RISE Women Writer-Directors Announced

Posted: 15th January 2015

Six of the UK’s brightest female creative talents have been selected for NFM’s writer-director development scheme RISE – an initiative supported by Creative Skillset's Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills investment fund, launched with the aim of identifying and supporting women filmmakers from across the UK with authentic voices who can challenge audiences.

Lou Hamilton, Adina Istrate, Lizzie Oxby, Jane McGee, Isabelle Sieb and Cecilia Stenbom will receive professional development over a ten month period from a raft of leading industry mentors. These include acclaimed producer Andrea Cornwell (The Last Days on Mars, The Scouting Book For Boys), distributor and marketing expert Julia Short (Trainspotting, Fargo, Four Weddings, Shallow Grave), feature film script editor Kate Leys (Four Weddings and a FuneralTrainspottingThe Full Monty) and award winning director Josh Appignanesi (The Infidel, Songs of Songs, All Roads Lead to Rome). The RISE filmmakers will also take part in two intensive residential workshops and on-set shadowing, as well as being supported to find a producer. At the end of the process the writer-directors will be featured as part of our Women in Film Seminar in collaboration with Women in Film and Television (WFTV) and will have the chance to meet key industry financiers.


Lou Hamilton is a director and screenwriter, creating films about inspirational people. She studied fine art at Byam Shaw School of Art and did her MA in Public Art at Chelsea College of Art before being mentored by director David Yates, screenwriter/producer David Collier and later by WFTV. RISE Project - Devil in Pink (comedy) 

Adina Istrate, originally from Romania, Adina accumulated industry experience writing for TV shows before relocating to the UK for postgraduate studies. She graduated from the London Film School with an MA in Filmmaking in 2012, with Outland, a Sci-Fi short that screened in a variety of international film festivals including Encounters, Leuven ISFF and Phoenix Comicon.
RISE Project - Viral (comedy)

Lizzie Oxby is an award-winning filmmaker who graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. She specialises in making atmospheric films which blend animation with live action performance. She has won 14 awards and 5 nominations including a British Animation Award, a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nomination, and Gold and Silver Mikeldi Awards for her short films. RISE Project – Tiny Dots (thriller)

Jane McGee is an award-winning writer and director of short films and advertising. Her short film, A Cake for Mabel, won Best Director and Best Performance for Sally Mortemore at the Thurrock International Film Festival in 2014. It also starred Benjamin Whitrow and Sylvia Syms. It premiered at Palm Springs ShortsFest in 2013. The London Film Review awarded it 5 stars and picked it as one of the top ten films of 2013. It is still on the festival circuit and the Japanese distribution rights were bought by Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.
RISE Project – Safe Now (Neo-noir dark-comedy)

Isabelle Sieb is a German born film director who started her career making documentaries for clients like National Geographic and FIFA in South Africa. Her first documentary was commissioned when she was only 21. London based since 2010, she has directed a range of corporate, promotional films and commercials, for the National Portrait Gallery and Sony amongst others. RISE Project – Mannequins (drama/thriller)

Cecilia Stenbom, originally from Sweden, Cecilia studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, and at Glasgow School of Art. She now lives and works in Newcastle. Her work is exhibited in galleries as well as cinemas. In recent years her practice has gradually moved towards narrative filmmaking. RISE Project – The Hospital (drama/thriller)

For more information on the scheme and the six RISE writer-directors click here.

RISE is supported by Creative Skillset's Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Fund. Northern Film & Media are working in partnership with Women in Film and Television and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.


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