Q&A by 2018 BAFTA winners Casting Director Claire Bleasdale and Director Colin O’Toole !

Claire started work as a Casting Assistant on the teams for BBC drama The Village, the Feature Film X&Y and at Lime Pictures on various productions. Then going on to work with a number of Casting Directors and United Agents in London.

Claire’s first credit as Casting Director was the short film Break, by Nick Moss – Starring John Hurt which won Best Short at Manchester Film Festival 2015. Other films include Lambing Season for Creative England ishorts and Cowboy Dave which won Best Short film at BAFTAS 2018. Most recently working on BFI Funded Short Film Paper Canoe by Matthew Dunster and with Mark Leckey on commission for Tate Britain.

Theatre Credits include – ‘Party Skills for the End of the World’ for Manchester International Festival 2017, Newspaper Boy for Queer Contact 2018. Most recently Mariage Blanc that was staged at The Asylum Chapel – Peckham, London.

Claire also works in a number of Drama and Film Schools across the country. In the role of Industry Advisor. Giving the new Acting and Film talent a clear insight of how Casting works within the industry.

Latest Pitch Panel industry guests for LIFF 2019

Eric Blakeney

Blakeney made his directorial debut in the 2000 comedy Gun Shy starring Liam Neeson, Oliver Platt and Sandra Bullock. Blakeney also served as executive producer/writer for TV movie Generation X (starring Matt Frewer and Finola Hughes), the Marvel Comics classic about a group of mutant teenagers blessed with superhuman powers.

Blakeney has mentored multiple TV show-runners such as Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex), Zack Estrin (The Whispers), James Wong and Glen Morgan (The X-Files).

He currently lives in Europe where he co-authors the metaphysical book series, “The Books Of Essence,” and in London is co-founder/CEO of The People’s Republic Of Movies, an online film cooperative.

First Pitch Panel industry guest

LIFF 2019 will provide selected film-makers with an opportunity to pitch their projects to industry professionals. Our first confirmed panel guest is JULIE BAINES producer extraordinaire from Dan Films.



Julie Baines has had an extensive career in the film industry and is recognized as a leading figure in both British and multi-party co-productions. She founded the independent production company Dan Films in 1994 and has since developed and produced a diverse range of productions with both new and veteran directors including Nicolas Roeg, Peter Bogdanovich and Deepa Mehta. At the end of 2014, Julie won the prestigious Argonon Women in Film and Television Contribution to the Medium Award.

Having started out in production, she has the rare ability to cross all the disciplines that producing entails, from development to finance and production, and is passionate about spotting and nurturing new talent. Julie’s first feature as Producer, Butterfly Kiss, was directed by Michael Winterbottom and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and was the catalyst for both their very successful careers in the film industry. She launched the talented writer/director Christopher Smith with the film Creep and has continued to collaborate with him over several years. Their most recent venture, Detour, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. A highly original US set thriller, it stars three of the most exciting young actors in the film industry at the moment – Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One), Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl) and Emory Cohen (Brooklyn). She is currently in post-production on the family adventure Four Kids and It,adapted from the novel by Jacqueline Wilson, starring Michael Caine, Russell Brand, Paula Patton and Matthew Goode.

Julie’s development slate at Dan Films includes a diverse range of genres and budget levels, from the international sci-fi Flame to the comedy for the grey and pink pound Single Rose. She has also been an Executive Producer on a number of films, including Anthony Haden-West’s challenging feature documentary Forgive Us, which explores the global trend in religious fundamentalism after 9/11.

Committed to training, she regularly mentors emerging directors and producers and guest lectures on film courses in the UK, in particular at the National Film and Television School.  She is also a Trustee of the arts charity Chisenhale Art Place.

Exciting prizes!

For award-winners of LIFF 2019, we have the following prizes:

RODE will be donating microphone packages.

TWICKENHAM STUDIOS will be donating free grading for a 10-minute short film.

KODAK will be giving free film stock and processing

LIFF 2019 is going to be awesome – submit your film now!!


Industry Guests!

LIFF has confirmed a number of guests for 2019. These will include Philip Ilson (Director of the London Short Film Festival), Steve Davey (Head of Acquisitions at 101 Films), Vicki Brown (Senior Sales Manager at Altitude Films) and more!