May Miles Thomas

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May Miles Thomas
BornJanuary 1959
Occupationfilmmaker, film director, screenwriter
AwardsNipkow Fellow, NESTA Fellow, Pioneer to the Life of the Nation

May Miles Thomas is a film director and screenwriter.

Biographical details[edit]

Born in Glasgow, May Miles Thomas was educated at Hillhead High School and the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in design and photography.

May Miles Thomas has worked as production designer, writer, editor, director of photography, producer and director.[1] Her career in television and filmmaking began in the mid-1980s at BBC Television, where she moved from production design to directing music and arts documentaries.[2] As a freelancer, she progressed to making music videos and commercials.

In 1995 she founded the production company, Elemental Films.[1]

Her script, The Beauty of the Common Tool, directed by Owen Thomas, was awarded funding in the first year of the British Screen/Scottish Television short film scheme, Prime Cuts.

In 1996 Miles Thomas became a Fellow of the Nipkow Programm, Berlin, where she wrote the screenplays for Ringing the True and One Life Stand.[3] In 1997 she was selected by the European Film Academy to attend A Sunday in the Country at Ebeltoft, Denmark.[1]

In 1998 she attended the Arista Screenwriting Workshop in Hamburg, Germany.

Since the late 1990s Miles Thomas has worked as a writer and director of feature films. She is married to Owen Thomas and lives in Glasgow, Scotland.[4]

The British Film Institute Filmography has identified May Miles Thomas as one of the 10 most prolific British women directors.[5]


  • 1997 The Beauty of the Common Tool (short)
  • 1999 Colentina (documentary)
  • 2000 One Life Stand (feature)
  • 2003 Solid Air (feature)
  • 2009 The Devil's Plantation (interactive)
  • 2013 The Devil's Plantation (iOS Application)
  • 2013 The Devil's Plantation (feature)
  • 2017 Voyageuse (feature)

One Life Stand[edit]

In 1999 Miles Thomas wrote and directed her debut feature film, One Life Stand.

Shot on miniDV in black and white on a small budget, the film is an exemplar for micro-budget production and was the first British digital feature film.[4] Miles Thomas is credited as screenwriter, director of photography, director and editor. The film was favourably reviewed,[7] won five Scottish BAFTAs[8] and was selected for numerous film festivals including Rotterdam International Film Festival, New York Silicon Alley, Dublin International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, HOF International Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, Bergen International Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival and Festival International de Film de Femmes.

Solid Air[edit]

In 2003 Miles Thomas followed up One Life Stand with her second feature film Solid Air starring Brian McCardie, Maurice Roëves, Kathy Kiera Clarke and Gary Lewis.[9] Financed by Momentum Pictures, Scottish Screen and the Glasgow Film Office, the film was shot on location in Glasgow in 2002.

Solid Air premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2003 and was selected for numerous other festivals including Cinequest, Mannheim International Film Festival, Festroia International Film Festival, Gijón International Film Festival, Festival International de Film de Femmes and Britspotting Berlin.

The Devil's Plantation[edit]

In 2007 Miles Thomas won the Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Award[10] to create The Devil's Plantation,[11] an interactive website and multi-media project that reveals the secret geometry and ancient paths of Glasgow.[12][13]

In 2013 the project was re-worked as an iOS Application and a feature film for presentation at the Glasgow Film Festival and cinemas throughout Scotland.[14]


In 2014 Miles Thomas began development of Voyageuse, a feature film based on the life of her late mother-in-law, Erica Thomas. Born in Hungary in 1933, Erica came to the UK in 1938, was a scientist during the cold war[15] and died in 2004. Shot in 2016 in the UK, Spain and the United States, the film stars Dame Siân Phillips. Completed in 2017, the film was first screened publicly at the Glasgow Film Festival in March 2018.[4][16]


See also[edit]

Cinema of Scotland


  1. ^ a b c d "In a feature length career". The Herald. Glasgow. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Bergen International Film Festival". Archived from the original on 2 May 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  3. ^ "Nipkow Programm Participants". Archived from the original on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Synnot, Siobhan (11 March 2018). "Secrets from the grave". The Sunday Times. p. 28. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  5. ^ "BFI Top 20 Women Directors". British Film Institute Filmography. 9 December 2018.
  6. ^ "British Film Council Directory". Archived from the original on 10 November 2006. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  7. ^ Romney, Jonathan (26 August 2000). "Guardian newspaper article". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  8. ^ Hunter, Alan (27 November 2000). "One Life Stand sweeps board at Scottish BAFTAs". Screen. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  9. ^ "British Film Council Directory". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  10. ^ "Creative Scotland Award Project Details". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  11. ^ "The Devil's Plantation". Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  12. ^ Peter Ross (28 November 2010). "Interview: May Miles Thomas, filmmaker". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  13. ^ "City's Da Vinci Code Wins £30,000". The Sunday Herald. Glasgow. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  14. ^ a b "Cineworld Audience Award 2013". Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  15. ^ Burnside, Anna (28 February 2018). "Mother-in-law's stash in the attic inspires woman to tell her amazing life story". Daily Record. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  16. ^ Harkness, Alistair (25 March 2018). "Glasgow Film Festival round-up". The Scotsman. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Interview with Netribution". Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Creative Scotland feature". Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  19. ^ "Nesta Press Information". Archived from the original on 4 August 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2008.

External links[edit]