Our panel of judges, for both the film and media awards, features an exciting group of prestigious faces from the TV, film and media industries. We're still in the process of confirming the panel, so watch this space as we add more fantastic judges.
(Photo credit: Scarlet Page)
Henry Normal is a film and TV producer, award-winning writer and poet. He co-wrote The Royle Family with Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash, and in 1999, together with Steve Coogan, he founded the TV comedy production company, Baby Cow Productions.
Henry also produced Oscar nominated film Philomena, featuring Judi Dench, and the multi award-winning series Gavin and Stacey. The Scotsman called him “the Alan Bennett of poetry” and his latest poetry collection, Staring Directly at the Eclipse, includes several love poems to his teenage son Johnny who is autistic.
Asif Kapadia is an Academy Award and four time BAFTA award winning director, writer and producer, known for his highly acclaimed visual masterpieces such as Amy and Senna.
Asif is hailed for his striking films exploring characters living in timeless, extreme and unforgiving landscapes. He is soon to document the life of Diego Maradona.
Laura James, who received her autism diagnosis in 2015 and campaigns for autism awareness, is a journalist, author and columnist. Her work has appeared in many national and international newspapers and magazines, and she’s the author of nine books. Laura’s ninth book, Odd girl out, a memoir focusing on her autism, will be published by Bluebird/Pan Macmillan in April 2017.
Gisli Snaer, currently Head of Studies at London Film School, is an award-winning film director, and a graduate of La Fémis in Paris. Long-time film maestro, Snaer headed the Puttnam School of Film and LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore before heading to London. His films have earned him prestigious positions as a member of the European Film Academy, and the Directors Guild of Iceland.
Andy Orrick is Chief of Stuff at Rattling Stick, where he oversees the company’s film, TV, music and branded content output. Prior to joining Rattling Stick, Andy was The Mill Digital Co-Founder with Rodrigo Sobral. He’s also an awards buff himself, having helped lead the creative agency to win Grand Prix, 32 international awards and a nomination for Digital Agency of The Year at the BIMAs 2012.
24-year-old Jules Robertson is one of the UK’s most successful autistic actors. Jules is a trailblazer; he’s the first actor on the autism spectrum to play an autistic character in a primetime UK TV drama series. Jules demonstrates his considerable comedic skills in the role of Jason Haynes, in the popular BBC medical drama Holby City.
Actress, author and businesswoman Jane Asher is The National Autistic Society's President, and has been our President since 1997. Jane has an extensive knowledge and understanding of autism, and has been awarded two honorary university doctorates in recognition of her work.
She regularly appears on TV and film, and has also performed many times on stage in the West End, at the National Theatre and on Broadway. She is currently working on the feature film Used books and next year will be performing on stage in An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre.
Carrie Grant is the most widely known vocal coach in the country, primarily as a result of her being a judge and coach on Fame Academy, Pop Idol and, most recently, BAFTA award winning Glee Club. She’s been working as a vocal coach and producer for many years alongside artists such as The Spice Girls, Will Young, and Demi Lovato.
She’s judged BBC Chorister of the Year, School Choir of the Year and Gospel Choir of the Year and has been a top session singer, working with artists such as Michael Jackson. Carrie’s also recorded as an artist in her own right, winning a MOBO Award with her husband.
Joe Wade is a BAFTA award winning British filmmaker, TV writer, producer and the CEO and co-founder of the creative agency Don't Panic. Whilst at the helm of Don't Panic he has been responsible for helping create some of the most successful charity campaigns ever, including our Too Much Information campaign. In 2012 he co-created the BBC 3 TV show The revolution will be televised, which won the BAFTA for Best Comedy in May 2013. The show held politicians and businessmen accountable for their wrongdoings in a satirical manner.
Stevie Lee is a film and TV producer who launched the production company Runaway Fridge in 2006. The company’s first feature, Jon Ronson and Straughan’s Frank, starred Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Domhnall Gleeson and was directed by Lenny Abrahamson.
Runaway Fridge’s latest project is a film adaptation of best-selling book The Reason I Jump by non- verbal autistic author Naoki Higashida. Stevie’s 12 year old son Joss is autistic.
