Meet our fantastic participants for this year's NETWORK Weekender programme
This year BFI NETWORK welcomed applications from non-binary, trans and female identifying filmmakers for our 2019 edition of the NETWORK Weekender. With over 200 applications received, shortlisting was tough, but we're so excited for you to meet our 22 new writers, directors and producers taking part from all over the UK. Our Talent Development programme will be taking place in Manchester where we hope to inspire, challenge and spark collaboration in our creatives whilst giving them access to a super lineup of industry guests and masterclasses. The initiative kicks off on 12 July, and we can't wait to report back. See you on the other side!
The full list of filmmakers taking part in the NETWORK Weekender 2019:
Alex Clarke - Writer
I’m an autistic writer using myth and monsters (I love a good monster) to tell stories about contemporary power structures. My drama series Below is in development with Bonafide Films for Channel 4 and uses the autistic lens to explore the fantasy world created by a young autistic woman to escape domestic violence. It won the Northumbria University and Channel 4 TV Drama Award. My drama Poundland Vanilla Princess has just been shortlisted for the BBC Alfred Bradley Award, and I’m currently penning the series The Devil Went Down To Gorton and a semi-autobiographical piece, When I Was A Troll, about homelessness in Manchester.
Caitlin McLeod - Director
Caitlin McLeod is a theatre and film director working for over a decade in both London and New York. She has directed theatre at leading institutions, including Signature Theatre, The Orange Tree, The Yard, the Almeida and Shakespeare’s Globe. In 2016 she received a Sky Arts Scholarship to found her new-writing company The Coterie, which develops multi-disciplinary performance projects with women at the core. Her work straddles all genres but most often dark comedy and sci-fi. Her latest short Plantlife was a finalist in the London Lift-Off Festival 2019. Caitlin was born in Iowa in the US and grew up in Yorkshire.
Cassiah Joski-Jethi – Writer/Director
Cassiah is a writer-director who began her career working for Gurinder Chadha OBE after a chance meeting on a train! Soon after, Cassiah's debut award-nominated play Under My Thumb toured across the UK, and her play London With A Perfect Skyline recently previewed in London. Cassiah's screen work has been awarded in the West Field Screenwriting Awards (finalist), BBC Script Room Drama (longlist), and Moondance International Film Festival (winner). Cassiah's developing a number of TV/film projects, including her short Catch A Butcher कच्चा बच्चे. She's also a member of BFI NETWORK X BAFTA Crew, mentored by Angeli Macfarlane.
Charlie George – Writer/Director
Charlie is a comedian and writer. A former circus performer and dancer, she came to comedy to find her voice. Turns out her voice is a lot like an 18th-century white man’s trapped inside the body of a queer brown lady. LGBT New Comedian of the Year 2019 and Leicester Square New Comedian and Pride’s Got Talent finalist, Charlie performed live on BBC Asian Network, gigs across the country and runs and hosts her own comedy night ‘Crack-Up Comedy Cabaret,’ in aid of Mental Health. She is working class, queer and mixed-race, and relishes putting marginalised and misrepresented voices centre stage.
Charlie Tidmas – Writer
Charlie is a two-times graduate of the BFI Film Academy, including a talent campus hosted by the National Film and Television School. He has recently received the first MA Screenwriting Distinction grade in Met Film School history. His graduation feature script has placed in international competitions, including the Academy Nicholl Fellowship. He writes and edits independent film scripts for a wide variety of filmmakers, focussing on diverse and creative storytelling. He was commissioned to write and direct a short film by Channel 4's Random Acts initiative, and he develops his own writer-director projects alongside his writing work.
Eleanor Capaldi – Writer/Director
Eleanor Capaldi is a writer and director based in Scotland. Eleanor graduated with an MLitt in Film and Television Studies from the University of Glasgow and writes journalism, short stories, spoken word, theatre and film scripts. Journalism has appeared in DIVA, VICE, Munchies, The Skinny and for Glasgow Film Theatre. Fiction has been published by Gutter Magazine, The Interpreter's House, The Skinned Knee Collective and in anthologies including Queering the Map (Knight Errant Press). Short film Pull screened in competition at the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, and next short Glue is in post-production. Eleanor is interested in exploring moments of connection. Outside these creative projects, she works in a museum – no exhibits have come to life just yet, but there’s time.
