Michael Gubbins is an analyst, journalist and consultant, working in the international film, entertainment and media industries, with particular expertise in the changing on-demand digital economy.
He is the chair of the Ffilm Cymru Wales and the co-founder of SampoMedia, which has acquired an international reputation for its work on audience-centred creative and business strategy in film, media and the creative industries.
In more than 30 years in journalism, Gubbins edited Screen International and ScreenDaily, Music Week and business technology magazine Computing, as well as editing and writing for daily newspapers in the UK and Europe.
He is a member of Experts Committee of Europa Cinemas and of the advisory boards of Power to the Pixel and the Met Film School. In 2015, he was an expert on the Canadian Media Fund Experimental Stream, which helps finance some of the most advanced innovation in a wide range of creative fields.
Gubbins is a regular chair and keynote speaker at conferences and film events around the world, including, over the last 12 months: Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Bogota, Utrecht, Brussels, Gothenburg, Karlovy Vary, Zagreb, Graz, San Sebastian, Rotterdam, Ronda, Barcelona, Rome and Montreal.
SampoMedia clients have included the British Film Institute, Europa Cinemas, Media Business School, the European Think Tank, Telefilm, CineRegio, Medici Group, Cannes Marche Du Film, Film4, Curzon Film World, BAFTA, Europa Distribution, Inside Pictures and the European Commission.
John has just co-produced The Silent Storm, starring Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Andrea Riseborough (Resistance, Oblivion) with Neon Films, Barbara Broccoli's Eon Films, New Sparta, The British Film Company and Ffilm Cymru Wales. The Silent Storm was selected to have it world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. Sci-Fi thriller The Machine, starring Toby Stephens (Die Another Day, Black Sails), Caity Lotz (The Pact, Arrow) and Denis Lawson (Star Wars) was released in cinemas in March 2014 and hit number two in the UK iTunes charts. John’s company Red and Black Films continues to develop and finance a high-concept slate mainly weighted towards elevated genre. John sits on the Pact Film Policy Group, works with BBC Wales to mentor new directors and producers, and guest lectures at The National Film and Television School and The University of Wales.
Suzie Norton has 18 years experience in the film and TV industry, working in senior positions across a variety of fields. As CEO of the regional screen agency Screen WM, Suzie was responsible for investment and growth of the film, TV and games industries in the West Midlands. During her time there, Screen WM delivered a £10m digital innovation project with Channel 4, ran cross-sector business development programmes and managed a £5m feature film investment fund. Suzie is now a creative consultant and producer, a production mentor for Channel 4’s Random Acts series, and also an Ambassador for UpRising, a UK-wide youth leadership programme.
Mike has worked in education for more than 25 years, and is currently Headteacher of Ysgol Newydd Bae Baglan, a brand new school that will serve the communities of Port Talbot, Baglan and Briton Ferry. Previously, he was Headteacher of the Federated Schools of the Upper Afan Valley that were involved in the development of the ground-breaking regeneration film project Film In Afan. He passionately believes that education in its widest sense is key to improving the life chances of all our young people.
Neil is an entrepreneur, tech/digital industries consultant, and music industry survivor. He is the co-founder of Cardiff Start, the city's tech startup community. He also represents Cardiff as part of UK Government's Tech City UK Cluster Alliance. After many successful years in the music industry (both as a label boss and a performer in over 30 different countries), Neil founded a creative industries network, set up his ecommerce platform Dizzyjam.com, and is also the co-founder of TEDxCardiff and Ignite Cardiff. He is currently training to run 7 offroad marathons in 7 days.
Having begun his career with the Association of Independent Producers in 1985, Neil has worked as an independent consultant to the film industry in UK and Europe since 1991. He is a partner with Lord Puttnam in Atticus Education, an online education business, and he advises Lord Puttnam on a wide range of public policy issues. Neil Watson is a Strategy Adviser to the British Film Institute, advising on industrial and cultural issues including intellectual property and film and broadcasting. He has worked for wide range of other clients in the private and public sec-tors including major Hollywood studios, the Media Business School and Ateliers du Cinéma Européen.
Anwen Griffiths is a Partner in the Film and TV Groups at Sheridans law firm. For over 10 years Anwen worked in development and production for independent film and television companies including Potboiler Productions, Ecosse and Cowboy Films, before qualifying as a banking lawyer to act for studios, private equity houses and other funding institutions.
She now specialises in the production, financing and distribution of feature films and television programmes, using both her direct production knowledge, banking and media finance background to provide a multi-disciplined service to filmmakers and investors.
As Head of Distribution at Ealing Metro, Will has more than 13 years of experience in film production, sales and distribution. Formerly, Will led ThinkFilm International for Capitol Films and was Co-President of International Sales for Lolafilms. Will then went on to launch the international sales arm of Carnaby Films Plc, an EIS backed film production and sales company.