Introduction to Directing Participants Meet the aspiring directors who took part in our masterclass

Working to demystify film for creative practitioners.

On 3 November, our BFI NETWORK team partnered with Sheffield Hallam University to give 8 aspiring directors the chance to learn more about the filmmaking process and the specifics of the director's role under the tutelage of Sam Masud (My Pure Land, Two Dosas). 

We were happy to welcome a talented group of practitioners from a variety of fields, all looking to break into directing for film. Bringing with them a wealth of experience from photography, performance art, screenwriting and theatre-making, our directors in training were there to channel their creativity in a new direction and to get hands-on experience of the filmmaking process. After guidance from Sam on the director's responsibilities, the language of film sets and the process of working with cast and crew, the masterclass participants got to put everything they had learnt into practice through sessions with a group of professional actors and crew from Sheffield Hallam University's MA Filmmaking programme.

Thanks to Sam, Sheffield Hallam University and our cast and crew for making the Introduction to Directing Masterclass a success. Now: meet the filmmakers we'll be keeping an eye on for the future.

Daljinder Singh

Daljinder has worked in theatre for over 10 years. This includes completing a traineeship with Citizens' Theatre and TAG Theatre Company in Glasgow, being resident director at the Young Vic and, more recently, Associate Producer at CAST in Doncaster. Daljinder has directed productions at Citizens' Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Tramway, The Arches, Young Vic, CAST, as well as others. She has also worked with new writers for several new writing initiatives and organisations, including Playwrights' Studio Scotland, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Finborough Theatre and Tarawa Theatre. She is the recipient of The Arches Award for Stage Directors and the Jerwood Award for Directors.

Jack Nicholls

Jack Nicholls is a writer and performer based in Manchester. A member of the Royal Court Writers' Group North, he has recently developed his first full-length play, which was read at Northern Stage, Newcastle and the Royal Court Theatre. He is the author of the poetry pamphlet Meat Songs and his poems have featured in The Poetry Review, The Tangerine and The Best New British and Irish Poets. As well as this, he is the artistic director of the Arts Council England-funded experimental cabaret FILM NITE and performs comedy with the sketch group Beach Hunks.

Kellie Smith

Kellie Smith writes for theatre, film and radio and is currently developing ideas for TV. Her short films To Know Him and The Big Day have both been BIFA nominated with each playing at numerous festivals such as SXSW, Palm Springs and Sydney. The Big Day won the BIFA for Best British Short in 2018. In theatre, her next play Wilderness is due to play at Hampstead theatre in the Spring of next year. She has written three afternoon plays for radio and numerous plays for young people, including The Monstrum, which recently played at The National.

Luke Musharbash

Luke studied Art & Design at Leeds College of Art. After leaving college, he decided not to go on to university as he felt more comfortable with moving straight into work and gaining experience in the field as a portrait photographer. Throughout most of his career, Luke developed skills through trial and error with plenty of experimenting. He's not too keen on sticking with one style, so as he develops and moves forward he's always trying to adapt what best fits with him and his workflow.

Lauren Vevers

Lauren is a writer from Newcastle upon Tyne. Her work is currently concerned with explorations of female desire, sexuality and the body. In 2014, she was awarded the Best Young Writer Award and nominated for the Best Writer category at the Blog North Awards. She's since been selected for the Channel 4 Random Acts Development Programme and the Latimer X BBC Three Talent Scheme. In 2016, she was the recipient of New Writing North's Young Writers' Talent Fund. Her play, Trashed, was recently included on the Pint-sized Playwriting Longlist for 2018. She was a participant in Film Hub North/BFI NETWORK's 2018 Short Film Script Lab.

Tomoko Freeman

Tomoko is an interdisciplinary artist/filmmaker based in Liverpool, originally from Japan. Her background is in performance and visual art. Direct interaction with people from different social/cultural backgrounds is one of the most important elements of her work. There are two main themes of her artistic practice: social systems and how people's tendencies are affected by our globalised society.

Nadia Eman

Nadia is an actress and theatremaker based in Manchester, currently training to become a director. She has worked with the Royal Exchange Theatre, BBC Radio Drama and Slung Low on their show for Hull City of Culture 2017.

Kiah Simpson

Kiah is an experienced content producer/director working within the film and culture sector. For the last couple of years, he has produced content for Creative England and will be moving over to Manchester International Festival to do the same. In his time at Creative England, he has interviewed dozens of filmmakers as their ambitions have moved from aspiring to emerging, and now he knows it's time to do the same. Kiah has a keen interest in world cinema and wants to make films that capture perspectives often unseen or unheard.

Read more about our Introduction to Directing Masterclass.