Brenda Anne Blethyn is an English known for her portrayals of working-class women with eccentric qualities. She is the recipient of several accolades, including one Golden Globe, one BAFTA, one Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and two Academy Award nominations.
Blethyn pursued an administrative career before enrolling in the Guildford School of Acting in her late 20s. She subsequently joined the Royal National Theatre and gained attention for her performances in Troilus and Cressida (1976), Mysteries (1979), Steaming (1981), and Benefactors (1984), receiving an Olivier nomination for the latter.
In 1980, Blethyn made her television debut in Mike Leigh‘s Grown-Ups. She later won leading roles on the short-run sitcoms Chance in a Million (1984–86) and The Labours of Erica (1989–90). She made her big-screen debut with a small role in Nicolas Roeg‘s 1990 film adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Witches. She experienced a major career breakthrough with her leading role in Mike Leigh‘s 1996 drama Secrets & Lies, for which she received multiple awards, including Best Actress at Cannes, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award nomination. She earned her second Academy Award nomination two years later, for her performance in Little Voice (1998).
Blethyn has since appeared in a range of big-budget and independent features, including Girls’ Night, Music from Another Room, Night Train (all 1998), Saving Grace (2000), Lovely and Amazing (2001), Pumpkin, Sonny, Plots with a View (all 2002), Beyond the Sea, A Way of Life (both 2004), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Clubland, and Atonement (both 2007). In addition, she has continued to appear frequently on television, in productions such as Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001) and War and Peace (2007). Since 2011, she has played the title role of DCI Vera Stanhope in the British crime drama series Vera and more recently Kate in ITV sitcom Kate & Koji
Brenda is also Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival’s Patron
Nick Broomfield studied Law at Cardiff, and Political Science at Essex University. He then went on to study Film at the National Film School, under Professor Colin Young.
Nick first got interested aged 15 when discovering his love for photography on a foreign exchange visit in France. “A great way to strike up conversations, and a great excuse to ask questions about the World around you”. He made his first film WHO CARES about Slum Clearance in Liverpool, while at University, by borrowing a wind up Bolex camera, and shooting it on short ends.
Professor Colin Young at the NFS had a great influence on his work encouraging participant observation, as well as introducing him to the lovely and most talented Joan Churchill. Together Joan and Nick made several films, JUVENILE LIAISON, TATTOOED TEARS, SOLDIER GIRLS, LILY TOMLIN and more recently AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER. They also have a son together.
Nick was originally influenced by the observational style of Fred Wiseman,and Robert Leacock and Pennebaker, before moving on largely by accident to the more idiosyncratic style for which he is better known. While making DRIVING ME CRAZY in 1988, a film hopelessly out of control, Nick decided to place himself and the producer of the film in the story, as a way of making sense of the event.
This experiment led to a sense of greater freedom, from the confines of observational cinema, and led to a more investigative and experimental type of filmmaking. ie THE LEADER THE DRIVER, AILEEN WURNOS, KURT AND COURTNEY, BIGGIE AND TUPAC.
Nick Broomfield is the recipient of the following awards amongst others:
Sundance first prize, British Academy Award, Prix Italia, Dupont Peabody Award, Grierson Award, Hague Peace Prize, Amnesty International Doen award