Lizie Gower

Lizie launched Academy Films in 1985. 27 years down the track the company has become one of the top 10 commercials and music video production companies in the world, picking up most of the industry’s biggest awards along the way, including most recently being named as the 3rd Most Awarded Production Company of all time at the D&AD.

Lizie has developed a reputation for spotting great new talent and nurturing young directors through the music video department and into commercials and longer form filmmaking.
She actively encourages and financially supports her directors’ short-film careers, with many of their films (such as directing duo Si & Ad’s ‘Post-it Love’) picking up highly coveted awards at festivals all around the world. The current roster of 31 directors spans a broad range of styles and expertise, from interactive content, to promos, documentary, short film, performance and visually driven commercials, TV and movies.

In 2003 Academy opened a feature film division and the following year Lizie produced Jonathan Glazer’s film ‘Birth’ (starring Nicole Kidman) and more recently ‘Opal Dream’ (a feature shot in Australia).

Lizie launched a further division, A+ in 2011, in response to the growing demand for online brand communications and advertiser funded programming.

International partnerships include a successful music video alliance with Hello! in the USA since 2009, and a recently formed (2012) relationship with David Fincher’s new company, Reset Content.

In 2009 Lizie was appointed Chairman of the British Television Advertising Awards Jury and subsequently in 2010 Chairman of the British Arrows (the BTAA’s new reincarnation).

James Hilton


James Hilton is one of the world’s most recognised and widely respected creative directors.

Since co-founding  in 1995, James has been at the forefront of an industry which has seen the company grow to become the world’s most respected agency. AKQA has offices in London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo, Portland and Atlanta.

As a world leader in design and creativity, James has collected a multitude of global awards including Grand Prix and Gold Cannes Lions, and has also served as a judge for Cannes Lions, Webby Awards, D&AD, and as Jury Chairman for the Clio Awards and Eurobest. He has been appointed into the Creativity 50, a list of the world’s 50 most influential and inspiring creative personalities alongside Apple’s Jonathan Ive. Often speaking on the international circuit, James is also a visiting lecturer at the world’s most recognized and respected creative schools and universities.

Campaign magazine has named James as the UK’s number one Digital Creative Director for two consecutive years.


Francine Linsey

Francine left school at 16 and started work as a photographer’s assistant at Studio Venture.

She later moved to Aix-en-Provence and continued her photographic career in France. She returned to London in 1984 and joined Butler Dennis Garland as a TV PA, and was promoted to Producer in 1986. She stayed at the agency after its merger with Slaymaker Cowley White until she moved to Abbott Mead Vickers in 1989. Francine became Head of Television at AMV in 2000 and has recently celebrated her 20th anniversary at the agency.

Ben Priest

Ben started his career at Ogilvy in 1989. Since then he’s been lucky enough to work with some lovely people at agencies such as CDP, Lowe Howard Spink, TBWA and Rainey Kelly. In 2008 he set up adam&eve. In three years the company has grown to 60 people strong with clients like John Lewis, Foster’s, Save the Children and Phones4u. adamandeve was Campaign and Marketing’s Creative Agency of the year in 2011.

Paul Rothwell

After reading Architecture at Cambridge University, Paul joined FCB Advertising as a trainee account manager. Two years later he moved to BMP DDB as a TV producer where he first teamed up with Frank Budgen.

4 years later he joined Paul Weiland Film Company as a producer working extensively with directors Frank Budgen, Paul Weiland, David Garfath, Anthony Minghella and Mike Stephenson. During this period the company enjoyed great success winning the coveted “UK Production Company of the Year” award an unprecedented 5 years in succession.

In 1996 he left to become co-managing director of Ridley Scott Associates, London’s largest commercials production company.

After a successful year he joined Gorgeous Enterprises as managing director and partner. Gorgeous has since won Campaigns “UK Production Company of the Year” award six times, as well as being ranked as their Production Company of the Decade 2000-09. Gorgeous also has the unique distinction of having topped the Gun Report Consolidated League Table of Most Awarded Production Company in The World every single year since its inception, 1999-2009. In 2012 Gorgeous was named the Most Awarded Production Company of all time at the D&AD Awards.

Paul has chaired several advertising awards shows, and is a regular judge at the BAFTA Film awards. In 2013 he stepped back from running Gorgeous, and now is pursuing outside interests whilst continuing his involvement with Commercials Production.

Robin Shenfield

Robin Shenfield is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Mill Group, a world leading visual effects studio that as offices in three of the globe’s most important advertising centers, London, New York and LA.

Robin founded The Mill alongside Creative Director Pat Joseph in 1990 and prior to The Mill; Robin began his career as a media journalist.

James Studholme

West country boy and sometime sheep farmer and folk musician.

Started as a runner at Moving Picture Company in 1981, then production manager for Tony Kaye at Direktion. Producer for Dick McNeil at Sierra.

Started Blink with Bob Lawrie in 1985. Initially an animation company, Blink developed into a Live Action company circa 1993. Blink overarches not only the classic Blink brand but also Blinkink (hydrid animation meets design meets live action) Colonel Blimp (Music Video) Major Tom (Music), Blinkart (Illustration, Making & Photography) and White Lodge (Luxury & Fashion)

Blink was Campaign’s Production Company of the Year  in 1998, 2011 and 2012.  James has  been instrumental in the careers of such directors as Ivan Zacharias, Paul Gay, Steve Reeves, Dominic Murphy, Blue Source, Kevin Thomas, Dougal Wilson, Mark Denton, Lynn Fox and Lionel Goldstein. Recent films of note were the Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’ by Juan Cabral and Dougal Wilson’s John Lewis  ‘Always a Woman’ , ‘The Long Wait’ & ‘Snowman’ Commercials, and 3′s ‘Dancing Pony’.