Sebastian Thiel

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Sebastian Thiel
Sebastian Thiel.png
Sebastian Henry Thiel

(1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 32)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
OccupationFilm director, writer, producer
Years active2008–present
AgentCathy King
Known forJust a Couple , Adots Apprentice, Illegal Activity

Sebastian Henry Thiel (born 31 August 1990) is a film director, writer and producer.


Thiel's filmmaking career began in 2008, after his dreams of playing professional basketball fell through. He founded the production company Upshot Entertainment, which produces short films and comedy sketches and began releasing his self-produced videos on YouTube. His early work led to an endorsement by Richard Branson, who named Thiel a Virgin Media Pioneer.[1]

In 2012, Thiel was included on the Evening Standard's list of the Top 25 under 25 most influential Londoners[2] and his short film Illegal Activity won the Screen Nation Digital award.[3] Thiel's television debut Trap Town, a documentary that explored the 2011 England riots, was broadcast on London Live in 2014.[4]

In 2017 Thiel directed, wrote and edited, Just a Couple starring his sister, Frieda Thiel, Michael Salami, Weruche Opia and Sean Sagar. The show is broadcast on BBC Three and is produced by Big Talk Productions.[5] Thiel's first season won him numerous awards, such as favourite comedy production at Screen Nation and Debut Writer award at The Debbies [6] The show's success also landed him on BBC's prestigious new talent hotlist by Idris Elba and Tony hall.[7]

In the UK's black film community, Sebastian would commonly be mentioned as one of the few young black directors that has broken into TV in the recent years.[8]

Thiel is also known for public speaking and sharing his views on creativity and social entrepreneurship[9] In his teenage years he was a student at The School for Social Entrepreneurs. Thiel teamed up with Entrepreneur Paul Lindley OBE and Musician Emmanuel Jal on a documentary focussed on Social entrepreneurship in Kenya, this was discussed at One Young World.[10] Thiel's company was also the recipient of the iDEA award presented at Buckingham palace, which helped him take his business to the next step.[11] In Thiel's TedxTalks he expressed how important entertainment is as a tool for change. His beliefs are that we should be aware of what we create, specifically when it comes to filmmaking.[12] Thiel's focus on social issues has mainly been on helping disenfranchised young people.[13]

In 2019 John Boyega teased his new collaboration with Sebastian Thiel on Vice and Timeout[14] It's a series based on their childhoods.[15] Thiel is signed with WME in Los Angeles [16] and 42 in the UK.


  • Illegal Activity (2012)[17]
  • Friday UK (2012)[18]
  • Fill Me In (2013)
  • Adots Apprentice (2013)[19]
  • Trap Town (2014)
  • The Key (2015)
  • Just a Couple (2017)[20]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Former basketball prodigy Sebastian Thiel's new documentary tells the". Evening Standard. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  2. ^ "London's 1000 most influential people 2012: Generation Next, Rising". Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Sebastian Thiel: The only way is up | The Voice Online". Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Former basketball prodigy Sebastian Thiel's new documentary tells the". Evening Standard. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Amanda Star Catches Up With The 'Just A Couple' Creators | The Beat London 103.6 FM". Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  6. ^ "THE DEBBIES RECOGNISE THE BEST NEW & UNSIGNED TALENT". The Edinburgh International Television Festival. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  7. ^ (28 March 2017). "Tony Hall, Idris Elba unveil new BBC talent initiatives". Televisual. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  8. ^ McDonald, Soraya Nadia (17 March 2017). "'Get Out's' Kaluuya responds to Samuel L. Jackson's comments about black British actors". Andscape. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  9. ^ "'Entrepreneurship is in our blood' | The Voice Online". Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  10. ^ "One Young World Keynote". YouTube.
  11. ^ "iDEA Launch". The Duke of York. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  12. ^ "TEDx Entertainment Raised Me". Youtube.
  13. ^ jonellewilliams (28 February 2012). "My Hero – Sebastian 'Upshot' Thiel by Jonelle". The Headstarters. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  14. ^ "John Boyega talks Pacific Rim Uprising, the future of Star Wars and his issues with buses". Time Out London. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Actor John Boyega". Viceland. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  16. ^ "The 19 trailblazers ready to own 2019 | The Voice Online". Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  17. ^ News, Janice aka Miss Mad (6 March 2012). "UK SHORT FILM: ILLEGAL ACTIVITY (OFFICIAL TRAILER)". MAD NEWS UK. Retrieved 27 May 2020. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  18. ^ "'Friday UK' spoof released | The Voice Online". Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  19. ^ Dipeolu, Yemi (28 January 2014). "Adot's Apprentice hits YouTube with a bang". African Voice Newspaper. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  20. ^ Guide, British Comedy (24 February 2017). "BBC Three to publish new sitcom Just A Couple". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 27 May 2020.