While we have some lovely volunteers here at the festival who are eagerly anticipating watching  your films and getting involved in the judging process, we thought you might appreciate getting a much more critical eye cast over your submissions. With that in mind, we’ve gone out and asked some wonderful people with years of excellent experience and knowledge to join in. We may even get some more in later, so keep your eyes peeled for more!



Norwich Film Festival Judge and Patron Bernard HillBernard Hill is a British actor of film, stage and television. In a career spanning thirty years, he is best known for playing Yosser Hughes, the troubled ‘hard man’ whose life is falling apart in Alan Bleasdale’s groundbreaking 1980′s TV drama, Boys from the Blackstuff. He is also known for a number of iconic roles in blockbuster films, including Captain Edward John Smith in Titanic, King Théoden in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and as the Warden of San Quentin Prison in the Clint Eastwood film True Crime.

Hill is the only actor to have appeared in more than one of the three films awarded 11 Oscars, and one of only three actors to have starred in more than one film grossing more than $1 billion USD. Now living in Suffolk, Hill has ties to the region, and will be bringing the benefit of his vast knowledge and experience to this year’s festival in his three roles as judge, patron and honorary artistic director.


Norwich Film Festival Judge and Patron Tim McInnerny

Tim McInnerny is an actor probably best known for his role as Percy in Blackadder and Blackadder II, and as Captain Darling in Blackadder Goes Forth. While he did not appear in Blackadder the Third as a regular cast member, a guest appearance in the series made him the only person other than Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson to appear in all four series of the show; he subsequently appeared in the one-off special Blackadder: Back & Forth. He has also appeared in Spooks and the Doctor Who story Planet of the Ood.

Aside from many television appearances, Tim has acted on stage in numerous productions, and has a lot of great film credits including 101 (and 102) Dalmatians, Notting Hill, Severance, Black Death and Johnny English Reborn. Tim’s vast experience of dramatic and comedic roles will be a great asset during the selection process.


Olivia Colman is a BAFTA-nominated English actress, well known for her supporting roles in comedy shows including Sally Owen in Twenty Twelve, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA, Sophie Chapman in Peep Show, Alex Smallbone in Rev. and Harriet Schulenburg in Green Wing. Her performance in the 2011 film Tyrannosaur received critical acclaim. In 2012 she was nominated twice in the “Best Actress” category at the British Comedy Awards. She starred alongside Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent in the Academy Award-winning film The Iron Lady in 2011. In her BAFTA acceptance speech for Best Actress, Streep thanked Colman and described her as “divinely gifted.” Olivia’s latest film, Hyde Park On Hudson, sees her play the Queen Mother alongside Bill Murray and Laura Linney, and was out in 2013.

Colman was born in Norfolk, and was educated at two local independent schools: Norwich High School for Girls and Gresham’s School in Holt.

Film Judges

JANE GULL – Writer / Director

Having started her career as an actress, Jane Gull’s springboard into filmmaking came in 2005 when she made her first film Together Alone funded by the UK Film Council. Jane has since gone on to write and direct numerous short films including Sunny Boy, which was the winning short at the 2nd Norwich Film Festival. The film has picked up several awards and was selected by Candella UK as one of  ’Best British Short Films 2011′.

Jane runs production company ‘Shoreline Pictures’ with fellow filmmaker and friend for over twenty-five years James Fox. They are currently shooting a feature-length documentary and have several feature length fiction projects in development. She facilitates and runs filmmaking and acting workshops for young people and vulnerable adults, works freelance and for companies including Signals Media Arts and BBC Blast. Jane was selected and attended the Berlinale Talent Campus 2012. After her film Sunny Boy picked up the two top awards at our festival in 2012 we were eager to get Jane on board as a judge. Having gone through this experience many times herself, her insight and advice will be invaluable to filmmakers and writers alike, as she judges our films and screenplays.

JON HARRIS - Editor / Director

Jon Harris‘ first major work as a film editor was Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. Since then Harris has worked on three films for director Matthew Vaughn; Layer CakeStardust, and Kick-Ass. He also edited Neil Marshall’s The Descent, for which he received a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best Technical Achievement 2005. He then made his directorial debut with the sequel The Descent: Part 2.

In 2011 Harris was nominated for an Oscar and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for his editing work on Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and subsequently became a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). He then went on to edit James Watkins’ The Woman In Black for Hammer Film Productions. He recently worked once again with Danny Boyle on Trance.

ROGER MICHELL - Director / Producer

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1977, Roger Michell went on to work with great success in theatre, including stints at the Royal Court Theatre and becoming a resident director at  Royal Shakespeare Company. In the early 90′s he moved into television by directing the acclaimed BBC miniseries Buddha In Suburbia, starring Naveen Andrews.

In the late 90′s he was chosen by Richard Curtis to direct Notting Hill, which went on to become one of the biggest grossest British films of all time. Since then he has continued to work in theatre, while also directing films for the big screen including Changing Lanes (starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L Jackson), Venus (starring Peter O’Toole) and most recently Hyde Park on Hudson (starring Bill Murray and Olivia Coleman).

