Meet the City of Film Board
Steve Abbott – Chair of the Board of Directors
Steve, who was born and educated in Bradford, has been involved with film and television since 1979, initially with HandMade Films and subsequently with Mayday Management, Prominent Features and Prominent Television. From 1979 to 1997 he and his business partner Anne James were responsible for the management of the Monty Python group. It was with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin that they founded Prominent Features and Prominent Television. Prominent Features productions have won awards and festival prizes throughout the world, including an Oscar, a Cesar and several BAFTAs. Prominent Television’s six travel series with Michael Palin have won numerous awards. Steve is Executive Producer of Michael’s four-part travel series on Brazil for BBC1
His credits as a film producer or executive producer include “A Fish Called Wanda”, “American Friends”, “Blame it on the Bellboy”, “Brassed Off” and “Fierce Creatures”.
In addition to his many awards, he is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, BAFTA and the European Film Academy. He was chair of Screen Yorkshire and was previously a director of the National Film Trustee Company. Steve was a member of the Skillset Film Skills Strategy Committee and juror on both the Carl Foreman and Grierson Documentary Awards. He was appointed an ambassador for Bradford in 1997.
Steve is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Royal Society of Arts. He received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Bradford in 1998, was made Honorary Fellow of Bradford College in 2012 and has an MA from the University of Cambridge, where he was an Open Scholar in Mathematics.
Mary, Director of BCB 106.6FM, was born and brought up in a large family in South London, before moving to Bradford in the late 1970’s to study Peace Studies at Bradford University. After graduating she worked for 4 years as a youth worker in Manningham, then went back to university to take a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. This led her to teach, both at Bradford College and in community education, before going to live in Italy for 2 years, returning just before the birth of her son in December 1990.
In 1991 Mary followed her passion for radio by taking a course in radio production and presentation. Inspired by this, she worked with a small team of other enthusiasts to set up Bradford Festival Radio – the forerunner to Bradford Community Broadcasting, BCB106.6FM. Mary has been the Director of BCB since 1997, steering the organisation to become the pioneering, full time community radio station that it is today.
For 10 years she also served on the board of the national body, the Community Media Association with much of this time as chair. During this time she was instrumental in lobbying for the parliamentary legislation to provide a third sector of radio – Community Radio. This was finally achieved in 2004, with over 120 community radio stations now licensed across the UK. She stays committed to Bradford, her adopted city.
Sandy was born and educated in Harrogate before studying German in Durham and Bradford, Business Studies in York and undertaking Chartered Secretary training in Leeds. She is the Chief Executive of the Bradford Chamber, the leading business organisation for the Bradford District, offering lobbying and a large range of business services. In the last eight years the Chamber has created a loan fund for business, built managed offices and industrial units for growing businesses and created networks for specific sectors and areas of work e.g. the Bradford & Airedale Manufacturing Alliance and the Keighley Business Network.
Earlier roles include working as a Company Secretary in a family owned wholesaling company, Regional Manager with TV-am and Yorkshire Television, North East Regional Manager with the national charity NCH/Action for Children and Regional Director of Common Purpose.
Sandy is a Board member of the Bradford District Partnership, Deputy Chair of the Regeneration and Prosperity Partnership, a member of the Employment and Skills Board, a lay member of the Council of the University of Bradford, a member of the Common Purpose Advisory Group and a member of the regional women’s Two Per Cent Club. She is also a Trustee of the John Speak Foreign Languages Foundation, providing bursaries to those studying languages overseas with the intention of working in international trade.
Keen to develop new skills, Sandy has completed training as an enterprise mentor, is learning to produce and present a business programme on BCB Radio and studying Italian.
Liz Molyneux is a freelance TV executive and journalist working on projects for the BBC and other UK and international broadcasters. Born and brought up on the other side of the Pennines in Manchester, her career started in the newsroom in Plymouth and she’s inevitably spent time in London where she was Director of Development for BBC Specialist Factual and Editorial Executive within the BBC Commissioning group.
Previously Liz was the Executive Producer and Head of the Network Current affairs dept in Manchester, delivering a whole range of Current Affairs TV from Panorama to The One Show. Before leaving the BBC she was Business Development Lead as the corporation moved five London-based departments and those already established at Oxford Road to Media City at Salford.
Passionate about programme making and creating content that engages all audiences including those beyond the M25, Liz’s credits include films and series across many genres including investigative journalism, observational filmmaking and factual.
