Board of directors
Chaired by Richard Johnston, the ScreenSkills board of directors is made up of leading industry figures who guide every aspect of ScreenSkills work.
The board is responsible for delivering ScreenSkills' aims and in doing so is required to:
- Ensure that the organisation fulfils the legal requirements as a Registered Charity and Company
- Act as Directors of the Company and Trustees of the Charity
- Set and agree ScreenSkills' overall corporate strategy and governance structure
- Provide a support and challenge function to ScreenSkills' CEO and members of the Executive Team as appropriate
- Define the appetite for risk and the framework within which the Executive Team can operate
- Support, monitor and evaluate ScreenSkills' and its Executive Team’s performance
- Delegate powers to the Skills Councils, Finance and Audit Committee and the executive team
- To approve sector strategies and action plans recommended by the Skills Councils and monitor their achievement through the receipt of regular progress reports
- Identify and promote opportunities for co-ordination and co-operation across the sectors/nations in relation to skills
- Provide opportunities for sectors and nations to raise opportunities, issues, risks and developments, and to be responsive to the changing needs of the sectors and nations under ScreenSkills' remit
- Advocate, lobby and promote ScreenSkills' work and interests across our sectors and at government level.
Richard Johnston (Chair)
Richard Johnston is the former Chief Executive Officer of Endemol Shine UK, the leading TV producer behind a diverse range of hits including global entertainment formats, multi-award winning drama, genre-defining factual and innovative multiplatform content. Richard was appointed CEO in January 2015 having overseen the merger of the Endemol and Shine companies in the UK. He began his television career in 1996 when he joined Bazal Productions, the independent production company established by Sir Peter Bazalgette, as financial controller. Bazal later became part of Endemol, where Richard went on to hold a number of senior positions including Joint Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Richard has also been a trustee of LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art) and is committed to improving education, training and access to the creative industries.
Richard said: "I am proud of the way ScreenSkills collaborates with industry colleagues to address the skills needs of today and to plan and prepare for what will be needed in future. When the sector is so busy, ScreenSkills provides leadership and coherence and provides effective, targeted solutions to the challenges."
Alex Hope (Vice-chair)
Alex Hope is Co-CEO of beloFX a next generation VFX and technology company operating globally with teams based in the UK and Canada. He was formerly Joint Managing Director of multi-award-winning DNEG, one of the world's largest VFX companies. He co-founded DNEG in 1998 and over the next 22 years helped grow it to a company of 6,500+ people with operations in the UK, USA, Canada and India. Alex began his career at The Moving Picture Company where he rose to board director (1996-1998) in charge of the FX and animation departments. A board director of the UK Screen Association between 2008-2018, he was heavily involved in the association's efforts to improve the quality of education available to those coming into the VFX industry. He co-authored the Next Gen review in 2011, published by Nesta, which the looked at the skills needs of the VFX and video games industries. The report highlighted the need for change in education in the UK, particularly the replacement of ICT by computer science in the curriculum, to ensure the UK's high-tech creative industries continue to thrive and remain globally competitive. In 2011 he was awarded an OBE for services to the VFX industry.
Anita Overland’s most recent credits are, with Mike Elliott, producing director Steve McQueen’s anthology series of five films, Small Axe, for transmission on the BBC and Amazon in the US.
Other producing credits include: In This World for director Michael Winterbottom, which won a Bafta for best film not in the English language and the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival; and the Red Riding Trilogy for Channel 4.
Prior to Small Axe, Anita co-produced David Michod’s historical drama The King for Netflix; The Little Stranger, an adaptation of Sarah Water’s novel with director Lenny Abrahamson and My Cousin Rachel for Fox Searchlight Pictures and Free Range Films.
Other credits as co-producer include a number of successful feature films: The Young Victoria for GK Films, Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep and action drama Rush with director Ron Howard for Working Title Films.
Speaking on appointment as chair of the Film Skills Council, she said:
“I’ve always cared about helping people get into the industry and progress within it. I’m really pleased to have an opportunity to be part of an industry-led body that supports and invests in the film workforce.
“We were very pleased to have been able to work with ScreenSkills-supported crew on Small Axe and I look forward to working with ScreenSkills in my new role as Film Skills Council chair to continue their work in providing more opportunities and helping build a more inclusive workforce across the UK.
