Alex Cooke, Chair
Alex Cooke is the CEO and co-founder of Renegade Pictures, where she has jointly overseen both its rapid growth and acquisition by Warner Brothers.
Her EP credits include the award-winning feature length drama for BBC2, Doing Money - a tense, thought-provoking thriller exposing how modern-day slavery in Britain can hide in plain sight written by Gwyneth Hughes and directed by Lynsey Miller. She has jointly produced a range of feature documentaries including Baghdad High (Dir: Ivan O’Mahoney) BBC/HBO, Children Of The Tsunami (Dir: Dan Reed) BBC/CCTV/ZDF, and Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine (Dirs: Alfonso Cuaron and Michael Winterbottom) Channel 4. In 2004, she made her debut feature documentary How Arnold Won The West, following Arnold Schwarzenegger on the campaign trail to become Governor.
From 1991 to 1993, Alex was one of the founding members and Managing Director of The Big Issue, a newspaper initiative for the homeless in London. From 1997 to 2001, she was the sole film programmer for Sheffield DocFest, programming films and masterclasses.
Brian Woods, Deputy Chair
Brian Woods set up documentary production company True Vision in 1996, and since then the company has gone on to be one of the leading producers of high quality documentaries in the UK. Described by The Guardian as “the country’s best, most committed documentary maker” True Vision films have been nominated for over a hundred international awards, including over 30 BAFTAs. Brian is deputy chair of DocFest. He is also a trustee of the Watersprite International Film Festival, in Cambridge, and on the board of RTS East. He lives in Cambridge with his dauntingly clever wife, and their two toddlers.
Stephen Bowen is a social justice and human rights advocate, lawyer and academic with over 30 years' experience of human rights work. He originally trained as a barrister, and practised from the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, before leaving to join the United Nations as Chief Human Rights Officer to the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
Stephen has held senior positions within a number of leading human rights NGOs including: Campaigns Director, Amnesty International UK; Chief Executive Officer, British Institute of Human Rights; Legal Adviser to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights; Director, Sigrid Rausing Trust; Programme Director, International Human Rights Law Group; and Director of FIELD (Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development). He is also a Trustee of Manchester Pride and of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, a faculty of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
As ITV Factual Controller Jo's commissions include: BAFTA award winning Long Lost Family/Born Without Trace; Diana Our Mother; Queen's Green Planet; 56 & 63 Up; Crime and Punishment series including an Hour to Catch a Killer with Trevor McDonald; Joanna Lumley's Silk Road and major single docs e.g Kate Garraway Finding Derek; Kevin McDonald’s Story of Us. At the BBC, Jo was Head of Independent Commissioning and commissioned Masterchef and Hairy Bikers amongst many other shows. Jo Series Directed & Produced BBC One's 7 part award winning documentary series 'Making Babies' and 6 parter - 'The Shop' about Selfridges, plus many single docs for award winning strand 40 Minutes and Inside Story. Cut (long) teeth on Newsnight, Crimewatch etc.
Gali Gold is Head of Cinema at the Barbican Centre where she has worked as Film Curator since 2012. Prior to this, she was Head of Programming at the Birds Eye Film Festival and Artistic Director of the UK Jewish Film Festival. Gali has co-directed the Jerusalem Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, was Associate Producer of the Jerusalem International Film Festival and Producer of Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival. She has taught film and media studies courses in academic institutions in the UK and overseas with her PhD focused on documentaries made by women filmmakers.
Daniel is a highly acclaimed, award-winning documentary director. He won the BAFTA for Best Documentary for his film ‘Hillsborough’ for the BBC which revealed the devastating details of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989 that resulted in 97 fans being crushed to death. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed and award winning ‘The Australian Dream’, ‘Football’s Darkest Secret’ and ‘The Trials of Oscar Pistorius’. Daniel’s latest project, ‘FIFA UNCOVERED’ was released by Netflix ahead of last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Fozia Khan is the Head of Unscripted, Amazon Originals UK. Prior to joining Amazon, she was a Commissioning Editor for documentaries at Channel 4 where she worked across 24 Hours in Police Custody and commissioned Damilola: The Boy Next Door and Is Covid Racist? Fozia has been a channel commissioner at the BBC and an Executive Producer at The Garden productions where her credits include The Audience, Posh People: Inside Tatler and Extremely British Muslims.
