films. ‘Sleeping Dogs’ is the first feature film Yana produced, which received nominations from the British Independent Film Awards. Last year she produced the sci fi web series ‘Kosmos’. She is currently working at Bankside Films as Sales Executive; Bankside Films is a London based international sales and film finance company for independent films.
Lauren Dark - Stray Bear Films
Lauren Dark has worked as a Producer and in development for Ivana MacKinnon’s Stray Bear Films since early 2014. She previously worked for five years at Ken Loach and Rebecca O’Brien’s Sixteen Films.
She produced Jack Thorne/Tom Harper’s War Book which opened International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2015. Lauren was named a Screen International Future Leader Producer and a BAFTA Break Through Brit in 2015.
Farah Abushwesha - Rocliffe Limited
Irish Libyan Producer Farah Abushwesha spearheads Rocliffe Limited which is currently developing a slate of projects spanning the drama, comedy and horror genres. Farah’s most recent productions include ‘The Last Photograph’ directed by Danny Huston; an Irish Film Board commission to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and a female-led short form comedy for Emmy winning Exec Producer Stephanie Laing’s online platform PYPO.
Prior to this, Farah produced Pinewood Studio's ‘Pressure’ with Danny Huston and Matthew Goode, and Newscope's teen thriller ‘Don’t Hang Up’. Her production work includes the acclaimed directorial debuts of BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Rowan Athale’s ‘The Rise’ and BAFTA nominee Tom Harper’s ‘The Scouting Book For Boys’. Farah is the founder of the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum - a showcase for emerging screenwriting talent, behind the Forum List. She is a champion of new screen talent and was recently listed by Stepfeed as one of the 11 Most Inspirational Arab Women in Film.
Sally Hodgson - PIPOCA
Sally Hodgson heads up PIPOCA. Her film production, marketing and distribution experience stems from seven years working at EM Media, the first of the UK’s Regional Screen Agencies to launch a specialised film production fund. The films co-financed through the agency won five BAFTAs, three Scottish BAFTAs, ten British Independent Film Awards and three Michael Powell Awards.
Since 2010 Sally has been recognised as one of the UK’s first Producers of Marketing and Distribution (PMD) and has worked with filmmakers interested in exploring and experimenting with new ways to engage and connect with audiences, including crowdfunding, grassroots outreach, wraparound filmmaking and boutique and direct distribution. She has experience of releasing films theatrically in the UK and working with distributors and sales agents on international releases.
Her most recent role as PMD is on the award-winning feature documentary ‘ORION: The Man Who Would Be King’, directed by Jeanie Finlay. Sally is a filmmaker mentor and regularly speaks on topics such as crowdfunding, independent film distribution and audience development at events including Sheffield Doc/Fest and training courses run by First Light and the Independent Cinema Office. She is a Trustee of Flatpack Festival.
Andy Brunskill - SUMS Film & Media
Andy runs SUMS Film & Media, a production company focusing on narrative-driven films for new-platforms, traditional theatrical features and the integration of the two. SUMS productions include ‘Lilting’ which starred Ben Whishaw and opened Sundance 2014 before being released in the UK by Artificial Eye and sold internationally by Protagonist; and ‘Jet Trash’ a hedonistic backpacker thriller set in Goa starring Robert Sheehan and Sofia Boutella, out for release this year.
SUMS projects at financing stage include ‘Gully’ (dir: Nabil Elderkin), ‘The Girl At The Lion D’Or’ (dir: Anand Tucker), ‘The Hungry’ (dir: Bornila Chaterjee) and ‘Phone Book’ (created be Steven Hall) and in development include ‘Wandervogel’ (dir: Nima Nourizadeh) and ‘Handsome Brute’ (wri: Mark Gatiss). Prior to SUMS Andy worked at Ruby Films as Assistant to to Alison Owen and then Development Exec across film such as ‘The Other Bolyen Girl’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Tamara Drewe’, ‘The Men Who Stare At Goats’, ‘Saving Mr Banks’ and the multi-Emmy award winning ‘Temple Grandin’.
Rebecca Mark-Lawson - Tyke Films
Producer Rebecca Mark-Lawson runs Tyke Films which is developing and producing a slate of projects including cinematic documentary, original dramatic feature films, adaptations and TV content. She is currently in production with cinematic documentary 'Irene’s Ghost’ produced with Forwardslash Films and directed by Iain Cunningham. The film is supported by Creative England, BFI, The Wellcome Trust and the Maudsley Charity. It’s a part animated cinematic documentary about maternal mental illness, telling the story of a son’s search for information about the mother he never knew.
