Board of Directors
Daniel Battsek, Chair
Daniel Battsek has headed Film4 since 2016. Prior to this, he served as President of New York based Cohen Media Group for three years, where he oversaw the acquisition and release of arthouse/crossover releases as well as a development and production slate of films. Prior to that he spent two and a half years at National Geographic Films, where as President he acquired projects for development and production as well as National Geographic branded large screen and Imax 3D projects. Battsek relocated from the UK to New York in 2005, where he served for five years as President, Filmed Entertainment at Miramax Films. From 1991 to 2005 he held the position of EVP and Managing Director, UK Distribution and European Production & Acquisitions at Buena Vista International, UK, where he oversaw all aspects of UK distribution for 18-25 releases per annum from Walt Disney Studios and their partners including Pixar and Miramax Films. At BVI, Battsek also set up a Comedy Production Label in 2001 which financed and produced three films. Prior to that, Battsek spent six years as Managing Director of Palace Pictures, where he was responsible for the acquisition and distribution of quality independent titles from around the world for release in the UK, and also spent three years as a Sales & Marketing Executive for Hoyts Entertainment in Australia.
John Graydon has been a leading industry advisor at Saffery Champness since 2012, providing specialist advice on film and television financing opportunities in the UK and Internationally. Boasting a tremendous portfolio of clients including Universal Studios, Disney, Lucas Film, 20th Century Fox, and Working Title, John has advised on titles such as Star Wars, Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The King’s Speech. In 2006 John was awarded the UK Production Guild External Merit Award for outstanding contribution to the British film industry, through his efforts in advising the UK government on the creation of the Film Tax Relief and introduction of the TV Tax Relief. John is also Deputy Chair of BFC Advisory Group and will become Chair of the Film London Finance and Audit Committee.
Ian George, Managing Director UK Theatrical, Sony Pictures Entertainment since 2017. Following an early career working for advertising & media agencies, Ian began his theatrical distribution career in 1994 when he Joined Warner Bros. as Marketing Director. Moving to Pathé Distribution in 1999, they quickly became a leading independent force in film production and distribution. In 2006 20th Century Fox tapped Ian to lead their UK Theatrical team and he took charge of releasing a diverse slate of films including the ground-breaking Avatar. Ian joined Paramount Pictures International in 2010 as Head of International Marketing and SVP & MD for Paramount Pictures UK. In 2017 Ian moved to Sony Pictures Entertainment to head theatrical distribution in the UK & Ireland.
Allon Reich has been producing films with Andrew Macdonald at DNA Films since 2002. Their films include The Last King of Scotland, The History Boys, Notes on a Scandal, 28 Weeks Later, Never Let Me Go, Dredd, Sunshine on Leith, Far from the Madding Crowd and the award-winning Ex Machina by Alex Garland. Reich is currently producing an adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation for Paramount, again collaborating with writer/director Alex Garland. DNA established a TV arm in partnership with Fox Networks Group in 2014. Formerly, Reich was at Miramax, where he was the Head of Film UK and executive produced Shekhar Kapur’s Four Feathers and Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things. Previously at Film Four, he worked on many productions including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shallow Grave, The Madness of King George, Brassed Off and Trainspotting.
Anna Higgs works at innovative production company The Ink Factory as Head of Story Worlds and Marketing, working with the team to build their award-winning film, TV and digital projects into immersive narrative universes that engage audiences in new ways and across all platforms. This exciting move builds on her extensive experience to date as a producer and creative executive working at the intersection of film and digital storytelling. In 2015 she was appointed Creative Director at global culture channel NOWNESS, bringing the best emerging and established filmmakers together with bold audience strategies. Before that, she was Head of Digital at Film4, spearheading innovation with projects including Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth, Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 and Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank.
Angela is Managing Director, ITV Studios Entertainment, responsible for the production some of the biggest shows on television. The slate is incredibly varied and the range extends from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here to University Challenge to The Voice, to name just a few of the 25 or so titles. Her role centres on growing the entertainment portfolio, managing the existing shows and the huge number of people that work on them. Prior to that, Angela worked in Broadcast managing a number of television channels, including ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and E4. At ITV2 she acquired Family Guy as well as commissioning the award-winning Plebs, The Big Reunion and Love Island. Under her leadership, ITV2 had its highest ratings ever and won numerous awards including Broadcast Digital Channel of the Year. During her years in commissioning she oversaw Big Brother and commissioned Space Cadets, Misfits and The Inbetweeners and acquired Glee and The Big Bang Theory whilst at Channel 4. When she ran E4 it received both the Broadcast and EITF Channel of the Year. Angela’s career started in television production working across a range of entertainment, documentary and music shows. Angela currently sits on the board of Film London, London First and The Edinburgh International TV Festival as well as sitting on the Advisory Board of Creative Access.
Andrea Lissoni, PhD, is Senior Curator International Art (Film) at Tate Modern, London and curator of HangarBicocca in Milano. The co-founder of the independent artistic network Xing and co-director of the international festival Netmage in Bologna (Live Arts Week since 2011), he has lectured at Bocconi University, Milan, since 2007 and at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan, since 2001. He is the editor of ‘Cujo’ magazine and contributes regularly to ‘Mousse Magazine’. In 2012 he co-founded Vdrome, an online screening programme for artists and filmmakers, which he co-curates since then.
