Lorraine Heggessey is one of the UK’s most well-known television executives, Lorraine has held a range of senior positions. As the first female Controller of BBC One, Lorraine comprehensively rebranded the channel, launching a raft of new shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Spooks. In 2012 she co-founded Boom Pictures, a new independent production group that has grown rapidly since it’s launch attracting some of the UK’s leading creative talent.
Liz heads Grant Thornton's UK tax service to media clients, dealing with advisory and compliance work for entrepreneurial and listed companies. Liz has been closely involved with the development of the new tax credits for High-End TV and Animation and the tax status of people working in the TV industry, working with the main UK trade bodies in consultation with HMRC. Her experience also includes finance and tax support for not for profit organisations and educational charities.
Judith Chan is currently a Director in the Media Banking division of Coutts & Co. She is responsible for originating new corporate business, developing new products for the Bank, and specialises in structured finance in the film and television sectors. Prior to Coutts, Judith was a Business Development Director at Ingenious Media plc, advisers and investors in the media and entertainment sectors, where she was responsible for managing three equity funds, principally investing in the television sector. Prior to this, Judith was a Relationship Manager at Coutts for eight years, where she managed a portfolio of clients and headed up the Bank’s involvement in the film and television sectors, and an Analyst at NatWest Markets, the corporate and investment banking arm in Los Angeles, working with the mini and major film and television studios, and spearheaded the Bank’s involvement with the independents. Judith is also a Trustee of MediCinema.
Jo Clinton-Davis is Controller of Factual at ITV and her commissions include Long Lost Family, Paul O’Grady for the Love of Dogs, Trevor McDonald Inside Death Row/Women Behind Bars, HMP Aylesbury, Our Queen, 56 Up, Strictly Kosher, Billy Connolly's Route 66, Joanna Lumley's Nile, Secrets of the Workhouse and the arts strand Perspectives.
Prior to joining ITV, Jo was Head of Commissioning for UKTV's ten channels having been Head of Independent Commissioning at the BBC where she commissioned Masterchef, The Hairy Bikers, Grumpy Old Men and Victoria Wood's Big Fat Documentary amongst many others. She directed and series produced Making Babies with Robert Winston and also The Store about Selfridges for BBC One and directed many single films for the award-winning strands 40 Minutes and Inside Story.
Alex Cooke is CEO of Renegade Pictures, the company she founded with Alan Hayling, and Jon Rowlands where she has produced a range of documentaries for both international and domestic broadcasters including directing Tea Party America and Closing Guantanamo for BBC2's This World. Prior to this Alex directed United Gates Of America for the BBC, a one-hour documentary about race and immigration inside one of California’s largest gated communities. In 2005 she initiated and produced a ten part series for Discovery Times, Only In America, immersing herself in subcultures across the US and in 2004 made her debut feature documentary, How Arnold Won The West, a political satire following Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign trail to become Governor. Before directing Alex was the programmer of Sheffield International Documentary Festival from 1997 to 2001. From 1991 to 1993 she was a founder member and Managing Director of The Big Issue.
Emma Cooper is a Commissioning Editor in Factual at Channel 4. She commissions both single documentaries and series for the channel and also commissions the Cutting Edge strand. Prior to joining Channel 4 she was at the BBC for 14 years working across titles such as Mischief and Louis Theroux. She series produced and directed films such as Louis Theroux: A Place For Paedophiles and Miami Mega-jail.
David DeHaney is head of Factual at Victory Television. Previously he had successful roles at Nutopia, Love Productions and the BBC. His recent credits include Tough Young Teachers, The Woman that Woke up Chinese and Is Football Racist?. He has worked across all the major channels as an Executive Producer following an award-winning career as a documentary producer/director. Other credits include Boys and Girls Alone, The Baby Borrowers, Young Autistic and Stagestruck, I Want my Dad Back and Me and My Mum.
Liesel Evans is an Executive Producer at Century Films – an award winning independent company with a reputation for producing high quality distinctive documentaries. Over the last 20 years, as a producer director, series producer and executive producer Liesel has a proven track record in making high-profile and high-rating documentaries, winning awards both in the UK and internationally. Amongst many other projects at Century, Liesel executive produced the RTS and Grierson nominated The Life and Loss of Karen Woo, the critically acclaimed The Railways: Keeping Britain on Track and Brian Hill’s Welcome to the World.
