CREW

 

Director and Co-writer, FRANCO ROSSO

Born in 1942 in Italy with Italian parents, FRANCO ROSSO grew up in London, completing his education at the Camberwell Art School and the Royal College of Art. He considers England his home, but not his native land. An attitude which has given him rare sympathy and understanding with minority groups in general, immigrant minority groups in particular. This has been reflected in his films like ‘House on the Hill’, the story of a black borstal boy which caused a storm of controversy when it was banned by ATV, ‘Black and Blue’ and ‘Dread Beat and Blood’, his sensitive Omnibus documentary about reggae poet Lynton [sic] Kwesi Johnson, which gained the attention of the national press when its showing was postponed until after last year’s General Election. Apparently, the BBC felt the film was politically biased. When, finally, ‘Dread Beat and Blood’ was allowed on the airwaves it received high praise from television critics. With ‘Babylon’, FRANCO ROSSO is bringing to the screen a story he has waited five years to film. The story has undergone changes in the meantime because situations change. Like all Rosso’ s work, ‘Babylon’ is realistic and uncompromising. "As a film-maker I believe my first job is to entertain, but I also believe in filming things the way they are. ‘Babylon’ is fiction, a story, but it is a story that could happen and the situations are entirely real".

Aside from writing and directing, ROSSO works consistently as a film editor. He was assistant to Ken Loach on ‘Kes’ and in the past few years has edited a prodigious number of television documentaries. His other directorial credits include ‘Dream Weaver’ , a 50 minute drama which received awards at Chicago and Mannheim, promotional films for John Lennon, a film on Stephen Stills, ‘Mangrove Nine’, ‘History of Black Music, for VPS and ‘Target’ which he co-wrote with Martin Stellman for the BBC last year.

 

Producer, GAVRIK LOSEY

Born in America, son of film director Joseph Losey, Gavrik came to the U.K. in 1955 and has lived here ever since. He arrived to study economics and anthropology at London University. When his studies were over he entered the film industry, working for a documentary company as Assistant Editor with directors like Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson. Moving into camera work Losey worked as an assistant on the films ‘Tom Jones’, ‘The Girl with Green Eyes’ and ‘The Uncle’ amongst many others. Later he joined Granada TV’s ‘World in Action’ team as a cameraman covering current affairs in the world’s trouble spots. From cameraman to assistant directing and on to the production side he then worked as Production Manager on ‘Thirty is a Dangerous Age’, ‘Cynthia’, ‘Robbery’, Lindsay Anderson’s ‘If’, Tony Richardson’s ‘Hamlet’, ‘Laughter in the Dark’ and ‘Ned Kelly’, filmed in Australia with Mick Jagger. He was Production Controller for the Beatles on ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, for EMI on ‘Villain’ starring Richard Burton and on Alistair MacLean’s ‘Fear is the Key’. In March 1970 he joined forces with David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson at VPS/Goodtime Enterprises as Associate Producer and Producer; his credits included ‘Melody’, ‘Pied Piper’, That’ll Be The Day’, ‘Stardust’ and ‘Flame’. He also produced ‘Little Malcolm’ for Apple Films which won major awards at Berlin and Atlanta, was Production Consultant on ‘The Greek Tycoon’ and produced ‘Agatha’ for Warner Bros./First Artists with Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman. He spent a year developing the package of Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ with Allen Klein’s Abkco Group and then produced ‘Babylon’, the black youth music movie for release soon.

Losey has formed a partnership with the writer Gordon Williams to develop films from original ideas and from the wealth of material already written by Williams including the book from which the film ‘Straw Dogs’ and the ‘Hazell’ books. The partnership is now preparing ‘Bornless Keeper’ for Cohn Sherborne to direct later this year.

 

Writer and Associate Producer, MARTIN STELLMAN

Born in 1948, Martin Stellman grew up in West Hampstead and after attending St Marylebone Grammar School went to Bristol University, to study Drama and English but dropped out after two years to join Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, as experimental rock theatre group popular between 1968 - 1971. He then worked at The Albany in Deptford where he wrote and directed a number of plays with teenagers including ‘Down in Black and White’ and ‘Us Girls’. At the same time with Brenda Moor, he set up The Schoolhouse, South East London’s first ‘alternative’ school for secondary age kids. Also at this time he was working as a freelance journalist contributing regular features to "Ink" and "Time Out" magazines.

After meeting France Rosso in 1975, he embarked on the joint project that became ‘Babylon’, originally commissioned for the BBC Play for Today series. Two years later Rosso and Stellman wrote ‘Black and Blue’ for Granada’s Crown Court series as well as an episode for BBC’s Target series. Aside from his work with Rosso, Stellman has written two stage plays ‘Miss’ and ‘Inside Kid’ for Common Stock Theatre Company and co-written the screenplay of ‘Quadrophenia’.

 

 

Director of Photography, CHRIS MENGES

Amongst cameramen, CHRIS MENGES has an entirely individual talent and reputation, preferring to photograph subjects that appeal to him and that he can feel involved in. Therefore, after gaining considerable acclaim for his photography of ‘Kes’ he returned to working in television, spending nearly ten years on documentaries, filmed drama and TV specials. During that time he made brief sorties into feature films with ‘Gumshoe’ directed by Stephen Frears, starring Albert Finney, ‘Bloody Kids’ also directed by Frears, and more recently ‘Black Jack’ for Ken Loach. He also photographed Tony (brother of Ridley) Scott’s first film ‘Loving Memory’, which was produced with funds from the British Film Institute. As Director of Photography for the second unit he was responsible for the battle scenes in ‘Zulu Dawn’; last year he spent five months on ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, produced by the Star Wars’ team, as second unit Director of Photography. He is scheduled to photograph Tony Scott’s first major feature, which will be filmed in Chile, and has just completed photographing John McKenzie’s feature film, ‘The Hard Man’ in Scotland.