Chair of the Film Committee
Anna Higgs is a creative leader working at the forefront of storytelling and audiences.
As Head of Entertainment Partnerships for Northern Europe at Facebook, Anna leads a team across film, music, and television, working in partnership with studios, record labels, broadcasters, producers, creators and public figures to help connect great work with the right audiences.
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.
As a member of the BAFTA Film Committee Anna has helped to further embed the BFI's Diversity principles into the Film Awards and worked on the wide-ranging Awards Review, working to make BAFTA and our industries a more diverse and inclusive place.
Before joining Facebook Anna was 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.
Prior to 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.
Deputy Chair of the Film Committee
Alex is a leading film producer dedicated to diversity and equality in the film industry. As Deputy Chair of the Film Committee, Alex has worked alongside fellow members for some years towards the reshaping of BAFTA, to set a more inclusive, fair and higher standard for the UK film industry.
As a female producer, it’s important to Alex to lead by example and empower new generations of women to hold top roles in the film industry. From presentations and hosting live events, to mentoring young filmmakers and lecturing through film schools across the globe, Alex supports BAFTA Kids and other organisations with these values in mind; to educate and inspire children towards career in film.
Accomplished over 30 years as a freelancer with creative attention to detail and a passion for storytelling, Alex’s previous credits span a wide range of genres, including a number of highly successful films such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Anna Karenina, Paddington, Paddington 2 and Jurassic World: Dominion. Alex is currently in post production for Wonka, an original musical feature for Warner Bros. Studios, due to release for Christmas 2023.
Geraldine is an experienced industry executive. Since qualifying as a solicitor many years ago, she has worked exclusively ‘in-house’, dealing primarily with the legal and business affairs relating to the development, production, financing, sales and distribution of films, but also working across strategic planning, policy making and public affairs.
She currently heads up the Legal & Business affairs team for BBC Film, where she has oversight of the structuring and negotiation of dozens of film projects each year (recent projects include the critically acclaimed films ‘After Love’ and ‘The Power of the Dog’). She previously held the same role at Film4 (working on projects such as ‘12 Years A Slave’ and ‘Room’). In addition to her extensive experience with the PSBs, she has seen the industry through many other lenses, having previously worked for PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Universal Pictures, the UK Film Council, and independent production companies.
She has a strong commercial instinct but is passionate about the importance of public funding; she is a champion of independent film, and an advocate for debut film-makers and breakthrough talent.
Geraldine is about to complete her MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership. She sits on the boards of Film London and Forest School, and joined the BAFTA Film Committee in 2022.
Ivor Novello, RTS and BIFA nominated composer, Nainita Desai is a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit and the International Film Music Critics Association Breakthrough Composer of 2020.
Amongst various BAFTA, Oscar, Emmy acclaimed productions, Nainita’s recent features include Oscar nominated, Bafta winning film For Sama.
Film4 labelled her as one of the top 5 ‘composers who should be on your radar’ for 2020 and her projects have been in the Top 5 Film Scores and Video Games scores of 2019 by Scala Radio.
Following a degree in Maths she attended the NFTS to study sound. Nainita began her career working as a sound designer on features for directors including Werner Herzog and Bertolucci and assistant music engineer to Peter Gabriel.
Nainita has an upcoming slate of projects for Netflix, BBC, ITV for 20/21.
Recent projects include Sundance 2020 winning and London Film Festival premiering feature The Reason I Jump, Netflix original series Bad Boy Billionaires, American Murder (exec prod: James Marsh), BBC drama series Unprecedented, (Gemma Arterton, Lennie James, James Norton) Tim Travers Hawkin’s Persona (HBO Max), Enslaved (Samuel L. Jackson) and Telling Lies (Annapurna).
Nainita moves seamlessly between working with orchestras, to scores utilising her collection of custom made instruments, incorporating electronics, found sound, and experimental sound design which has informed her experimental, deeply immersive approach.
Nainita is an ambassador for Screen Skills UK and also sits on committees at the PRS and Ivors Academy campaigning for composers, as well as championing diversity and inclusivity.
