• Graeme Thompson MBE

    Graeme Thompson MBE

    Graeme is a writer, journalist and producer with a career spanning newspapers, radio, television, theatre and higher education. As a producer and executive producer for BBC and ITV Tyne Tees his credits include You and Yours, Womans Hour (BBC Radio 4) North East Tonight with Mike Neville (Tyne Tees) First Cut (Drama Showcase) The Dales Diary (ITV) and Chris Rea: Hard is the Road (ITV). He was managing director of ITV Tyne Tees Television until he left in 2009 to become Dean of Arts, Design and Media and later Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Sunderland. Graeme is currently a Visiting Professor at the university. He chairs the Creative People and Places project The Cultural Spring as well as the Royal Television Society Education Committee which supports young people to consider careers in TV and Film. He also chairs the annual RTS North East and the Border TV Awards. He is a board member for North East Screen and a member of council for Creative UK and Arts Council England (North) His plays include The Audition and The Donkey, The Whippet and the Giant Leek based on the songs of composer Eric Boswell. Graeme is married with three children and was awarded an MBE for services to cultural regeneration in 2022.

  • Tolu Stedford

    Tolu Stedford

    Tolu has over 20 years of industry experience and has produced, written and associate director credits encompassing television, film, and stage.

    She is the former CEO of the Independent Film Trust and is also a co-founder of Story Compounds, a dynamic film, TV, and immersive media production company and consultancy.

    FILM LONDON has recognised Tolu as a promising industry leader as part of the Breaking Glass Ceiling 23 cohort and has been partnered with JAY HUNT (APPLE TV Creative Director) and EVA YATES (Director of the film).

    Tolu is also a BAFTA Connect member, British Screen Forum’s FUTURE LEADER, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre ‘INDUSTRY CHAMPION’, Film and TV Charity IPP panel member, RECLAIM the FRAME Advisory board member as well as a member of the ScreenSkills Film Council.

    She recently completed her debut documentary, commissioned by BFI DOC SOCIETY. Which has been acquired by the renowned The NEW YORKER Magazine (Conde Nast Entertainment for worldwide distribution.

    She also pioneered the Creative Corridor programme sponsored by SONY Entertainment Television, developing international co-pro opportunities for BGM writers from the US and UK.

    Tolu has worked with many global studios, including SKY, SONY Entertainment TV, Warner Brothers, YouTube and Universal Studios, and British industry bodies such as BFI and BBC.

    Her work has been featured in various esteemed publications such as BRITISH CINEMATOGRAPHER, SCREEN DAILY, VARIETY, DEADLINE, and BROADCAST MAGAZINE.

  • Lyndsay Duthie NEIFF 2024 judge

    Lyndsay Duthie

    Lyndsay Duthie is CEO of The Production Guild of Great Britain. She has over 25 years experience  as a senior leader in the creative industries.

    With a background in television production (credits for BBC, ITV, C4 & SKY) and education. Lyndsay’s academic career led her to become Professor of Media and the Head of School for Film, Media and Performing Arts at the University for the Creative Arts, as well as the co-author of (Bloomsbury’s) The TV Studio Production Handbook. She has appeared on SKY, ITV and BBC news as a media expert.

    Lyndsay has also held numerous board positions including Women in Film and Television and is currently on the National Advisory Board for the British Film Commission.

  • Kylie McCaroll NEIFF Jury 2023

    Kylie McCaroll

    Kylie has over 20 years experience in the industry, working as a writer, producer and director in Australia and the UK.

    Her experience spans multiple genres including live productions, documentaries, travel, and comedies. In 2019 Kylie joined BAFTA producing and directing in-house and was across programming throughout the year from development to delivery, and during the awards season leading production on the Red Carpet programmes. Most recently Kylie has been working in virtual production and producing short films.

  • Kathryn Shrubb

    Kathryn Shrubb

    Kat Shrubb is an experienced Development Producer and Story Producer working in scripted and drama television. Most recently she has helped set up and run the scripted slates at Two Rivers Media & Fulwell 73 as Head of Development and Senior Development Producer. Kat has developed and scripted edited a wide range of TV series across multiple genres and platforms, including LUTHER, SILENT WITNESS, BANCROFT and THREE GIRLS.