“As the industry is so busy now, ScreenSkills will be an important part of helping to avoid any skills shortages. And after what has been a difficult year for many, I want to make sure we are doing what we can to support recovery coming out of the pandemic."
Anne Mensah is Vice President, Original Series at Netflix. Prior to this, she was Director of Drama and Sky Studios at Sky UK. Prior to joining Sky, Anne served as Head of Independent Drama at the BBC as well as Head of Drama for BBC Scotland. Anne has commissioned a wide variety of internationally acclaimed dramas such as Wallander with Kenneth Branagh, Patrick Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch for Sky/Showtime, John Ridley’s political drama Guerrilla and Sky/HBO drama, Chernobyl. Anne is an advisory Board member of Blazing Griffin, a Scottish-based games, post production and film company. She sits on the Board of the RTS as well as the television committee of BAFTA. She is an independent Governor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
She says: "The film and television industry in the UK is, quite rightly, world-renowned. But without strong support for crews and training, we will not be able to keep pace with global competition. As an industry-led initiative, ScreenSkills provides a vital function - from new entrants to high end career progression - in keeping the UK best in class. I am honoured to be on the ScreenSkills board and to support their innovative and exciting work."
Bella Lambourne originally joined documentary producer Hawkshead as general manager in 1993 and after the group expanded to become Broadcast Communications took responsibility as UK Group Head of Human Resources in 1997. Bella was promoted to Human Resources Director for Endemol UK in 2002 and also oversees the administrative and operational functions of the group. In addition to her Endemol UK role, Bella was promoted to Global Head of Human Resources at Endemol Group in March 2011, focussing on people and talent management for the 25 Endemol Shine UK companies. She currently works as HR and Operations Director at Banijay UK. Bella is passionate about improving diversity and talent development both on and off screen. Bella is Chair of ScreenSkills TV Skills Fund, a board member of ScreenSkills and the Indie Training Fund. She also sits on the Pact diversity committee and the CDN steering group.
She says: "ScreenSkills has been able to put its arms around the freelance community during the whole of the pandemic providing critically needed learning and support on line often for free, as a result it has become the glue that has held the industry together during this most difficult time. It is invaluable both to employers and individuals alike, the go-to skills specialist for the screen industries."
Christine Healy joins Emma and Matthew as COO of Watford & Essex from New Pictures, where she has been Head of Production since 2016. Her list of credits there includes highly acclaimed productions for many UK and International broadcasters - ‘The Spanish Princess’, ‘Des’, ‘The Deceived’, ‘Cobra’, ‘White House Farm’, ‘Catherine the Great’, ‘The Innocents’, ‘Requiem’ and ‘Rellik’.
Prior to New Pictures, Christine worked as a production consultant within the BBC Drama Department, overseeing programmes such as ‘Our Girl’, ‘Silent Witness’, ‘Red Water’ and ‘Undercover’. She has also had a successful career as a freelance line producer in high-end TV, working on many productions including ‘Doctor Foster’, ‘Indian Summers’, ‘Line of Duty’, ‘Tommy Cooper’ and ‘The White Queen’ where she first met and worked with Emma Frost.
Christine chairs ScreenSkills’ High-end TV Skills Council and sits on ScreenSkills’ Board. She is committed to affording opportunities for training and career development within HETV. As Chair, she is able to help identify skills gaps current and future within HETV and work with the team at ScreenSkills, industry leaders and trade bodies, agencies, guilds, broadcasters and others to open doors to people from all backgrounds into HETV and then help them progress their careers within the industry.
Christine is also fortunate to act as an external examiner at the National Film and Television School which has given her insight into the great work and talent that the film school does for the industry.
She says: “I am passionate supporter of ScreenSkills and their wonderful work supporting the screen industries and our skilled, diverse freelance community.
As Chair of the ScreenSkills High-End TV Skills Fund, along with the HETV team and our Council, I am determined to build on the momentum we have created with the suite of targeted programmes and training opportunities whether it is to tackle the need for more people in certain grades eg production accountants, providing pathways for transferrers into the industry, supporting crew move forward with in their chosen career or to provide entry level training.”
