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> > > News: Lou Birks directs Paralympic Opening Ceremony film

12 August 2012

Woman sitting thoughtfully photographed through small group of other people in conversation

Survivor film maker Lou Birks has been commissioned to write and direct a Paralympic Ceremony opening film.  The film will play to a packed 80,000 seater stadium and be broadcast around the world.  Estimated worldwide viewing figures are 1.5 billion.

Lou is sworn to secrecy about the contents of the film and the ceremony itself but says, “It’s a very exciting opportunity and I’m honored that my idea was accepted.”

Lou set up independent production company Pie Films 15 years ago and has been writing, producing and directing ever since. In the past Lou has worked with Graeae Theatre Company, Liberty Arts Festival, Mental Health Media, the LDAF Disability Film Festival as well as numerous user groups, educational establishments and local authorities. 

One of her more recent films, ‘Stubborn & Spite’ starring Mat Fraser, was nominated for best film at the London Short Film Festival, won an ‘Honourable Mention Award’ at the Canadian Picture This festival and was screened at the world renowned LA Shorts Festival.

Lou, who survives a 25 year history of psychiatric diagnosis, recently completed a year of professional development at the National Film & Television School and posted off her film idea to the Opening Ceremonies artistic directors.   She promptly put it to the back of her mind.  “I knew it was a strong idea and I heard nothing for months. You get used to rejection…..but then I got the call….” 

The film will be broadcast as part of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony celebrations on 29th August.  You will also be able to see Lou on the Jon Snow Paralympic show the week before the opening ceremony.