A graduate of Stirling University (joint 1st BA hons in English and Film) Jules was awarded the second David Jacobs Scholarship and found herself transported to LA and UCLA Graduate film school in 1991. One of her first practical experiences in the media was as an intern on Baywatch.
On completing her Masters degree, she worked for three years in the production division of The British Film Institute, assisting in the development of film and artist talent such as Andrea Arnold, Simon Beaufoy, Shane Meadows, Lynne Ramsey and Annie Griffin.
Jules went freelance in 1997 and has worked her way up through documentaries to drama to line producing award-winning dramas such as Five Daughters and Complicit.
As a producer in TV drama, she continues to work on projects which challenge perceptions and stereotypes...a long journey from her 1990s Baywatch days!
Laurine is an autistic adult, who co-hosts the Autistic Flappy Hour podcast with other autistic friends. She loves speaking and writing about autism, and is passionate about encouraging others to involve autistic people in everything that is done about them.
Keith Stuart is the Guardian's games editor. He has written about video games, technology and digital media for 20 years. Keith is also a parent and his son Zac is autistic.
John Harris is a journalist and author, who writes regularly for the Guardian about a range of subjects built around politics, popular culture and music. He also writes regularly about autism and issues around special needs education. John is a parent, and has an autistic son called James.
Jane Garvey was born in Liverpool in 1964. She studied at Birmingham University and then started work at Radio Wyvern in Worcester. She has also worked for BBC Hereford and Worcester, Five Live and has been working on Woman's Hour on Radio 4 as a presenter since 2007.
Shelagh presents her news and current affairs phone-in show on LBC weekdays from 1-4pm.
She previously presented the Lunchtime Show for BBC Five Live and co-hosted Five Live’s Breakfast show, which won multiple Sony Radio Awards. Shelagh has interviewed the country's top politicians, sports stars, musicians and actors. She excels at live outside broadcast and has covered some of the biggest world events internationally and across the UK. With her intelligent, sometimes irreverent sense of humour, Shelagh can make politics and the most hard-hitting news stories accessible to a mass audience.
Josh Trigg is the director of the first video for our Too Much Information campaign, which received over 50 million views in two weeks. Leaving university to start up a post house in Soho in 2010, he’s been directing for brands such as Stella McCartney, Adidas and Glamour Magazine.
By 18 Josh had shots in Marie Claire and various kids’ magazines, winning selections with Vimeo Staff picks, short of the week and 20+ other festivals for his fiction film DIY in 2014. Josh’s current fiction project will be taking him to Iraq in the first quarter of 2017.
Kate Fox has made a living as a stand-up poet for ten years. Being funny and Northern is sometimes a help and sometimes a hindrance and she’s doing a PhD about why. Sometimes they let her on Radio 4. Her car radio is tuned to Radio 2.
Dan Bull is a British rapper, digital rights activist and YouTube sensation. Dan raps on a range of topics, including gaming, filesharing and broccoli. Dan is also autistic and his track 'A Portrait of the Autist', from his 2011 album Face, is an honest account of the social challenges he faces. Dan has a huge fan base and his energy, humour, clever and irreverent lyrics have won him over a million subscribers to his YouTube channel.
Neil’s professional background is in digital media and content strategy. He has previously worked in senior digital roles for D&AD and Centaur Media, and is now Global Head of Online for Sightsavers, an international development organisation dedicated to preventing blindness and creating a more inclusive world. Neil has family members who are autistic and is passionate about educating others on the strengths neurodiversity brings to society.
Gill Wilson has been Head of Features at Channel 4 for 5 years. From classics like Grand Designs and Location, Location, Location to new favourites like Great Canal Journeys, Escape To the Chateau, and Married At first Sight, her department covers a wealth of contemporary subjects. She is responsible for a number of ground breaking series featuring those with atypical lives, including The Autistic Gardener, The Shut-Ins, How Autistic are You? and Born Naughty?
She is part of the autism research and development board at Queensmill School, and a passionate advocate for the understanding of those who have spectrum issues. She lives in Shepherd Bush with husband and two fantastic sons, one of whom is neuro-typical the younger who is anything but!