Jane co-founded Glasgow based Raise the Roof in 2010 and as MD oversees all operations and the strategic direction of the company. In its 11 years, the company has delivered over 600 hours of network TV and sold to numerous countries worldwide. Notable titles include Kirstie and Phil’s Love it or List it; Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas; Kate Humble’s My Little Farm; Holiday of My Lifetime with Len Goodman; My Mortgage Free Home.
Under Jane’s leadership, Raise the Roof was in the top 20 Broadcast Best Places to Work in TV in 2017, 18 and 19 and in the top ten in 2020. Jane is Vice Chair of Pact (UK Indie producer trade body) and co-chairs the Scottish TV Working Group. She also chairs Screen Skills Unscripted TV Fund. Jane was awarded an honorary Professorship from Stirling University in 2018.
Jane is passionate about skills and the development of the next generation of talent. She encourages all staff at RTRP to engage and work collaboratively with local community groups, schools and further and higher education establishments to help ensure the Scottish sector attracts and nurtures a diverse talent pool, ready to produce the best, world-class content.
John is the co-founder of London based film and TV production company Brightstar. He is also the chairman of Molinare, one of the UK’s top post-production houses. He is also Chairman of Met Film School, the UK's largest film academy and also Chairman of Park Circus the classic movie distribution company. Previously John was Investment Director at venture capital fund Arts Alliance. Before that John was the CEO of the UK Film Council and before that the CEO of the British Film Institute (BFI). Before that John was the founding CEO of the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact). John is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and a trustee of Riverside Arts.
John Woodward says: “A key reason why the UK is such a great place to produce film and TV is the crew and behind-the-camera talent and we all need to back ScreenSkills in sustaining, growing and diversifying that workforce. The ScreenSkills collaboration with industry is mission critical to continued success.”
Kate is the finance director for Britbox, a dynamic start-up subscription VOD service backed by ITV and the BBC, with operations in the US, Canada and soon in the UK. Prior to taking on this role, Kate worked across multiple areas at ITV, including group finance as group chief accountant managing external reporting and technical matters, as Head of Financial, Planning and Analysis for the broadcast division, as financial controller for the ITV Hub and most recently as finance director for the transmission and multiples business, SDN. Kate is also involved with the EY Foundation, where she has been chair of the impact and influence committee and most recently a strategic advisor. Kate is chair of the ScreenSkills finance and audit committee.
She says: "When I think about the things I value about ScreenSkills, there’s a strong and diverse management team who are dedicated to supporting the future of an industry I love and It feels as if the work is targeted in the right places. It is squarely focused on building up fantastic careers with people from a breadth of backgrounds, feeding the engine of an industry that we can see just getting bigger and bigger.
"We need a body like ScreenSkills to ensure the future health of our production industry, which is undoubtedly world class."
Kevin is Executive Vice President Physical Production, Warner Bros. Having graduated from Law school Kevin entered the film business in 1989, his first feature being City of Joy by Roland Joffe where he lived and worked in Calcutta for six months. Originally starting as a runner/PA in accounting, by 1995 he was a financial controller working on independent features such as Emma and Little Voice. Having completed Band Of Brothers for HBO, Kevin moved into line producing and eventually took a position with WB in 2003. Starting with Troy, Kevin has worked across the whole WB slate since then including Harry Potter from the third movie onward, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, several Tim Burton projects, two Sherlock Holmes’ and many others. Most recent projects include Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Wonder Woman 1984. Overseas experience includes Mexico, South Africa, Namibia, Thailand, Morocco, India and all over Europe. Kevin was also chairman of the Production Guild of Great Britain for almost 10 years and presently still is a board member and vice-chair. He also sits on the business consulting committee for the British Film Commission. Married to Jane with two children and a Labrador, Kevin is also an avid football and rugby fan when he’s not working.
Lisa Opie is Managing Director of Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington studios. She was formerly Managing Director of UK Production, BBC Studios, responsible for delivering BBC Studios Productions' business plan. Before this, she was Managing Director of UK Factual, leading the factual teams across six business units as well as BBC Studios Digital. Together they produce more than 1,000 hours of thought-provoking, inspiring content across a broad range of genres and subjects, from established strands such as Horizon, Watchdog and Countryfile, to the award-winning Big Blue Live, Murdered by my Boyfriend and Life and Death Row. Lisa works with the creative leads, production management and business teams to enable BBC Studios to continue to deliver and grow its world-class content. Lisa also joined the BBC Studios executive committee in April 2018 where develops and implements the business strategy within factual. Before joining the BBC in 2013, initially as Controller of Business for Factual and Daytime, Lisa was Managing Director of Two Four Digital, where she helped create digital channels and content for brands, broadcasters and businesses keen to engage audiences on multiple platforms. Prior to that, Lisa was Managing Director of Content at Channel Five and Managing Director of Flextech Television (once a partner with the BBC in UKTV). Previously Lisa worked at the satellite TV company BSB and presented and researched radio programmes for BBC Radio Wales. She began her career in the theatre, having attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Indiana University Theatre School.