Briony Hanson is The British Council’s Director of Film, responsible for promoting UK films and filmmakers internationally. Previously she has been Director of The Script Factory; Director of Tyneside Cinema; headed the BFI Programme Unit and co-programmed the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. She has conducted numerous onstage interviews from Julianne Moore and Gus Van Sant to Dustin Hoffman and Andrej Wajda. She makes occasional broadcast appearances and is a regular film critic for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, co-edited the 2008 Filmmakers' Yearbook, and was DIVA Magazine’s Film Editor from 2007-12.
Chris Harris has worked as a cinema programmer for City Screen since 2007. City Screen is the owner and operator of Picturehouse Cinemas, Britain’s largest circuit of Independent cinemas. Formed in 1989, to challenge the modern multiplex, City Screen provides cinemas in city centre locations to serve local communities and offer a broader range of films. In 2009, Chris helped to launch the Picturehouse DOCS programming strand, which works with distributors and filmmakers to bring the best in documentary film to cinema screens. Films featured as part of Picturehouse DOCS include Burma VJ, Erasing David, The First Movie and Just Do It.
Christopher Hird is the founder of the documentary company Dartmouth Films, whose credits include John Pilger’s The War You Don’t See (2010), David Sington’s Sundance selected The Flaw (2011), Dan Edelstyn’s BFI London Film Festival selected How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire (2011), and Rupert Murray’s The End of the Line, winner of the 2011 Puma Award for social impact. He is a former chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, was the founding chair of the Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation and is a trustee of the Wincott Foundation and the Centre for Investigative Journalism. Since January 2013 he has been managing editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, based at the City University.
Morgan Matthews has been making critically acclaimed documentaries for over ten years. Amongst his most notable early films were the feature length documentaries Taxidermy: Stuff the World and Beautiful Young Minds, both of which garnered award nominations from bodies including BAFTA, RTS and Grierson.
Morgan went on to set up Minnow Films, a company that has become known for its work with both exciting new talent and established award-winning directors. At Minnow Films, Morgan directed The Fallen, a three-hour film that paid tribute to every British serviceman and woman to have died whilst serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. As well as being nominated for a Grierson, The Fallen won an RTS and two BAFTA’s, including one for Best Factual Director. Most recently, Morgan was again BAFTA and Grierson nominated for the powerful Scenes from a Teenage Killing.
Tom McDonald is currently Acting Head of Science and Natural History for the BBC having been Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, Science and Natural History since 2012. Recent commissions include for BBC One Nick & Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits; for BBC Two An Hour To Save Your Life and for BBC Four Hidden Histories: Britain’s Oldest Family Businesses. Previously he was an Executive Producer on 24 Hours In A&E (Channel 4); Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC One) and science experiment The Young Ones (BBC One).
Sanjay Singhal is Chief Executive of Voltage TV Productions, a new indie which he started in 2013. Previously, he was MD of Dragonfly Productions where he oversaw more than two hundred hours of factual programming. He was also Exec Producer on some of the company's highest-profile documentaries, including One Born Every Minute, The Hotel and The Plane Crash.
Sanjay spent most of his career at the BBC in News and Current Affairs, becoming a Senior Producer at Newsnight and then spending two years covering America as the BBC's Washington Producer. He was a Series and Executive Producer on a range of peak-time documentary and factual entertainment series for all the BBC channels including the award-winning The Apprentice.
Celia Taylor is Head of Factual and Features at Sky Entertainment. Since joining in 2009 she has commissioned Pineapple Dance Studios, Ross Kemp Extreme World, won a BAFTA for Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough and delivered Sky’s highest ever rating series An Idiot Abroad and many more. She also edits the theatrical release documentary strand on Sky Atlantic. Prior to this she was Director of Programmes at Virgin Media responsible for four of their five digital channels. As a Commissioning Editor for Factual at the BBC she worked across BBC One, Two and Three on a wide ranging and award winning output and created the new director strand Fresh. Before moving into commissioning she worked as a freelance producer for many independent production companies and broadcasters.
Andy Whittaker is the founder of Dogwoof, creating a leading film distributor of documentary and social issue films. Films include Blackfish, The Act of Killing and Dreams of a Life. Andy looks after Dogwoof’s business strategy which is intimately linked to the development of online activities. Previously he was at eBay and Barclays.