BIFA Announces New Board Members

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) today announces new members of its prestigious board. The board oversees, steers and advises the BIFA team on all aspects of BIFA’s year-round activity, as well as The British Independent Film Awards.

New board members for 2017/18 are:

  • Suzanne Ballantyne – BIFA Co-Founder
  • Sarah Gavron – Director
  • Charles McDonald – PR Consultant
  • Daniel Robey – Founder and CEO of film and entertainment marketing agency Think Jam

Sarah, Daniel, Charles and Suzanne join the existing BIFA board members: producer Claire Jones; BIFA and Raindance Film Festival Co-Founder Elliot Grove; Zygi Kamasa, CEO of Lionsgate UK; BIFA Producers Deena Wallace and Amy Gustin; and Laurence Green, Founding Partner of advertising agency 101 London.

Laurence Green commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Sarah, Charles, Daniel and Suzanne to the board. Their wisdom and expertise will be invaluable in guiding BIFA as it develops into an ever more powerful ally for British filmmakers and distributors.”

Sarah Gavron said: “I’m really pleased to be joining the BIFA board at such an exciting time for the organisation. BIFA has been hugely valuable to independent filmmakers in the UK over the last 20 years and I’m looking forward to helping to make plans for its future.”

– –

Suzanne Ballantyne trained as an actress in London and worked as a performer in the UK and Canada. She has programmed the Raindance Film Festival since 1995. In 1998 she co-founded the British Independent Film Awards. Her first screenplay is about to enter pre-production under the Raindance Raw Talent banner. In 2013 she produced the thriller, Love.Honour.Obey.

Sarah Gavron directed feature film Suffragette in 2015 for Ruby Films, Pathe, Film4 and the BFI. Her feature debut was Brick Lane, which earned her a BAFTA nomination and The Alfred Dunhill Talent Award at the London Film Festival. Gavron’s first full length drama, the Dennis Potter Award winning, This Little Life for BBC Films, won her the BAFTA TV Award for Best New Director and both RTS and Women in Film and TV awards, for Best Newcomer. Gavron was selected as one of Variety’s ten directors to watch at the Sundance International Film Festival and was nominated for the Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director at the BIFAs. Gavron’s feature documentary Village at the End of the World was nominated for the Grierson award in 2013 and won the Margaret Mead documentary award. Sarah recently directed Transparent for Amazon.  Her next film is in development with Film4 and the BFI and will go in to production in 2018.  

Charles McDonald started his career with Theo Cowan in 1978. He then co-founded Judy Tarlo Associates, before establishing Stone Hallinan McDonald in 1986. He co-formed McDonald & Rutter in January 1994, specialising in all aspects of film-oriented work as well as television and theatre work. McDonald & Rutter was incorporated into Premier PR in April 2006. Since 2008, McDonald has operated as a freelance consultant, retaining clients such as Picturehouse, Europa Cinemas and the European Film Awards as well as maintaining strong links with filmmakers such as Ken Loach, Pawel Pawlikowski, Lynne Ramsay, Sally Potter and Jim Jarmusch. Recent films handled include Elle, One More Time With Feeling, 20,000 Days on Earth, Paterson, Only Lovers Left Alive, I, Daniel Blake and The Lady in the Van. Personal clients include Kenneth Branagh, Peter Morgan and John le Carré.

Daniel Robey is the founder and CEO of Think Jam Ltd, a privately-owned, award-winning entertainment marketing agency, producing and delivering campaigns for clients including Twentieth Century Fox, HBO and Lionsgate. Formed in 2004, he has worked efficiently to shake up digital communications in entertainment marketing with a large workforce, across multiple locations in the UK and US.  Acting upon the increasing audience demand for high-quality AV content, Robey formed an equity partnership deal with leading specialist video agency Intermission Film, where he is a Company Director. Robey also founded the marketing analytics software ‘FUEL Intelligence’, for clients to track the social media impact of their film trailers.


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