Tyke is also developing two projects with director Dominic Leclerc who’s credits include recent original drama ‘From Darkness’ staring Anne Marie Duff (BBC), ‘Call The Midwife’ (BBC), ‘The Syndicate’ (BBC) and ‘The Village’ (BBC). Tyke is working on a screen adaptation of the novel ‘Skin Lane’, written by Neil Bartlett and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award in 2007. The film charts the sexual awakening of Mr F, a Furrier in 60’s London. Also in development is the feature adaptation of Dominic’s immensely successful and award winning short film ‘Protect Me from What I Want’ an interracial gay love story set in Bradford.
Other projects in development include ‘Freewheeling’ an Asian female comedy about a group of friends who come together through their love of mountain biking and ‘Anfield Road’, a coming of age drama set in Liverpool in the 1980’s. Previously to setting up Tyke Films Rebecca worked as Managing Executive at Lifesize Pictures delivering new talent schemes for the UK Film Council. She has executive produced a slate of award winning documentary and fiction short films for Film4, Channel 4 and BBC Films.
Janet Wells - Quarry Films
In 2013, Producer Janet Wells started Quarry Island Films, a film production company focusing on interesting, entertaining films with big ideas. ‘Social Suicide’, a teen thriller about the perils of social media, was Quarry Island Films’s first feature and was completed in 2015. It is currently selling out at youth film festivals across Europe, including the Belgium, Germany, Poland and the UK (winning a Special Mention a Schlingel).
Janet has both a business and screenwriting background, receiving a MA in Screenwriting from LCC in the UK. She has since written 11 features, with most being a finalist or placing in international screenwriting competitions. She worked in Development at Capitol Films in 2006 and then with Eon in their Screenwriters Workshop for 18 months. Janet is also a visiting tutor at LCC in the MA Screenwriting programme and has lectured at the University of Lincoln in Screenwriting.
Four more films are in development at Quarry Island Films, including ‘The Vessel’, a supernatural horror about the healing power of demons will be shot later this year (2016). Also in development are ‘The Lady Rebecca’, the true story behind Pocahontas’s extraordinary time in England; ‘4X$ Bride’, a Romantic Comedy about a woman with 4 children from 4 different exes who questions her imminent wedding; and ‘Christmas Present’, a romantic comedy retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol’ from the perspective of the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Ian Bonhôte - Director & Producer
Ian Bonhôte is an award winning Director and Producer. His career has earned him credits spanning commercials, music video and short film, as well as co-founding the Production Company Pulse Films (pulsefilms.com) with fellow producers Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford. Pulse is a talent management and integrated content production company that creates content across different platforms.
As a Director, Ian created international campaigns for Gatorade, Puma, Nike, Pepsi, as well as promos for Mumford & Sons, Morcheeba, Jamie Cullum, Tom Jones, amongst many others. He has extensive experience working with entertainment and sports celebrities, including Lionel Messi, David Luis, Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry.
After completing his first feature film called ‘Alleycats’, which has secured a worldwide distribution deal with a major studio. Ian is now developing other projects with Producer Andy Ryder under the Elephant Gun Films banner. Ian is also attached to another project with Salon Pictures: a thriller called ‘Laundrymen’ and a two-part documentary for Arte called ‘The History of the Dancefloor’ in co-production with Capa (France).
Alison Sterling - Ignition Films
Alison began her working life as an actress and theatre producer. She moved into TV and film production in 1997. She made eight award-winning short films (supported by UKFC, Creative England, BBC Films, Film4) including ‘Turning’ (BAFTA nominated) and ‘Flytopia’, which both screened at dozens of film festivals worldwide and won a number of awards. Other moving image work includes: TV documentaries and drama, academic research projects, artist's installations and web-based oral history projects. She is an experienced Line Producer with experience on a large-scale TV commercials.
She has participated in industry training schemes including: Compass (Creative England); Initialize Co-production Forum Berlinale and Get It Seen (ICO). Alison is a member of ACE (Ateliers du Cinema Europeen) and participated in the industry-leading ACE European co-production workshop 2014/5. She sits on the Board of Encounters Film Festival and has contributed as a speaker at industry conferences and training courses. Alison has mentored young filmmakers for Creative England and First Light; and has lectured at the Universities of Bristol, Falmouth, Gloucester, Bournemouth, Bath Spa, UWE and the Wajda Institute in Warsaw. Find out more about Ignition Films.
Cassandra Sigsgaard - Jeva Films
Cassandra’s most recent film, the feature debut from the Blaine brothers, ‘Nina Forever’, has been hailed as “strikingly original” by Screen International, and by Total Film as “a startling debut, as affecting as it is daring”. It premiered at SXSW in 2015 and has gone on to screen at film festivals all over the world including Fantasia in Montreal, Sitges in Spain and Morbido in Mexico, where it won the Press Award. The film also won Total Film’s Best Film award at Frightfest Film Festival London, and won the BIFA for Most Promising Newcomer for its star, Abigail Hardingham. It is being sold internationally by Epic Pictures, and released in the UK and Ireland by Studiocanal. The US theatrical release has just been announced for February 2016.
