Annabel Smith in YOU LOOK FINE (2021) © Katie Byford
I write, direct and produce shorts, music videos & artist films.
My work currently centres trauma and PTSD, finding alternatives to the prevailing narratives around sexual violence and survival.
My debut short as writer/directorYOU LOOK FINE, was awarded BEST WRITER at BFI Future Film Festival 2022 and the Women's Rights Prize at the 24th edition of Très Court International Film Festival.  The film premiered at the BAFTA-recognised Cambridge Film Festival in November 2021.
My next project, a short experimental film entitled THE STYX, is in development.  It received development funding from Arts Council England and is made in co-partnership with The Writing Squad and Medusa Collective, with advice and support from EMDR Association UK.
I am the Production Officer at Film and Video Umbrella, a charitable organisation supported by Arts Council England, which commissions and produces artist films by established and emerging contemporary artists.  
You can find my IMDb page here.
YOU LOOK FINE has won the Women's Rights Prize / Le Prix des Droits des Femmes at Très Court Film Festival!  The film had its international premiere in Paris at the festival on the 8th June 2022.
YOU LOOK FINE was awarded BEST WRITER at BFI Future Film Festival 2022!  The award was judged by Mike Williams, Editor-in-Chief of Sight & Sound, who said of the film: "Good writing, I think, is as much about what you don’t put in—what you leave out—as the words that you actually use.  In our winning film, it’s as much about what is left unsaid that makes it such a powerful watch."
• THE STYX has received a project grant from Arts Council England.  This will cover development of the script and score, and the recording of the film's score.  THE STYX is a film opera/artist film, and represents a collaboration with composer Athanasia Kontou and soprano/performer Helene Mathiesen, in co-partnership with Medusa Collective, The Writing Squad and PTSD UK.
•Guy Oliver's YOU KNOW NOTHING OF MY WORK, which I produced in 2020, has been nominated for The Jarman Award 2021.  Guy Oliver joins other nominees Georgina Starr, Adham Faramawy, Jasmina Cibic, Larry Achiampong and Sophia Al-Maria. 
writer/directoryou look fine, 2021
Written & directed by Katie Byford.  Starring Annabel Smith and Sarah Flower.  Produced by Kirsty Dua & Katie Byford.  Edited by Stella Heath Keir.  Cinematography by Dominika Besinska.  Production design & costume design by Maddalena McNicholas.  Research & advice from Rape Crisis. 
YOU LOOK FINE explores the sensory realities of living with PTSD, as Syd comes to terms with the trauma of assault and the difficulties of being heard.  
AWARDS: BEST WRITER at BFI Future Film Festival 2022; WOMEN'S RIGHTS PRIZE at Très Court International Film Festival.
FESTIVALSCambridge Film Festival 2021 (BAFTA-qualifying); BFI Future Film Festival 2022 (BAFTA-qualifying); Très Court International Film Festival 2022.
writer/directorTHE STYX   (in development)
Written & directed by Katie Byford.  Score by Athanasia Kontou.  Starring Helene Mathiesen.  In co-partnership with Medusa Collective, The Writing Squad and PTSD UK.  Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
THE STYX is an artist film in development, and represents a collaboration with Athanasia Kontou and Helene Mathiesen.  The film addresses the potential for healing after sexual assault, through the myth of Persephone, Queen of the Underworld.  The project has been awarded funding by Arts Council England to develop the script and score, and to record the final score for the film.  
We are currently raising further funds to support this stage of the project, and will be holding a public event in November to discuss the themes of the film.  Join our journey here.
Recipient of a project grant from Arts Council England.
Courtesy of Film and Video Umbrella
Producer, the great dog, pan, 2021
A film by Toby Parker Rees.  Commissioned for BEYOND by Film and Video Umbrella.
A woman's doting relationship with her dog gradually reveals itself something altogether more unsettling. 
More details available here.  Watch the film.
FESTIVALSAlchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2022.
Courtesy of Film and Video Umbrella
A film by Ruth Maclennan.  Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Forestry England.
TREELINE is a collectively made film compiled footage of forests submitted by people across the world. From a patchwork of disparate individual contributions, Maclennan's infinite panorama of trees is a vivid reminder of the swathes of green that continue to encircle the planet, and a powerful emblem of the shared resources and futures that bind people together. 
