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Revealing our newly appointed Trustees!

Updated: May 10, 2023

[Top L-R: Jaq Chell, Julie La’Bassiere, Lisa Balderson / Bottom L-R: Nidhi Gupta, Stephanie Hayward, Tara Brown]

We are thrilled to introduce new Trustees for the charity. Following an open call, the charity is pleased to announce six new appointments: 

Jaq Chell (she/they) – Cinema Exhibition, Distribution and Advocacy Leader (currently Head of Programme & Business Development at Cinema for All) 

Julie La’Bassiere (she/her) – Awards, Publicity & Marketing Strategy Consultant (currently managing UK Awards campaigns for Apple Worldwide Video and Board Member of The Future of Film is Female) 

Lisa Balderson (she/her) – HR & Wellbeing Consultant (freelance, formerly at BAFTA, BFI, BBC) 

Nidhi Gupta (she/her) – Filmmaker, Entrepreneur & NHS Doctor (Founder & Creative Director of Busy Doctor Films)

Stephanie Hayward (she/her) – Barrister (leads Behind the Gown campaign) 

Tara Brown (they/them) – Film Curator and Creative Evaluator (currently Programmer at Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival, formerly at BFI Flare Festival)

With expertise across health, wellbeing, activism, and advocacy as well as filmmaking, curation, community cinema, communications, strategy and evaluation, the six new Trustees join us from September in our mission to broaden perspectives of the world through cinema, to champion women & non-binary filmmakers and to build community for them. 

Our existing Trustees include sales agent Alison Thompson (she/her), sales professional Barbara Dias Otao (she/her), distributor Lea Devlin (she/her), strategist Peter Buckingham (he/him), film publicist Sophie Glover (she/her), and data researcher Stephen Follows (he/him). 

The call for Trustees was issued six months into an on-going period of self-reflection into how the charity can actively become a non-patriarchal and even more collaborative organisation. Through this work, we published our organisational values, alongside setting out how Trustees and team aim to incorporate the shared values in all decision making. As part of an ongoing process to de-hierarchise the Board, each Trustee will take turns as rotating facilitator in lieu of a fixed Chair. 

Director Melanie Iredale said:

“It’s such a privilege to weIcome our six new Trustees on board at Birds’ Eye View and I’m really excited to get to work with each and every one of them. Everyone at Birds’ Eye View will be able to learn from their incredible wealth of professional and lived experience and will help to guide the work we do, in line with our values. Their expertise across cinema and social justice will help us take significant steps forward in our mission for equity in all film spaces and growing ever-greater audiences for marginalised filmmakers. I want to thank them all in advance for the energy and generosity they have committed, and for the care they bring in responding to the needs of the charity at such an exciting time in our development.”

In a joint statement, the Board of Trustees added

“The Board are delighted to have such a fantastic group of people join us as we navigate Birds’ Eye View’s future and to help us continue the work to make the Film Industry a more equal and positive environment for marginalised film-makers. We can’t wait to get started!” 

In addition to new Trustees, we will soon announce the founding members of our inaugural Advisory Group. 

An open call for a Treasurer as part of the Board of Trustees, with finance / accounting expertise, remains open, with a deadline of 23 September 2022, for more information, please see here.

Birds’ Eye View incoming Trustee profiles

Jaq Chell (she/they):

Jaq is a cultural leader with 17 years’ experience in cinema exhibition, distribution and advocacy. They are currently at Cinema For All as Head of Programme and Business Development, supporting the 1500+ volunteer-led cinemas in the UK. Jaq is a Clore Leader, the co-host of the Cinema For All Podcast and was the recipient of the Roebuck Cup in 2012 for helping to shape a sustainable community cinema movement. Outside of film, they are a contributor to cultural website Our Favourite Places, sings as part of a modern choir, Neighbourhood Voices and is a wild mushroom forager. 

Jaq said

“I am so excited to be joining Birds’ Eye View/ Reclaim the Frame in its mission to highlight films by women and non-binary creatives, and to create safer and more accessible spaces around film. I deeply believe in the power of film to build connections, and it’s more vital than ever that people can find community at the cinema.”

Julie La’Bassiere (she/her):

Julie is an Awards + Publicity + Marketing Strategy Consultant based in London where she manages Awards campaigns in the UK for Apple Worldwide Video. Prior to her move back to the UK, where she was born, she was the Head of Special Projects at Obscured Pictures where she led the charge on marketing and promotional outreach campaigns, strategic partnerships, awards campaigns, and special events for both studios and streamers. La’Bassiere is a film industry expert who has been at the forefront of innovative 360° entertainment strategy internationally for over two decades and is a sought-after creative strategist and lecturer with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and strategic brand development for filmmakers. She serves on the BAFTA Film Committee, is an advisor for Future of Film and a mentor for We Are Parable’s Momentum Program.  She is a graduate of Stanford University. 