She says: "To ensure the health of the UK’s screen industries, it is vital that we attract and retain talent who best reflect the breadth of the audiences we serve and ScreenSkills offers advice, support and quality, accessible training to make sure that happens."
Nick Catliff is Chief Content Officer of Lion Television, which he co-founded in 1997. He started his career as a graduate trainee at the BBC and he went on to work in arts, current affairs and documentaries. At Lion TV, Nick has acted as executive producer on a wide range of programming including access documentaries, arts, history, science and technology, multi-platform and event-based programmes. Nick also has overall responsibility for Lion USA, which he set up in 2001. He is also a trustee of The Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company. Nick keeps bees, has a very small flock of sheep and has recently completed an MBA at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership. He was was formerly Chair of the Indie Training Fund.
Philippa Childs is the first woman to hold the role of Head of Bectu, the UK’s media and entertainment union.
Childs oversees Bectu’s five divisions: BBC; London Production Division; Regional Production Division; Independent Broadcasting, and Arts and Entertainment – championing the rights of more than 30,000 staff and freelance workers across numerous creative companies. Additionally, the BT and Digital divisions of Prospect also fall under Child’s remit.
As the largest union at the BBC and with a strong presence in many of the UK’s leading theatres, arts centres and independent broadcasting and production companies, Bectu is uniquely placed to secure workplace fairness and equality on behalf of its members.
Childs worked in the civil service throughout the 1980s and started her union career as a negotiations officer with the National Union of Civil and Public Servants (now PCS) in 1989.
She was seconded to the TUC National Education Centre between 1994 and 1996, returning to PCS from 1996 to 2000.
Childs joined EMA, now part of Bectu’s parent union Prospect, in 2000.
On appointment to the ScreenSkills board in March 2021, she said:
“I am delighted to be joining the ScreenSkills board representing the Federation of Entertainment Unions at such an important time for the screen industries.
“The film and TV industries' swift collaboration to ensure a safe and effective return to production during the pandemic has shown what can be achieved when the industry works together. I am confident that we can adopt this same collaborative approach to tackling other challenges, including addressing future skills gaps and transformation of the industry to ensure that dignity at work and equality and diversity are enshrined as core principles across all productions”
Sally is the Director of Production at ITV Studios. Joining in 2012, she is responsible for a wide range of UK and international labels and leads the ITV Studios production management strategy. She spent her early years at London Weekend Television on programmes such as World of Sport, Blind Date, Dempsey and Makepeace before joining Talkback Productions as Head of Production. She became Managing Director in 2002 and led on Talkback's expansion from niche supplier of comedy to a successful and varied company with iconic series such as QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Grand Designs. In 2003, Sally was appointed Chief Operating Officer of TalkbackThames. She spent two years as Managing Director at Avalon Television before joining the BBC as Controller of Production Operations, Vision Productions.
She says: "ScreenSkills is an essential partner in the industry and is key to the ongoing challenge of finding, developing and sustaining a skilled and inclusive workforce."
Sinéad Rocks is Channel 4’s first Managing Director for Nations & Regions. She is the lead executive in its new national headquarters in Leeds and has overseen the establishment of creative hubs in Bristol and Glasgow. She started her career as a journalist at BBC Northern Ireland, before joining BBC Children’s to work on the launch of the CBBC channel. She is a former editor of Newsround as well as executive producer for BBC Current Affairs, where she headed up the Manchester network unit and led the team making content for The One Show, Panorama, documentaries for BBC Three and the Rip Off Britain franchise. As the BBC’s Director of Education she was responsible for a range of content across TV, radio and online, including the award-winning Bitesize and played a key role in the BBC’s move to Salford.