Neil McCartney – chairman and secretary

Neil is managing director of media/telecoms consultancy McCartney Media, Professor International Film at Raindance Film School and a director of media campaign company Listen Entertainment Limited, which set up the Listen Campaign (backed by stars such as Samuel Jackson and Natalie Portman) to support projects for the world’s most disadvantaged children. He was the founding editor of Screen Finance, the film industry newsletter, and writes for titles such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal as well as providing expert analysis for broadcasters such as the BBC, Sky and CNN. Past clients include Warner Brothers and the European Commission. He is a member of the European Film Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He was a co-founder of the British Independent Film Awards and remains a founder member of the advisory committee, as well as acting as a consultant to the Raindance Film Festival and as chairman of the University of Cambridge Alumni Group for Film and Other Media.

He is one of the industry mentors on the masters programme run by the IFT, Raindance and Staffordshire University which leads to an MA or MSc in Film by Negotiated Learning.

He is the UK representative of the Moscow International Film Festival and has production credits on eight features including the UK/Russia co-production feature The Season of Mists, which won six prizes at international festivals in 2008/9, and the Kyrgyzstan/Russia/France/UK co-production feature The Empty Home, which was completed in early 2012 and was Kyrgyzstan’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film in 2013.


Lydia Yawavi

Lydia_IMG_4313Lydia is the founder of “Lydia Yawavi – Life & Executive Coach”, a coaching services firm dedicated to helping people to achieve their goals in their professional and personal lives, with a particular interest in diversity and cross-cultural relationships. She studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and at the University of London, where she was awarded a B.Sc. in Psychology in 2004.

Lydia has gained extensive corporate experience, not only in the private sector in organisations and businesses as diverse as Harrods and Lloyds Corporate, but also in the public sector at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Communities and Local Government, and in the semi-private sector at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Lydia has a particular interest in the depiction of relationships in film. She was a member of the jury at the Loyal Heart festival of family films in Moscow in October 2008.