Director Biographies

David Graham Scott:  The Right to Freedom of Assembly

David Graham Scott is a controversial Glasgow-based documentary filmmaker and inspirational public speaker on drug addiction. His highly authored films are unique visions of the world he inhabits and the offbeat characters he encounters. He has experience in directing, pitching new ideas, researching and DV camera operation.

He is also a trained film archivist and is a university graduate in Film Theory/Art History. David has worked on hard-hitting projects including WireBurners, Detox or Die and The Dirty Digger. His films have aired across the BBC at both local (BBC Scotland) and national (network) level.

Nick Higgins:  The Right not to be Enslaved

Nick Higgins has been the managing-director of Lansdowne Productions since 2004. His work as a director and producer has resulted in several awards, and most recently the WACCS/SIGNIS Best Human Rights Documentary Award for 2007 was presented to his first feature length production, A Massacre Foretold. He has worked with many international broadcasters including; YLE (Finland), VPRO (the Netherlands) and ZDF (Germany) and his films continue to be screened at festivals throughout the world. Nick is also the Programme Director of Visual & Cultural Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Sana Bilgrami:  The Right to a Fair Trial

Sana Bilgrami, born in 1974 in Pakistan, is a documentary filmmaker and a lecturer at Napier University in Edinburgh. She studied philosophy and film at McGill University in Canada. Her Masters degree film at the Edinburgh College of Art, Under my Skin (2001), won awards at Scottish Students on Screen, was shortlisted for an award at Edinburgh Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at Chichester Film Festival. Her broadcast credits as director include Tree Fellers (2004, STV), shortlisted for a BAFTA Scotland, and Across the Waters (2004, BBC Scotland), shortlisted for a Satyajit Ray Award, and her films are screened at festivals internationally.

Doug Aubrey:  The Right to Freedom of Expression

Doug Aubrey started out as a video artist and experimental film maker in the eighties, before moving on to extensively document the numerous Yugoslav conflicts in a number of internationally acclaimed documentaries. In 2002 he jointly set up Autonomi along with Berlin-Bear winning producer Marie Olesen. International one-off docs and series include Victim of Geography, World of Skinhead, A Different Pitch, See You in the Next War and A Glittering Haze. Most recently Marie and Doug produced Wasted Nation and Harrigan’s Beat for BBC1 Scotland, as well as As It Is, which made front page headlines in the Scottish tabloids. Autonomi is currently completing Kurdi a five-year documentary feature filmed in Scotland and the Middle East.

Kenny Glenaan:  The Right to Life

Scottish based former actor Kenny Glenaan is now best known as an award-winning director. His first feature film Gas Attack won the Michael Power Award for Best British feature at Edinburgh in 2001. His second film Yasmin, the story of a British Muslim woman whose life change in the aftermath of September 11 won awards at Locarno International Film Festival and Dinard British Film Festival. His latest fiction feature film Summer, (with Robert Carlyle) premiered at EIFF 2008 (nominated for the Michael Powell Award).

Irvine Welsh:  The Right to Liberty

Irvine Welsh originally from Leith in Edinburgh is an acclaimed contemporary Scottish novelist.  Irvine Welsh is the author of ten works of fiction, including Trainspotting.  He has also written some stage and screenplays as well as directing several short films.

Mark Cousins: The Right to Liberty & The Right to Freedom of Thought

Mark Cousins is a Belfast born filmmaker, author and curator.  The subjects of his documentaries have included Neo-Nazism, the artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, the first Gulf War, the Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell, and Iranian cinema. He was director of the Edinburgh Film Festival and has guest-curated festivals in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and across the UK. He presented the BBC’s Moviedrome and Scene by Scene for five years. Cousins’ books include Imaging Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary (co-edited with Kevin Macdonald), The Story of Film (published around the world) and the forthcoming Watching. Real. People. Elsewhere.  He is Prospect’s film critic.  He co-established the charity Scottish Kids Are Making Movies, is producing Irvine Welsh’s debut feature film The Man Who Walks, co-runs 4way Pictures with Antonia Bird, Robert Carlyle and Welsh, was development producer on Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, and is making an eight hour history of cinema.

Tilda Swinton:  The Right to Freedom of Thought

Scottish actor Tilda Swinton has played many lead roles in European art films such as Caravaggio (1986) and Orlando (1992).  She has also had numerous parts in American mainstream films such as The Deep End (2001) and Vanilla Sky (2001).  More recently, Tilda Swinton received both a Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the legal thriller Michael Clayton (2007) also starring George Clooney.

Douglas Gordon:  The Right not to be Tortured

Douglas Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1966. He won the Turner Prize in 1996 and has had major solo exhibitions at Tate Liverpool (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), The Hayward Gallery, London (2002) and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2003). In 2005, he curated ‘The Vanity of Allegory‘, an exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin and released the film ‘Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait’. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Superhumanatural’ at the National Gallery of Scotland (2007), ‘Between Darkness and Light‘ at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg (2007), and ‘Timeline’ at MoMA, New York (2006). Upcoming solo exhibition at the Yvon Lambert Collection and the Palais des Papes, Avignon in July 2008. Gordon lives and works in Glasgow, Berlin and New York.

Anna Jones: The Right to Asylum

Anna studied at the National Film & Television School for her MA in Documentary Direction in 2005. She has directed a number of documentaries since 2001, her first short winning ‘Best New Scottish Documentary’ at the Edinburgh Film Festival and recently her NFTS film ‘A Sense of Life’ screening at the Sheffield Documentary Festival. Her broadcast credits include an observational film about an Iraqi family for STV and a series of shorts about telephone boxes for Channel 4. She has also worked on numerous independent and community documentaries, some of which have screened internationally at festivals and won several awards. Her recent work has been as film-maker in residence for Cromarty Arts Trust, making a film with Polish migrants in the Highlands and making a short doc filmed in Niger for Save the Children.

Alice Nelson: The Right to Privacy

In 2003, Alice directed her first film, Vocation, funded through the Small Wonders Scheme/National Lottery. In 2005 she was commissioned by Scottish Documentary Institute to make A Difficult Case through the Bridging the Gap documentary funding scheme. A Map With Gaps (2006) was her third short film, which she directed and produced. It was selected for over 40 festivals worldwide, and has won ten awards including the Jury Award for Best Short Documentary at Slamdance Film Festival 2007, Park City, U.S.A. in 2007 Alice was commissioned by Channel 4 to direct five short documentaries on the greatest scientific hoaxes and scams through history: Science Scams (tx: 2007/8) Alice also directed a series of four short films called Losing Myself on the experiences of four elderly people with dementia – one episode of which, Losing Myself: Annie won a Scottish BAFTA for Best Short Film (2007).


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