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Board of Trustees

A full list of BAFTA's Board of Trustees and their biographies

©BAFTA/Ellie SmithSara Putt

Chair of BAFTA

Sara has a distinguished career as a talent agent, producer, executive producer and consultant in television. For over a decade Sara has been actively involved with BAFTA, she has served on the Board of Trustees since 2011 and has been BAFTA's Deputy Chair since 2021. She has volunteered in various BAFTA committee roles, most recently as Chair of the Television Committee and previously as Chair of the Learning, Inclusion and Talent Committee. 

Sara sits on the advisory board of the British Film Commission, The Film & TV Charity board and previously on the board of Women in Film and TV. With a prolific career spanning thirty years in the UK television industry, Sara runs an agency for behind-the-camera technical and production talent, from producers and directors through to heads of department and crew.

In 2021, Sara Putt Associates united with sister agencies Sayle Screen and The Artists Partnership to create The Partnership Group. Based at Shepperton Studios, Sara Putt Associates also runs a unique in-house Trainee and Foundation Scheme supporting the next generation of freelance talent including those entrants from underrepresented groups. 

With a background in production, Sara has also produced many short films for and with her clients, including the BAFTA-nominated Tattoo.  She completed her Business Growth Programme at Cranfield School of Management in 2008 and was awarded her Graduate Diploma of Law at the University of Law in 2015. Sara has actively supported BAFTA’s year-round programme of learning and new talent initiatives. For the last 12 years Sara Putt Associates have sponsored the Emerging Talent section of the BAFTA Television Craft Awards.  


Siobhan Reddy 

Joint Deputy Chair

Siobhan Reddy is currently Studio Director at Media Molecule, the band of creative minds behind LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway, and the critically successful user generated content platform Dreams. Media Molecule is one of a group of sister studios that form PlayStation Studios, which is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

At Media Molecule Siobhan brings together her passions and over 25 years of experience to lead the studio in creating inspiring entertainment that empowers player expression and fosters positive communities.  Media Molecule games focus on bringing players innovative gaming experiences that allow them to form meaningful connections whilst having their mind and soul tickled in the process.  

A strong advocate for inclusivity, Siobhan believes games communities, and the games industry should both be a place for all, as it’s the quintessential medium of our time.

Siobhan has been honoured to receive numerous awards and accolades including the BAFTA Fellowship in 2021. Siobhan Reddy is currently Studio Director at Media Molecule, the band of creative minds behind LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway, and the critically successful user generated content platform Dreams. Media Molecule is one of a group of sister studios that form PlayStation Studios, which is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

At Media Molecule Siobhan brings together her passions and over 25 years of experience to lead the studio in creating inspiring entertainment that empowers player expression and fosters positive communities.  Media Molecule games focus on bringing players innovative gaming experiences that allow them to form meaningful connections whilst having their mind and soul tickled in the process.  

A strong advocate for inclusivity, Siobhan believes games communities, and the games industry should both be a place for all, as it’s the quintessential medium of our time.


Julie La'Bassiere

Joint Deputy Chair

Julie La’Bassiere is a veteran entertainment marketing and communications strategist with a long track record of innovative creative leadership and expertise across film, television, film festivals and brands. Julie is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at global communications agency, DDA where she works to integrate each of the company’s verticals to create unforgettable 360 degree campaigns and live events for clients. With over 25 years of experience working with everyone from Martin Scorsese to A24 to Duran Duran to Patricia Field’s House of Field, Julie uses her extensive and diverse experience to partner with filmmakers, festivals and brands to tell stories that resonate across borders and garner wider audiences. 

Prior to joining DDA, Julie was the UK Awards lead for Apple TV+ across feature film and television series. Before that, she was across marketing and awards campaigns at Obscured Pictures in NY for clients including Bleecker Street, Amazon Studios, Focus Features, Magnolia Pictures, Netflix and Roadside Attractions. Prior to Obscured, she was the CEO of BAFTA New York and over the past two decades has worked with companies as diverse as FilmBuff, British Council, Los Angeles Film Festival, Tribeca Enterprises, CAA, Film Independent, American Cinematheque, Magus Entertainment and Writers Guild of America West, to name just a few. 

