A producer is an essential component in getting your creative idea of the ground and onto the screen, but still they remain a mysterious beast for many filmmakers.
At what point in your career or your production will you need a producer? What kind of producer should you be looking for? How do you even start finding one? What can you expect them to do?
As well as offering an insight into the role of a producer, this panel discussion will help to focus your search for the ideal producer without wasting your valuable time, and theirs. There will be plenty of time to ask the questions you always wanted to ask a producer.
- BAFTA nominated and BIFA winning producer Michelle Stein, who works across features, TV and shorts and has projects in development with the BFI, Aardman, Sky, Creative England, Film4 and BBC Films.
- Producer/ Director Paul Sapin, who has made films for a range of broadcasters in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East, including Al Jazeera English.
- Simon Stanton-Sharma and Meera Thavasothy, an award-winning director/producer team who have worked together for ten years on six independent shorts and numerous commercial projects.
For detailed biographies see below. This event will be chaired by Beth Hewitt, Creative Director – School of Arts and Media, University of Salford.
Especially relevant to film/TV writers and directors, beginners to emerging.
Please note if you are producer who wants to meet fellow practitioners, we recommend you attend the Film Producer Meet-up.
Michelle Stein is a BAFTA nominated and BIFA winning producer currently working across features, TV and shorts. She runs Escape Films and has projects in development with the BFI, Aardman, Sky, Creative England, Film4 and BBC Films. Her company is a current recipient of a Vision award, given by the BFI to aid her work in developing new talent and optioning and commissioning material.
Michelle’s first feature film as sole producer was BIFA winning ‘In Our Name’, which was released in cinemas in the UK and US. She was a co-producer on the UK hit ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ and will be shooting her next feature Retreat in 2020.
She has produced numerous award-winning shorts that have played in competition in A-list festivals including Cannes, Tribeca and SXSW. Most recently her short The Big Day won the Best Short BIFA in 2018 and Naptha, which she executive produced for Film4, played in Cannes in Critic’s Week 2019.
Paul Sapin has made films for a range of broadcasters in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East, including Al Jazeera English. He has just completed a documentary about the rise of fascism in Italy. Paul’s work on ‘Made in Bangladesh’ won the Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination for the documentary series, Fault Lines. He won the Royal Television Society Award for his BBC film, ‘Rivals for Paradise’. In ‘So Close So Far Away’, Paul investigated an event at the end of the Vietnam War and received the Cine Golden Eagle and the International Academy for Visual Arts Award for Best Documentary. Paul’s film, ‘Justice’, based in Ghana was nominated for the One World Media Awards and a finalist for the Global Investigative Documentary Award. In the 2017 Manchester International Film Festival, his film ‘A Very Sicilian Justice’ won Best Documentary Short Award. Paul was born in New York, and lives in Manchester, UK.
Simon Stanton-Sharma is an independent filmmaker and television director with over twenty years experience in the industry across multiple genres. His diverse background as both a single and multi-camera director has seen him lead global output for the BBC at the London Olympics and writing and directing on US films and commercials with some big names like Dustin Hoffman. From starting as a runner on Granda TV’s period drama The Grand, a trainee director scheme in 2000 led him into multi-camera studio work, (Sky, BBC, MTV) before he moved into single camera work in promos and commercials. As a drama writer and director, his films have attracted independent funding and government grants and won awards in festivals across the world, notably Best Film at Cofilmic in Manchester, LA Comedy Festival and runner-up in the IMDB New Filmmaker Awards. This led to writing contracts in Hollywood and the successful sale of a feature film.
Meera Thavasothy studied at the New York Film Academy and has produced and written short films, web series and radio dramas over a career spanning twenty five years. Aside from her successful career as BBC director for programmes such as the Andrew Marr Show and Daily Politics, she has won awards in international festivals including most recently, a Best Horror award at Smartphilm Festival in Washington DC, and has travelled the world championing her films and projects in markets like Cannes, Beverly Hills and beyond. Meera is a hands-on, creative producer who has successfully been through gruelling funding awards and is currently writing and developing her first feature.