About

We set up Oxford Films as a space where creative talent would thrive. More than 25 years later, that is still our ethos. Every film starts with an idea. Every idea holds the promise of its potential. We work to fulfil that promise, to realise that potential by challenging the best creative talent to make exceptional films.

We make an enormous variety of films: dramas, documentaries, sometimes a mixture of the two. But irrespective of whether it’s a big budget movie for cinematic release or a short-form documentary, our approach is always the same. We treat every film as if it’s the last film we will ever make. We give it everything.

Trust is at the heart of what we do. We earn the trust of the subjects we film. We keep the trust of clients, commissioning editors and production partners. Above all, our films have at their heart an authenticity that wins the trust of the audience.

People

Nicolas Kent

Nicolas Kent
Chief Executive
and Creative Director

Nicolas Kent

Chief Executive
and Creative Director

Nick’s career in films began by accident when he was an undergraduate and found himself cast as an extra in Heaven’s Gate, a Hollywood flop so disastrous it bankrupted a major studio. The insight into how films were made inspired him to start a film and television magazine called Stills, which he sold six years later, and then to move into filmmaking when he devised and produced the BAFTA-winning documentary series Naked Hollywood, which made the front page of Variety and was a trans-Atlantic smash. Nick has produced and executive produced more than 300 documentaries – about Art and Music, Religion, Science, Sport, History and Politics – as well as TV dramas and feature films such as Hilary & Jackie, which was nominated for 5 BAFTAs and 2 Oscars. His most recent productions include a feature-length documentary with Damien Hirst and, for ITV and HBO, Diana, Our Mother – in which for the first time Princes William and Harry speak openly and at length about Princess Diana.

Annie Lee

Annie Lee
Joint Managing Director
and Director of Production

Annie Lee

Joint Managing Director
and Director of Production

Annie started her career as an art department runner on a feature film called ‘Mountains of the Moon’ but quickly got sidetracked into production after taking a job in commercials with Ray Rathborne Films. She moved into documentaries at Windfall Films – staying there for six years before leaving to set up a new production company – David Hickman Films – which produced a major 10 part award winning series ‘The Ultimate Guide….’

She then jumped to the “other side” and did a stint as a Programme Finance Manager with Discovery US. Whilst there she supervised their commissioned programming in the UK, which constituted over 70% of their output.

Oxford Films were lucky enough to gain Annie as a Line Producer on the mammoth series ‘Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore’ after which she stayed on as Head of Production and Line Produced exciting projects such as ‘Terry Jones Medieval Lives’ and ‘Visions of Space’ with Robert Hughes

In 2004 Annie was appointed Director of Production and has since been the backbone of all of Oxford’s productions, keeping teams sane ever since.

Mark Bentley

Mark Bentley
Joint Managing Director
and Head of Film

Mark Bentley

Joint Managing Director
and Head of Film

Mark caught the film bug with his student film, Privileged. Made with a group of friends, it went on to be released worldwide. Since then he has worked across films, drama and documentaries. His film work culminated in Restoration with Robert Downey, which won two Oscars and was followed by TV dramas on subjects as diverse as second generation immigrants, paraplegia, the Bradford riots and the diaries of a nineteenth century lesbian. His more recent documentary features are similarly wide-ranging from Wikileaks – Secrets and Lies, to heart disease in The Widowmaker and environmental catastrophe in Ten Billion.

Patrick Forbes

Patrick Forbes
Director

Patrick Forbes

Director

Patrick’s career began as a very junior researcher on a BBC series, when he was arrested after discovering Britain had a (secret) spy satellite. At that moment it was clear that documentaries offered a lot more excitement and interest than his previous career a bank economist. He’s gone on to become one of Britain’s best documentary directors – winning the best director Bafta for his Channel 4 series ‘The Force’, best series Bafta for ‘The National Trust’ (BBC), and having his documentary feature about Julian Assange, ‘Wikileaks; Secrets & Lies’, premier at SXSW, before being seen around the world. Patrick believes that documentary is an art form that is as vital, exciting and uplifting as the best drama – a view confirmed by his recent films tracking Britain’s tumultuous exit from the European Union, where everyone involved talks with extraordinary candour about this defining moment of history.

Sue Jones

Sue Jones
Executive Producer

Marisa Erftemeijer

Marisa Erftemeijer
Production Executive

Stephen Wood

Stephen Wood
Head of IT and Facilities

Tiffany Paul

Tiffany Paul
Production Accountant

Alison Whittaker

Alison Whittaker
Company Accountant

Floury Crum

Floury Crum
Line Producer

Julia Mair

Julia Mair
Development Producer

Alice Kent

Alice Kent
Bespoke Branded Film

Tatiana Akhmatova

Tatiana Akhmatova
Accountant

Our Story

1991

Naked Hollywood: our debut production (an access-all-areas documentary series about the movie business) was a sensational trans-Atlantic hit. Acclaimed by Newsweek as “the zippiest, funniest, warts-and-all-est look at the American movie business ever seen on TV” and by Variety as “a connoisseur’s delight”, it won our first BAFTA and launched a franchise of 23 “Naked” documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, A&E and Showtime.

