My short film work has been screened at film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Miami and Toronto; shown nightly over a special season on BBC2; and released in UK cinemas by the BFI.
My recent credits include Shalom Kabul, a comedy-drama about the last two Jews of Afghanistan. Turning this extraordinary and little-known story into a film was a long-held ambition of mine, and I'm incredibly proud to be the first director to dramatise it for screen. The film is currently making its way around the festival circuit and has can now be viewed online at www.shalomkabul.com.
My current projects include a feature-length documentary about the musician Dame Evelyn Glennie.
I directed my first film at the tender age of 6, which set the stage for a life dedicated to the single-minded pursuit of a career as a full-time director. Along the way I also picked up a first class degree in film and television artsI embrace the disciplines of fiction and documentary in equal measure. In fact I don't quite understand why a filmmaker wouldn't. Stories are what fascinate me. And how to tell them on screen.
In 2011 I founded Trailermade Films, a production company specialising in high quality, low budget advertising, book trailers and other short form content for web and television. Since then it has grown to become one of the most successful agencies in the field of book trailers, with a fan following separate from the novels it has helped turn into international bestsellers (at the last count, surpassing quarter of a million vies on YouTube alone). They have also been featured in national magazines and newspapers.
I live in a leafy corner of Surrey with my wife, the no. 1 bestselling Y.A. author C.J. Daugherty, and a small menagerie of pets. We're slowly restoring our house, a neglected 19th-century cottage with an Anderson shelter buried under the garden and a friendly ghost.
But that's another story.
Evelyn Glennie: Music to My Ears (Kneejerk Irony Films)
Define Normal: The Safety Pin and the Prostitute (BBC)
Define Normal: A Kind of Liberation (BBC)
Define Normal: Too Much, Not Enough (BBC)
Define Normal: Listen to Me (BBC)
Define Normal: The Day We See (BBC)
Against the Dying of the Light (BFI/ Sgrin Wales; limited UK cinema release)
Labour of Love (Blue Mountain Pictures; winner, short documentary, Royal Television Society awards)
Shalom Kabul (Kneejerk Irony Films)
Storm (Blue Mountain Pictures; nominated, best short film, BAFTA Wales)
The Distances We Travel (Idiot Savant Films)
Flush (Queen Anne's Revenge Films)
Love on a Work Night (Kneejerk Irony Films)
Office Politics (Kneejerk Irony Films)
Sex and Death (Kneejerk Irony Films)
The Special Relationship (Kneejerk Irony Films)
Philosophy (Kneejerk Irony Films)
Future Imperfect (Myn-Zye Independent)
The Quiet Room (Debbie Wiseman MBE/ Warner Classics)
Winter Draws In (Fiona Bennett)
The Landscape (Fiona Bennett)
Tempus Fugit (Fiona Bennett)
Night School Series (Sky)
Book Trailer: Night School Resistance (Little, Brown/ Atom/ Maximum Pop)
Book Trailer: Night School Fracture (Little, Brown/ Atom)
Book Trailer: Night School Legacy (Little, Brown/ Atom)
Book Trailer: Night School - US Edition (Harper Collins)
Book Trailer: The Echoes of Love (Midas PR)
Book Trailer: Hold Your Breath (Piccadilly Press)
Teaser Trailer: The Fight (Trailermade Films)
Teaser Trailer: He Will Find You (Trailermade Films)
Teaser Trailer: Fracture - The Letter (Trailermade Films)
For centuries a Jewish community thrived in Afghanistan. By the year 2000 only two remained. They lived together in a derelict corner of Kabul, surrounded by the Taliban. And they couldn't stand each other.
Bringing this extraordinary and little-known story to the screen has long been an ambition of mine. Shalom Kabul was the first time it has been dramatised for screen. As director, my main challenge was to pull off the incredibly fine balance between humour and pathos that the story demands. Handling such a sensitive subject through comedy was always going to be controversial. But to do so any other way would not have been nearly so effective.
To create this world on screen I assembled a cast and crew of major talents, both established and up-and-coming. The performances of Damien Thomas as Yitzhak and Jake Yapp as Zebulon perfectly capture the sense of poignant absurdity futility in Michael J. Flexer's script. Sara Deane's cinematography help create an air of lush visual fantasy. Bianca Turner's production design transformed a tiny corner of Shepperton Studios into a wholly convincing recreation of Kabul slum. And the bittersweet soundtrack, composed by Debbie Wiseman MBE and performed by the Royal Philharmonic orchestra, ties everything together with a virtuoso balance of moods.
Shalom Kabul is currently making its way around film festivals in different parts of the world. Details of public screenings will go on the official Facebook page, or on my Twitter feed. Shalom Kabul can be viewed online at www.shalomkabul.com.