SHAKER OF THE YEAR
Leo Anna Thomas
6ft From the Spotlight
Putting mental health at the heart of your production is the unwavering focus of Leo Thomas and the team. Working directly with the British Film Institute, they aim to place a new role of Wellbeing Facilitators (WBF) into every production that applies for BFI funding. As a not-for-profit community interest company, they strive to help production companies meet their duty of care through the wellbeing role with a physical placement; a neutral third party to ensure crew and cast are mentally safe and working conditions meet the legal requirements.
"Co. Production Team, Factory 42, EE, Superglue and Canagan"
The Green Planet AR Experience, powered by EE 5G was a phenomenal experience for both visitors and the creators who brought this incredible vision to life. The project transformed an iconic central London building from a concrete shell into far-flung corners of the natural world, all through stunning 5G and AR; pushing the boundaries of possibility. This cutting-edge technology inspired 10,000+ people, generating a deeper awareness and understanding of our natural world biomes and even initiating a shift in sustainable behaviours from recycling and donating to relevant charities. The media reach exceeded 318+million globally, spreading the message further.
Deborah is an advocate for Irish film, TV and animation. As Head of Production for Windmill Lane, she represents Irish-based companies primarily producing digital visual effects and is responsible for attracting investment abroad from major studios, including Sony, Netflix and HBO. A mother, businesswoman and inspiration to future Irish VFX talent, Deborah challenges the gender gap, breaks taboos and is a vocal and courageous woman performing at the highest level. A natural leader Deborah motivates and manages her team, empowering them to grow, develop and fulfil their potential in a competitive environment.
Jeannette is the founder and creator of Crewvie, the only global solution for productions, studios and artisans focused on advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. As a seasoned producer, she recognized the lack of resources to accurately report DEIA accountability for tax incentives, award eligibility and, most importantly, provide pathways for unrepresented artisans to access job opportunities. She saw the need and filled it by building Crewvie. Jeannette created a team of innovative female leaders to help her execute her concept, which she continues to work alongside while inspiring future generations of talent.
Freelance Producer & Campaigner
Meriel spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness of bullying and harassment in the TV industry with the aim of taking the conversation forward. The campaign set out to give anyone in the industry an anonymous platform to share their experience of bullying and harassment. Meriele was inundated with feedback and helped individuals to realize they weren't alone and that someone was listening while empowering others to speak up. Change has started to happen as awareness spreads, people are more vocal about their experiences, and Meriele has been campaigning and speaking on live TV, news, radio and industry panels.
Transition Stage Company
'Amplified' is part of the 'Enter. Stage. Write' screenwriting competition franchise. It's a nationwide screenwriting and playwriting competition for Black and Asian minority comedy writers. They aim to uncover new Black or Brown talent telling stories of joy and comedy, predominantly in the West Midlands region. The five finalist writers have their 10-minute script filmed and adapted, receive yearly career development support, and the overall winner receives a financial award. The competition enables community members to get their first paid gig with the support to progress into a promising career in film and television.
An undeniable visionary for the global entertainment industry, Richard strives to break down barriers for all creators worldwide, giving them the best chance to succeed with a streamer. Richard is responsible for spearheading the partnership between Stage 32 and Netflix for the 'Creating Content for the Global Marketplace' program to support content creators' development worldwide. With the belief that this is no longer a regionalized business but a global industry, Richard continues to step out of the norm and innovate in extraordinary ways to democratize the global entertainment industry.
Women in Film Paraguay
A champion of women, Mariana has launched a free mentorship and workshop program called Women in Film, Paraguay. Aimed at helping women aged between 18-30 tell their stories through film, their key initiative is to foster creativity and teach them the skills to work in any area of the audiovisual industry. With over 300 applicants and 80 participants from across Paraguay, the impact means that there will be fewer barriers to entry for women from Paraguay, especially in technical areas, so they can pursue their dream of becoming a filmmaker or storyteller.