1999

Hilary and Jackie: Anand Tucker’s acclaimed feature film debut won BAFTA and Oscar nominations for its two stars, Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths, in a story about the tumultuous relationship between the cellist Jacqueline du Pre and her sister, Hilary. The Daily Mail described it as “one of the best dramatic pictures this decade.”

This is Modern Art: winner of the BAFTA and the Royal Television Society Award, this iconoclastic series by Matthew Collins set a new template and tone for the landmark arts documentary series.

2003

The National Trust: two years in the making by director Patrick Forbes, this BAFTA and Grierson Award-winning series revealed the hidden world of Britain’s biggest landowner and won BBC4 its largest audience ever. Among a host of rave reviews, this one from The Spectator stands out: “As I watched transfixed, appalled and delighted at this classic piece of TV, my heart filled with joy about how wonderful the BBC can be when it gets its programmes as right as this. Great camerawork, great direction, great voiceover, great everything. God, I can’t wait for the next four episodes.”

2008

The Mona Lisa Curse: this Emmy-winning feature-length documentary was the last film written and presented by the legendary art critic, Robert Hughes. Over ten years we made 12 films with Bob on subjects ranging from the story of Australia to Goya and Gaudi. Generous, irreverent, erudite, politically incorrect and very funny, with an irrepressible appetite for the good things in life, Bob was also sensitive, sometimes vulnerable and always brutally honest about everything including himself. He changed the way we see and appreciate art. You can read an obituary here and watch the film we made for his memorial service at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art here.

2009

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister: chosen as the opening film of the International Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals in both London and the San Francisco, this acclaimed multi-award winning period drama by director James Kent and writer Jane English tells the extraordinary true story of Anne Lister (Maxine Peake), a Yorkshire landowner whose uncompromising lesbian lifestyle was only revealed when her diaries were decoded more than a hundred years after her death.

2010

The Force: the opening film of this documentary series by Patrick Forbes, which won the BAFTA and a Grierson Award, follows the investigation of a brutal murder. It won the kind of rave reviews usually reserved for drama. “Every actor, writer and director should watch this brilliant documentary before embarking on yet another formulaic cop show,” The Times. “The whole thing was paced like a thriller,” Independent. “I watched this, mouth open, scalp prickling with horror,” New Statesman.

2012

The Love of Books: in addition to winning a Grierson Award, this visceral feature-length drama documentary by Sam Hobkinson won the Audience Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Award for Journalism at the Aljazeera International Film Festival. It brings to life how a group of book-lovers braved gunfire, bombs and shells to save more than 10,000 irreplaceable handwritten Islamic books and manuscripts contained within Sarajevo’s famous Gazi Husrev-Beg library during the three year siege of the city. “It would have been better to die with the books than live without them,” says the Congolese night watchman who helped carry books to safety under sniper fire.

2013

The Story of the Jews: Simon Schama’s multi-award-winning landmark series for the BBC and PBS explored 3000 years of Jewish history and was acclaimed around the world as “a towering achievement” and “epic on a biblical scale”. We have made 22 documentaries with Simon, beginning in 2008 with The American Future: A History (filmed against the backdrop of the 2008 US presidential election) and together we’ve explored such diverse subjects as Obama’s presidency, Shakespear’s history plays and the story of British portraiture in 2015’s The Face of Britain.

The Last Days of Anne Boleyn: a massive hit for BBC2, winning an audience of 4 million, this film broke the mould of what a historical docu-drama could be by pitting historians against each other to unpack who did what to whom and why in the 12 days leading up to Anne’s execution. Since then we’ve made a succession of landmark docu-dramas on subjects including the Six Queens of Henry VIII, the murder of the Princes in the Tower, why Churchill lost the 1945 election, the reign of Elizabeth I, and the Russian Revolution.

2014

A&E in the War Zone: with the war in Syria entering its 3rd year it had become impossible for any western journalists to enter parts of the embattled city of Aleppo which were not controlled by the government. We trained and equipped two Syrian cameramen to follow British trauma surgeon, David Nott, to Aleppo where he worked to save lives in underground hospitals. The film inspired two MPS to host a discussion on Syria in the House of Commons. Among the many comments on Twitter… “Probably the most amazing, saddening and humbling programme I have ever seen.”

Ten Billion: written and presented by one of the world’s foremost scientists, Professor Stephen Emmott, this uncompromising wake up call to an unprecedented planetary emergency was inspired by Stephen’s one-man show at the Royal Court Theatre which was widely acclaimed. The Guardian called it “the most momentous theatrical performance of the year” and it’s critic confessed, “I came out shaking with fear.”

2016

Our Queen at 90: to make this feature-length landmark documentary for ITV and the Smithsonian Channel, we were given exceptional access to the Queen and the Royal Family. The film was watched by more than 7 million in the UK and sold around the world. Three years earlier, we made a film following the Queen during the 12 months of the Diamond Jubilee. It was ITV’s highest rated documentary of the year.

Awards

Awards Ceremony

YearProjectAwardCategory namePrize