Griffin is an independent producer working in both fiction and documentary, and whilstw working with Wellington Films, she has co-produced The Levelling with Rachel Robey and most recently produced the Highlands-set thriller, Calibre, winner of the 2018 Michael Powell Award and distributed worldwide with Netflix. In 2016, Griffin set up her own production company, Griffin Pictures, and is working on her first project The Tunnel, written and directed by BAFTA nominated Arash Ashtiani.
Griffin was selected by a panel of industry leaders including renowned producer and director Stephen Woolley, Creative England CEO Caroline Norbury MBE, Working Title co-Chairman Tim Bevan CBE, producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly and Simon Relph’s daughter, Bella Relph.
The bursary was created in memory of Simon Relph CBE, distinguished producer and enthusiastic supporter of new filmmakers and new voices. As Chairman of BAFTA he was a passionate advocate of the academy and his passion was critical to the profile and growth of independent British cinema. Relph was also one of the founders of the country’s leading filmmaking programme iFeatures.
Launched by Creative England during the Cannes Film Festival, with support from BAFTA, industry leaders and Relph’s family members, the bursary will continue Relph’s legacy by supporting an independent producer. Whilst there are numerous awards, bursaries and programmes for writers and directors, there is very little overt financial support available for producers especially those living outside of London.
Anna Griffin will receive the bursary of £20,000 from Creative England, enabling her to grow Griffin Pictures and develop their slate of projects. In addition to the financial backing, Griffin will also receive ongoing support and mentoring from a group of industry leaders, as well a place on Creative England’s Market Trader programme to enable her to take upcoming projects to international markets.
Caroline Norbury, CEO of Creative England and formerly the regional screen agency South West Screen, of which Relph was a founding board member said “There is very little overt financial support available for producers, particularly those who live and work outside London. We wanted to make a contribution to the industry that would reflect the spirit of Simon’s generous and inclusive nature, giving valuable and tangible support to develop the career of its recipient, Anna Griffin who impressed the judges with her commitment to regional storytelling and building her company in the West Midlands.”
Stephen Woolley, film producer and director, said “The fact that this award is in the name of Simon Relph is perfectly fitting and appropriate. Simon was a rock for many young film-makers who made their entry into the business in the 80s when he was CEO of British Screen Finance. Whilst there, he fought tooth and nail for proper government financing for low-budget British films. He brought his unique experience and bountiful optimism to the ears of any young film-maker lucky enough to be in his orbit. He was the godfather to a whole generation of aspiring film-makers, sticking his neck out when needed. His influence as one of the few honest, clear and resonant voices in our often muddled and hypocritical industry will be felt for decades to come. He was a dignified, principled and selfless film-maker in an often undignified and confused industry.”
Anna Griffin, Independent producer said “I’m blown away by the support offered to me through the Simon Relph Bursary Fund. I’m looking forward to getting Griffin Pictures well and truly off the ground and am thankful to be able to do it with such a supportive structure around me, what an honour.”