Phil produced and directed his first films in Scotland, completing an honours degree in languages and literature at the University of Edinburgh. He created Native Voice Films in 1998. For the last 15 years he has worked both as a director and producer of award winning broadcast TV and indie features. Phil also teaches and lectures around the world at film schools in India, Italy and Latin America. He has been awarded the Rory Peck Award for his work covering conflict in the Sudan civil war and has since been nominated for 7 other international awards. Phil’s features have been WE ARE THE INDIANS which premiered in Sheffield Doc Fest and won BAFICI Buenos Aires FF award and the MANAUS FF Award and also THE BENGALI DETECTIVE which premiered at Sundance and Berlin and had a UK cinema release. He was described as ‘…a director to watch...’ by the Hollywood Reporter and Screen Daily. Phil won a British Grierson Award for THE BENGALI DETECTIVE which was also aired by HBO and is to be remade by Ridley Scott’s company and Fox Searchlight in Hollywood. Phil’s latest film LOVE HOTEL premiered at Toronto in 2014 and has gone on to an international festival and US theatrical release. He recently won a 2014 Tous Ecrans Trans-media award for directing the acclaimed interactive online LOVE HOTEL XPERIENCE. His forthcoming projects will be directing the fiction feature THE INDIAN JOB produced by Hilary Bevan Jones and the hybrid cinematic feature NASTY GAL, THE MANY LIVES OF FUNK QUEEN BETTY DAVIS. He has a passion for his bicycle, coffee cake and bad haircuts. He is represented by the agents Curtis Brown in London.
A highly experienced producer, Giovanna has been developing, producing and financing independent international productions for over a decade. Before running the Natives, Giovanna studied law in Italy. She then worked in hostile environments across Africa, with grass root peace negotiation and regeneration projects. She now works both in the field as a producer and oversees all Native Voice productions from our London base. Giovanna was the lead producer for our acclaimed feature documentary THE BENGALI DETECTIVE which premiered at Sundance and Berlin and won a Grierson Award. Giovanna has recently produced the Japanese feature LOVE HOTEL in a UK-France co-production with oscar winning company Bonne Pioche and is now currently producing Native Voice’s new feature biopic and associated music tribute concert NASTY GAL in the USA . Giovanna is also the Director of REACT – Refugee Education Across Conflicts Trust.
James Jackson is the founder of JL Law Firm and a Media and Entertainment lawyer by training, with a passion for creative and innovative forms of media. His breadth of understanding is drawn from over 10 years’ experience in the field, firstly at Digital Stores (an e-commerce solutions and fulfilment company for record labels and brands) before qualifying at Harbottle and Lewis LLP, following which he was in-house counsel for Mentorn Media, Mentorn International Distribution and Daybreak Pictures. He has worked with start-up companies, established companies and individuals involved in Radio Production, Social Media, Digital Publishing and App Production, Band Promotion and Management and Film and Television Production.
Currently Working with Native Voice
Damon Smith / Independent Co-Producer USA
Damon is currently working with Native Voice Films as a producer and co-director on our exciting new project NASTY GAL. Damon is a New York–based film producer and curator with more than 10 years’ experience in multimedia projects and new-media ventures, most recently as a co-founding partner at Cinelan, a strategic media company specializing in factual storytelling, and as VP/Story Consultant at Thought Engine | Media Group. He is also the supervising producer and curatorial director of FOCUS FORWARD – Short Films, Big Ideas, a Webby Award-winning 30-film series on innovation that premiered at major film festivals around the world. As Head of Film Programming at Babelgum, he developed original content for the pioneering digital broadcast network and has worked with Oscar- and award-winning directors Jessica Yu, Steve James, Lucy Walker, Stanley Nelson, Lixin Fan, Ross Kauffman, and Albert Maysles.