Julie said

“I have been following the incredible work  that Bird’s Eye View has been doing for years championing the work of women and non-binary filmmakers making their work accessible to as many audiences as possible. With an ever-changing industry and as a career marketing strategist whose lifeblood is audience, it is hugely exciting to help shape Birds’ Eye View’s future helping to bring activist and cultural change to the way we make, see and talk about film.” 

Lisa Balderson (she/her):

Lisa is a CIPD qualified HR Consultant, providing freelance support to Film and TV Indies, with the aim of helping transform industry working practices for the better. With more than 15 years’ experience in Film and TV in various roles; Lisa has experience of HR from both sides, including within a production environment, and is extremely familiar with the culture of these industries and how they work. This experience provides a unique and valuable perspective when dealing with HR challenges in creative environments. Lisa has previously worked for organisations such as; BAFTA; BFI (including the London Film Festival/BFI Flare and TV Programming dept.); BBC; and Lion Television. She is a certified Mental Health First Aider, CPD accredited i-ACT Manager – for positive mental health and WELLbeing, and 6ft From CIC trained Wellbeing Facilitator.

Lisa said

“I’m incredibly honoured to be joining Birds Eye View as a Trustee, and looking forward to using my skills and knowledge to build on BEV’s previous work, and continue to help create positive changes in the industry.”

Nidhi Gupta (she/her):

Nidhi is a multi-award winning Filmmaker, entrepreneur as Founder and Creative Director at Busy Doctor Films and NHS doctor. Nidhi has transitioned from medicine to a portfolio career, and has been supported by Film London, Arts Council England and Creative UK.

Nidhi is passionate about supporting under-represented creatives and has mentored women emerging filmmakers as part of the Watersprite Student Film Festival. All of BDF’ production have a minimum 60% women and 40% from BME backgrounds. Nidhi currently has two feature films in production (Human 2.0 and Start. Stop. Repeat.).

Nidhi said

“I’ve seen Birds’ Eye View grow from a female-focused small film festival to a powerful voice in the industry promoting equality and diversity. I am honoured to be associated with such a great organisation and look forward to working with these extraordinary trailblazers.”

Stephanie Hayward (she/her):

Stephanie is a barrister with a decade’s experience practising criminal law. She leads “Behind the Gown” – an organisation founded in 2017 in the wake of global movements: #MeToo and TIME’S UP. Stephanie harnesses the creativity within audio and visual platforms to deliver Behind the Gown’s message: she has recorded and presented podcasts, interviewed multiple high-profile individuals, and produced, scripted, and presented a film documenting the obstacles inhibiting the retention of women. Focusing on gender in particular, Stephanie spotlights issues affecting equality, inclusion, and fairness in her profession. She was instrumental in shaping regulatory sanctions guidance for bullying and sexual misconduct, and following a stage performance of critically acclaimed play ‘Prima Facie’, spoke about the problems with, and potential reforms to, the adversarial trial process for rape and sexual assault.

Stephanie said

“I’m inspired by film and its ability to mobilise change. I’m delighted to be joining Birds Eye View – to support them in championing underrepresented filmmakers from across the world, and nurture conversations generated by their work.”

Tara Brown (they them):

Tara is a Black Queer Disabled Fat Non-Binary Trans Femme. Tara’s main goal with curating is to make cinema as accessible, diverse and brilliant as possible! From a background working in community events and art education, Tara has developed a passion for DIY film and a curating style that heroes film centring marginalised communities. Their film curating career started as Co-Director of Wotever DIY Film Festival from 2014 to 2016. From there they have been Film Officer for Bernie Grant Art Centre, Assistant Curator for BFI Flare 2020-2021 and Fringe! Queer Film + Arts fest programmer since 2018 and programmer for London Indian Film Festival since 2022. Tara has also worked as a creative evaluator/critical friend with Nicola Sim within a disability justice framework. Our projects so far have included working with Wellcome Collection, vacuum cleaner, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Chisenhale Gallery and Manchester International Festival.

Tara said

“I want to be part of Birds’ Eye View trustee board to lend impact and authentic change from my lived experience and enthusiasm for holistic film events.”


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