Nainita is in demand internationally, giving masterclasses and interviews about her craft, ranging from the Royal College of Music, NFTS, Royal Academy of Music, Cannes Film Festival, LA Comic Con USA, Rio de Janeiro Brazil ASA Women in Music Conference, NOPO in Oslo, Ukraine and India for the British Council, Glasgow FF, Sheffield Doc Fest, Soundtrack Cologne, Moshita Music Conference South Africa, Sundance 2020, WOMEX in Copenhagen, IDFA, and the World Soundtrack Awards Ghent.
Julie La’Bassiere is an Awards + Publicity+ Marketing Strategist currently based in London where she manages Awards campaigns in the UK for Apple Worldwide Video. Prior to her move back to the UK, where she was born, she was the Head of Special Projects at Obscured Pictures where she led the charge on marketing and promotional outreach campaigns, film festival launches, strategic partnerships, awards campaigns, and special events for clients such as Bleecker Street, Amazon Studios, Focus Features, Magnolia Pictures, Netflix, Apple TV+ and Roadside Attractions. Prior to working with Obscured, she was the CEO of BAFTA New York.
La’Bassiere is a film industry expert who has been at the forefront of innovative 360° entertainment strategy for over two decades and has worked with and for companies as diverse as FilmBuff, the British Council, Tribeca Enterprises, CAA, Film Independent, the American Cinematheque, Magus Entertainment (Duran Duran), and the Writers Guild of America, west to name just a few. She has served on numerous film festival juries and is a sought-after creative strategist and lecturer with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and the strategic development of filmmaker careers. Julie is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Educational Anthropology.
In addition to serving on various Advisory Committees such as PANO and the Northwest Film Center, Julie has served on the Board of BAFTA NY and BAFTA North America and is a Founding Board Member of The Future of Film is Female.
Julie was elected to the Film Committee in 2021.
BIOGRAPHY TO FOLLOW
Jason Solomons is one of the best-known presenters and film critics in the UK.
He hosts the popular Seen Any Good Films Lately? podcast and has his own weekly music and screen culture show on Totally Wired Radio.
Known as the “Voice of London Film” for his 25 years as film critic, presenter and interviewer on BBC Radio London, he is currently awards season commentator and reviewer on BBC News television and on BBC Radio 4’s flagship arts show, Front Row.
Formerly columnist and critic for the Observer and The Mail on Sunday newspapers, Jason is currently film editor of The New European and he curates and hosts the giant Cinedrome at Greenman Festival, the leading arts and music festival in Wales.
Setting out on a new phase of an extraordinary career, Jason is now an independent British film producer with several projects in development, including an adaptation of the best-selling memoir A Waiter in Paris and a comedy drama, King of the Witches.
Clare grew up in a small town without a cinema and has been overcompensating ever since. For 25 years she’s been doing what she loves most – connecting films and filmmakers with audiences.
As Director of BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival (2012-17), Clare increased audiences, elevated the international position of the Festivals and boosted the profile of British and international films and filmmakers. As a passionate supporter of emerging talent, she also oversaw the introduction of new labs, mentorship schemes and the filmmaker bursary.
While running BFI Festivals, she promoted action on diversity and inclusion with highlights including the Gender in Media and Black Star symposiums (Geena Davis and David Oyelowo keynotes respectively), the Flare LGBTIQ Mentorship and the Accessibility think-tank.
Clare was previously Festival Director, Sydney Film Festival (2006-2011), the inaugural Head of Film Programmes at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (2002-2006), Events Manager at the Australian Film Institute (1996-2001) and Programmer/Manager of the Melbourne Cinematheque (1995-2002).
Clare has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council for the Creative Economies (2014-2016), on competition juries at Sundance, Mumbai, Rio, Dubai, Hong Kong and Macau film festivals and the BAFTA Outstanding British Debut jury (2014-2019). She is a previous recipient of the Queen's Trust Award for Young Australians and a Women and Hollywood Trailblazer Award in 2017 for her work promoting diversity and gender parity in the film industry.
Clare is currently working as a creative and development consultant and was elected to the BAFTA Film Committee in 2020.
