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Monthly Archives: February 2022

Hastings Women’s Film Festival Filmmakers


Hastings Women’s Film Festival is proud to present filmmakers whose films were screened at HWFF 2022 below. Thank you to all filmmakers who submitted films this year, we watched so many great films. Each filmmaker’s name is hyperlinked to their website.

Media Parents was delighted to welcome filmmakers including special guest, Executive Producer Jane Featherstone, to Hastings Women’s Film Festival this year. Sussex resident Jane took part in a Q&A session during the festival programme.

Diana Olifirova, Director/ DOP

DOP Diana Olifrova's short will open Hastings Women's Film Festival 2022

Diana is a Ukrainian cinematographer based in London. She works in film, TV – We Are Lady Parts (Channel 4), Heartstopper (Netflix), The Baby (coming soon to SKY/ HBO) – commercials and music videos. Beyond that she creates art films – pieces that are statement of the time, place and sense of self.

Diana feels and fills her pieces with layers of metaphors, visions and moving soundscapes. She loves collaborating with other artists in fields of music, fashion, dance, theatre, film and poetry to create her work. Diana is fascinated by light, people, art, movement and real life. Open and bold, observant, enthusiastic, sincere and exciting. Winner of BSC Emerging Cinematographer Award.

watch quadrality here

Joanna Suchomska, director

Joanna Suchomska, TV Researcher and Matka / Polka Director

Joanna Suchomska is a Polish-born documentary filmmaker based in Brighton. In her work, heavily influenced by her identity as an immigrant, she is especially devoted to the subjects of social controversy and taboo, women’s issues and human rights. MATKA / POLKA is Joanna’s second documentary. She wants her films to evoke radical empathy, which she believes can lead to social change.

Joanna is a graduate of MA Media Practice for Development and Social Change at the University of Sussex, where she specialised in Short Documentary. Translating her love for documentaries into a career choice, she works in factual television as a Researcher.

A.D. Cooper, Writer/ Director

A.D. Cooper, Writer (photo: India Roper-Evans)

A. D. Cooper is a writer, director who’s created a slate of short films that have won multiple awards at international film festivals. In 2021, she completed the thriller Odds and the multi-award winning Put Away for Hurcheon Films. Towton Audio produced her radio drama What did you do in the war, Mama? as a podcast.

In recent years, A.D.’s presented her own stage plays at London fringe theatres, and taught on the LCC M.A. Screenwriting and at Ravensbourne University. She’s working with her agent to progress her many other script projects.

watch put away trailer here

Ellie Brent, Writer/ Director

Director Ellie Brent

Ellie Brent is a freelance, award-winning director; who has made a vast array of promos, commercials and idents across the globe. Her sharp eye for style and aesthetics, rhythm and movement, with subtle wit and sometimes dark humour; has made her short-form work unique.

When Ellie is not dreaming up ideas or watching drama and comedy, she will either be singing soul in her Brighton choir, enjoying cardio tennis and the outdoor life, or planning her next overseas adventure!

watch the possible here

Anna McNutt, Producer

Producer Anna McNutt

Anna McNutt is an award-winning producer and writer based in London, UK. Born in the United States and of Yugoslavian descent, McNutt attended high school in Budapest, Hungary before completing her BA in Media & Communications, specialising in Creative Writing, at Goldsmiths, University of London. She obtained an MA in Producing, with distinction, from the same university.

Known for her sardonic dark films, For Him (2019) and Baby Thump (2021), McNutt is currently in development for her next short film, The Reservoir, with director Anna Parcerisas on the subject of sexual abuse.

watch for him here

Sara Jordan, Writer/ Performer

Sara Jordan, Writer/ Performer

Sara Jordan is an actress, writer and director. Her films Pic & Mix, The Tea Break, Lady What Does (co written with Lisa Harmer) Eat The Chickens, Planning The Funeral, Stuck and Jitters have all done well at festivals winning several awards.  Planning The Funeral, Stuck and Jitters can be viewed on Amazon Prime.

Sara kicked off this year filming The Plunge by Adam Nelki as an actress, and is now in pre production on a new black comedy she has written about a headmistress who is trying to juggle the pressures of work with trying to spice up her love life.

watch planning the funeral here

Janet Hodgson

Digital Filmmaker Janet Hodgson

Janet Hodgson was drawn into filmmaking through her studies in Social Anthropology, after spending many years working in advertising and broadcast research. She works very closely with her subjects, bringing the tools of the anthropologist – immersive fieldwork, observation, sensitive questioning – to her creative practice. She has made films about knitting, moustaches, and World War II veterans.

