Panel Discussion

WFTV Career Tips and Tricks: Drama

6th June 2019 18:30

Thursday 6 June | 6:30pm – 8:30pm 

London Film School Cinema A, 24 Shelton Street, WC2H 9UB

We’re thrilled to announce our knock-out panelists for the next in WFTV’s strand, Career Tips and Tricks: Drama.

Speakers Hope Dickson Leach (Writer Director and co-founder Raising Films); Anna Griffin (Producer, Griffin Pictures);  Zara Meerza (Screenwriter and Filmmaker); Maggie Ellis (Film London’s Artists’ Moving Image Network) and Krishnendu Majumdar (BAFTA Television Chair and award-winning producer and director) will be discussing how to forge careers in Drama.

Hosted by WFTV board member Liz McIntyre, Career Tips and Tricks: Drama is part of a strand of panel talks offering inspirational expert advice on how to get hired and succeed in your dream job in TV, film or VR and games. Whether you’re just starting out, consolidating your career, or curious about transferring your skills to a different role, come and join us!

Hope Dickson Leach completed her MFA in filmmaking at Columbia University where she made three short films that played at festivals worldwide. While in New York she was assistant to Todd Solondz on his film PALINDROMES. Hope’s award-winning thesis film, THE DAWN CHORUS, was selected for Sundance, Edinburgh, London and many other festivals. Screen International made her a Star of Tomorrow and Filmmaker Magazine named her one of the ’25 New Faces of Independent Film’. Since her return to the UK, she has made further acclaimed short works for Channel 4, Film London, the UK Film Council and the National Theatre of Scotland. Her debut feature; THE LEVELLING, produced by Wellington Films as part the iFeatures scheme (funded by BBC Films, the BFI and Creative England) had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016. At the London Film Festival she was awarded the inaugural IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI and in 2017 she won the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Screenplay and was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit. She is currently developing several features and is a co-founder of Raising Films – a campaign to make the film industry more parent-friendly. She lives in Scotland with her husband and two sons.

Anna Griffin is an independent producer working in both documentary and fiction with Wellington Films and her own newly formed, Griffin Pictures.

With Wellington, Anna Co-Produced Hope Dickson Leach’s debut feature, THE LEVELLING (TIFF, LFF) and most recently produced Highlands set thriller, CALIBRE (EIFF), alongside Alastair Clark, written & directed by Matt Palmer, supported by Creative England and Scotland with global distribution from Netflix.  Anna is leading on a development slate with projects from Kefi Chadwick, Karan Kandhari and Tom Haines.

Working as a Producer with Artdocs, Anna produced the company’s debut feature documentary, PAA JOE & THE LION (SXSW) from Benjamin Wigley, which is capturing the imaginations of international audiences on the festival circuit, art galleries and Amazon Prime.  From the success of this project, Artdocs was listed in Creative England’s 2017 report, CE50, celebrating the 50 most innovative and creative independent companies in the UK.

In 2018 Anna launched her own production company, Griffin Pictures, and is in post-production on THE TUNNEL, a feature film pilot written & directed by BAFTA nominated Arash Ashtiani, with support from the BFI.

Anna is a 2018 Screen Star of Tomorrow and the recipient of the inaugural Simon Relph Memorial Bursary.

Zara Meerza is a British-Indian filmmaker, journalist, and screenwriter based between London and Los Angeles. Previously she’s worked on projects for the BBC, BFI, Sky Arts, Arts Council UK, and Warp Films across feature films, festivals, interactive, VR and TV. She has a background in the music and journalism industries and holds degrees in Art History from Cambridge University, University College London and the University of Manchester.

In 2016 she was chosen by the BFI, BAFTA, All3Media, Creative Skillset, and the National Film and Television School for various talent and development initiatives for diverse and underrepresented voices in film and TV. She was a 2017 Producers Guild of America Diversity Fellow, and a 2017 Black List x Women In Film Episodic Lab Fellow. She was a 2018 Sheffield Doc Fest Future Producer, a 2018 ATX Television Festival & Black List TV Writing Program Fellow and 2018 Screencraft Public Domain Winner. Zara is also a co-founder of Women on Docs LA and regularly hosts panels at documentary screenings and festivals. In 2018 Zara worked with Topic/First Look Media to adapt an article from The Intercept into a scripted TV drama series, CRISIS GAMES SOCIETY. She has also partnered with Mother Jones to adapt their article, CLOAK AND DATA: THE REAL STORY BEHIND CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA’S RISE AND FALL into a dramatic thriller for TV.

Additionally, Zara serves on screening committees and juries for film festivals, fellowships and screenwriting competitions, including True/False, Open City Doc Fest, Women in Film LA, and BAFTA.

Maggie Ellis has worked in the independent film industry for 30 years, and has been involved with films for television and cinema, both shorts and features. She has worked as a stills photographer and sound technician and has directed documentaries for television, before moving into production roles for companies which include Partners in Production, Cinecontact, Double Exposure. For seven years she was Production Executive for Channel4 and Arts Council England’s experimental animation scheme, animate! She has worked at Film London since 2005, initially as Head of Production where she was involved in setting up the Microwave scheme and oversaw eight productions, including Eran Creavy’s SHIFTY and Hong Khaou’s LILTING. Commissioned filmmakers included Carol Morley, Clio Barnard, Tom Harper. In 2013 she became Head of Film London’s Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), a department that commissions short and long form moving image work, runs development schemes, curates touring programmes and runs the prestigious annual Jarman Award. Shortlisted artists include Duncan Campbell, Ben Rivers, Elizabeth Price and quite a few others who went on to be shortlisted for, or win, the Turner Prize among other notable awards.

Maggie is on the Board of Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre (SMEC), is production advisor to the Emerging Creatives programme at the Hospital Club and sits on the documentary and animation working groups for Cine Regio, the European network of filmfunders. She also lectures at universities, including Sheffield Hallam and UAL.

Being closely involved in both mainstream and artists’ moving image work, Maggie is particularly interested in hybrid productions which cross borders and have exciting new approaches to storytelling.

Krishnendu Majumdar is an EMMY-winning producer and director. He is the co-founder of Me+You Productions – an award-winning independent film and television production company alongside Richard Yee. They make cinematic authored drama and comedy with the very best writing and directing talent.

They are currently in production on a 3×60’ authored drama anthology series I AM for C4 written and directed by BAFTA winning Dominic Savage starring Samantha Morton, Vicky McClure and Gemma Chan and have recently completed shooting the second series SICK OF IT – a 6×30’ scripted comedy drama series for Sky written by Karl Pilkington and Richard Yee starring Karl Pilkington. THE DALI AND THE COOPER, a single film for Sky Arts written by Roger Drew + Ed Dyson, directed by Iain Forsyth + Jane Pollard starring David Suchet, Sheila Hancock and Noel Fielding with music by Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley was recently broadcast on Sky Arts. The show won a Royal Television Society Award.

Krish is the co-creator of three series of the BAFTA-nominated AN IDIOT ABROAD starring Ricky Gervais Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. The franchise is a global hit sold to 210 territories. Me+You’s other output includes two series of International EMMY winning HOFF THE RECORD (a scripted comedy starring David Hasselhoff and Asim Chaudhry) which also airs on Netflix in the US and sold to 173 territories.

Krish is also the Chairman of the BAFTA Television Committee, on the BAFTA Board of Trustees, a PACT Council Member and formerly on the Board of Directors UK.




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