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Sebastian Thiel

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Sebastian Thiel
Sebastian Henry Thiel

(1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 33)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Occupation(s)Film director, writer, producer
Years active2008–present
AgentCathy King
Notable workJust a Couple , Dreaming Whilst Black, Riches , Supacell

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


Sebastian Thiel's career in filmmaking commenced in 2008, following his pivot from aspirations in basketball. He established Upshot Entertainment, focusing on the production of short films and comedy sketches, and started distributing his self-produced videos on YouTube. His early projects garnered attention, notably receiving recognition from Richard Branson, who highlighted Thiel as a Virgin Media Pioneer.[1]

By 2012, Thiel earned a spot on the Evening Standard's list of the Top 25 under 25 most influential Londoners[2] and his short film Illegal Activity secured the Screen Nation Digital award.[3] His documentary "Trap Town," which delves into the 2011 England riots, aired on London Live in 2014.[1]

In 2017, Thiel took on multiple roles as the director, writer, and editor for Just a Couple starring his sister, Frieda Thiel, Michael Salami, Weruche Opia and Sean Sagar. This series, produced by Big Talk Productions.[4] and aired on BBC Three, was recognised with several awards, including the "favourite comedy production" at Screen Nation and the "Debut Writer" award at The Debbies.[5] It contributed to his inclusion on BBC's "new talent hotlist," curated by Idris Elba and Tony hall.[6]

Within the UK's black film community, Thiel is frequently mentioned as a notable young black director who has made significant strides in television in recent years. [7]

Thiel's engagement extends beyond filmmaking to public speaking, where he shares insights on creativity and social entrepreneurship [8] As a teenager, he was a student at The School for Social Entrepreneurs. Collaborating with Entrepreneur Paul Lindley OBE and Musician Emmanuel Jal , Thiel worked on a documentary focusing on social entrepreneurship in Kenya, which was featured at One Young World.[9] His company received the iDEA award, presented at Buckingham palace, in recognition of business innovation. [10] In his TedxTalks ,[11] Thiel discusses the role of entertainment in societal change, emphasizing the importance of conscientious content creation, particularly in filmmaking, with a focus on supporting disenfranchised youth.[12]

In 2019, John Boyega and Sebastian Thiel announced a collaborative project on Vice and Timeout,[13] inspired by their childhoods. Thiel is represented by WME in Los Angeles [14] and 42 in the UK.[15]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "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". archive.voice-online.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Amanda Star Catches Up With The 'Just A Couple' Creators | The Beat London 103.6 FM". www.thebeat1036.com. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  5. ^ "THE DEBBIES RECOGNISE THE BEST NEW & UNSIGNED TALENT". The Edinburgh International Television Festival. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  6. ^ televisual.com (28 March 2017). "Tony Hall, Idris Elba unveil new BBC talent initiatives". Televisual. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "'Entrepreneurship is in our blood' | The Voice Online". archive.voice-online.co.uk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  9. ^ "One Young World Keynote". YouTube.
  10. ^ "iDEA Launch". The Duke of York. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  11. ^ "TEDx Entertainment Raised Me". Youtube.
  12. ^ jonellewilliams (28 February 2012). "My Hero – Sebastian 'Upshot' Thiel by Jonelle". The Headstarters. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  13. ^ "John Boyega talks Pacific Rim Uprising, the future of Star Wars and his issues with buses". Time Out London. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  14. ^ "The 19 trailblazers ready to own 2019 | The Voice Online". archive.voice-online.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Actor John Boyega". Viceland. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  16. ^ 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)
  17. ^ "'Friday UK' spoof released | The Voice Online". archive.voice-online.co.uk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  18. ^ Dipeolu, Yemi (28 January 2014). "Adot's Apprentice hits YouTube with a bang". African Voice Newspaper. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  19. ^ "BBC Three to publish new sitcom Just A Couple". British Comedy Guide. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  20. ^ Adejobi, Alicia (23 April 2021). "Dreaming Whilst Black cast on microaggressions and reclaiming power". Metro. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  21. ^ "Untold Riches". Drama Quarterly. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  22. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (11 August 2022). "Netflix's 'Supacell': '61st Street' Star Tosin Cole To Lead 'Blue Story' Creator Rapman's Superhero Drama". Deadline. Retrieved 1 January 2023.