Hannah Davis (filmmaker)
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Hannah Davis is the daughter of actress Jean Boht and film composer Carl Davis. She is a writer, director, and actress, having made two feature-length films under her production company, Mansion Pictures called Mothers & Daughters and The Understudy.
Hannah Davis was born in London, England and brought up with the great masters of the Silent Cinema. She spent her early years watching the works of King Vidor, Abel Gance, Charlie Chaplin and Eric Von Stroheim in concert halls across the world and watching her mother on a variety of film sets. Hannah decided to pursue acting and she left London and came to New York to study with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse before returning to England to work with Mike Leigh in the Academy Award nominated Secrets & Lies. This led to further work in Television and Theatre.
Between acting jobs, Hannah met David Conolly while running Lunacy (an alternative comedy night on the London fringe). They worked their way up the production ladder, producing the pilot of Lunacy, which in turn led to work in BBC Drama and Documentary. They then began creating festival-nominated shorts and community films for the Red Cross, the Teenage Cancer Unit Trust and the National Schizophrenic Foundation. They also developed their writing skills with screenplays for Hartswood Films, Quentin Morrissey, Buffalo Pictures as well as working on Shakespearean productions at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London.
Mothers & Daughters
It was decided to combine their many skills and create a feature film, entitled Mothers & Daughters. Six months were spent with actors devising and rehearsing the screenplay, followed by sporadic bursts of filming with breaks so that cast and crew could earn money to live on during production and so that Hannah and David could earn money to finance the next phase of filming. Finally, producer and writer, Lynda La Plante (of Prime Suspect fame) saw a rough-cut of Mothers & Daughters and became part of their post-production team. Mothers & Daughters was completed and invited to film festivals worldwide, debuting at Cannes then playing at São Paulo, Montreal, Quebec, Barcelona, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, The Hamptons, London and Dinard “Great performances, good pacing, sharp script”, Variety declared, and they were nominated - The Golden Hitchcock Award for Direction. Mothers & Daughters was selected as one of the top six British Films of the year.
The success of Mothers & Daughters led to interest in their next project and the screenplay, Wedding Town was developed for the UK Film Council. Shortly after Wedding Town, principal photography began in New York City on their second full-length feature, The Understudy, which was completed in 2008. The Understudy received the Silver Lei for Excellence in Filmmaking at the Honolulu International Film Festival in 2009, The Roger Smith award from Cinemonde 2009 and the award for Best Score 2008 from the UCMF (French Composers Union). The Understudy is currently playing at film festivals around the world and is to be released later in the year. David and Hannah also write scripts for Hannah’s father, composer Carl Davis, with whom they often collaborate, these have been performed in front of a live orchestra all over the world, from the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York.