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MEET THE TEAM

Emma Cooper

Film-maker, Producer and Founder

Cooper is an independent film-maker and Executive Producer recently founding Empress Films. Prior to this she was the Global President of Non-Scripted Television at Pulse Films. Delivering a strong slate of highly regarded non-fiction films and series which have won accolades at Sundance, Tribeca and Toronto Film Festivals and premiered on Netflix and other UK and US broadcasters and streamers. 

Emma has most recently Exec produced 'Who Killed Jill Dando?', she directed the Netflix series 'Depp V Heard' which was No1 in 88 countries. She directed the feature doc, 'The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe; The Unheard Tapes', for Netflix. Emma’s other credits include: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (series Netflix) Bikram (feature Netflix) Rock and Roll (series SKY) No Greater Law (A&E Indie Films) The Deal (series BBC 2) with a number of projects currently in production launching in 2020/2021.

Having previously held the position of Commissioning Editor in Documentaries at Channel 4, Cooper has a track record for developing award-winning, innovative and trend-setting non-fiction that encouraged discussion within her strand Cutting Edge. Titles include The Fried Chicken Shop, Teens, Freshers, Going To The Dogs, Tattoos, The Jihadi Next Door, The Murder Workers, Ian Brady: Endgames of a Psychopath and Meet the Police Commissioner. 

Prior to Channel 4, Emma directed and produced films for the BBC including Louis Theroux: A Place for Paedophiles, Miami Mega-Jail and America’s Most Hated Family.

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we should definitely have a call when your free just to develop on the ideas we spoke about, when works best for you ?

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Eloise Vanstone

Producer and Editor

Eloise is an Editor and Producer at Empress Films since it was founded in 2019, and has worked alongside Emma for seven years. Most recently, she Edited the final episode of the three part-series, Depp V. Heard, which she also Produced. Eloise Co-Produced and was Assistant Editor on the Feature Doc The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, having cut the original rough cut.

 

Eloise works across both the Production and Development slate at Empress, and is involved throughout the productions from development, through to post. She has cut a multitude of development tapes, many of which have gone on to be commissioned, and is an integral part of the development team.


Eloise previously worked at Pulse Films; from Cooper’s Assistant, to Production Assistant, to Casting Researcher, to Development Researcher. 

 

Eloise has previously worked on projects such as DIANA, The Black Cop, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Bikram, No Greater Law.

Samia Murphy

Development Executive

Samia is an experienced development exec with a background in documentaries, specialist factual and factual entertainment.

 

She started in production, working on a weekly arts and travel series for CNN, before joining the BBC where she worked on the One Life strand, the Louis Theroux series and formats including What Not To Wear and The Week the Women Went. She then trained in development at the BBC, working across genres and channels.

 

Samia went on to work in development at Diverse, Dragonfly, Watershed and Lion, with commissions including: Handmade (BBC Four); Life and Death Row; Extreme Beauty Queens; My Hometown Fanatics (BBC Three) Human Zoo; Extreme A&E; Show Me Your Money; The Secret Life of the Holiday Resort and The Hunt for The Arctic Ghost Ship (Channel 4 and Nat Geo)

 

She joined the development team at Wonderhood when it was founded, and recently worked as a project-manager on the ground-breaking series Super Surgeons for Channel 4, before joining Empress Films. 

 

Samia first worked with Emma in development at the BBC, but their working relationship was cemented on a recce in Kansas when they were forced to take shelter from a tornado on the highway just one hour after landing.

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Greg Sanderson

Executive Producer

Greg Sanderson is an experienced and award-winning freelance Executive Producer, specialising in premium documentary content for the UK and US markets. Most recently Greg Exec’ed Depp V. Heard at Empress. Greg has been working in documentary for over twenty years, with high-level experience in both production and commissioning. His work in docs includes five years as Commissioning Editor of the renowned Storyville documentary strand, where he worked extremely closely with Nick Fraser on a string of acclaimed films; Academy Award winning ‘Man on Wire’, the Emmy Award winning. ‘The English Surgeon’, the Grierson winning ‘Out of the Ashes’, and the Prix Italia winning "‘The Father, The Son and The Housekeeper’. 

 

Storyville also gave Greg considerable experience and expertise in the complicated world of the international documentary, and he’s worked closely with HBO, CNN, PBS, Showtime and many others. In more recent years, I’ve also pitched to, and worked with, Apple, Netflix, Disney+. and Discovery+. 

 

Outside the BBC, Greg also spent 6 years at UK super-indie Zinc Media, initially as Managing Director of the high-end Brook Lapping label, and then as Director of Television across their London and Manchester TV labels - Brook Lapping, Blakeway, Films of Record, Red Sauce and SuperCollider.

Kristina Wade

Producer and Edit Producer

Kristina is a Producer and Edit Producer working across access-driven documentaries in both production and development as well as occasionally dipping her toe into scripted. A creative and passionate producer, Kristina has been in the industry for 7 years with her experience spanning a wide range of genres, including investigative true-crime, social history and the arts, for broadcasters including, BBC, Sky Documentaries, Sky Arts, Hulu, ITV and Channel 4. 