She is the brains behind the marketing for a community opera project and made “It takes a town to make an Opera” about Bloom Britannia, shot between lockdowns in 2020. Filmed in Hastings, St. Leonards and Bexhill in December 2020, and made for Barefoot Opera, a music education charity based in Hastings/St. Leonards, the film also features footage from a rehearsal performance at the De La Warr Pavilion in 2019.

watch the film here

Lisa Harmer, Writer/ Performer

Festival Founder, Writer / Performer Lisa Harmer

Lisa has worked in theatre, tv and film since her late teens, when she was part of the Anna Scher youth theatre and management. She has appeared in many continuation dramas over the years including EastEnders and Casualty and the more controversial Channel 4 series Metrosexuality  as Peggy, written for her and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair (MBE).

Since relocating from her South London roots to St Leonards on Sea, she has co written/produced and acted in an award winning short, Lady What Does, currently being developed in to a 6 part comedy series.  Having written and co produced her  latest film Pebbles with local cast, crew and director/producer  Leigh Shine, she is excited that it will get its premier in the event. Lisa loves combining her skills and champions fellow female film makers, and founded Hastings Women’s Film Festival in 2020.

Nicola Stuart-Hill, Writer/ Director/ Performer

Nicola Stuart-Hill, Writer/ Director / Actor

Nicola is an actor, writer, director with sixteen years in the biz. Since Bad Mother, she set up Muddy Dog Films and has been in script development on the company’s first feature, psychological horror Sundowning, a personal story about caring for an elderly parent with dementia; which she will also direct and act in.

watch Bad Mother here

Marnie Baxter, writer/ director/ performer

Marnie Baxter, Writer / Director / Actor

Marnie Baxter is an actress and director with 25 years experience in TV, film and theatre. In addition to Bad Mother, Marnie has directed 2 other shorts, ‘Do This For Me’ which will have its premiere at BFI Flare later this month, and ‘Hello, Muscles’ funded by Creative Scotland, and starring Kate Dickie, to be released later this year.

Emilie Cheung, Director

Emilie Cheung, Director

Emilie is a short-film director based in the UK. After training with the BFI Film Academy in 2016, she made her directorial debut at 17, with a commission from Channel 4’s ‘Random Acts’, for her short film ‘Pas De Deux’. She has since gone on to direct a variety of projects; from social media commercials for ‘Adolescent Content’, to narrative shorts, including Underwire-nominated ‘Walk of Shame’.

Emilie also worked as a Young Reporter for IntoFilm, giving her the opportunity to interview influential names, including Damien Chazelle, Richard Curtis & Millie Bobby Brown. She currently works as a Team Assistant at SISTER.

watch fish here

Clare Holman, Director

Director / Actor Clare Holman

Clare is an actor, writer and director based in Rye and London. She trained at Guildhall school of Music and Drama and has been acting for 30 years. She is most recognised for her role as Dr Laura Hobson in Lewis but her career has spanned all our major theatres in lead parts and has covered an expansive range of parts in both film and Television.(Little drummer Girl, Censor).

Clare has directed four short films, winning many awards, and has directed for the BBC on Doctors and Holby City. She was commissioned to write a feature film for Dan Films, and worked with Hat trick as a writer on an original series.

Michaela Hennessy-Vass, Producer

Michaela Hennessy-Vass, Producer

Michaela has created TV comedy and drama for more than 20 years and is a former ITV Comedy Commissioning Editor.  Credits include Face ItBenidormThe Fattest Man in Britain, Ladies of Letters and Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit. She is executive producer for TellHerVision, an initiative to develop female writers’ rooms.

Known for nurturing and developing new talent from casting an unknown Robert Pattinson in a Catherine Tate comedy drama; developing an Edinburgh fringe show into a studio entertainment show to commissioning an unknown writer to create the runaway hit that was Benidorm.

watch face it: Leonie here

Jane Featherstone, Executive Producer/ CCO

SISTER CCO Jane Featherstone spoke at Hastings Women's Film Festival

As the former chief executive of Kudos and co-chairman of Shine UK, Jane’s pioneering vision brought quality drama to the mainstream whilst growing Kudos into one of the UK’s most recognisable and formidable indies. During her tenure, Featherstone oversaw the production of some of the UK’s most ground-breaking and best-loved dramas, from BAFTA-winning television series Broadchurch and Life on Mars, through to Spooks, The Hour and Utopia.

Departing Kudos in 2015, Jane then founded Sister Pictures (in which Elisabeth Murdoch became a minority shareholder) in November 2015. In four years, the indie became one of the leading international drama producers, renowned for its phenomenal breadth of output including Landscapers (Sky/ HBO) Gangs of London (Pulse Films/ Sky Atlantic/ HBO), The Split S1/S2 (BBC One/ SundanceTV) Giri/Haji (BBC Two/ Netflix), Flowers(Channel 4) and This is Going to Hurt (BBC One/ AMC).