Julie has also served on numerous film festival juries and industry panels and frequently mentors filmmakers on how to tell their stories authentically as possible with a lens on diversity, equity and inclusion. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and a full voting member of BAFTA, where she has served on BAFTA’s Film Committee since 202. Additionally, she is a Founding Board Member of the Future of Film is Female, a mentor for We Are Parable’s Momentum Program and is a project advisor for Future of Film which marries the art of world-building and transformative storytelling.  Julie is based in London and is a graduate of Stanford University. 


Event: BAFTA Sector Committee ChairsDate: Wednesday 26 July 2023-©Uzo Oleh, 2023Anna Higgs

Chair of the Film Committee

Anna Higgs is a creative leader working with the most exceptional storytellers to connect their work with audiences in myriad ways, along with a dedication to inclusion and equity at the highest strategic and operational levels across the broadest spectrum of our creative industries.

As Managing Director of Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, Anna leads a team of agents and executives who work with the most exceptional talent across film, theatre, TV and new media.  Founded in 1989 and based in London, the fiercely independent global agency has an illustrious history, and represents many of the world’s best-known writers, directors, playwrights, theatre creatives, literary properties and heads of department. 

Because side hustles are all the rage, Anna is also a columnist for Creative Review, specialising in career coaching, workplace culture and career growth advice for creatives with the ‘Ask Anna’ monthly feature.

Prior to joining Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, Anna was Director of Entertainment Partnerships at Meta, and before that Creative Director at global culture channel NOWNESS, bringing the best emerging and established filmmakers together with bold audience strategies. During her time there, she developed, commissioned, produced and distributed dozens of series, hundreds of single films and curated thousands of acquired short films. She also spearheaded a move to 50/50 gender balanced commissioning across all editorial and branded work, as well as a strategic company restructure that led to a successful merger with China’s Modern Media and Dazed Media Group.

Before NOWNESS, she was a commissioner and Head of Digital at Film4, leading cinematic innovation with projects including Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth, Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 and Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank. This move built on a strong track record as an independent producer working across film, TV and digital projects.

Anna’s work has seen her named as one Creative Review's ‘Creative Leaders 50’, alongside the likes of Felix Barret, Gorillaz and Maria Balshaw. In 2012 she was selected as one of the inaugural Time Out ‘Culture 100’, a celebration of the "innovators, visionaries and pioneers behind what's now and what's next. A search for the most original and influential people in the UK creative and media industries" alongside creative innovators such as Danny Boyle, Stella McCartney, Grayson Perry, Jonathan Ive, Zadie Smith, Thomas Heatherwick and Alan Rusbridger.


Patrick Keegan  

Co-opted

Patrick is a communications executive within the TV and content sector with nearly three decades experience representing production groups, indies, talent and international TV brands.

Most recently Patrick served as Group Director, Marketing and Communications, Endemol Shine Group, the global television production, distribution and digital group which spanned 20 territories and was responsible for over 700 productions annually.  Patrick has promoted, and protected, some of the world’s most successful, award-winning non scripted formats, dramas and digital IP including campaigns for the award-winning roll out of MasterChef (‘the world’s most successful cookery format’ ©Guinness World Records), the renaissance of Big Brother (which returned to 8 countries in its 20th year), and successful scripted formats including The Bridge (to over 10 countries). He joined from Shine Group upon its merger with Endemol in 2015 and was part of the Executive Team that delivered the successful sale of the company to Banijay Group in 2020. 

Starting his career at Freuds as the unit publicist on The Big Breakfast in the early 90’s, across two decades Patrick progressed to head the agency’s entertainment division with a place on the Board. In that time, he handled campaigns for some of the most high-profile TV shows of the nineties and noughties including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Survivor, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush and TFI Friday, led the agency’s media logistics teams at major premieres and ceremonies and contributed to award-winning campaigns for promoting London tourism and the successful 2012 Olympics bid.

Patrick has previously led the accounts for Film and TV Awards campaigns for BAFTA (whilst at Freuds) and served on the Academy’s TV Committee.

He currently operates as a consultant across production, agency and live entertainment sectors, is a seasoned presentation trainer, speech writer, radio contributor and recently completed a Mini MBA in Marketing. 


