Growing up in New Zealand, Helen adored film from a young age, whether renting movies to watch at home or going on trips to the cinema in Wellington with her mum. She saw film as a portal to another world, and knew she wanted to be part of the industry. After studying for two degrees, one in Film and one in Marketing, she realised she was looking for a role that combined the creative elements of filmmaking with the business side, and producing seemed to fit the bill.
Moving to the UK, after starting out in advertising, she was subsequently offered a distribution role at a small film production company, which led to a job at Sony Pictures. Helen’s boss at Sony allowed her to pick up some hands-on experience on set, which only confirmed that she wanted to become a full-time producer.
Eventually Helen took a leap of faith and set up her own production company, Silver Salt Films, alongside director Naomi Wright. The aim was to champion female directors and bold, visionary projects, while also keeping an international focus. Their first feature film was Censor, which Helen describes as a huge learning curve, but one that led to great success, premiering at Sundance.
Helen is amazed and excited to be named a Breakthrough, and hopes to continue working with diverse female filmmakers, who have something meaningful to say through their work. She is currently developing a slate of film & tv projects, with female filmmakers and creatives at the helm, including the Icelandic set thriller Ring Road.
Helen’s Breakthrough credit is feature film Censor