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Meet Creative England's 2016 Future Leaders

Today's 'Creative England Live 2016: Catalyse' event has seen the announcement of this year's Creative England 50 report and Future Leaders selection. 

The CE50 aims to shine a light on the fantastic creative individuals and companies across England, as chosen by a panel of industry experts. You can read about last year's CE50 companies here.

The Future Leaders have been selected from the CE50 as those who have produced particularly innovative, creative content or products and are helping to inspire other creatives within and outside of their sector.

You can read more about the chosen Future Leaders below....

Andrew Haigh

Andrew Haigh is a writer/director. He is also an Executive Producer and showrunner on HBO’s 'LOOKING' for which he wrote and directed multiple episodes. Andrew has written and directed two high profile features - 'Weekend' and '45 Years'. 'Weekend' premiered at SXSW in March 2011 and picked up over 25 international awards before being distributed theatrically worldwide. In the US it also received a prestigious Criterion Collection release on DVD and Blu-Ray.

'45 Years' was filmed on location in Norfolk and tells the story of a couple whose marriage faces crisis after a letter arrives about an old girlfriend who died years earlier. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015 where it won two Golden Bear Awards, and has since received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding British Film. Charlotte Rampling has also been nominated for Best Actress at the 88th Annual Academy Awards for '45 YEARS'.


Braci is a sound recognition platform that allows users to convert sounds into visual and sensory notifications through smart devices. The platform uses a unique and patentable digital fingerprinting sound recognition method that has been developed by Braci whose developers have so far created two main applications based on this technology:

  • Braci PRO – which allows users who are deaf, hard of hearing and elderly to be notified to sounds that ensure their safety, security and comfort alongside other features that can help in communications.
  • Snoring Detector – a unique method of tackle snoring. When snoring is detected during sleep, the application notifies the user through light and short pulses via a smart watch, prompting them to move into another position without waking them.

Duck Soup Films

Established in 2015, Duck Soup Films is a collaboration between BAFTA and International EMMY award winning producer Bekki Wray-Rogers, ex Warp Films producer Libby Durdy and Line Producer Jessica Holyland. The organisation’s eclectic development slate includes feature films, TV Drama series and digital projects with international range. The team is working with some of the very best established names but is also committed to nurturing innovative projects from emerging talent across the cultural industries.

Hurricane Films

Hurricane Films has enjoyed broadcast and immersive film commissions from the BBC, Channel Four, ITV, National Geographic Channel and PBS in the USA, with work screened internationally in over forty countries. Owned and run by Solon Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter; each partner brings a wealth of experience from highly successful individual writing and documentary careers. Both are multiple award winners and BAFTA nominees.

Hurricane Films' feature documentary 'Of Time and the City' – a ‘visual poem’ meditating on the director Terence Davies' relationship with his home city Liverpool – was selected and screened at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival to huge critical acclaim. The feature was subsequently named in Time Magazine’s top ten films of the year and also won the highly prestigious New York Critics Circle non-fiction film of the year 2009.

2014 saw Hurricane Films produce the Agyness Deyn and Peter Mullan starrer 'Sunset Song', a feature film adapted from the book of the same title. The film was shot on 65mm, directed again by Terence Davies and released into UK cinemas in 2015 with its World Premiere at Toronto Film Festival in 2015. The same year saw Hurricane shoot 'A Quiet Passion' in Massachusetts and Belgium starring Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine; a biopic of the great American poet Emily Dickinson. The film will be released in 2016.

Lockwood Publishing

Lockwood Publishing is a leading cross platform developer producing entertainment software for the mobile market. The company was founded in 2009 to focus on content production and publishing for the Sony PlayStation Home virtual environment delivering social spaces, games and virtual items for over 20 million players.

During the lifetime of PlayStation Home Lockwood was voted best developer by users for 5 consecutive years. The company is now focused on the Free to Play business model on mobile and tablet platforms. Avakin Life, the mobile virtual world social network, was launched in Autumn 2014 and has achieved over 12 million downloads to date.


Founded by Jacqueline J. Lam, Dainius Dulinskas and Jonas Simkus in 2014, Mihaibao eliminates the friction and cost of buying genuine Western luxury and unique goods for Chinese consumers, and will revolutionise shopping by offering them the Western market in one place. Jacqueline says; “This is a market currently serviced by a huge army of parallel illegal grey-market “private shoppers” that is estimated to be worth over $15 billion on luxury goods alone in 2014. In China, low consumer trust in domestic goods and a growing middle class of nearly 340m people will further add supply pressures on neighbouring countries. Western merchants are eager to serve China but many do not understand the Chinese culture, shopping behaviour and trends, making China a high risk investment.”

After filling up too many suitcases with luxury handbags, beauty and food products when visiting family in China, Jacqueline became obsessed with fixing the supply and demand problem, scaling trust between the East and the West. “This ‘shop the West with one click’ accessing latest unique products with zero mark up, is a convenience and privilege non- existing to Chinese consumers pre-Mihaibao era. The team are confident that with the expertise on their board, they will deliver a revolutionary service for China and beyond, while legalising the grey market and changing the world’s perception from ‘Made In China’ to ‘Made For China’, forever,” as she puts it.

Shark Infested Custard

Shark Infested Custard is a very unique games development company, with an aim to help aspiring developers set up their own companies. Working in partnership with the Easter Enterprise Hub and supported by local authorities and Universities, SIC mentors and guides those at the studio through both games and business development. The studio’s free 10-month program is open to anyone with the drive and aspiration to become a world leading developer and is supported by experts from the world of games and business.


StashMetrics is a social media analytics tool designed to help brands build more relevant, engaging campaigns. The software uses social media data from a brand’s target audience to help marketers understand what makes the group unique and how to reach them effectively. 

Originally founded in 2014, the startup went through the Collider accelerator program before launching the first version of its software in March that year. During late 2014 and early 2015 StashMetrics established a successful beta involving customers ranging from Unilever to Havas media and built momentum towards its next funding round, which closed in September.


Thumbfood began in April 2014 when video games professional Simon Smith was made redundant one time too many and decided to go it alone. Within one month, Manchester City Football Club commissioned Thumbfood to make multiple games for the football club website and the studio has since been shortlisted for Venturefest, Fresh Digital/Northern SOHO, and TIGA awards.

In 2015 Thumbfood worked on more white-label projects for major clients and its own original IP prototypes, including ‘OddDog’ in collaboration with world-renowned film and TV model makers, Mackinnon and Saunders.

Treehouse Digital

Treehouse Digital is a production company specialising in high concept family entertainment. Founded by childhood friends, it is a ‘Story Laboratory’ that nurtures original ideas through each stage of production via the writer’s room, VFX studio, editorial and sound facilities in Bournemouth. From web videos to TV and film, the driving force behind every production is awesome narrative.

The Treehouse is a place of creativity and play where the team strives to find solutions to any obstacle using ‘old tricks with new tools’. Treehouse is passionate about telling stories across all platforms and in any format.

To read more about our Creative England 50 report for 2016, click here.

To find out more about CELive2016:Catalyse, visit our micro site or follow the hashtag #CELive2016 on twitter.

  • Future Leader
  • CE Live 2016