Ellie Rogers – Writer/Director
Ellie is a London based freelance director. She is passionate about exploring queer narratives, adolescence and coming of age stories. Filmmakers that constantly provide inspiration are Céline Sciamma and Lynne Ramsay. Her recent short, They Found Her in a Field, premiered at BFI Flare 2019 and her previous short, Outlines, screened at worldwide festivals including Vancouver International, Toronto Inside Out, London Short FF and was nominated for the Iris Prize 2017. As well as shorts, she directs educational comedy videos for History Bombs, working with commissioners such as BBC and Historical Royal Palaces, and received a Children’s BAFTA in 2017.
Emmeline Hartley – Producer
Emmeline is a Derby-based producer-actor who has made many short films including award-winners Cadence, Clockworks and After Party. Now, Emmeline is in the last leg of post-production on her latest film, Keep Breathing, supported by BFI NETWORK, which explores themes of sexual consent. Emmeline also has production credits on a couple of features, including Madness in the Method (to be released this year), and she coordinates and hosts ‘Nexus’, the largest industry-networking event in the East Midlands.
Fatma Wardy – Writer/Director
Fatma is animated by tales of heritage, history and community. She wants to bring Sudanese culture to new audiences and works across narrative and non-fiction storytelling. Fatma is especially interested in imaging the interior life of black British Muslim girls because the level of representation we get compared to how funny we are is not high enough! Growing up in rural Dumfries, Scotland, with the outsider experience of being a first-generation immigrant has been a point of strength for Fatma as a documentarian and self-shooting video producer.
Iria Pizania – Producer
Iria is a multi-award-winning producer and director with work screened across the world at international film festivals. Iria's work includes short and feature films, live performance and corporate/sales videos as well as working with devised theatre and dance performers. She was part of the 2019 cohort of the 'Widening the Lens' scheme by Encounters Film Festival. Iria is currently producing a slate of films and is a vocal advocate and activist for promoting equal opportunities and wider access into the creative industries.
Jack Goessens – Writer/Director
Jack is a Dutch-born filmmaker who moved to the UK in 2011. After graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland his graduation film Gender Twister was nominated for various awards (always the bridesmaid, never the bride). He won the Glasgow Short Film Festival pitch contest with his script Bouba & Kiki and the film premiered there as part of the Scottish Competition in March 2019. As an invisible minority Jack is interested in social topics and showing the world from his ‘uncanny valley’ perspective. He insists he’s not a robot.
Jane Hearst – Writer/Director
Jane is an East Midlands creative, working primarily in film. She views creative media as the most effective way of engaging critical audiences: paving the way for social change. Through her work, Jane attempts to use a variety of creative practices to improve resilience, understanding and communication in both her participants and audiences. She is passionate about mental health, artistic expression and community engagement, and believes that all of these things can be united through the act of storytelling. She works by the mantra of ‘Complex Stories, Made Simple’ – believing that a story, told well, can significantly contribute towards one's wellbeing.
Kam Gandhi – Writer
Kam has a background in experimental film and video and has worked with ‘outreach’ community groups, facilitating media projects. Passionate about telling stories, she is a screenwriter who is interested in narratives that move on the experience of being black, female and British and giving voice to the outsiders of society. Her screenplays have been awarded production and writing grants and have been short-listed for competitions. She believes that stories have the power to transform our communities as well as shape our future selves and that the time has come to rethink the stories we tell each other.
Laura Roe – Writer/Director
Laura Margo Roe is a writer-director from the Midlands. She trained at Birmingham Royal Ballet and went on to gain a First Class Degree for Dance and Drama at the University of Lincoln. In 2014 she co-directed a physical theatre piece for The Lincoln Companies’ 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Tour. She was then commissioned by Channel 4’s Random Acts programme to create Name and has recently finished her first short narrative Size 8. Laura is currently working with Strive Films on her next short narrative Pop.