In October 2019 Jane joined forces with Elisabeth Murdoch and Stacey Snider to found SISTER, a global content company which produces and invests in visionary storytellers.

Forthcoming productions include The Split S3 (BBC One/ AMC) The Baby (HBO/ Sky), Gangs of London S2 (Pulse Films/ Sky Atlantic/ AMC), and The Power (Amazon). Chernobyl (HBO/ Sky Atlantic), the world-wide phenomenon and winner of multiple awards including 10 Emmy Awards, 2 Golden Globes and 9 BAFTAs adds to the critical and audience acclaim the company has achieved for its work.

Olga Mamonova, Artistic Director, Kino Teatr

Olga Mamonova, Artistic Director, Kino Teatr

Olga Mamonova is Artistic Director of Kino-Teatr. Born in Moscow, she studied philosophy and history at the State Moscow University. After moving to St. Leonards and starting a family in 1996, Olga obtained an M.A. from the University of Sussex and ran a gallery of Russian Art. In 2010 she organised an exhibition at the National gallery of Russia – The State Tretyakov Gallery – of Russian/British artist Oleg Prokofiev, and made a documentary ‘Oleg Prokofiev. The Return’, which was filmed in England and Russia.

In 2015, together with her husband, artist Russell Baker, Olga transformed and re-opened a 1913 Kinema (now Kino-Teatr), and has been in charge of its film programming, live events and festivals. Olga is author of three non-fiction books on Russian art and history.

Amy Walker

Amy Walker, Director, Media Parents (photo: Robert Ludovic)

Media Parents Director Amy Walker has made hundreds of hours of network television as a producer, director and series producer. A passionate champion of diverse talent she has been Head of Talent for several factual indies.

In 2019 she was the Channel 4 Scholar at HULT Business School, where she was awarded an Executive MBA and won the university prize for most innovative idea. Amy is now Head of Talent for drama doc indie Dorothy St Pictures, and has been Talent Exec at SISTER since 2021. She co-presented HWFF with founder Lisa Harmer.

Media Parents is running an online networking event with Naked, part of Fremantle as our next event. Watch our blog for details. Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at

February 23, 2022 @ 7:05 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with returning Production Manager Katie Bevell


A wave from the sidelines writes returning Production Manager Katie Bevell – I’d love to come back now please!

Returning Production Manager Katie Bevell is looking for a job share partner

I’m sure I’m a story that is echoed all over. I thoroughly enjoyed my early production career, working my way up the ladder in drama and film, a bit of documentary thrown in. It was hard work, long hours but I loved it. Then having children made me rethink and step away, but now, thanks to a refresher course from ScreenSkills, I’m looking to get back in, and find a job share partner, writes Katie Bevell.

How did I get here? After a full-on career working up from production coordinator on EastEnders, to production manager on acclaimed BBC drama Five Daughters, I hit decision making time. Being a woman of a certain age, I decided that segwaying into post production might make it easier on family life. From post supervisor in drama, to post production manager on Songs of Praise, I still got the buzz although I missed production.

We moved to the High Peak, accessing work in and around Manchester for both my props husband and me in post production. The facility post producer door closed as hours were just too inflexible with a toddler plus my second came along. It was hugely challenging – I dotted around various unconnected freelance roles with a plan to concentrate on my career again once the children started school.

And then the pandemic.

Hats off to all during that time. Working parents, those furloughed, those with no income for five months all with school children at home trying to support learning. I salute all of you. I put my career plans on hold, and did a little super flexible sidetrack info festival management.

We may or may not be out of the woods yet, but it feels like schools are stable now and, later than planned, I’m here and working out my plan to come back. I got in touch with Amy at Media Parents and magically landed an interview…

I’m very aware I’ve been out of the game a while. My organisational skills are still there but I feel rusty so I was really excited to find a ScreenSkills course, aimed at production people returning after a career break, and looking to expand their co-ordinating skills into unscripted. The paid placements designed to solidify that training seem sensible with just one catch…. they’re full time as right now that’s the norm in production coordinating. Ok… that’s impossible with my home responsibilities…

I’m working with ScreenSkills and the lovely people at Media Parents to see how someone like me could access this training and paid placements. Part time if a production company can facilitate it, but one option is a job share situation. I’ve put the word out – if anyone out there is like me and interested in this Manchester course but needs part time – please get in touch via Media Parents!!! (Applications are now closed but maybe together…)

Katie Bevell

Production, Post Production and mum of two….

Media Parents is running an online networking event with Naked, part of Fremantle on March 9th, scroll our blog for details. Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at

February 15, 2022 @ 4:13 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners Comments Off