Joseba Calvo / Producer Mexico
Joseba is a highly experienced producer based in Mexico City. He has worked for the last 9 years with the Natives across numerous projects with broadcast credits such as Channel 4 UK, France 2, CNN and the BBC. Joseba has worked from development through to production and excels in access to sensitive and difficult areas – both to Mexico’s disparate communities and with the authorities. Joseba has kept the Natives safe and at the cutting edge of numerous stories and adventures!
Lisa Cazzato Vieyra / Filmmaker
Lisa works as a producer cinematographer for Native Voice and as a filmmaker. Her recent works have been a series of acclaimed short films for Channel 4 UK, and Amnesty International, as well as prime time documentaries for Al Jazeera International set in South Asia. Over the last four years, Lisa has worked with both video and film, producing both experimental and broadcast documentary films. Born in Lecce, Southern Italy, she came to London to study and work in photography. Lisa’s background is extensive in the fashion and commercial photography industry, assisting various established photographers. In 2003 she has completed an MA in Fine Arts at S.Martins College of Arts and her photographic work, supported by grants from the Arts Council and awards, has been shown in London galleries as well as internationally. Lisa is currently filming with The Tate Modern Art gallery in London as well as developing her own projects. She was the cinematographer on our award winning Sundance feature THE BENGALI DETECTIVE. ‘La Bella’ is well known for an individual and unknown dance floor style that she has been perfecting for the last few years.
Ed Owles / Filmmaker
Ed has worked at Native Voice Films for the last 6 years. He has directed and shot documentaries for leading broadcasters as well as screening his work at international film festivals such as Leipzig, Los Angeles, New York, Cairo and others. Ed graduated from Cambridge with a degree in languages (Italian & Spanish) and social anthropology and is an Associate Tutor in Ethnographic Film at UCL and Goldsmiths. Ed has recently directed and filmed the India based feature documentary The Auction House which premiered in Los Angeles and then New York and was the lauded Gala opening film at London City Film Festival 2014. He can also turn his head 360 degrees, hates small talk and makes a mean centre back footballer
Sounak Chakravarty / Director & Editor
Sounak is a Free-Lance Filmmaker & Editor from India. He has worked with Native Voice Films since 2008 and we regularly thank the Gods for his talents and wisdom. He Co-Directed & Co-Edited the acclaimed feature doc The Bengali Detective which won a British Grierson Award. Sounak graduated in Film Editing from the prestigious, Satyajit Ray Film & TV Institute, India, an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India. Before coming to films he did his Masters in Computer Engineering, with published paper in IEEE, Computer Society. He edited NEEV (The Foundation), the award-winning documentary at Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. He has worked as a Script consultant for RSA & Scott Free, USA, along with FOX Searchlight. His video installation work was displayed at India Art Fair. At present he is currently Co-Producing & Editing Native Voice Films upcoming film The Auction House as well as the fiction drama The Indian Job. Sounak is simply a most WONDERFUL person, he could have been an astronaut, chose to be a filmmaker, and most certainly soon needs to be married.
Esteban Uyarra / Editor
Esteban is an award-winning director and editor of documentary films. In 2002 he won Best International Documentary and Best Directorial Debut at the New York International Independent Film & Television Festival for his first documentary, The Runner. His second documentary, War Feels Like War for BBC Storyville, screened in festivals and on TV channels across the world and was nominated for the prestigious Grierson Awards. http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2004/warfeelslikewar/ Esteban has continually directed and edited international features over the last decade, often with the Natives. His last being Pussy Riot, a Punk Prayer, which premiered at Sundance 2013 and won a Sundance award. Esteban is a true Native, and has been known to edit masterpieces whilst listening to BadLands by Springsteen on full blast.
Ben Stark / Editor
Ben has worked for the last 12 years on high-end international documentaries for TV and Cinema many of which have been nominated for Emmy, Bafta and Grierson awards. Ben has been working editing long form premier strand documentaries for various leading UK and international broadcasters and has joined the Natives on many an escapade. This year Ben won the Sundance World Documentary Editing Award for his work on acclaimed feature doc The Summit. Ben rubs his chin a lot and rolls his eyes when speaking to the Natives…in a lovely sort of way.