  • Bianca Gavin

    Bianca Gavin

    Bianca Gavin is an accomplished and experienced production executive with over twenty years of experience in the film and TV industry. Having worked in a variety of roles across largescale and independent productions. In 2020, Bianca joined Pulse Films in the role of Head of Production, Scripted Film & Television. Spearheading the production side of the studio’s Scripted slate, advising on all aspects from development through to delivery, on projects including the acclaimed returning seasons of ‘Gangs of London’.

    Before joining Pulse Films, Bianca was Senior Production Executive for Amazon’s EU Scripted Originals, responsible for their first slate of dramas across France, Italy, Spain, Germany and UK, including The Power, The Rig and Jungle. During her tenure as Production Manager for Sky Originals, looking after dramas and comedies, such as Britannia and Save Me, she also set up Sky Breakthrough, a work placement initiative for disabled talent.

    Passionate about equality and breaking down entry barriers, Bianca is Chair to the board of the Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) and is also on the executive committee of their Diversity and Inclusion Action Group

  • Ginevra Gentili, NEIFF Judge 2023

    Ginevra Gentili 

    Ginevra Gentili is a British-Italian filmmaker and the Founder of production company, North Harley Films. Ginevra has directed and produced multiple award-winning films, music videos and music documentaries with artists such as Eivør and Sohodolls. Historically, Ginevra’s main film focus has been on genres such as drama and films based upon real life events. To date, her work has received over 30 awards and nominations, including winning the Short Film Audience Choice Award at the North East International Film Festival last year with her film, Borrowed Time. Ginevra has also received accolades for Best Female Director at the 2021 Annual Independent Shorts Awards with Tell Tale Signs. She is currently in post-production for Broken Castles, which she was commissioned to direct and co-produce. Ginevra is now prepping to film a proof-of-concept short from her slate, which is derived from her debut feature, Animae Divisae, which she hopes to begin production for at the end of 2023. 

  • Adam Donen

    Adam Donen

    Described by BBC News as “either a genius or a madman”, Adam Donen invents artforms, writes, directs and composes.

    Though creating notable specific theatre, Donen was best known as a rock musician, releasing four albums and touring extensively. He switched to classical music in 2012, collaborating with Roger O’Donnell of The Cure on two orchestral works before moving on to writing symphonies.

    In 2016, he created, directed and composed Symphony to a Lost Generation, the world’s first fully holographic drama, which featured a cast of 250 actors and dancers (including ballet superstars Sergei Polunin and Natalia Osipova), the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Choir all appearing as holograms on an empty stage. He followed this with Nixon in Agony, the world’s first binaural audio drama, with Steven Berkoff in the lead, a headline commission for the South African National Arts Festival. Alice, Through the Looking (2021), Donen’s first feature, was characterised by Tallinn Black Nights, at which it premiered, as, “Imagine that you are sitting at a table in a crowded and bustling café, having your eighth consecutive espresso and debating with David Lynch, Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard.

    Photo Credit: Magnus Arrevad

  • Elliot Grove

    Elliot Grove

    Elliot is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993), the

    @BIFA_film (British Independent Film Awards) 1998 and Raindance London Film School (2017).

    He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019) and The Effects of Lying (2022).

    He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America. Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice). In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education. Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove.

    Photo Credit: Bertie Watson

  • Ian McDonald NEIFF 2022 Judge

    Ian McDonald

    Ian McDonald is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His most recent feature doc, ‘The First Year’ (2021/88mins) won the Audience Award at last year’s NEIFF, while his debut feature documentary Algorithms (2012/96mins), about young blind chess players from India, picked up many awards and was nominated for a Grierson. He has also made films for the gallery such as the four-screen installation film FREEDOM (winner of BAFTSS Best Audio-Visual Installation) and Who is Europe? (shortlisted for AHRC Best Research Film of the Year). Ian is the founder of Film@Culture Lab at Newcastle University where he is a Reader in Film Practice.

  • Heather Greenwood

    As Senior Executive for Fulwell 73 she is a BAFTA nominated Producer who oversees a whole range of film and broadcast content from initial development & budget, through production, post, delivery & distribution.