Elliot Knight 

Co-opted 

Elliot Knight is an actor who’s decade of work in Television, Film and Games spans both the UK and US industries, beside his international philanthropic and humanitarian work and overarching mission to energise entertainment industry progress around issues of identity and diversity equality.

Originally from Birmingham, UK, Knight trained at The Manchester School of Theatre before kick-starting his professional career as the titular role in Sky 1’s 2012 family adventure series “Sinbad” and was celebrated as one of Screen International’s “Stars Of Tomorrow”. Soon after, Knight was catapulted to Los Angeles, USA and immediately stepped into his international career on dominant US TV hit series such as ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Once Upon A Time” among many others.

Across his career, Knight has starred in leading roles opposite house-hold names such as Viola Davis, Nicolas Cage, Sophie Okonedo, Timothy Spall, Rufus Sewell, Vanessa Williams, Katie Holmes, Naveen Andrews and many more.

Most recently, Knight made up the lead cast of the record-breaking behemoth gaming title “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare” and continues to reprise his celebrated role as legacy franchise character “Kyle ‘Gaz’ Garrick”, a proud British placement in a colossal global US export.

With BAFTA LA, Knight first served on the Learning and New Talent committee before joining the Board in 2020 and has also served as the first ever official host of the BAFTA Student Awards for the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies. He will now serve as Co-Deputy Chair on the BAFTA North America Board as well as being a member of the UK Board.

Knight continues his advocacy to fuel his vision of a better, more inclusive Film, Television and Games industry in all spaces and carries this torch fully with him during his time with BAFTA.


Andrew Miller MBE

Co-opted

Transforming perceptions throughout his 35 year career in the creative industries, Andrew is recognised as one of the UK’s most influential disability advocates with extensive experience of the arts, film and tv sectors.

Starting out in broadcasting, Andrew belongs to the first generation of disabled presenters on British television and went on to produce and direct BAFTA nominated tv arts documentaries. Later becoming the first wheelchair-user to run a major arts venue, he also established the role of UK Government Disability Champion for Culture, he co-founded the UK Disability Arts Alliance #WeShallNotBeRemoved and was founding chair of the influential BFI Disability Screen Advisory Group. Previous board positions have included The Arts Council of Wales, The Space and Welsh National Opera.   

Today Andrew works with leading cultural brands to improve access and to create new opportunities for disabled people. His current portfolio of roles includes: UK Arts Access Champion supporting the delivery of All In - the national arts access scheme for disabled audiences; he is a member of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority co-creation council and the Museums Strategic Disability Network; he is Creative Director of Trinity College Oxford, a National Council member of Arts Council England and is a trustee of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

At BAFTA Andrew chairs the Young BAFTA Advisory Group.


Joyce Pierpoline

Joyce Pierpoline is a producer of award-winning films and founder of Pierpoline Films,  based in New York. She recently executive produced Mediha, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC 2023; other films include The Listener,  starring Tessa Thompson and directed by Steve Buscemi, which  premiered at the Venice Film Festival; The Transfiguration, at the Cannes Film Festival; Sundance award-winning cult favorite Teeth, considered one of the top 10 political horror films of all time; Happy Tears, Angelica, and the multi awarding-winning first film by Neil Labute, In the Company of Men. 

Prior to producing, Joyce was a production and acquisitions executive for French studio UGC,  where she was instrumental in the acquisition and co-production of numerous titles from some of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers, including Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan, Kenneth Branagh, and Terry Gilliam.  She began her career in France as head of international press for the Cannes Film Festival. 

She serves on the Board of BAFTA North America and chairs the Film Committee. She also serves as board secretary of New York Women in Film and Television and is member of the European Film Academy, European Producers Club, International Emmys, and Producers Guild of America, where she co-founded the Women’s Impact Network, promoting gender equality in the industry. 


Ade Rawcliffe

Chair of the Learning, Inclusion & Talent Committee

Ade Rawcliffe is Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV, and is a member of the Management Board. She has responsibility for all diversity and inclusion related matters across the Group, including leading, developing and growing ITV’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy on and off screen.

Prior to that, Ade led the Creative Diversity team at Channel 4 and spearheaded the delivery of the broadcaster’s 360° Diversity Charter. She oversaw the creation of C4’s Commissioning Diversity Guidelines and developed programmes through diverse funding vehicle the Alpha Fund.