More details available here.  Watch the film.
EXHIBITIONS: John Hansard Gallery, 2022.
Courtesy of Film and Video Umbrella
SUPERVISING producer, MU/T/T/ER, 2021
A film by Kondo Heller.  Produced by Steven Bode and Katie Byford.  Commissioned for BEYOND by Film and Video Umbrella.
MU/T/T/ER is about language and how to articulate with a tongue that breaks words or has had to twist. This is narrated through sound, the movement of light and what the room has experienced/witnessed/heard through its windows, objects and doors.
More details available here.  
FESTIVALS: Berlinale 2022; Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2022; Third Horizon Film Festival 2022
EXHIBITIONS: AXIS, NOT POLES, Cubitt Gallery, 2022 - curated by Languid Hands.
Courtesy of Film and Video Umbrella and Jerwood Arts
A film by Guy Oliver.  Produced by Katie Byford.  Music by Suzy Davies.  Cinematography by Jamie Quantrill.  Production design by Maddalena McNicholas.  Commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2020: Hindsight, a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Film and Video Umbrella.
YOU KNOW NOTHING OF MY WORK is a satirical, half-hour episodic pop-opera, that probes our collective reaction when cultural heroes are brought low by accusations or convictions of sexual misconduct, expressing this awkwardness and pain through satire, mockumentary and musical.  The work was exhibited at the Jerwood Space in London in November 2020.  More details available here.  Watch the FVU Frames interview with Guy Oliver for insight on the film's premise and creation.
AWARDS: The Jarman Award, Film London (nominated); commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards; Film London Lodestars 2022 (best performer).
SCREENINGS/EXHIBITIONS: Jerwood Arts, 2020; Margate Film Festival 2021; Nottingham Contemporary, 2021.
Courtesy of Tedium Entertainment
Written & directed by Cassiah Joski-Jethi.  Starring Ramanique Ahluwalia, Manpreet Bambra and Faith Knight.  Produced by Thomas McDonald and Maria Matei.  Cinematography by Robbie Bryant.  BFI Network Short Film from Tedium Entertainment.
CATCH A BUTCHER is a BFI-backed short period horror, which brings to life the erasure of mixed-race people in colonial India, through the investigation of a maternity nurse (Ramanique Ahluwalia) into the disappearances of babies on her ward.  
AWARDS: Underwire 2022 (nominated: best composer, Hollie Buhagiar); BFDG Awards 2021 (winner: Best Production Design for Short Film, Lili Lea Abraham)
FESTIVALS:  Cambridge Film Festival 2021; Underwire 2022; Flatpack Festival 2022; London Indian Film Festival 2022
Courtesy of Film and Video Umbrella
Directed by Marianna Simnett.  Co-written by Marianna Simnett & Charlie Fox.  Produced by Sophie Neave.  Cinematography by Robbie Ryan BSC.  Starring Joanne Whalley.  Produced by Film and Video Umbrella.  Co-commissioned by the Rothschild Foundation, Frans Hals Museum, and Film and Video Umbrella.
Created using live birds, eels and the backdrop of Waddesdon Manor, THE BIRD GAME is a twisted fairytale in which six children are lured into a sequence of challenges by the murderous Crow, voiced by Joanne Whalley. Shot on 16mm film by Oscar-winning cinematographer Robbie Ryan.
EXHIBITIONS/FESTIVALS: ICA; Frans Hals Museum; Regent Street Cinema; LCMF; City Gallery Wellington.
Courtesy of Tedium Entertainment
Directed by Robbie Bryant.  Written by Rhys Hills and Robbie Bryant.  Produced by Fred Bonham Carter, Thomas McDonald, Alessandro Farrattini Pojani and Franziska Lindner.  Starring Paul Copley and Timothy Innes.  Cinematography by Robbie Bryant.  Produced by Tedium Entertainment.
Somewhere between quiet drama and alternative sci-fi, THOUSAND YESTERDAYS depicts Charlie Rainbird (Paul Copley) confronting his younger self (Timothy Innes), a soldier transported to his garden from the World War I trenches.  Shot on film by BAFTA-winning cinematographer Robbie Bryant.