EMMA FREUD - Script Editor / Producer

Emma Freud (OBE) is a broadcaster, cultural commentator, producer and script editor. While starting her career in television and radio, she has spent more recent years working as a script editor and associate producer. She has worked with her partner, Richard Curtis, on numerous projects such as The Vicar of Dibley, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Her latest film, About Time, came out in 2013.

As well as her film work she is also regularly involved with charity campaigns such as Comic Relief, Make Poverty History and Live 8, and was awarded an OBE in the 2011 Birthday Honours list.  We’re really excited to have Emma’s input while judging all our films, and especially the input she can have casting her eyes over the screenplays.


In 2003 Martin Walsh received an Academy Award and a ACE Award for his work on Rob Marshall’s Chicago, starring  Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. His extensive and varied feature film credits include Mike Newell’s Prince of Persia, James McTeigue’s V For Vendetta, Richard Eyre’s Iris, Sharon Maguire’s Bridget Jones’ Diary and Anand Tucker’s Hilary and Jackie. Martin has collaborated with director Iain Softley on several features including Backbeat, Hackers and Inkheart. 

He recently finished Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit for Paramount and director Kenneth Branagh. His next project is a live action version of Cinderella for Disney, also directed by Branagh.

SARAH GODFREY - Lecturer in Film & Television Studies

After studying for her MA, Sarah Godfrey worked in television production for a number of years before returning to academia and studying for her PhD (on masculinity in 90s British cinema). She finished this in 2010 and is now a lecturer in The School of Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia where she teaches both theory and practice courses. She has written several articles on gender and popular British and American film and on post-feminism and contemporary gender theory. She is co-editor of Shane Meadows: Critical Essays (forthcoming) – the first academic study of this director and she has also recently written about Mike Leigh and Nick Love. She is currently co-organising 2 academic events at the UEA around British Crime television and is also involved in a range of film and culture events in Norwich.


Julian  Jarrold, born in Norwich, is a BAFTA Award-nominated English film and television director. He is a member of the family which founded Jarrolds of Norwich in 1823 and was educated in Norfolk at Gresham’s School, Holt. He now lives in North London.

Jarrold most notably directed Great Expectations, starring Ioan Gruffudd, in 1999, as well as Kinky Boots (2006), and Becoming Jane (2007). All three films were widely heralded as successes, garnering great critical acclaim from the likes of The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Times. Jarrold directed the HBO film The Girl in 2013. The director received his first Emmy nomination for his work in the film, but had previously received many other BAFTA, BIFA, and Broadcasting Press Guild Award nominations.

Script Judges


John Collee is a Scottish novelist, journalist and screenwriter whose film scripts include Master and CommanderHappy FeetCreation, and Walking with Dinosaurs.

He worked in London for a short time before moving with his family to Sydney, Australia in 1996 to meet Australian directors like Peter Weir and George Miller. For Weir, Collee wrote the screenplay for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and for Miller, he wrote Happy Feet. Collee and his wife, Deborah Snow, have three children and live in Sydney. His most recent works to be screened include Creation, about the life of Charles Darwin, and Walking with Dinosaurs - an animated drama taking its title from the BBC documentary franchise.

DEBS PATERSON – Director / Writer

Debs Paterson is a director and writer whose award-winning first feature Africa United was made by Pathé and BBC Films. The movie premiered in Toronto and as a gala at the London Film Festival and released theatrically in the UK and overseas. She has also written and directed a number of other award winning short films, including We Are All Rwandans.

She was a BAFTA ‘Brit to Watch’ in 2011 and was nominated for Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards. Debs has just finished co-writing a historical script and is in the process of writing a comedy with British actress and comedian Sally Philips. She is also attached to direct dancer Carlos Acosta’s biopic.

SOPHIE PLAYLE - Writer / Editor

Sophie Playle is the owner of Playle Editorial Services, where she works with writers, businesses and publishers to help them improve their writing. She’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of Inkspill Magazine. She has a BA (UEA) and MA (Royal Holloway) in Creative Writing, and several years’ experience working in the publishing industry under her figurative belt. In 2012, she was short-listed for the Escalator Literary Prize for Fiction.



Writers’ Centre Norwich is a literature development agency based in Norwich. They are interested in both the artistic and social impact of creative writing, and work with writers, readers and diverse communities on a wide range of ongoing and one off projects and events.  They work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and have developed productive partnerships with many organisations.

Formerly known as New Writing Partnership, in March 2009 they changed our name and visual identity with assistance from the Arts Council England funded AmbITion project and in March 2010 launched their new website. These developments reflect internal changes in the structure and organisation of Writers’ Centre Norwich designed to streamline our creative plans and communications and to reflect the digital advances of recent times.


STEPHEN FRY - Actor / Presenter / Quite Interesting Person

While Stephen’s busy work schedule means he is unable to help out in the judging process this year, he did send us this wonderful message of support:

“I am delighted to support a fine film festival for a fine city and it’s wonderful to see Norwich is continuing to support our local film industry with such vim and vigour.”


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