    With 20 years industry experience she has been involved in a wide range of Broadcast and Theatrical output including THE CLASS OF 92, THE GUVNORS, I AM BOLT, SUNDERLAND TIL I DIE, HITSVILLE-THE MAKING OF MOTOWN & BROS-AFTER THE SCREAMING STOPS, regularly working with Netflix. Also BBC, Universal Pictures, Altitude and many more.

    Heather is currently focusing on Fulwell 73’s concerted move into the scripted space and building a slate to reflect these ambitions, seeking out Co-Production and IP opportunities.

    Recently announced projects include the HE Series reboot of MOONDIAL (wiip) and features DRAGGED TO CHURCH and FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.

  • Tatiana Douglas

    Tatiana is the Manager of On Screen Content & Programming for Showcase Cinemas UK. She has 15 years of experience in the industry, programming 18 cinemas across England, Scotland and Wales.

    She has a particular passion for art house and foreign language films and curates special seasons aimed at bringing alternative titles to the Showcase audience.

  • Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe MBE

    Emmanuel is the Founder and Chairman of the British Urban Film Festival and was invited to become a BAFTA voting member in December 2020.

    He has also sat on voting juries at ASFF, Caribbean Tales International Film Festival/TIFF and Triforce Monologue Slam Luton.

    In December 2019 it was announced in the 2020 New Year’s honours list that he was to be awarded with an MBE for services to the Black and Minority Ethnic

    Emnanuel received his medal from HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in March 2020.

    In October 2020, the BUFF was granted with BAFTA qualifying status for British Short Films.

  • Adrian Grant

    Adrian Grant has worked in the entertainment and media industries for over 30 years, producing magazines, books, records, videos, concerts and theatre shows.

    Adrian authored the book, Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary, and in 2006 Adrian created ‘Thriller Live’, a show seen in 35 countries by nearly five million people and becoming the 12th biggest West End musical of all-time.

    Away from Jackson, Adrian published two national magazines – Shades and Blink. Shades was one of the first youth lifestyle publications to champion for greater diversity and inclusion in the UK.

    In October 2017 Adrian received the Image Award at the Black British Business Awards for setting a record of excellence and making a lasting, significant and positive contribution to the standing of people of African and Caribbean heritage in Britain for his work.

    In November 2018 Adrian launched the Visionary Arts Foundation aiming to inspire positive change in our communities by empowering young adults to use their artistic platforms from film, music and theatre to literature and digital media as a sound board for discussion and debate around social issues such as racism, equality and inclusion, mental health awareness, youth violence prevention and the climate crisis.

    Adrian also produced the West End show, ‘Respect La Diva’, and the 2019 UK tour of ‘Respect – The Aretha Franklin Songbook’.

    Most recently, Adrian was named Best Producer for ‘Thriller Live’ at the Black British Theatre Awards 2020, and the show also won Best Musical Production.

  • Paul Sophocli

    Paul Sophocli. Paul has worked in Theatrical Sales Film Distribution for 17 years for companies such as Pathe, Paramount amd EOne. He is now currently Senior Sales Manager at Lionsgate U.K where for 7 years he has been part of the theatrical campaigns of films as varied as The Hunger Games, La La Land, John Wick 3 to Brooklyn, The Father and The Courier.

  • Mark Mitchell

    Mark Mitchell

    Mark is the Creative Director at No Worries Marketing Solutions, with over 20 years in the design and creative industry working on projects form print to TB commercials and animation projects. Mark is a keen film enthusiast, and now a board member of The North East International Film Festival CIC.

The North East International Film Festival

A celebration of filmmaking inviting the world to head North East

18th – 24th November 2024

VIP Networking Events

A VIP network gathering which will be attended by industry professionals, to include canapes and a welcome drink for which tickets will be made available through the website and Eventbrite.


Free, educational workshops will also take place throughout the city for people wanting to hone their craft, learn and develop new skills or just generalised info.

Special screenings

There will be special one off screenings of award winning films followed by question and answer sessions and interviews with leading Actors, Directors, Writers and Producers. Information on the special screenings shall be released in 2021.