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Board Members

Michael Gubbins

Chair

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 Giwa-Amu

Board Member

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

Board Member

Suzie has 20 years experience within the UK's creative and cultural sectors, working in senior positions across a variety of fields. She is an experienced leader with specific expertise in formulating strategy, organisational and board development, partnership and stakeholder management and advocacy.

Suzie started her career in Westminster working as political producer and reporter for GMTV, where as a Member of The Lobby in the Parliamentary Press Gallery she developed a deep inside understanding of the workings of government and established contacts that remain to this day. Then moving to the BBC where as a Senior Broadcast Journalist she produced documentaries for the award winning current affairs programme Inside Out.

Then, as the inaugural Director of Film Birmingham she was responsible for establishing the city's first film office and setting up its first digital festival 'Hello Digital'. In this role Suzie was also part of the Senior Management Team for Birmingham City Council's Cultural Division responsible for overseeing the Arts Strategy for Birmingham and a £10.5m budget.

Following which Suzie was appointed CEO of regional screen agency Screen WM, responsible for the strategic development of the film, TV and games industries in the West Midlands. Her role involved working nationally and internationally advocating for the UK creative industries and working with multiple partners and stakeholders. She oversaw large scale government and European funding bids raising £20m for investment in the region. Delivery programmes included a £10m digital innovation project with Channel 4, a multi-agency creative business development programme and a £5m feature film equity investment fund. She also led significant organisational change including a full company restructure and a governance review of the Screen WM board.

Until recently Suzie worked as an independent consultant and has produced two feature films.  She established Zanna Creative in July 2017, with clients including HOME Manchester, Channel 4 Random Acts, British Council, SharpFutures, BFI Film Academy, West Midlands Combined Authority, The Electric Cinema and London Arts in Health Forum.


Neil Watson

Board Member

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

Board Member

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christina Macaulay

Board Member