 

Having started her career in development at Fremantle Media, Kristina went on to freelance at Pulse Films for 2 years working on various developments and productions including critically acclaimed Hair Power: Me and My Afro (C4). Tempted by the glamour of scripted, Kristina found herself producing a handful of short-form films for Dazed Magazine/BBC, including Money Up, a tender portrayal of love, friendship and boyhood in the city. She then went on to work at Blink Films for 2 years where she built up access for a new 6 part criminal justice series for Hulu called Web of Death. Whilst at Blink, she helped develop the true-crime slate for the US market, with stories ranging from unsolved homicides within the southern Hip Hop scene, to femicide in indigenous communities. 

 

Now at Empress, Kristina is excited to be focusing on premium storytelling that challenges documentary form as we know it, alongside a team of passionate and like minded filmmakers. 

 

Other credits include: Positive (Sky Documentaries), Statues Redressed (Sky Arts), Lenny Henry: One Of A Kind (ITV), and 24 Hours In A&E (Channel 4). 

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Albie Swingler

Assistant Producer/Story Producer

Albie has worked in documentaries for broadcast TV, feature film and podcasts for the last five years. He has pitched, developed and produced content for a range of channels and streamers, including BBC, Channel 4, Netflix, A24, Prime Video and Apple TV.

 

Albie's time at Dorothy St Pictures gave him considerable experience and expertise in the premium documentary space for the UK and US markets. Starting off in the core development team there in 2021, he went on to AP two different series: Escaping Twin Flames (Prime Video) and The Real Wagatha Story (Disney+). He has also been a core member of development teams at KEO Films, Transistor Films and Entertainment One.

 

Most recently, Albie worked on Cherish Oteka’s feature debut Gay Games (BFI Doc Society), an observational documentary about an international LGBTQ+ sporting event, which he helped cast and Story Produced on location in Mexico. 

 

Albie also has a passion for writing comedy, developing and co-writing projects for Amelia Dimoldenberg, star of the hit Youtube series Chicken Shop Date.

Mark Raeburn

Chief Financial Officer

Mark has over 25 years experience in media finance, having spent 18 years of his career working at Channel 4, where he spent the later part of his career there as Head of Content Finance and was responsible for managing the c.£700m programme budget, alongside earlier roles as the finance lead on such projects/channel launches such as E4/Film 4 free/More 4/Channel 4+1, and 4od. 

 

Mark has also spent nearly 10 years working on the production side including roles such as MD of Renowned Films, alongside his role at Empress he also has holds the role of CFO at Minnow Films, Curious Films, Freedom Scripted, Spirit Studios and Rawcut TV.

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Kiyomi Taylor

Line Manager

Kiyomi is a Line Manager at Empress Films. Coming from a predominantly Non-Fiction  background, she has worked across many high end documentary productions including Dead Asleep (Hulu), Beastie Boys Story (AppleTV), The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (Netflix) & Hair Power (Channel 4)

 

Prior to Empress Films, Kiyomi has worked at multiple Independent Production Companies including Pulse Films, Monkey Kingdom & Avalon.

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Suzannah Gray

Business Affairs

Suzannah is responsible for business affairs at 

Empress Films.

 

Her most recent project was 'The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe'. Suzannah joined Empress in 2019 after a long career in the fashion industry working with brands such as Burberry, Jigsaw and Gap

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Thea Milford

Production Coordinator

Thea is a Production Coordinator at Empress Films. Having graduated from Ravensbourne University in 2021, she swiftly moved to working in production. Starting as a Production Assistant and Coordinator in Pulse Films’ Non-Fiction department working on multiple projects such as The Harry Potter Reunion (HBO Max), Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now (Netflix) and many more. 

 

Starting at Empress in late 2022, Thea has enjoyed working on exciting new projects and helping the team where she can.

Aaron MacPepple-Jaja

Production Assistant/Junior Researcher

Aaron is a Production Assistant at Empress Films and is currently finishing his studies at Columbia University in the City of New York. 

 

During his time at Empress he has worked on the Netflix Original The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes as well as the development of numerous other projects. 

 

Before his time at Empress Aaron had produced, written and starred in numerous student short films with one of his films being shown in the Eton Film Festival. 

 

Aaron has also interned at 42 Management & Production in which he worked a part of the scripted development as well as the talent & literary management team

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Kate Glover

Executive Assistant

Kate joined Empress Films in April 2021. Prior to that, she has been an Executive Assistant in music and broadcast companies for many years, working for organisations such as FremantleMedia, National Geographic & Universal Music Group. 

Starting with a temp role at FremantleMedia and staying for 8 years, ending as EA to the Global CEO until 2014. She then worked for National Geographic for 2 years, picking up lots of useful information about commissioning and the greenlight process, along the way, before moving to work for the CEO of a division of Universal Music Group called Universal Advanced Media, which was responsible for the production of music events (BTS, concerts, music videos, etc.) for any artist/label under the Universal umbrella.

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