Gary is a freelance Director of Photography and owner of Country Star Productions. Gary has lensed over 16 feature films, many music videos, TV and corporate including Netflix productions. This year alone Gary has shot a feature film staring Jason Flemyng and Bruce Payne called 'The Stoic' and 'Watch me Sleep' for Midlands filmmaker John Williams.As someone that has experience in setting up other film festivals in the past he is now turning his attention to making the artistic capital of the country, Stratford On Avon, into a major showcase for the arts.
Born near Stratford -on-Avon, Nina trained at RADA before turning her attention to direction, producing and writing. She has Produced for Netflix, CNA and Mediacorp amongst others and is delighted to turn her attention to her home town by helping to bring an innovative and exciting film festival to Stratford-on- Avon, supporting local creatives and setting Stratford on the map as being one of the UK's major festivals.
SOAFF are proud to have Michael McKell on board as a Patron to the festival.
Michael studied acting for three years at the Lee Strasberg Institute and began on stage, in classical roles, making his West End debut in the musical Blood Brothers. After years of television supporting roles as villains, in the mid-2000s he has been a leading player in a police series Murder Investigation Team and became a regular in the popular Midlands series Doctors. Soap fans will also recognise him as DC Nick Henshal from Emmerdale Farm and also appeared in Eastenders as hitman Carter.
Michael's many film roles now totalling 30 plus include 'Allied' 'Essex Boys' 'Essex Vendetta' 'Guard Of Auschwitz' 'Prizefighter' 'Abatement' to name but a fraction!
Michael's talents don't stop there though. He started his working life as a musician. He was the singer/songwriter for the band The Park, penning hits for Toyah, Dollar and Julien Clerc, and is no stranger to the stage appearing in West End hits such as blood brothers and recently Michael's acting and singing talents were combined as a lead role in the touring Hit Musical 'We Will Rock You'.
SOAFF are proud to have John Altman on board as a Patron to the festival.
Whilst most widely recognised for weaving in and out of the East End in ITV's EastEnders over the years, John's TV career is as diverse as you can get. He's appeared in a staggering 51 TV productions between 1982 and 2017, ranging from children's favourite Balamory, via popular quiz shows The Weakest Link and Pointless Celebrities, to Celebrity Coach Trip and 2020's The Real Marigold Hotel. Other TV credits include Harry Hill’s Soapington Way, Knight School, No Sweat, Adams Family Tree, Cold Lazarus, The Famous Five, Black Hearts in Battersea, Seekers, Minder, Bouncing Back, Lucky Jim, Life After Death, Take Two, Gentlemen & Players, The Paradise Club, Up Your News, The Ghosts of Oxford Street, TV Squash, Monster TV, Coral Island, Bo’Selecta! and A Child in The Forest.
His acting career hasn't been limited to the small screen however, including 'The First Great Train Robbery', he starred as George Harrison in Beatles biopic The Birth of the Beatles. From there he'd appear in 1982's Remembrance as Steve (which was also Gary Oldman's first film) and, perhaps his biggest production, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi as a Rebel Pilot. His last film appearance was as the voice of Reverend William Willoughby in 2016 animated film I Am Khama, which explores the colonial past of Botswa. Horror fans might be able to spot him in the classic American Werwolf In London too.
SOAFF are proud to have Stan Yanevski on board as a Patron to the festival.
Stanislav Lanevski, is a Bulgarian actor and producer who is best known for playing Viktor Krum in the 2005 fantasy film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Stan was born in Sofia. He lived in England for five years, as well as in Israel.
Since stealing Hermione Granger's heart away in the massive Harry Potter franchise, 'The Goblet of Fire' Stan went on to appear in Hostel Pt.II and many other TV programs and films.
One of Stan's great loves are motorbikes and when not working can be found adventuring around the world.
We are lucky to have Stan as a patron to the festival and also look forward to working with him in the near future!
Cameron Moon is a multi award winning UK based filmmaker & actor who via his production company 'Hazel Tree Pictures' specialises in creating short films without dialogue, shifting emphasis instead on visuals, ambience and mood. His films 'The Beauty of It', 'Petrichor' & 'The youth of nature' have all garnered international acclaim worldwide, winning numerous awards at various film festivals across the world. Cameron see's filmmaking as an art and is particularly inspired by the work /directors of European cinema from the 60s and 70s although he always advises budding filmmakers to watch films from every genre and decade as he see's it as crucial training. He is currently nearing completion on his latest project 'Saudade'
Hilgrove’s professional career started out with song writing alongside performing café jazz and function music in restaurants and bars, eventually leading to a chance to score his first film at 21. The itch was scratched, and performing went west in lieu of more composing to picture.
Now based in Worcestershire with periodic sojourns in Los Angeles, Hilgrove has composed music for a wide variety of films and TV and two huge computer games franchises, Need for Speed: Shift (2009)and The Walking Dead: Assault (2012). TV credits have included 12 Monkeys for NBC Universal and Shadowhunters for Freeform/Disney as well as documentary and theatre scores.
Alongside his music for media, he writes choral commissions both sacred and secular and has a successful series of albums of piano music.
NICHOLAS DAVID LEAN
Nicholas David Lean is a multi-award-winning writer, director, producer and photographer with over 26 years experience in the Film and TV industry. Under the banner of his production company, Oceanstorm Films, and its VFX subsidiary Oceanstorm Films VFX, he has accumulated a back catalogue of commercial feature script credits that straddles film, television, and commercials in a wide array of genres and lengths, including short and feature, and TV pilot production, supporting fresh narratives in unusual settings. He has consulted on major productions and film festivals, as well as developed distribution / packaging strategies for smaller independent filmmakers in his role as an Executive Producer. Whilst developing his own unique slate of feature and television series, he is OSFVFX’s inhouse VFX Producer and Business Development Executive, liaising with client productions to deliver a full array of VFX support on low, medium, and high budget features as well as Tier One commercials, with brands such as Nike, GMC, Hummer, McDonalds, Marvel, and Mercedes on his client list. In his spare time he owns and operates BoatPhotos.co.uk, the southern region’s premiere Yacht and Maritime Photography company of 2023..