Breaking the Mould

Friday, December 2, 2016

Breakthrough Producer subgroup chairs Barry Ryan and Gavin Humphries celebrate the work of seven of the UK’s top new producers.


The Breakthrough Producer category highlights the achievement of a UK producer on their first or second feature film.

So that’s the ‘Breakthrough’ definition – but what exactly singles out these producers?

Is it their ability to spot a strong story?

Is it their charm and cunning in raising the finance?

Is it their leadership in preproduction in the face of overwhelming odds?

Is it their faith in their team to deliver the film?

Is it their persistence in post to never stop working until the film is the best it can be?

Is it their flair for marketing and storytelling that make sure the biggest audience possible gets to see the finished film?

Of course, as any good producer will tell you, it’s all of the skills above and a multitude of others.


Adult Life Skills – Michael Berliner 

A great example of a producer nurturing and learning alongside the director. The odds of turning a good short film into a great feature film are slim but they managed it. Also it’s a bloody funny comedy and it’s nice to have something to laugh at in 20-fucking-16.


Notes on Blindness – Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison & Steve Jamison 

Just having the gumption to pitch this idea based on audio tapes and get it financed is amazing but in addition grasping at the future and turning it in to a multitude of experiences is phenomenal.   


The Girl With All The Gifts – Camille Gatin

Targeting a phenomenal writer and developing the project hand in hand with him, attaching the director and running the gamut of casting, from Hollywood stars to complete unknowns, then getting a studio to distribute and in the meantime making an intelligent genre film. Mic drop.


The Hard Stop – Dionne Walker

Taking a project that is as current and relevant as this and crafting a compelling story with minimal support but also minimal interference and compromise is fantastic.


Where You’re Meant to Be – Paul Fegan 

A film that beguiles you with its simplicity, which began as a road movie but is an examination of history and identity. It demonstrates that sometime as a producer you have to go where the story takes you and still keep it on track and then you must find and nurture an audience.



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