Lauren Parker – Producer
Lauren is a Midlands-based producer with her production company Kato Pictures (named after her pet cat and favourite office companion). Her recent short Wash Club debuted online with Short of the Week and was awarded a Vimeo Staff Pick after a successful festival run. Lauren was selected for the Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab in 2018 with the feature-length version of Wash Club. Lauren has worked in production across features such as the BFI backed The Devil Outside and television with Wellington Films, Endemol and BSLBT. Her most recent short Majority, funded by BFI NETWORK, is currently in post-production.
Oskar Howard – Director
Oskar Howard is a BFI Film Academy Alumni, after carrying out a placement as director on the prestigious BFI NFTS Craft Residential Course in 2017. Moving forward, they worked closely with Clapperboard UK from 2017-2018, an innovative, non-profit organisation promoting minority and youth voices through the medium of film. During summer 2018, Oskar completed a placement on Hollyoaks, shadowing/working as a 3rd AD. In early 2018, Oskar was named as one of Channel 4’s ‘Rising Stars’ and went on to gain a place on the Channel 4 Apprenticeship Scheme. As part of this scheme, they're currently working in the development team at Studio Lambert, where they have been involved with shows such as Gogglebox, Race Across the World and Tattoo Fixers.
Rhona Foster – Writer/Director
Rhona Foster, 27, grew up in Edinburgh before moving to London to attend art school. She studied BA Fine Art Media at The Slade School of Fine Art, graduating in 2017. Throughout her BA, Rhona was interested in using sculptures, props and costumes to create fictional characters and narratives through which she could explore political and societal topics. For Rhona’s first project, she dressed up as a fork. Themes pertaining to class, consumerism and social media are persistent throughout all of Rhona’s work.
Rosanagh Griffiths – Director/Producer
Rosanagh has spent the last six years building a respected career in post-production, working with some of the UK’s top talent. With her quirky sense of style and social justice, she has established herself within the industry as a passionate self-starter, approaching her filmmaking education through practical means. In 2017 she launched Spinster Films, aiming to focus on female/non-binary driven projects. Through Spinster, Rosanagh has produced the short documentary My Mama, A Man (2019) and is currently in production on Cindy, a short film starring Bronwyn James that is intended to launch her career as director.
Shauna Shivers McAtamney – Producer
Shauna Shivers McAtamney graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2007 with a BA Hons in Drama and Theatre Studies and began working for the Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People in 2008. As International Executive she works across various film training programmes for young filmmakers and delivers various industry masterclasses with professionals from the creative industries. Shauna also helps deliver Cinemagic International activity in New York, LA and Boston. Shauna has worked on several short and feature films in various roles within the producing and production departments and is very excited to develop her producing skills and knowledge on the BFI NETWORK Weekender.
Shevek Imogen Fodor – Writer
I’m a genderqueer writer from Newcastle upon Tyne, escaping into comedic science fiction and fantasy tales with my storytelling. My primary aim is always entertainment, but I also love being able to use my work to engage audiences with social issues, especially the importance of accepting diversity and loving through adversity. My writing explores people, in whimsical worlds populated by androids, aliens and sentient trees. I’m interested in how we define personhood and people’s relationships to themselves, each other and the environment. I’m currently working on a mockumentary about a nature-loving android who is in a house share with a human.
Tina Pasotra – Writer/Director
Tina is a multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker whose practice spans theatre, dance, fashion, film and installation. Her work has received support from: National Theatre Wales, Arts Council Wales, British Council, Wales Arts International, and she is a current member of BFI NETWORK x BAFTA Crew. Tina’s previous short, But Where Are You From? (C4/Random Acts/Big Dance India), featured at the Science Museum’s ‘Illuminating India’ event and has screened at festivals across the UK and India. Tina is currently in pre-production for her short film I Choose funded through Ffilm Cymru Wales, Beacons scheme.
Zena Igbe – Writer/Director
Zena wrote a satirical comedy web-series called Reprobates about a dysfunctional group of friends’ chaotic attempt to run a pub in Sheffield, drawn from their experiences working in bars. They pulled together a local cast and crew, coordinated rehearsals and scouted locations. Reprobates was made with a very small budget and is one of their proudest achievements to date. They developed the idea and script for Sweet Mother with the aid of BFI NETWORK and Film Hub North. It is the first piece they have written for film that is incredibly personal to them, dealing with cultural rejection for being LGBT+.