Trustees

The work of the Foundation is supervised by the Board of Trustees:

 

Ivor Benjamin

Ivor Benjamin is a stage director, writer and systems analyst; he has directed over sixty plays and written over a dozen scripts, including an adaptation of the Japanese tale Rashomon which has been performed worldwide. During the 1990s he studied computing at City University, where he specialised in human-computer interaction and contributed to the first wave of research into virtual reality. He was Chair of the Directors Guild of Great Britain from 2005 to 2015 and is a trustee of the Directors Guild Trust. Since 2010 he has been a judge for several international Chinese film festivals, including the 2013 Beijing International Film Festival.

 

Neil Bhatt

Neil Bhatt is President of Film and TV at global entertainment communications firm, The DDA Group. He has previously headed UK Theatrical Publicity at Europe’s largest film and television studio, Studiocanal and is an active member of his local North West London community where he lives with his fiancé and two sons.

 

Philippa Collie Cousins

Philippa is the Drama Commissioning Editor for UKTV.  She is an award-winning director in film and television.  Formerly, she worked with Red and AMC on a new 10 part thriller and the BBC on Robin Hood, Spooks. She worked on Sherlock at the Indie Harts-wood and at Jamie Oliver scripted on Bugsplat and Warsaw Spies. Philippa is a qualified barrister in Media Law and has an MA in Directing and Games Design from the National Film and Television School.  She is also a safeguarding governor of St Charles 6th Form College and a Former Vice Chair of Directors UK.

 

Marion Comer

Marion is an award-winning, critically acclaimed feature film director. She studied Advanced Film and Television at St Martin’s School of Art in London before attending The American Film Institute Los Angeles as a directing fellow. Marion is currently working on her third feature film.

 

David Coppard

David is Head of Media and Entertainment at chartered accountants MHA MacIntyre Hudson, which he joined in 2010. He advises individuals and businesses involved in all aspects of the industry. His expertise extends to business and personal management and he is proud to have developed and to lead a very talented team.

David originally studied for a career in engineering but decided to expand his opportunities and trained to become a chartered accountant. He found his vocation when he joined the team managing ex-Beatle George Harrison and HandMade Films and established his own media and entertainment practice in the 1980s.

 

Antony Gostyn

Antony is one of the founding partners of Swan Turton, a law firm specialising in media, entertainment and the arts. Antony's area of practice is film and television. He sat for many years on the PACT Finance Committee and was until December 2009 a director of the Design and Artists Copyright Society. He is currently a trustee of Lighthouse Arts & Training Limited.

 

Piers Haggard OBE

(Vice Chair)

Piers started as a director at the Royal Court Theatre in 1960, then worked at Dundee Rep and Glasgow Citizens, before joining the newly founded National Theatre at the Old Vic. In 1965, he moved into television drama, where he directed many distinguished productions over 35 years, including the BAFTA award-winning Pennies from Heaven by Dennis Potter (BBC 1978). Piers has also directed award-winning films for the cinema, including cult horror classic The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1972).

Piers founded the Directors Guild of Great Britain in 1982, and later the DPRS to collect screen directors’ royalties. He led a rights strike for TV royalties in 2000 and, after helping DPRS become Directors UK, he set up a new body to look after theatre directors, Stage Directors UK, launched in 2014 and thriving. Piers received an OBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to theatre, film and television.

 

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway

Founder and CEO of Artistic Directors of the Future, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway is listed on the Stage Top 100 Power List. She is also the founder/artistic director of Beyond the Canon, executive director of Black Lives, Black Words International Project and former trouble shooter/manager of the National Theatre's Black Plays Archive. She is the editor of the first monologue anthology of black plays: The Oberon Book of Monologues for Black Actors: Classical and Contemporary Speeches from Black British Plays. This was followed by a second monologue anthology published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama: Audition Speeches for Black, South Asian and Middle Eastern Actors.

