FILMS

FILMS

ABOUT

ABOUT

MUSIC

MUSIC

WRITING

WRITING

ABOUT

 

Sheila is a BAFTA and BAFTA Fulbright winning documentary filmmaker, and Director's Fellow at the MIT Media Lab. In 2010 ‘Mendelssohn, The Nazis and Me’ was nominated for the Grierson Award as Best Arts Documentary, in 2012 she wrote, produced and directed a multilingual miniseries about the Enlightenment which was seen by 150m people, and in 2014 she wrote and produced a major drama-documentary about the Targa Florio road race in Sicily. Luckily she is fluent in French and Italian, and passable in German.

 

Recently she has moved into digital media and music, with films, apps and other projects for the LSO, Arensky and other orchestras, and an augmented reality music app with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

 

As a writer she was Young Journalist of the Year, has had a column in the Guardian and published three novels. She also runs the therapeutic creative writing group at Freedom from Torture.

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CV

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CONTACT

MRS NORMAL BLOG

MRS NORMAL BLOG

CAKE IN THE CLOUDS

CAKE IN THE CLOUDS

CAKE

CAKE

THINGS WE LIKE

THINGS WE LIKE

 

FILMS

 

Sheila has been writing, producing, directing and now shooting documentaries all her professional life. These are some of the award winning products of that relationship, from the prescient cultural commentary of ‘The Electronic Frontier’ and ‘A Short History of the Future’ to the global reach of ‘Heroes of the Enlightenment’ and ‘Pistons, Passions and Sicilian Pleasures’.

‘How to Build an Orchestra’

What does it take to make an orchestra - to make young musicians, trained to shine as soloists, collaborate as fluidly as a shoal of fish? That's the purpose of the orchestra that forms each May in the quiet country town of Chipping Campden. The students learn not just musical but social skills from both their mentors and the locals, who open their homes, organise everything from ticketing to the supply of missing shoes, and bake enough cake and flapjack to feed the ravenous army that makes the town anything but quiet for this one week.

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Pistons, Passions and Sicilian Pleasures

In the summer of 2014 I was asked to produce a big drama documentary about the historic Sicilian road race, the Targa Florio. In the end I wrote it, co-directed it, set up and conducted all the interviews in Italian, sourced all the archive stills and footage and made the assembly edit. I left the driving to the experts.

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Heroes of the Enlightenment, Episode 1

The first of a two-part miniseries made for BBC Worldwide, ARTE, Beijing TV and ORF that reached an audience of more than 100 million people. The challenge was to present this subject in a way that could be enjoyed by both those totally new to the subject, like the Chinese, and those to whom it was very familiar, like the French and Germans. It seems to have succeeded very well, though for a British audience it may seem talky. There was a lot of explaining to do!

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Heroes of the Enlightenment, Episode 2

The second and final episode in the story of how Europe freed itself from the tyranny of religion, through the stories of three (white, male) protagonists: the French mathematician Condorcet, the German despot Frederick 'the Great' and the American president and inventor Thomas Jefferson. The rushes are mine but the clumsy archive stills are not. So it goes.

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Mendelssohn, The Nazis And Me

The story of my ancestor Felix Mendelssohn, both Christian and Jew, and of the results of this mixed identity in his life and music, the lives of the family, and all Jews under Nazi Germany. It tells the story of how Mendelssohn was by turns adored and reviled, how the family was driven to desperate lengths to 'prove' the percentage of 'Aryan blood' in their veins under the Third Reich, how Jews were forbidden to listen to 'Aryan' music, and the extraordinary lengths to which the Nazi government went to replace Felix's beloved music to 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Germany's favourite play.