Kat is Director of UK Feminista, an organisation supporting women and men to take action for gender equality. She is also author of The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women and Men Today, published by Faber and Faber. In 2010, Kat was named in The Guardian as “the UK’s most influential young feminist”. She is the founder of FEM Conferences – a series of national feminist conferences, and was previously Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society and Women’s Development Worker at the Northern Refugee Centre.
J Blakeson is a screenwriter and director. His debut feature was the critically acclaimed kidnap thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed. His latest film as director, The 5th Wave is an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Rick Yancey, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Maria Bello and Liev Schreiber. It will be released worldwide in January 2016.
Samm Haillay is the producer of Duane Hopkins’ multi-award winning short films and his feature debut Better Things (2008), which premiered to critical acclaim at Cannes. Samm also produced Hopkins’ film installations series Sunday, which played at Baltic and as part of Abandon Normal Devices before traveling to Yokohama and Toronto. Cigarette at Night (2011) one of the films in the Sunday series also screed at Cannes in 2011 and went on to have a festival life in its own right. He co-produced Gillian Wearing’s feature debut Self Made (2011). Samm’s short film productions have won over 45 awards.
Andrew Kötting is the director of several experimental shorts, which were awarded prizes at numerous international film festivals. Gallivant (1996), was his first feature film. In 2001 he directed the first of his Landworks trilogy; This Filthy Earth and in 2009 Ivul. He continues to work on multi media art projects including Mapping Perception, In The Wake of a Deadad (2006) and most recently Swandown in collaboration with the writer Iain Sinclair. His feature film Louyre – This Our Still Life (2011) premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Joan Leese is Director of VET Post Production and Training. VET is a boutique Facility in Shoreditch that offers post-production services for broadcast, corporate and online content as well as Independent and experimental film. Joan steers innovation and development, and holds overall responsibility for the training activities.
Joan and VET have supported Underwire since its inception and value the festival’s achievements in supporting women filmmakers and creating a dynamic thoughtful space for women to share and develop. As a technical woman in the Industry she values Underwire’s platform for craft and technical alongside wider categories of women in film.
Joan blends her solid technical industry background as a BBC engineer with her current experience of a post production house to create relevant and up-to-date training and is committed to making technology understandable to people who lack technical confidence as well as ‘digital natives’. Additionally, she has designed and run numerous women-only or women focussed training programmes.
Internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers working today, renowned for creating extraordinary human portraits and tackling controversial topics with sensitivity and compassion. Highlights include Sisters in Law (2005), winner of a 2008 Peabody Award and two Cannes awards; Hold Me Tight, Let me Go (2007), winner of the Special Jury Prize at IDFA; The BAFTA Award-winning Divorce Iranian Style (1998); Dream Girls (1993), winner of Best Documentary at Films de Femmes; and Shinjuku Boys (1995), winner for Outstanding Documentary at the Sand Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is the author of: Visual and Other Pleasures (Macmillan 1989; second edition 2009), Fetishism and Curiosity (British Film Institute 1996), Citizen Kane (in the BFI Classics series 1996) andDeath Twenty-four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (Reaktion Books 2006). She has made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen including Riddles of the Sphinx (BFI 1978) and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (Arts Council 1980) and with artist/film-maker Mark Lewis Disgraced Monuments (Channel 4, 1994).
Molly is an exceptional young British composing talent who has risen to prominence with a range of fresh, distinct and highly regarded scores. Molly has scored Michael Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart (2007) and Road To Guantanamo (2006), and Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts (2006) and the critically acclaimed film of Donald Crowhurst’s 1968 round the world yacht race, Deep Water. In 2009 she scored Shifty, the film premiered at the London Film Festival and Molly received a BIFA (British Independent Film Award) nomination for best score.
Rebecca O’Brien has been an independent film producer for over twenty years. She has produced twelve feature films directed by Ken Loach, including Land and Freedom (1995), Sweet Sixteen (2002), My Name is Joe (1998) and Looking for Eric (2009). In 2006 The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006), set during the Irish War of Independence, won the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Next year they will release The Angels’ Share set in Scotland. O’Brien is a director of South West Screen and is on the Film Industry Training Board. She runs her company Sixteen Films with Ken Loach.
Nira founded Big Talk Productions in 1995, through which she produced the award-winning comedy series Spaced, as well as three series of the BAFTA winning sitcom Black Books, and the Rose D’Or nominated comedy/drama Free Agents. In 2007, Nira expanded Big Talk Productions and created Big Talk Pictures and is now CEO of both companies. Her credits include Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (2010), Paul (2011) and Attack the Block (2011).
One of the UK’s most respected and versatile actresses, Maxine first came to prominence in Victoria Wood’s sitcom Dinnerladies. Becoming something of a national treasure due to her role as Veronica in the first four series of Shameless, Maxine has gone on to deliver blistering performances playing Myra Hindley in See No Evil, and the 19th Century lesbian diarist Anne Lister in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.
Virginie Sélavy is the founder and editor of Electric Sheep, an online magazine for offbeat, left-field and transgressive cinema. She is the editor of The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology and has contributed to World Directory Cinema: Eastern Europe and the London volume of Film Locations: Cities of the Imagination. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Guardian, Sight and Sound, Cineaste and Frieze.