FESTIVALS: Norwich Film Festival; European Cinematography Awards; Lift-Off Cinematography Showcase; The Shortest Nights
AWARDSEuropean Cinematography Awards (winner: best cinematography)
© Rob Harrison
Written & directed by Robert Harrison.  Produced by Katie Byford and Max Hatfield.  Starring Luis Amália and Maja Bloom.  Cinematography by Max Edmed.  Edited by Harry Baker.
TEA WITH LEMON is a short comedy about an eccentric man (Luis Amália) who constructs an enigmatic persona to charm a waitress.  In January 2019 the film screened at Flickerfest, the Oscar-qualifying and BAFTA-accredited film festival based in Sydney.  The film was awarded a travel grant from the British Council for the team to attend. 
FESTIVALS: Flickerfest International Short Film Festival; London Lift-Off Film Festival; Oslo Independent Film Festival; Bristol Independent Film Festival; Short to the Point.
AWARDS: Oslo Independent Film Festival (nominated: best short); Bristol Independent Film Festival (winner: best short); Short to the Point (winner: best film).
(Select Credits)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Sam Fletcher and Asim Chaudhry in SIMON IS A PR*CK (2019) dir. Amelia Dimoldenberg
1st Assistant Director, UNDER ME by Rebecca Phillips, 2020
Music video.  Directed by Rebecca Phillips.  Produced by Corrine Amos and Rebecca Phillips.  Cinematography by Natalja Safronova.  Production design by Melissa Schwartz.    
1st Assistant Director, THE NEAR ROOM, 2019
Written & directed by Sophie Cundale.  Produced by Laura Shacham.  Starring John Harding Jnr and Penny Goring.  Cinematography by Giacomo La Monaca.  Commissioned and produced by the Film & Video Umbrella.
1st Assistant Director, SIMON IS A PR*CK, 2019
Directed by Amelia Dimoldenberg.  Produced by Roxanne Farahmand.  Starring Asim Chaudhry and Alistair Green.  Presented by Homespun Yarns.  
1st Assistant Director, ACRIMONIOUS2019
Directed by Olivia Emden.  Written by Joey Akubeze and Olivia Emden.  Produced by Sam Brain and Giannina Rodriguez Rico.  Starring Joey Akubeze, Shaniqua Okwok, Shubham Saraf and Tia Bannon.  Cinematography by Molly Manning Walker.  A Memory Pictures Ltd & Bluebird Film production.  
1st Assistant Director, NATIVES, 2019 
Written & directed by Síofra Campbell.  Produced by Katie Smith.  Starring Zoë Tapper.  Cinematography by Anthony Brown.
1st Assistant Director,  BLACK FISH, 2019
Written & directed by Simi Abe.  Produced by Natalie Gothelf and Rachel JM Gold.  Starring Tracy Ifeachor and Okorie Chukwu.  Cinematography by Vince Knight.  Produced by BBC Arts and Screen South as part of the New Creatives initiative.
1st Assistant Director, SADHBH2019 
Directed by Arjun Rose.  Written by & starring Laura Whitmore.  Produced by Laura Whitmore and Branwen Summers.  Cinematography by Simon Shen.  Presented by Yer Wan Productions.
1st Assistant Director, BETTER, 2019 
Directed by Michael J Ferns.  Written by Lucy Heath.  Produced by Kirsty Dua.  Starring Lucy Heath, Endy McKay and Micah Gordon.  Cinematography by Alistair Little.
2nd Assistant Director, EXIT EVE2018
Directed by Charlie Parham.  Written by Alex MacKeith.  Produced by Helen Simmons, Stephanie Aspin and Savannah Power.  Starring Thalissa Teixeira, Hattie Morahan, Daisy Head and Julian Ovenden. Cinematography by Neil Oseman. An Erebus Pictures production.
Laura Whitmore, SADHBH (2019)
Laura Whitmore, SADHBH (2019)
Thalissa Teixeira in EXIT EVE (2018) dir. Charlie Parham
Thalissa Teixeira in EXIT EVE (2018) dir. Charlie Parham
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