Jennifer Kimber is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at International, Warner Bros Discovery. She has spent most of her career in Whitehall, working for five different government departments, including the Treasury, Cabinet Office and most recently as Head of Skills and Diversity for the Creative Industries at DCMS. Playing an integral role in securing the new Global Screen Fund, she was seconded to the BFI in 2020 where she focused on Covid recovery tasks of government through the Screen Sector Taskforce. She also led on the development of the successful Production Restart Scheme and fought for the inclusion of independent cinemas within the Culture Recovery Fund.
Derren started as a trained journalist before helping to launch a youth TV station. He then joined the BBC where he worked for over 10 years, helping launch radio 1Xtra, SVOD service BBC Global iPlayer; secured a number of BBC Three documentary commissions; and was heralded as a short form pioneer advising a then unknown YouTuber and entrepreneur, Jamal Edwards.
He joined Woodcut Media as Creative Director in 2014. His EP credits include a trio of docs bought by Netflix: the BFI-funded ‘Generation Revolution’, ‘Mandela, My Dad and Me’, and ‘Cut From A Different Cloth’, both co-produced with Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures, as well as Fiennes: Return to the Nile a three-part global commission for National Geographic.
Over the past 6 years he has mentored 20 plus feature documentary projects, including Reporter/Refugee winner of the 10th ARD Documentary film competition in 2021 and was an editorial consultant for the BAFTA award-winning film, The Black Cop. In January 2022, he launched DARE Pictures and their debut commission, Crypto Queen, is a three-part series for Channel 4, Sky Germany and Fremantle. Derren is also a Trustee for the Black Cultural Archives.
Lucy is a Senior Manager in the Public Engagement team at the Wellcome Trust. She has 26 years experience working with the filmmaking industry, firstly as a producer and director, making award-nominated documentaries for UK and International broadcasters. She joined Wellcome in 2015 to oversee their funding and support for the factual community, nurturing bold ideas through development and co-production funding. She has Executive Produced a wide range of high profile programmes and feature docs with partners including the BBC, Netflix, HBO and BFI. She is particularly interested in how to achieve impact through documentary and has supported a number of film impact initiatives. Her work has also explored how to surface marginalised voices, and how to work ethically with contributors.
Sacha Mirzoeff is a commissioner in Documentaries and the head of Channel 4 Bristol, where he champions schemes to help broaden the make-up of the workforce in Bristol and the West and Wales. Commissioned films include: Grierson award-winning ‘Arctic Drift – A Year in the Ice’, the Emmy-nominated ‘Lucy the Human Chimp', the Broadcast award-nominated ‘Britain’s Secret War Babies’, and ‘Falklands War, the Untold Story’. He also spearheaded a new Film 4/Channel 4 relationship resulting in several cinema documentaries now in production.
Before C4 he was the Founder and Creative Director of Marble Films, which won the BAFTA for best single film and Grierson Science award for ‘Locked In – Breaking the Silence’; an Executive Producer at BBC Bristol overseeing their documentary output; and a multi-award-winning filmmaker in social issue and natural history documentaries such as ‘Drugsland’, ‘Protecting our Children’, and ‘Charles Darwin and The Tree of Life’.
Born and raised in Sheffield, Zoe Mumba is an experienced PR and Communications professional specialising in media and entertainment technology.
She has helped deliver integrated communications campaigns for some of the biggest brands in technology, including Verizon Media and Yahoo.
Currently, she is the PR and Comms lead at Bitmovin, an Emmy award-winning video streaming company, overseeing the PR, corporate communications and internal communications programmes.
Zoe also works on a voluntary basis for a non-profit called Breaking Barriers where she mentors young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them pursue a career in PR.
In her spare time, Zoe enjoys exploring the Peak District, learning Bulgarian, spin classes, cooking and discovering new restaurants with her fiancé.
Beejal-Maya Patel is a commissioning editor at BBC Documentaries and oversees a range of programmes including Ambulance, Sort Your Life Out, Parole and Forensics: The Real CSI. She also runs the BBC's New Directors initiative for BBC Three, commissioning impactful singles such as the BAFTA and Broadcast award-winning Defending Digga. Before joining the BBC, she produced the BAFTA award- winning series Educating Essex, the BAFTA nominated The Family and was the Series Consultant on the Grierson award-winning The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds.
Helen Scott is a media consultant based in Leeds.
She has spent her career working in journalism and factual programme making, as a film maker herself, then an executive with ITV. She has run an independent production company, and freelance Exec Produced for a range of clients. She now specialises in high level media event production and in media development, in particular running projects in Sudan.
She has a long running connection with DocFest as an attendee, producer and is serving her second term as a trustee. She is also an advocate for promoting and retaining talent in Yorkshire.