Born in Bradford, Zulfi believes that the new City Park has put the soul back into Bradford, and enjoys the space daily. Zulfi firmly believes that culture is at the heart of regeneration and that major events and festivals are integral in shaping and making places for people to live, work and play.
As a business marketing professional, his specialisms include brand development and sponsorship management with 15 years experience in delivering major events and festivals.
Zulif was Bid Director for the International Indian Film Academy Awards in 2007. His previous roles include non- executive director of Welcome to Yorkshire and Governor of Leeds City College. Previous events include the Bradford International Festival & Mela.
Recent sponsorship projects include the following brands: Morrison’s, Coca Cola, HSBC, and Pataks and he is currently the General Secretary at the Council for Mosques and Festival Director of the World Curry Festival.
Jo became Head of the National Science and Media Museum in September 2012. She believes that museums have a key role to play within communities, not only preserving and conserving our cultural heritage but also offering opportunities for people to learn, share and be inspired.
Jo’s career in museums began in 1993 at the Science Museum, London. Since then she has worked with different collections around the country, from maritime collections in Cornwall to the media collections in Bradford. She has been responsible for the delivery of numerous exhibitions, from small temporary displays to multi-million pound, award-winning permanent galleries.
Jo is delighted to have the opportunity to shape the programmes at the National Media Museum and offer greater access to its collections and expertise. The film programme and the film festivals are important cornerstones in the Museum’s yearly calendar and Bradford’s UNESCO City of Film status offers huge opportunities for greater participation in film, in all its guises.
Jo is also delighted to have moved to Yorkshire where she can enjoy her other passion – cycling. Nor can she quite believe her luck, with the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire in 2014!
Michael is the Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Bradford Metropolitan District Council and has been in post since March 2014.
Before moving to Bradford, Michael has spent his career working in a number of authorities across the North West and most recently held the post of Executive Director responsible for services to adults, children, health, education, employment and skills.
Michael played a key part in Oldham’s transformation from 2009 – 2014 and is committed to using those experiences and skills to help deliver on the Council’s ambitions to improve education, skills levels and the regeneration of the City. Michael’s responsibilities for education, employment and skills are highly relevant to the Board’s aims of promoting learning through film and contributing to improving education attainment and the regeneration ambitions of Bradford.
Michael is Lancashire born and bred.
In his early years he was Marketing Director for Principality Building Society in Wales and Head of Customer Management for Royal & Sun Alliance (responsible for leading Customer Management for the launch of MORETH>N), before running his own CRM consultancy, helping over 30 companies worldwide to develop effective customer management practices and training programmes.
He was instrumental in setting up Confused.com, before taking up a senior interim management career with organisations such as Open University, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, Yell Group Plc, British Airways and Barnardos.
Latterly he has been Director of Marketing, Communications and Student Recruitment for City University London and the University of West London, where he was responsible for developing and leading the marketing and communications as well as UK and International recruitment strategies for both institutions. He was appointed as Interim Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Development for the University of Bradford in June 2013. In December 2013 he was appointed as permanent Director of External Affairs for the University.
Mark is also Trustee of Tong High School and Director of Imprint & Design Ltd.
Andy Welsh became Chief Executive Officer of the Bradford College Group in 2014. Prior to this, he worked for Bradford College for more than ten years as Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for building services, facilities, environmental issues, human resources, technology and library services. Andy was also the ‘Project Sponsor’ of the College’s Accommodation Strategy, which involves an exciting series of large capital projects. The new buildings have been tailor-made for interactive and innovative ways of learning, giving the students at Bradford College the very best chance of success, in state-of-the-art facilities. The new campuses continue the College’s ongoing commitment to positively contribute to the regeneration of Bradford, its people and its industries.
Andy has taken on leadership of the Bradford College Group at an exciting stage, when the College is looking for new ways to build partnerships and meet the changing needs of students, communities, employers and others. This includes building skills in the creative industries and in innovation and entrepreneurship, with a strong emphasis on technology-enhanced learning, excellent employer relations and a commitment to the City of Bradford and the Leeds City Region.
The College has a long-established relationship with the National Science and Media Museum and UNESCO City of Film, and an excellent track record of achievement in providing talented and skilled students, with qualifications and work experience in film, photography, animation, art, theatre, design and technology for the creative industries.