Rawcliffe was also part of the team responsible for C4’s coverage of Rio 2016 Paralympics and London 2012 Paralympics, which broke records for employing disabled presenters and production staff.

Ade also worked in the Features Commissioning team at C4 and as Television Producer at the BBC, ITV and in the independent sector working on shows including: Big Brother, The Big Breakfast and This Morning. She is a Chair of BAFTA’s Learning, Inclusion and Talent Committee, a Board Member of Women in Film & Television (WFTV), Founding Board Member of Times UP UK and a Trustee of the National Trust.Ade Rawcliffe is Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV, and is a member of the Management Board. She has responsibility for all diversity and inclusion related matters across the Group, including leading, developing and growing ITV’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy on and off screen.


Hilary Rosen 

Chair of the Television Committee

(Biography and image coming soon)


Bal Samra 

Co-opted - Chair, Commercial Committee and Chair, Governance & Appointments Committee

Bal is a media professional and entrepreneur with over thirty years of experience in the media industry. He works closely with a number of creative businesses helping them to grow and accelerate their potential. 

During his long career at the BBC Bal worked in Television, News, Radio and Online, in commissioning, production and operational areas - he’s led editorial, commercial, finance, technology and strategy teams.

Bal is a champion of inclusivity and social mobility within the media industry. As Managing Director of BBC Television he oversaw significant changes to the commissioning system to promote more diversity on and off screen. He was instrumental in developing the BBC’s network of production bases out of London and a big supporter of fair access for small independent production companies.

Over his long career, he has operated at the cross hares of creativity, business and technology. Bal was a leading architect behind the BBC IPlayer and played a central role in some of the most prestigious service launches, including BBC News Online, Radio 5 live and BBC3.

As BBC Group Commercial Director he was responsible for Intellectual property, rights and deal making, overseeing the BBC’s relationship with key creative partners - including the independent production sector and talent representatives for writers, actors, presenters and musicians.

Bal’s inclusivity and social mobility work extends into his current portfolio of non executive roles. He is Trustee of the Ormiston Academies Trust sponsoring 43 academy schools in the most disadvantaged and impoverished areas of the country. He is Trustee of the National Film & Television School and was on the investment committee of Comic relief.

Bal has completed the leadership programme at Wharton Business school and has been recognised for his invaluable contribution to the creative industries by receiving the 2015 Global award for Sikhs in Media.


Tara Saunders

Chair, Games Committee

Tara Saunders is Co-Studio Head of PlayStation London Studio, one of a group of sister studios that is owned by, and make games exclusively for, Sony Interactive Entertainment.

A graduate of Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation, Tara has over 20 years’ experience working as an animator and creative leader for PlayStation. Tara has worked on many innovative franchises including The Getaway, EyePet, Wonderbook and industry leading VR projects. As Co-Studio Head, she runs the studio with an emphasis on strong value based leadership and healthy development practises. She works closely with the creative disciplines as well as overseeing operations to develop the environment and culture within the studio.

Tara is also an active industry mentor and role model, participating in numerous activities which assist underrepresented groups and career starters within the games industry.


Paul Taiano OBE

Co-opted - Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee

Paul joined Nyman Libson Paul as a trainee in 1978, qualified in 1981 and was promoted to partner in 1986. The majority of his client base is connected with the entertainment industry including theatre, film and television, with clients ranging from the commercial sector (including theatre owners and managers and film, television and theatre production companies) through charitable organisations and the regulatory sector including employer associations.

As a result of his professional expertise and in-depth knowledge of the theatre industry, Paul joined the Board of Governors of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 1996 where he went on to serve as Chairman for the maximum term from 2005 to 2017. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in December 2017.

Other voluntary positions include acting as a non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jockey Club Racecourse at Huntingdon from September 2009, having been a board member since March 1995, and Chair of the BAFTA Finance and Audit committee since January 2018.

In recognition of Paul's services to Drama Training and Horse Racing Welfare he was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list.

National hunt horse racing is his lifelong passion but, unfortunately, his riding career was brought to an abrupt end following a fall in March 2005 when he suffered a broken neck resulting in tetraplegia paralysis. However, despite being confined to a wheelchair, Paul has continued to fulfill his work and voluntary commitments.


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