Governors

Mike Leigh

Writer/Director

Writer-director Mike Leigh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Camberwell and Central Art Schools in London, and at the London Film School, of which he is now the Chairman.

His first feature film was Bleak Moments (1971); this was followed by the full-length television films, Hard Labour (1973), Nuts in May (1975), The Kiss of Death (1976), Who's Who (1978), Grown-Ups (1980), Home Sweet Home (1982), Meantime (1983), and Four Days In July (1984).

Other feature films are High Hopes (1988), Life Is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993)), Secrets and Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All Or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) Another Year (2010) and Mr. Turner (2014).

He has written and directed over twenty stage plays. These include Babies Grow Old (1974), Abigail's Party (1977), Ecstasy (1979), Goose-Pimples (1981), Smelling A Rat (1988), Greek Tragedy (1989), It's A Great Big Shame! (1993), Two Thousand Years (2005) and Grief (2011).

Photographer Eamonn McCabe.

View Mike Leigh on IMDb

Margaret Matheson

Producer

Margaret Matheson has been producing films and television programmes since 1975 for amongst others the BBC, ITV, Zenith, Island World and since the Nineties for her own company, Bard Entertainments.

Margaret Matheson's website View Margaret Matheson on IMDb

Dan Chambers

Producer

Dan Chambers runs Blink Films which makes a host of programmes for UK and American Broadcasters. Recent shows include When Boris Met Dave (C4), Monty Don’s Italian Gardens (BBC2), How To Take Stunning Pictures (Channel 5), The Great Sperm Race (Channel 4), Miliband of Brothers (More 4), Chinese Food In Minutes (Channel 5), True Stories (Channel 5), The Silver Pharaoh (PBS), Who Killed The Honeybee? (BBC2).

From 2003 to 2006, Dan was Channel Five's Director of Programming. There he took the channel upmarket with commissions including World War I In Colour, The Buildings That Changed Britain, Battlefield Detectives, the award winning Revealed history strand, extensive arts programming with Tim Marlow and Brian Sewell, TV poems with Simon Armitage, and The Big Ideas That Changed the World – a series of authored films from luminaries including Mikhail Gorbachev, Jesse Jackson, Germaine Greer and Noam Chomsky.

He was previously Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Science, inventing the long-running strand Secrets of The Dead, and responsible for Scrapheap Challenge, Extinct, Escape from Colditz, and The Private Lives of the Pharaohs. He also had joint responsibility for the first UK run of Big Brother. Before that he was a freelance Producer-Director specializing in science films, with credits including Equinox: Sun Story, and Russian Roulette, both for Channel 4. 

Dan began his career in television in 1991 as a researcher on current affairs programmes, after realising he wasn’t cut out for academia, would go insane if he stayed at the Evening Standard’s London’s Diary, and had come across a dawning realisation that he would never make a living as a playwright.

Graham Easton

Film Finance

After reading English at Jesus College, Cambridge, Graham Easton worked as a freelance assistant director and production manager in feature films, documentaries and commercials. In 1983 he joined Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment as production executive and supervised the company’s slate of in-house feature films. He returned to independent production before joining the London office of Film Finances, the world’s longest-established film and television completion guarantor. He subsequently participated in a management buy-out and became a shareholder and director of the parent U.S. parent company and managing director of Film Finances Limited. As a completion guarantor he has worked internationally with production companies, distributors, broadcasters, banks, financiers, public funding bodies and leading film makers. He retired from his full-time role with Film Finances in 2008 and is now a consultant to the company.

Graham’s producing credits include American Roulette and Loser Takes All. He was associate producer on Superman IV and produced and directed the film sequences used in the first ever stage production of Singing in the Rain at the London Palladium. His writing credits include radio drama and television and sponsored documentaries. In 2003 he received the Individual Merit Award from the Production Guild of Great Britain. In 2011 he was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the British Independent Film Awards. He is a member of the European Film Academy and a fellow of the RSA.

Kemal Akhtar

Governor

A deeply proud and committed LFS Alumnus, Kemal was born in London, the son of a barrister and a social and race relations worker.

Kemal earned a degree in History and French from the University of Sussex and a 2nd year degree in Cinema et les Etudes Audio Visuel from Le Sorbonne, Paris III, Kemal trained as a journalist at The Guardian and has been published by the Times, Telegraph, Time Out amongst others. He graduated with an MA Filmmaking from the London Film School in 2007. His 4th term film ZOHRA, won a many awards including a UK Film Council Race in Media Award, and competed at over 40 international festivals including Brief Encounters, Cannes, and San Francisco. The film also closed the 50th Anniversary of the London Film School celebration at the NFT. Kemal also won a Kodak Commercial Award while at school.

Kemal has completed three feature films BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN with Martin Sheen and an international cast (as associate director and producer). He was a co-producer of  documentary SHADOWS OF LIBERTY alongside LFS graduates Director Jean Philipe Tremblay and Daniel Cantagallo. The film was produced by the Bertha Foundation and Doc Factory. His newest film  as director and co-producer is MANDELA'S CHILDREN, a documentary about Nelson Mandela, made in partnership with his grandson Kweku, his family and with the co-operation of the Mandela Foundation. It features Mandela’s last interviews. The film is edited by the BAFTA award-winners of SENNA, Chris King and Gregers Sall. 

 

Kemal is currently in development with a new documentary and a new narrative feature.

Michael Wakeford

Governor

Sir Michael Wakeford started his career as a barrister and was for 27 years the Clerk of the Mercers Livery Company and subsequently has been a Trustee of the Portman Estate & director of Portman Settled Estates Ltd. He has been a Governor of LFS since 1985 and is currently Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. He has also served as a governor of several schools, both independent & state, including terms as Chairman of the Thomas Telford City Technology College and the Walsall City Academy.

