FHN x NFTS: Director Training Scheme 2022
Meet our participants

Meet the Directors taking part in the brand-new hands-on director training scheme from the National Film & Television School (NFTS) and Film Hub North

We’re excited to announce the nine directors who will be taking part in our hands-on director training scheme in partnership with NFTS. From breaking down scripts to working with a team to shoot a scene, these exciting creatives will learn from leading industry professionals and be given the space to experiment and hone their craft.

We’re looking forward to working with our 2022 cohort at NFTS in Leeds later this month and can’t wait to see the stories they will bring to our screens after this.

Ellie Hodgetts

I am a writer/director working across documentary and fiction filmmaking, with a particular interest in stories centring women and the LGBTQ+ community. I aim to bring to light stories that are often pushed aside or erased by our media and history books, drawing similarities between the past and present, with the hope of changing the narrative of the future. My works include We Are Here (2019) and Home Safe (2022).

Elsa Hunter-Weston

Elsa Hunter-Weston is an emerging director from the Wirral. Her latest film, Please Introduce Yourself was initially showcased on BBC iPlayer and went on to screen at festivals around the world. She was awarded Most Innovative film at YOUKI Film Festival, nominated for Best Experimental Short at the BFI Future Film Festival and Best Experimental film at NFFTY.

Funkẹ Alafiatayọ

Funkẹ is an award-winning filmmaker from Manchester, with a passion for stories that challenge and inspire. She enjoys telling culturally-relevant and engaging stories, with a focus on personal growth and identity. Funkẹ won the 2019 International Emmys’ Young Creatives Award, and has made short films with Bumble and most recently New Creatives (BBC Arts x Arts Council). She is currently on the Momentum mentorship scheme (We Are Parable x Channel4).

Georgia Madden

Based in a darkened room on the outskirts of Liverpool, 20-year-old Georgia spends the majority of her time living life in the miniature, meticulously making films frame by frame using the medium of stop motion. Her most recent short, ‘Divination Dave’ was commissioned by BBC Arts as part of their New Creatives programme and has gone on to see festival success, taking home ‘Best Animation’ at the BFI Future Film Awards 2022.

Jakob Lancaster

Jakob Lancaster is a film director and TV drama producer. He recently directed a short for Netflix, Seal and The City, after winning the Netflix Documentary Talent Fund. Prior to this he made a climate comedy narrated by Brian Eno, 2025: The Long Hot Winter. He is set to direct a Manchester-set Western funded by the BFI. Jakob also works as a TV drama producer and script executive, working on crime dramas The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe (ITV) and Deceit (C4).

Joseph Lazenby

Joseph Lazenby is an artist and filmmaker from Southport, Merseyside. He studied Filmmaking at Kingston School of Art where he specialised in directing and editing. He has worked as a writer-director on six short films. His work explores elements of philosophy, mythology and humanism, framing moments of intimacy and loss whilst attempting to conjure the metaphysical and traverse human identity in the urban environment.

Rory Wilson

Rory is a self-taught filmmaker, having written/directed/edited six-self produced short films, the most recent of which won ‘Best Film’ at the BFI Future Film Festival 2021. Rory is a hands-on filmmaker, to the extent of picking up the camera himself as the DoP on his last two films. Rory’s aim is to explore stories that peek behind closed doors and promote disruptive thought and compassion.

Varun Raman & Tom Hancock

Varun and Tom are a Manchester-based writing and directing duo. Their short, Man or Tree, won the Lab Competition Student Jury Prize at Clermont-Ferrand and was one of five shorts selected by Mark Rylance to air on Sky Arts. Their shorts have played at Palm Springs, Encounters, Aesthetica, Flatpack, Leuven, Atlanta, Fantasia, Fantastic Fest and many more Oscar, BAFTA and Melies-qualifying festivals.

FHN x NFTS Director Training is a Film Hub North and BFI NETWORK project delivered in partnership with NFTS.

Lead image: (Top, Left - Right) Ellie Hodgetts, Elsa Hunter-Weston, Funkẹ Alafiatayọ, Georgia Madden and Jakob Lancaster; (Bottom, Left - Right) Joseph Lazenby, Rory Wilson, Varun Raman & Tom Hancock.