Film of the Month: Stephen Woolley

Posted February 10th, 2017 by Matt Turner

Stephen Woolley is an an Academy Award nominated and BAFTA winning producer responsible for more than 60 features over a three decade long career. One of the most respected individuals in the British film industry, Woolley has worked across exhibition, distribution and production,  producing some of the most acclaimed and successful British independent films of the past thirty years.

London born, Woolley began his career at The Screen on the Green in Islington in the mid 1970s, selling ice creams and working as a projectionist. Next, he created the legendary Scala in Kings Cross, before establishing Palace Pictures in partnership with Nik Powell (now Director of the NFTS) in 1982. With this company, they worked on acquiring, marketing and distributing some 250 independent films for the British market (including The Evil Dead, Paris:Texas, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Blood Simple).

In 1984, he moved into production, producing Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves, and establishing a long standing relationship with the director. Many of Woolley’s largest successes would be productions he worked on with Jordan, including Mona LisaThe Crying Game (nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture), Michael Collins, The End of The Affair and Interview with the Vampire. Some of his other titles include Michael Canton-Jones’ Scandal,  Ian Softley’s BackbeatMade in Dagenham, and, more recently, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth and Todd Haynes’ Carol. He also directed Stoned in 2005.

Currently, he runs production company Number 9 Films with his wife and producing partner Elizabeth Karlsen, which they founded in 2002. Their latest production is WW2 drama Their Finest, due for release on the 21st of April in the UK, which will be followed by The Limehouse Golem, written by Jane Goldman, and a forthcoming adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel On Chesil Beach.

Film of the Month is open for short film submissions until January 14th. The three films with the most votes from a shortlist of twelve will be send to Stephen for his esteemed feedback and advice. The top three also win Vimeo+ memberships.

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