Peter Armstrong

Lawyer

Peter is an established media lawyer with over 25 years' experience in the film and television industry. He is a partner in leading media law firm, Harbottle & Lewis LLP, and previously at Richards Butler and Theodore Goddard. Peter acts for Hollywood studios and for other leading independent UK, US and European film and television producers and industry organisations. Recent films on which he has been the main production lawyer include Robin Hood for Universal Pictures and War Horse for DreamWorks Studios. He is legal adviser to Film London and a Governor of the London Film School. He has served as a director of the British Film Commission and as chair of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee of the International Bar Association. Peter regularly speaks at film and copyright conferences in many countries.

Professor Diana Green

Governor

Professor Green was previously the Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Sheffield Hallam University.

She has extensive experience of corporate governance via directorships and chairmanship of publicly funded national and regional organisations.

Professor Green was actively involved in the regeneration of Sheffield and the Yorkshire region. She was also a former advisor to Government on Industrial Change, Innovation and the Exploitation of University Research, Better Regulation and the Impact of Fees on Higher Education.

Awarded a CBE, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman of the honourable Company of Air Pilots, and a Member of the Internatioal Women's Forum UK

Ruth Lesirge

Independent Consultant

An experienced voluntary sector leader and trustee, she has served as the Chief Executive of both a UK front-line eldercare and residential services organisation and a national policy and research (mental health and learning disabilities) foundation is an experienced third sector professional.  Has over 35 years’ experience of work with public and third sectors, including a previous career in adult literacy and as Principal of an adult and community education service.

Now runs her own consultancy (Ruth Lesirge Partnership Ltd) .in the not-for-profit sector. Consultancy assignments include governance and organisational reviews, management development programmes and peer learning groups. Clients include Institute of Public Policy Research, Kids Company,  Help the Hospices; Citizens Advice; British Home; Macmillan Cancer Care;  Brent Mind; Victim Support, Clore Social Leadership Programme, She also coaches a wide range of charity chief executives and emerging leaders.

Her previous roles also include Head of Governance consultancy at the Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Cass Business School, where she was also a Senior Visiting Fellow. She is the co-author of NCVO publications ‘Tools for Tomorrow’ and ‘Getting Ready for Enterprise’ Recruiting Trustees Toolkit, as well as a number of articles about leadership and governance, published by Guardian Voluntary Sector Network, Acevo, Third Sector and Caritas magazines.

Teaches has lectured on the governance module of the Cass Business School MSc in Voluntary Sector Management. She is a founder trustee of the Association of Chairs and serves as a trustee of the Bishopsgate Institute.

Helen Dudley CBE

Governor

Helen has held a number of senior HR roles in government. She was HR Director at the Ministry of Justice and at the Cabinet Office and was the director responsible for top talent management across the Civil Service, including the graduate talent Fast Stream programme. She is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD.

She has worked with a number of charities, including as a trustee of the Whitehall and Industry Group and her local hospice. Helen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and was awarded a CBE in the 2005 New Year’s Honours List.

Julie Parmenter

Governor

Julie is Managing Director of Soho post production house, Molinare, one of the longest-running independent post production facilities in the industry. Julie joined Molinare in June 2012 to head up the company and built a strong secure foundation from which it could grow.  Molinare has an excellent reputation for quality and is recognised as one of the leaders in the market.  Known for its outstanding talent, standards and facilities, it continues to have a clear focus on providing excellent customer service.   Recent productions include A United Kingdom, Absolutely Fabulous, Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Virunga, White Helmets and Dr. Who.

Since joining Molinare, Julie has developed close ties with other industry organisations and sits on the UK Screen board, the Skillset VFX council and has been a mentor on the WFTV and Animated Women schemes. 

Prior to Joining Molinare, Julie had a 14 year career with the BMW Group.  Having joined BMW to head up the Finance team, her commercial business acumen meant she was promoted to be the Head of the UK, Used Car dealer network for both BMW & MINI.  After achieving exceptional success in this challenging role, she moved to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to head up the Global Sales Operations.

Stephen Garrett

Executive Chairman of Character Seven

In 1992 Stephen founded Kudos, an independent television and film production company, and remained as executive chairman until 2014. By 2006, with Spooks, Hustle and Life on Mars, Kudos had become the most successful and highly regarded drama producer in the UK. Other programmes under Stephen’s chairmanship include Simon Beaufoy's BURN UP, Dick Wolff's LAW & ORDER:UK and Frank Spotnitz's HUNTED. He produced the Beaufoy scripted films Among Giants (1998) and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008), the International Emmy Award winning The Magician’s House (1999) and Channel 4’s drama Psychos (1999). He acted as executive producer for series one of Spooks and producer for 2015’s feature film Spooks: The Greater Good. Under Kudos’s filmmaking arm (then Shine Pictures) Garrett acted as executive producer on Kiera Knightley’s debut Pure (2002), David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises (2007) and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), featuring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Outside of production Garrett is Deputy Chair of the British Screen Advisory Council and is on the Board of The London Film School. In 2008 he was visiting professor of Broadcast Media at Oxford University, where he gave a series of lectures on creativity in business and the future of storytelling.

Hero Mackenzie

Student Governor

Hero Mackenzie is a Creative Skillset bursary student on the MA Filmmaking programme at the London Film School.

Hero is in her graduating term and is specialising in Direction. She received a distinction for her MA Screenwriting also at the London Film School and went on to work as creative assistant to Stephen Poliakoff and Tony Grisoni.

She has been awarded the Philip Mottram Hardship Fund and the John Brabourne Award. Hero is influenced by the works of Andrea Arnold, Shane Meadows and the Dardenne Bros.

Hero is mentored by Oscar award-winning producer, Jeremy Thomas

Guy Wilson

Student Governor