Directing Workshop 2019: Meet the Participants

On 27 April, BFI NETWORK South West held an Introduction to Directing masterclass led by director Sam Masud (My Pure LandTwo Dosas) at the University of the West of England.

The day long masterclass from BFI NETWORK and UWE FILM was designed to demystify the role of the film director and provide opportunities for creatives who are interested in directing for film, but had no previous experience directing fictional live action.

Photocredit: Tiffany Holmes

The workshop looked at the role of the film director, the language of film sets and the process of working with crew and actors. Sam also discussed possible career paths and, importantly, what separates one director from another.


I am going to direct my first short this summer and even though I’ve spent a lifetime in theatre, I didn’t have the confidence to think I could do it without this introduction to the practice and protocols on set. Sam was an amazing teacher and such an inspiration, as were the other workshop participants. What a fabulous day.” – Mary Oliver



Meet the participants…

Mikael Techane

Mikael Techane is a freelance multi-disciplinary creative based in Bristol. His passions lie in filmmaking, photography, illustration and spoken word, often combining these platforms to share insight, inspire discussion and empathy.

Tom Brennan

Tom works predominantly as a theatre director and playwright. My company, The Wardrobe Ensemble (“the most exciting young company I have seen for quite a while.” Dominic Maxwell -The Times) is an associate company of Complicite and Shoreditch Town Hall.  His work with the company has been performed at The National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Soho Theatre, and Bristol Old Vic among many other venues across The UK and USA. Our most recent show Education, Education, Education (Winner – Fringe First, Stage Award for Best Ensemble 2017) will be on the West End this summer.

My music video for Dodie’s ‘In The Middle’ (Colour TV) has been viewed over 1,800,000 times. The playtexts for Education, Education, Education and 1972: The Future of Sex are published by Nick Hern.

Zsuzsanna Rajnai

I am second year filmmaking student at UWE Bristol, currently directing my first short film on the module. Directing so far has been the most fitting role I have found in production. Making decisions, explaining and coming up with ideas constantly, working under loads of pressure is what drives me to do the best job I can. I cannot wait to learn more about the role.

Asmaa Jama

Asmaa Jama is a poet, visual artist and screenwriter based in Bristol. Asmaa uses her artistry to speak intimately and honestly about her identity as a Somali woman, and her experiences of being a third-culture kid in the UK. Her work has been published in both print and online, in publications including Popshot Magazine and Paper Swans’ Young Poets’ Anthology. In 2018 she was commended by the Young Poets Network for her poem Bi-när. As a visual artist, she has been featured online by Dark Yellow Dot. As a writer, she has also created online content for Rife magazine as an official contributor. In 2019 she was selected as a participant in Level Up, a collaborative course for talented poets run by Blahblahblah and Milk Poetry.

Michelle Pascal

Michelle Pascal is a BBC producer/director working on television programmes such as Countryfile, Antiques Roadshow and DIY SOS. Michelle started her career in television as a documentary editor before moving into the newsroom where she was trained as an on screen journalist for BBC Points West, reporting on daily news. She is Bristol born and bred and has a BA (Hons) in graphic design from UWE. Michelle’s passion for storytelling motivated her to produce a feature length film ‘Jackals’, a gangster film set on the mud flats of Severn Beach, all done as a personal side project.  Now she has written a short film which she plans to direct.

Jason Barker

I’m a filmmaker (my first documentary feature “a Deal with the Universe” is in cinemas now!), occasional actor and aspiring writer/director.

Vincent Ashby

My name is Vincent Ashby and I am currently in my second year at UWE Bristol, studying filmmaking. From a very young age, I enjoyed writing, acting, animation and editing, but only realised I wanted to pursue filmmaking, and then eventually directing, when I reached adolescence and discovered the films of Stanley Kubrick, whose films opened up to me the vast possibility of visual storytelling. Ever since this discovery, I have devoted my studies to editing theory, script analysis and acting practices in the hope of continuing to refine my craft so that I can tell stories that will be memorable and impactful in some shape or form.

Soni Kaur

I am currently an academic mentor in a Sixth Form and teach Film Studies and Media. I have worked across leading multi-platform media channels including TV, digital and radio, where I have pursued different roles within research and production. I have a passion for documentary filmmaking, particularly exploring different cultures and I love to travel.

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is Dean of the Faculty of Media and Performance at the Arts University in Bournemouth. She has been devising and directing original live performance work for over 30 years and is a pioneer of digital performance. As a scriptwriter much of the focus of her work has been on conflating theatre and screenwriting techniques to bring different kinds of screen-based performers to the stage, including animated characters and the smallest performer in the world. She is currently working on her second full length screenplay and is about to direct her first short.

Further information

  • Past Lab Participants Read more
  • Animation Lab 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Animation Producer Lab 2024: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Creative Producers Lab 2021: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Directing Workshop 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Director Lab 2024: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Producers Lab 2020: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Voices 2020: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Voices 2021: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Voices 2023: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Writers Lab 2020: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Peninsula Producers Network Read more
  • Producer Lab 2023: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Producer’s Lab 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Queer Storytelling Workshop: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Script Development Lab 2021: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Script Development Workshop 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Shorts2Features 2022: Meet the Cohort Read more
  • Thinking Cinematically Participants Read more

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