Currently, Cassandra is producing the documentary ‘India in a Day’ for Scott Free Productions, directed by Richie Mehta, and developing two scripts by Screen International Star of Tomorrow, writer Joy Wilkinson: comedy, ‘Enter the Dragons’, developed with funding from Creative England, and the thriller, ‘Killer CV’, which was on the Brit List in 2014. She is also developing the next original feature from the Blaine brothers, the thriller, ‘The Painter’.
Previously, Cassandra produced award winning short films including the Film London funded ‘The River’, directed by John Michell, which was nominated for Best British Short at the East End Film Festival after premiering at Palm Springs, and ‘Eva’, written and directed by Laura Smith, which has screened at festivals all over the world. Cassandra is regularly invited to speak at the NFTS and is Deputy Chair of Women in Film and Television. She is a voting member of BAFTA. Find out more about Jeva Films.
Andy Ryder - Elephant Gun Films
Andy has extensive experience within the TV and film industry working on major Hollywood blockbusters, feature documentaries, large budget drama/docs, music videos, commercials and also boasts a significant amount of experience as a VFX producer. He now works solely for Elephant Gun Films with a strong focus on producing genre content for the UK and international territories.
Andy has produced two independent and three BFI backed short films all gaining entry to major festivals on and beyond Britain's shores. Most recently 'Get Some' played at 2014's London Film Festival to great acclaim and won the Limelight award for 2014 'Best Sci Fi' as well as 'Best Narrative film‘ at New York short film festival. In March 2015 Andy shot his first feature film 'Alleycats' which is currently in post production. To produce the best creative work he believes in solid foundations and strong working relationships.
Dewi Gregory - Truth Department
ewi Gregory is a documentary producer based in Wales, UK. His first film for the cinema, 'Orion:The Man Who Would Be King' premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, picking up awards from Nashville Film Festival, In-Edit Barcelona and the British Independent Film Awards. 'Orion', was financed by Ffilm Cymru Wales, BBC Storyville, Creative England and was sold via the Film Sales Company NYC to IFC on the Sundance Selects label.
He is also co-producing a rainforest thriller documentary shot in 10 countries, financed by Film Cymru Wales, Swedish Film Institute, Danish Film Institute, BritDoc, SVT, ZDF/Arte and several other national broadcasters. This film is in post-production and will premiere in Spring 2016. Dewi's television work, over twenty years, includes arts and history d
ocumentaries for BBC, Channel Four, ITV and S4C. Working through his production company Truth Department he produced and directed a one-hour documentary Cyfrinach Borneo and a series of shorts, Gwarchodwyr, both for S4C.
Previous Applicant Testimonials:
Stephen Kelliher, Bankside Films said:
“Market Trader gave Emma Yap an invaluable insight into the international film business as she embarked upon her career as a international distribution executive. The course exposed her to a wide-ranging yet relevant group of industry professionals who gave her critical insight into to the sales, distribution and production landscape during what is a time of great change in the international film business. I saw her knowledge and confidence grow and I know that she felt incredibly supported by the course leaders and fellow participants in the lead up to and during her first market with Bankside Films. I would whole-heartedly recommend the course for anyone invested in a career in the film business.”
Kevin Chan, Soda Pictures said:
“Market Trader has helped me to gain an insight knowledge of the international film markets which is critical for my role at Soda. From the workshops given by the highly experienced industry personnels to "back in the classroom" with other established producers and sales agents, we get to think outside of the box, and see the what we do from a whole new perspective. It was an extremely valuable experience.”
Steve Jamieson, Archers Mark said:
“After very different experiences with the respective sales of our first two features, I still felt that I lacked a comprehensive knowledge of the sales and distribution landscape. The Market Trader course really helped fill in some of my blind spots and has had a significant impact on the way I now develop projects as a producer.”
Emma Yap, Bankside Films said:
"Participating in Market Trader gave me more confidence in my ability to sell and was great preparation for me to start selling in my first market. Being assigned my own personal mentor was invaluable, and I really appreciated being given access to a broad network of other people working in the industry, many of whom I am still in touch with. Overall, Market Trader was a great experience and equipped me with the skills and confidence that I need to carry out my job more effectively."
Edward Fletcher, MD, Soda Pictures said:
“I’m very pleased that Kevin had the chance to attend the excellent Market Trader course, it is a great opportunity to network with peers and see the international market place first hand from different perspectives”
- Market Trader