Judith Chan started her career as a financial consultant and became involved with the media sector as an investment banker in Los Angeles. She now has over 20 years of media financing experience, and is currently an Executive Director of Coutts & Co. Leading the film and television department, Chan oversees the development of new business opportunities in the media and entertainment sectors, specialising in structuring film and television lending transactions. An active ambassador for the bank, Judith represents at major national and international markets and festivals, and participating in expert industry panel. She is also a Trustee of Medicinema, The Artichoke Trust and the NFTS Foundation.
Amanda Parker is a media campaigns and communications specialist who has worked in broadcasting for over twenty years, running engagement and awareness campaigns with a focus on diverse and hard-to-reach audiences. After a career in television and radio production and a stint as a promotions director, Amanda moved to campaigns management for the BBC, working on the launch and recruitment for BBC Radio 1Xtra, and working with the BBC’s music radio networks and orchestras on national campaigns. As Head of Communications for Directors UK she wrote the organisation’s first report into the gender disparity in hiring television directors; Amanda works with Fresh Voices UK, which aims to increase the profile, training and opportunities for BAME screen writers working in the UK.
Andy Payne, OBE
Andy Payne, OBE is an experienced computer and video games professional of 29 years. He formed games production specialist, The Producers in 1988 and Flight Simulation specialist Just Flight in 1997 and those companies still exist as part of The Mastertronic Group, of which Payne is CEO. He started independent digital distribution platform Get Games in 2009 and also leads the NESTA initiated games developer consortium, AppyNation. Payne is also Chairman of UKIE, sits on the BAFTA video games committee and was a founder of games industry charity GamesAid and has just recently been re-appointed as a Trustee. He is a partner in Gambitious, a professional crowd-funding platform that offers both donation and equity models and is entirely focused on funding games.
Jeff Jacobs joined the GLA in 2007 as a Senior Adviser to the Mayor of London. He then became Director of Transition after the May 2008 Election. He was subsequently appointed by the Mayor and London Assembly to be Chief Officer and has accumulated extensive experience in that role and as Executive Director and Greater London Returning Officer. Jeff was previously a Director General in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and led the Government Olympic Executive which helped win the London 2012 Olympic bid and progressed the delivery preparations. Jeff has also provided an outstanding and long-serving contribution to the Civil Service including as Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, from the May 1997 General Election and as Director of Town and Country Planning.
Iain Smith, OBE
Iain Smith, OBE is one of the UK’s most experienced producers, having executive produced Mad Max: Fury Road and produced Local Hero, The Killing Fields, The Fifth Element, Seven Years in Tibet, Cold Mountain, Children of Men, television series 24:Live Another Day. In 2005 he was awarded a BAFTA for Outstanding Achievement in Film, and was made an OBE in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List. As well as being on our board, he is a patron of the London Film School, Chair of the Film Industry Training Board, the Film Skills Council, the British Film Commission and the Skillset Craft and Technical Skills Academy. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Scottish Screen and Media Academy, and the Media Academy, Wales.
Jezz Vernon has been MD of Port Royal London, an independent UK production company since late 2016. Previously he was MD of the UK Film Distribution and Sales Agent arms of Metrodome, having originally joined the company in 2005. During his tenure at the group he oversaw production within the company from 2010 onwards and founded the international sales arm in early 2014. After graduating film school he worked in editorial and marketing within the magazine industry, including a tenure at the NME. He returned to the film world in 2002 as Marketing Director for Revolver Entertainment.
Tyrone Walker-Hebborn is the owner of the hugely successful Genesis independent cinema in London’s vibrant East End. He also produced director Carol Morley’s first feature film, Edge, and is a co-founder of the longstanding East End Film Festival. An entrepreneur and businessman, he trained as an Electronic Engineer before starting his first business, a mobile video library, aged 21. After this he joined the family business developing a building maintenance division which served the London boroughs for over a decade. He then bought the derelict Empire cinema in Whitechapel which he refurbished and opened the cinema as Genesis in 1999, the first cinema in Tower Hamlets for a decade.
Frances Trought has sixteen years of Higher Education experience and is the former Deputy Vice Principal (Student Talent Development) at Pearson College London and the Founder of Everything D & I Ltd, a platform providing a central hub for all Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Trought’s focus and passion lies within building bridges between industry and education to secure opportunities for students ranging from networking to paid employment. To this end Frances works with industry to develop live briefs for students to hone their skills. Frances is the author of 'Brilliant Employability Skills' (2017) and is currently working on a book focusing on Digital Skills.
Geraldine Atlee is a qualified solicitor and the current Head of Legal and Business Affairs at BBC Films, appointed in October 2017 after holding the same position at Channel 4. Currently focusing on devising and implementing a new strategy for BBC Films, Atlee oversees the business affairs aspects of the development, financing, sales and distribution of projects, working with multiple stakeholders. Over the course of her career, Atlee has been responsible for the legal deals for films such as Widows, Room and T2 Trainspotting.