Emily began her career as a Researcher on a number of prestigious documentaries around social welfare before moving into the world of TV drama and feature film production. From 2003 onwards she worked as a Production Manager for an array of features and TV productions for filmmakers such as Ridley Scott, Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kenneth Branagh. Her credits include Pearl Harbour, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, Kingdom of Heaven and Shackleton.
Emily joined The Production Guild in 2009 where she was appointed CEO. During her five-year tenure she developed training programmes for the industry, campaigned to expand the UK tax incentive to include high-end TV drama, consulted on media related government policies and represented the interests of senior production talent.
Emily joined Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in 2012 as Sales & Marketing Director. Now, as Senior Vice President, Emily is responsible for Business Development, Marketing and Operations for Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Warner Bros. Leavesden Park and Warner Bros. Set Lighting & Rigging; working to attract all types of productions, from high-end TV drama to feature films, music videos and commercials. Emily was instrumental in leading the studio facility through the covid pandemic and creating a secure environment for films to return to production.
Emily is passionate about diversity and inclusion and during her time at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden has worked on a number of initiatives and events with the aim of making the industry more inclusive, including an annual International Women’s Day event. Emily is a mentor and a champion for the next generation; encouraging women to find their voice and celebrate success. Emily was instrumental in bringing The Wonderworks to Leavesden – a permanent childcare facility allowing women the option of returning to production after childbirth. She is also a key member of the WBSL D&I team leading change in the workplace and has also rolled out a mental health and well being programme for staff, mindful of the pressure that the pandemic has created in people’s lives.
Emily became a board member of the Production Guild in September 2020. She is also on the Film and TV charity Mental Health Taskforce Group, is a judge on the Movers and Shakers awards panel and was listed in Variety’s Women That Have Made An Impact in Global Entertainment 2021 report.
BIOGRAPHY TO FOLLOW
Co-optees - TBC for 2022/2023
Anthony Andrews - biography to follow
Chance Perdomo is an American-born, British raised BAFTA nominated Actor & Producer best known for his roles of ‘Ambrose Spellman’ in Netflix’s hit series ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, ‘Jerome Rogers’ in BBC’s BAFTA winning docudrama ‘Killed By My Debt’, ‘Landon Gibson’ within the Young Adult film franchise ‘After’, and ‘Benny’ of the critically acclaimed sci-fi podcast series ‘The Cipher’.
Perdomo’s work has found him honoured by Variety on the Top 10 Brits To Watch list; Screen daily’s annual Stars of Tomorrow list. He has been a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit and nominated for Leading Actor the same year as Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Grant & Lucian Msamati.
Perdomo currently splits his time between USA & U.K.
David Proud is an English actor/writer/director. He was born with Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair. David is most well known for playing Adam Best in BBC’s EastEnders. Since entering the industry in 2007 David has appeared in leading roles for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Showtime.
In 2018 David also became a member of the BBC Writers Room. David has a slate of projects for Film and TV including a BBC development project with his long term collaborator, writer Paul Viragh. Paul and David are also co-directing a feature length documentary funded by the BFI and Wellcome Trust. The documentary is an exploration of David's Public Engagement Fellowship with the Wellcome Trust. David will explore the future of inclusion of disabled people in society and scientific medical advances that impact the disabled community. The documentary will be produced by the Emmy winning film maker Lindsey Dryden.
In late 2019 David directed a BFI/Uncertain Kingdom funded film written by Justin Edgar starring Ruth Madeley and Alice Lowe which Premiered at Palm Spings Film Festival 2020 and can be seen on Apple TV, Curzon on Demand and BFI Player alongside the Uncertain Kingdom Collection. In 2020 David finished an ITV Original Voices secondment to Coronation Street story team, as well as becoming a regular writer for BBC continuing drama. David was listed in the Shaw Trust Power 100 List as one of the top 100 most influential disabled people of 2015, 2018 and 2019. David currently works as a disability consultant for the British Film Institute, founding and sitting on their disability advisory board. He also sits on the OFCOM diversity board. David has provided project-based consultancy for Company Pictures, Scott Free UK and BBC.
David is committed to the authentic portrayal of disability and the inclusion of disabled talent on and off screen.
Nadia Stacey - biography to follow