A full list of BAFTA's Board of Trustees and their biographies
Chair of the Academy
Jane was a programme maker for many years before becoming the BBC’s Controller of Daytime where she commissioned Weakest Link and Doctors - a stepping stone for countless actors, writers, directors and crews. She left the BBC in 2005 as Controller Entertainment and Comedy responsible for Strictly Come Dancing, Catherine Tate, The Apprentice and Dragons Den. Jane is now running Kalooki Pictures co-producing with Hat Trick Productions.
Deputy Chair of the Academy
Pippa Harris established Neal Street Productions in 2003, alongside Sam Mendes and Caro Newling, and runs the company’s Film and TV division together with Nicolas Brown.
Since the formation of Neal Street Productions, Pippa has produced Starter for Ten, Stuart A Life Backwards, and also co-produced Jarhead. She also executive produced Things We Lost in the Fire, Away We Go and the Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road, as well as feature documentary We Are Many.
Pippa is currently Executive Producer on Call the Midwife - the most successful new BBC drama series in over ten years, as well as the multi award winning Penny Dreadful, written by John Logan for Showtime / Sky Atlantic. She also executive produced BBC Two's BAFTA winning The Hollow Crown.
Previously, Pippa was the Head of Drama Commissioning for the BBC where her commissions included The Lost Prince, State of Play and Daniel Deronda. Pippa joined the BBC in 1997 as a Development Executive for BBC films before becoming the Executive Producer of BBC Drama Serials. Her production credits include the BAFTA-winning dramas The Way We Live Now, Care and Warriors.
Chair of the Games Committee
Nick has worked in senior positions across the tech and games industry for 20 years. He serves as Chair of Games Committee and on the Board of Trustees at BAFTA. He is an Advisor at Improbable, a tech start-up that has just raised $500m as well as COO at Sensible Object, a Connected Toys & Games company, Chair at new licensed game publisher Outright Games, Advisor at Payload Studios. Before that, he worked for 5 years at Crytek in Germany, managing teams across the world, including managing development of games such as Crysis 3, Ryse, and the free2play Warface. He also spent 9 years at Electronic Arts, working on games such as Battlefield, Black & White 2, Crysis, Timesplitters 3, and Freedom Fighters.
Chair of the Commercial Committee
Sara Geater is Chief Operating Officer at All3Media. Geater’s career to date has spanned TV, film and digital from both the business and creative perspectives. In 2014 she was elected chair of PACT council having stepped down from her role as CEO, Fremantle Media UK after seven years with the company. Prior to this, Geater held the post of Head of Commercial Affairs at Channel 4 following a four- year stint as Director of Rights & Business Affairs at the BBC where she negotiated the first Codes of Practice between the BBC and the independent sector.
Geater has also served as Head of Film & TV at Avalon, Head of Production at Miramax Films and Channel 4 Drama Co-Production Executive. While Geater’s extensive television career began at LWT as a production accountant, she is also a barrister and a Fellow of the RSA.
Chair of the Television Committee
Krishnendu is an award-winning producer and director. He was trained on the BBC Production Trainee scheme, the ITN News Trainee scheme and the BBC Drama Series Directors Academy. He is the co-founder of an independent production company with partner Richard Yee, Me + You Productions. They are developing a slate of factual, comedy and drama projects. Their output includes two series of Hoff The Record - a comedy starring David Hasselhoff and two series of The Moaning of Life starring Karl Pilkington. Their awards include a Mental Health in Media award and they have been nominated for two BAFTAs, RTS, British Comedy Awards, National Television Awards and shortlisted for two Grierson Awards.
He has been elected to the BAFTA Television committee since 2006 was on the Board of Trustees and the chair of the Learning and Events Committee from 2006-10. Other industry experience includes a term on the Board of Directors UK and currently on the PACT Council.
Credits include: An Idiot Abroad, The Happiness Salesman; True Stories: What’s Killing Darcus Howe?, Bleach, Nip, Tuck: The White Beauty Myth, The World’s Smallest Man and Me, Michael Howard: No More Mr Nasty, Coked Up Britain and Who You Callin' A Nigger?
Paul Morrell is a chartered quantity surveyor and was formerly senior partner and international chairman of Davis Langdon (now part of Aecom), where he had worked since graduating from university until retiring in 2007.
He was subsequently appointed as the Government's first Chief Construction Adviser in November 2009, with a brief to champion a more coordinated approach to affordable, sustainable construction.
He has extensive experience of major construction projects in both the public and private sectors, with a particular specialisation in commercial development, value management, procurement strategy and practice, and client organisation.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Association for Project Management. He was awarded an OBE for services to architecture and the built environment in the 2009 New Year Honours list.