Simeilia is interim Associate Producer at Theatre Royal Stratford East and a former trustee at Company of Angels Theatre Company. She also worked nationally and internationally as a theatre director, producer, dramaturg, teacher/guest lecturer and audience development consultant. Simeilia is currently a member of the editorial team for the Backpages Selection of the Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge, UK).

 

Joyce HYtNer OBE

Joyce joined Granada TV in 1986, working in Public Relations until 1992, after which time she became Head of Development at the Royal Court Theatre until 1998. In the same year, Joyce became Chair of ACT IV Limited, an arts consultancy working with clients from both the arts and corporate sector. The consultancy specialises in organising income-generating events for arts organisations and other charities and advises companies on their sponsorship programmes. Joyce is also trustee of The Old Vic Theatre Trust and a board member of The Criterion Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre and Manchester International Festival.

 

Prof. Vladimir Mirodan FRSA

(Chair)

Trained on the Directors' Course at Drama Centre London, Vladimir has a background in theatre directing and has taught and directed in most leading drama schools in the UK as well as internationally. He was Vice-Principal and Director of Drama at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Principal of Drama Centre London. He is Emeritus Professor of Theatre and is currently engaged in a research project on the links between acting and aspects of neuroscience funded by the Leverhulme Foundation.

Throughout his career Vladimir took a keen interest in director training and designed a significant number of formal and informal training programmes. Vladimir Mirodan served for many years as Chair of the Directors Guild Trust, Vice Chair of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, Chair of the Conference of Drama Schools and Deputy Chair of the National Council for Drama Training.

 

Tom Roberts

(Vice Chair)

Tom is one of the leading documentary directors of his generation. He has won more than 45 international awards and nominations, including an Emmy and a BAFTA. His projects include  Company of Soldiers, Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber, Staying Lost and the feature film In Tranzit. His recent work includes writing and directing the feature documentary Every Last Child.

 

Anna Thomson

Associate Trustee 

Anna has directed and series produced more than 30 films, including A Great British Air Disaster (C4), World War 2: The Last Heroes (C4), Portrait Artist of the Year (Sky Arts), Days That Shook the World (BBC), Al Murray’s German Adventure (BBC), Patisserie with Michel Roux (BBC), Objects of Desire (Sky Arts) and Fatal Attractions (Animal Planet).

Anna is an elected board director for Directors UK, a trustee for the Directors Charitable Foundation and has several of her own projects in development with production companies.

 

Robyn Winfield-Smith

Robyn is artistic director of REND Productions, Associate Director of Omnibus Arts Centre (Peter Brook Royal Court Support Award Winner 2016), and education associate practitioner at the RSC, where she assisted deputy artistic director Erica Whyman on HECUBA. Directing includes: Judith (UK Tour); Grey Man (Theatre503); Arts Council England-funded “exhilarating and provoking” (The Stage) Howard Barker Double Bill (Arcola); Arts Council England-funded Woyzeck (Omnibus Theatre); multi-Off West End Award nominated “shrewd and searching” (Guardian) UK premiere of Lot And His God (Print Room). Assisting includes: Hecuba, Love's Sacrifice (RSC); The Dance of Death (Donmar Trafalgar); Kingdom of Earth (Print Room).  

Robyn is the youngest founding Board member of Stage Directors UK and is an active voice within the industry calling for fairness, consistency, access, equality and diversity for British theatre directors.

 

Madani Younis

Madani was appointed as the Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in 2012. He is also a member of the Mayor of London’s Cultural Board. Prior to his appointment at the Bush, he was Artistic Director of Freedom Studios in Bradford. He has worked nationally and internationally as theatre director, writer and practitioner. He was previously director of Red Ladder Theatre Company’s Asian Theatre School.   

Madani originally trained in film, and his debut short film Ellabellapumpanella, commissioned by the UK Film Council, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007. He was the recipient of the Decibel Award at the South Bank Awards show in 2006.

Madani is due to take over as Creative Director of the Southbank Centre in January 2019.

 

Peter Close

Honorary Secretary