Beeban Kidron

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Beeban Kidron
13th Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Meeting, Dubai, 13 March 2016.jpg
Baroness Kidron in 2016
BornBeeban Tania Kidron
(1961-05-02) 2 May 1961 (age 57)
North London, England
Alma materNational Film School
OccupationFilm director
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)
Lee Hall (m. 2003)
Children2
Parent(s)Michael Kidron

Beeban Tania Kidron, Baroness Kidron OBE (born 2 May 1961) is an English film director, producer, children's rights campaigner and member of the UK House of Lords. As a director she is best known for directing an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Baroness Kidron is the joint founder of the education charity Filmclub (now Into Film), which uses film to educate children in after-school clubs in the United Kingdom.

Early life and education[edit]

Kidron was born in North London, to Nina and Michael Kidron. Michael's family were South African Jews who immigrated to Israel. Michael left Israel to attend Oxford University, where he became a Marxist.[1] He went on to teach economics, and the family spent several years living in Yorkshire while he taught at the University of Hull.

She first took up photography when she was given a camera by landscape photographer Fay Godwin during a period when she was unable to speak following a throat operation. Her photographs were spotted by photographer Eve Arnold, whom she worked for at the age of 16 for two years. Aged 20, Kidron enrolled at the prestigious National Film School as a camera woman. At the end of her three years of film school, Kidron switched to directing and stayed on for another year.

Career[edit]

In 1983 Kidron made her first documentary Carry Greenham Home with co-director Amanda Richardson. It was filmed during the year that they spent at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp during the anti nuclear protests. The film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and, to celebrate Greenham's 25th year anniversary, it was revived through The Guardian-backed website, www.yourgreenham.com.

In 1988, she made her first feature film, Vroom, which starred Clive Owen in his debut film. The following year she came to greater prominence with her adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. This won three Baftas including best drama series/serial. Kidron also won an audience award at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. In 2010 The Guardian named Oranges the eighth best TV series of all time.

Following the success of Oranges, Kidron continued to work for the BBC, making TV feature film Antonia and Jane, distributed by Miramax in the USA, and a TV film, Itch. In 1992 Kidron moved to Hollywood to make Used People with Shirley MacLaine and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1993, she was hired to direct the feature film Unstrung Heroes, based on the eponymous memoir by Franz Lidz, but dropped out when the studio, Largo, put the film into turnaround.[2] That same year she returned to the UK to pair up with Winterson for the second time for the BBC film Great Moments in Aviation. Later that year she returned to the States to make Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns, a hard hitting documentary about the New York City sex industry.

In 1995, she made To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, a drag queen road movie starring Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze. In 1997, she made Amy Foster (Swept from the Sea), starring Rachel Weisz and Ian McKellen.

Over the next few years Kidron made a number of TV films both at home and abroad, including Cinderella, Texarkana and Murder, for which she was nominated for a second Bafta. In 2004 she directed in the Bridget Jones series, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

In 2007 she made a documentary about neighbor and friend, the sculptor Anthony Gormley. Beeban and her husband, playwright and author of Billy Elliot, Lee Hall, then began work on Hippie Hippie Shake, a film about the OZ magazine trials. The film was shot in 2009 with Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy; however Kidron and Hall left during post production citing artistic differences with the producers.

Kidron spent much of 2010 in Southern India researching and shooting a documentary on the Devadasi. Sex, Death and the Gods premiered on BBC 4 as part of the Storyville series. The documentary, which was supported by the charity EveryChild achieved critical success and high ratings while the plight of the Devadasi was widely publicized by the film. Beeban appeared on many shows including BBC World, Woman's Hour and Radio 5 Live. She also wrote articles and was interviewed by The Guardian, the Spectator and theartsdesk.com.

In 2013 Kidron directed, in a co-production between her and her husband Lee Hall's production company Cross Street Films and Studio Lambert, the documentary InRealLife. The films explored teenagers and their relationship to the internet[3]. It was this film that acted as a catalyst for her campaign work around children's rights in the online world[4].

Following a period away from feature films, Kidron produced the Stephen Frears-directed Victoria & Abdul, which was released in 2017. It was the first feature film produced by Cross Street Films, and starred Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim.[5]

Filmclub[edit]

Beeban Kidron started Filmclub in September 2006 with Lindsey Makie. Filmclub is an educational charity which sets up after-school film clubs in schools in England and Wales. The scheme is free to all state primary and secondary schools. The organisation was founded in September 2006, and after a successful pilot in 2007 launched by then Chancellor Gordon Brown, Filmclub officially launched across the country in June 2009.

Filmclub gives children from participating schools access to thousands of films and organises school visits by professionals from within the film industry. Pupils are encouraged to watch a diverse range of films including blockbusters, classics, black and white movies and foreign language titles, and to review the films they watch on the organisation's website (www.filmclub.org). The clubs are generally run by teachers or a similar education professional, but may also be led by older pupils, often from a school's 6th Form.

Kidron was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University in 2010 for her contribution to education. She became a board member of the UK Film Council in 2008 with a mandate to provide film education. Following the dissolution of the Film Council, she became a governor of the BFI[6]. In March 2015, she was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award under the Social Driver category for her extensive work on Filmclub and the iRights Framework used to empower young people on the use of social media and the internet.[7] This was the first award she had won for her campaigning work.

In 2013 Filmclub merged with the charity First Light to form Into Film[8]. As well as run film clubs in schools, Into Film runs a youth film festival and youth film awards.