In Government, Paul chaired the Government Construction Board, responsible for the development of a new cross-Government construction strategy; served on the Board of the Cabinet Office Major Projects Authority; and led the BIS Innovation and Growth Team study into low carbon construction.
He has performed (or is performing) project steering/governance/advisory roles for the Siobhan Davies Dance Company, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rambert Dance, the Tate Gallery, the Bristol Old Vic, the Garden Bridge Trust, and the Royal Opera House.
He now practises as an independent consultant, and is a Visiting Professor at Nottingham Trent University.
Chair of the Learning & New Talent Committee
For the last 25 years Sara has owned and run Sara Putt Associates, an agency for technicians and production personnel. Sara began her career in BBC radio and subsequently in TV production, before establishing her own agency to fill a gap in the market, offering career management to sections of the freelance industry who had not previously been able to access representation. This now includes above the line and VFX talent. Sara Putt Associates has also established its own trainee scheme in order to nurture the next generation of freelance talent.
In 2008 Sara successfully completed the BGP (Business Growth Programme) at Cranfield School of Management in order to develop and strengthen her management skills, and at the moment is doing a Graduate Diploma in Law. She also sits on the Women in Film and TV Board. Throughout her career Sara has also produced films for her clients including Tattoo which was BAFTA nominated for Best Short Film in 2002. Sara Putt Associates have sponsored the Breakthrough Talent section of the BAFTA Craft Awards.
Chair of the Film Committee
Marc Samuelson was formally a Director of the Association of Independent Producers and of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and MD of Umbrella Films, producers of White Mischief and 1984. He was previously a Board Member of the UK Film Council, a Governor of the NFTS and Deputy Chairman of the British Screen Advisory Council, and he is a member of Pact Council.
From 1990 to 2006 he worked as an independent film producer on films such as the Oscar nominated Tom & Viv, BAFTA-nominated Wilde, Arlington Road, Gabriel & Me, The Gathering, Things To Do Before You're 30, and Stormbreaker, and as executive producer of The Libertine, Keeping Mum and Chromophobia.
In August 2007 Marc became a director of CinemaNX, the film investment company backed by the Isle of Man Government. For NX Marc produced BAFTA-nominated Me and Orson Welles and TT3D: Closer to the Edge and executive produced The Disappearance of Alice Creed, A Bunch of Amateurs, Heartless, Oscar-nominated Chico & Rita, Wild Target, Albatross, The Shadow Line, The Decoy Bride, Ashes and Honour.
Marc departed his position with CinemaNX to relaunch his company Samuelson Productions and has a slate of film and television projects in various stages of packaging and development. He was most recently executive producer on The Silent Storm directed by Corinna Villari-McFarlane and starring Andrea Riseborough and Damian Lewis and City of Tiny Lights directed by Pete Travis and starring Riz Ahmed, Billie Piper and Cush Jumbo.
In 2016 Samuelson launched Route 24 Ltd, an independent television production company working in high-end drama, backed by ITV Global Entertainment.
Co-opted - Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee
John Smith was appointed Burberry Chief Operating Officer in March 2013, having previously served as a non-executive director from December 2009.
John has over 20 years' experience in the media industry, with a particular emphasis on building brands and digital. Prior to joining Burberry, he was Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide from 2005 to 2012, doubling turnover and quadrupling profits, and overseeing its significant expansion through the development of successful global franchises and innovative formats and platforms. Prior to BBC Worldwide, he was Director of Finance then Chief Operating Officer of the BBC.
John is a Director of the Henley Festival and an Honorary Fellow of RIBA. Previously he was a member of the Accounting Standards Board from 2001 to 2004 and has been a Director of Severn Trent PLC and Vickers PLC and a Vice President of the Royal Television Society.
Deputy Chair of the Film Committee
Alison Thompson is Co-President of Cornerstone Films Limited, a sales and production-finance Company, which she co-owns with partner Mark Gooder. The newly-formed Company aims to represent and curate a diversified slate of films of enduring quality for the international market place, ranging from commercial, wide release movies, to talent-driven films from world-renowned filmmakers. Cornerstone debuted in Cannes with Asif Kapadia’s AMY which screened in the Official Selection Out of Competition.
Thompson’s career spans three decades: Prior to Cornerstone, she spent 8 years as Co-President of Universal owned Focus Features International (‘FFI’), running its international arm. FFI’s prestigious slate included Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and more recently Woody Allen’s, Blue Jasmine and Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner. Before that she headed Pathé Pictures International representing films including Girl With A Pearl Earring and The Motorcycle Diaries.
Prior to joining Pathé, Thompson was chief executive of The Sales Company, one of the UK’s top sales agencies through the 1990s. During her 14 years there, she represented more than 100 films from some of the world’s most celebrated filmmakers. She began her career with the Rank Organisation and Channel Four.
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