Personal life[edit]

Kidron and her former partner, Spencer Style, have two children together, son Noah (born 1994) and daughter Blaze (born 1997).[9][10] She married playwright Lee Hall in 2003.[11][12]

Peerage and honour[edit]

Kidron was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[13][14]

On 25 June 2012, Kidron was created a life peer as Baroness Kidron, of Angel in the London Borough of Islington, and was introduced in the House of Lords the following day.[15] She was appointed on the recommendation of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and sits as a crossbencher.

Kidron sits on the Lords Communications Select Committee[16] and contributed to the 2017 House of Lords "Growing up with the Internet" report[17].

In 2016 Kidron became a visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford University.[18].

5Rights and youth advocacy[edit]

In July 2015 Kidron launched the 5Rights initiative for youth digital rights. At the launch she described it as a civil society initiative that aims to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people[19]. 5Rights signatories include Unicef, the NSPCC and Barclays bank[20].

She was a member of the Growing Up Digital Taskforce for the Children's Commissioner's Growing Up Digital report,[21] and sits on the Royal Foundation Taskforce on cyber bullying[22]. She is also a member of the UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, a UN commission set up to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals[23][24]

Filmography[edit]

Title ! Year Director Editor Cinemat-ographer Producer Production Company Notes
Victoria & Abdul 2017 Yes
InRealLife 2013 Yes Studio Lambert Documentary film
Sex, Death and the Gods 2011 Yes Yes Yes BBC, Cross Street Films series documentary
Hippie Hippie Shake 2010 Yes Universal, Working Title
Anthony Gormley: Making Space 2007 Yes Yes C4, Cross Street Films
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 2004 Yes Universal, Working Title
Murder 2002 Yes BBC TV miniseries
Cinderella 2000 Yes C4 TV movie
Texarkana 1998 Yes Sacret, NBC TV movie
Swept from the Sea 1997 Yes Yes Sony, Tapson Steel
Eve Arnold in Retrospect 1996 Yes Yes BBC, Omnibus
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar 1995 Yes Universal, Amblin
Great Moments in Aviation 1993 Yes BBC, Miramax
Hookers Hustlers Pimps and Their Johns 1993 Yes C4, Wonderland Documentary film
Used People 1992 Yes 20th Century Fox, Largo
1991 Yes C4, Chrysalis Episode: Itch
Antonia and Jane 1991 Yes BBC, Miramax
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit 1989 Yes BBC, A&E
Vroom 1988 Yes Film 4
Global Gamble 1985 Yes Diverse, C4
Alex 1985 Yes NFTS
Carry Greenham Home 1983 Yes Yes Yes Contemporary Films, C4
Thanks Date
An Education 2009

Awards and nominations[edit]

Film Result Award Category
Alex Won Lillian Gish Award 1983 Best Writer/Director
Carry Greenham Home Won Chicago International Film Awards Golden Hugo
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won British Academy Television Awards Best Drama Series
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Best Feature
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won GLAAD Outstanding TV movie
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won Cannes Film Festival FIPA D'argent
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won Prix Italia Special Prize for fiction
Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar Nominated GLAAD Outstanding Film
Murder Nominated British Academy Television Awards Best Drama
Used People Nominated Golden Globes Marcello Mastroianni and Shirley MacLaine Best Actor/Actress
Murder Nominated British Academy Television Awards Best Drama Serial
Murder Nominated Emmy Best TV Movie
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Won Evening Standard Readers Film of 2004
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Nominated Peoples Choice Award Best Comedy
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Nominated Peoples Choice Award Best Sequel
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Nominated Empire Award Best British Film
Hookers Hustlers Pimps and their Johns Won Erotic Awards Most Erotic British TV Show
Herself Won WFTV UK Awards Creative Originality Award 2010
Herself Won Glamour Woman of the Year 2005
Thanks Date
An Education 2009

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary for Michael Kidron, The Guardian, 27 March 2003.
  2. ^ Producers will throw MGM 'Bone', Variety, April 15, 1993.
  3. ^ "InRealLife". IMDb.com. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Baroness Kidron interview: 'Children's online safety is too vital". Independent.co.uk. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Victoria & Abdul". IMDb.com. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ 2DD, Civil Service e-Media Internet Team, Cabinet Office, Communication Group, 9 Whitehall, London, SW1A. "House of Lords Appointments Commission - new non-party-political peers". lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Movie stars speak out on the importance of film education and what led them into the industry". Independent.co.uk. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly.
  10. ^ "Beeban Kidron". IMDB.
  11. ^ Hawcock, Neville (January 14, 2011). "Beeban Kidron talks about her career". Financial Times.
  12. ^ Barr, Gordon (15 October 2003). "Bridget's boys". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  13. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 10.
  14. ^ "Kenneth Branagh knighted in Queen's Birthday Honours". BBC News. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  15. ^ House of Lords Minutes of Proceedings for Tuesday 26 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Communications Committee - membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ "House of Lords - Growing up with the internet - Select Committee on Communications". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Visiting Fellows - Lady Margaret Hall". Lady Margaret Hall. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  19. ^ "5Rights launch". Childnet.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  20. ^ "5Rights - Signatories". 5rightsframework.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Growing Up Digital : Taskforce Report January 2017" (PDF). Childrenscommissioner.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Leading Technology companies join The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying". Royal.uk. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development". Broadbandcommission.org. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  24. ^ "commissioners". Broadbandcommission.org. Retrieved 4 December 2017.

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