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Beeban Tania Kidron, Baroness Kidron OBE (born 2 May 1961) is an English film director, producer, children's rights campaigner and member of the UK House of Lords. As a director she is best known for directing an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Baroness Kidron is the joint founder of the education charity Filmclub (now Into Film), which uses film to educate children in after-school clubs in the United Kingdom.
The Baroness Kidron
Baroness Kidron in 2016
Beeban Tania Kidron
2 May 1961
North London, England
|Alma mater||National Film School|
Lee Hall (m. 2003)
Early life and educationEdit
Kidron was born in North London, to Nina and Michael Kidron. Michael's family were South African Jews who immigrated to Israel. Michael left Israel to attend Oxford University, where he became a Marxist. He went on to teach economics, and the family spent several years living in Yorkshire while he taught at the University of Hull.
She first took up photography when she was given a camera by landscape photographer Fay Godwin during a period when she was unable to speak following a throat operation. Her photographs were spotted by photographer Eve Arnold, whom she worked for at the age of 16 for two years. Aged 20, Kidron enrolled at the prestigious National Film School as a camera woman. At the end of her three years of film school, Kidron switched to directing and stayed on for another year.
In 1983 Kidron made her first documentary Carry Greenham Home with co-director Amanda Richardson. It was filmed during the year that they spent at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp during the anti nuclear protests. The film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and, to celebrate Greenham's 25th year anniversary, it was revived through The Guardian-backed website, www.yourgreenham.com.
In 1988, she made her first feature film, Vroom, which starred Clive Owen in his debut film. The following year she came to greater prominence with her adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. This won three Baftas including best drama series/serial. Kidron also won an audience award at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. In 2010 The Guardian named Oranges the eighth best TV series of all time.
Following the success of Oranges, Kidron continued to work for the BBC, making TV feature film Antonia and Jane, distributed by Miramax in the USA, and a TV film, Itch. In 1992 Kidron moved to Hollywood to make Used People with Shirley MacLaine and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1993, she was hired to direct the feature film Unstrung Heroes, based on the eponymous memoir by Franz Lidz, but dropped out when the studio, Largo, put the film into turnaround. That same year she returned to the UK to pair up with Winterson for the second time for the BBC film Great Moments in Aviation. Later that year she returned to the States to make Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns, a hard hitting documentary about the New York City sex industry.
In 1995, she made To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, a drag queen road movie starring Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze. In 1997, she made Amy Foster (Swept from the Sea), starring Rachel Weisz and Ian McKellen.
Over the next few years Kidron made a number of TV films both at home and abroad, including Cinderella, Texarkana and Murder, for which she was nominated for a second Bafta. In 2004 she directed in the Bridget Jones series, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
In 2007 she made a documentary about neighbor and friend, the sculptor Anthony Gormley. Beeban and her husband, playwright and author of Billy Elliot, Lee Hall, then began work on Hippie Hippie Shake, a film about the OZ magazine trials. The film was shot in 2009 with Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy; however Kidron and Hall left during post production citing artistic differences with the producers.
Kidron spent much of 2010 in Southern India researching and shooting a documentary on the Devadasi. Sex, Death and the Gods premiered on BBC 4 as part of the Storyville series. The documentary, which was supported by the charity EveryChild achieved critical success and high ratings while the plight of the Devadasi was widely publicized by the film. Beeban appeared on many shows including BBC World, Woman's Hour and Radio 5 Live. She also wrote articles and was interviewed by The Guardian, the Spectator and theartsdesk.com.
In 2013 Kidron directed, in a co-production between her and her husband Lee Hall's production company Cross Street Films and Studio Lambert, the documentary InRealLife. The films explored teenagers and their relationship to the internet. It was this film that acted as a catalyst for her campaign work around children's rights in the online world.
Following a period away from feature films, Kidron produced the Stephen Frears-directed Victoria & Abdul, which was released in 2017. It was the first feature film produced by Cross Street Films, and starred Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim.
Beeban Kidron started Filmclub in September 2006 with Lindsey Makie. Filmclub is an educational charity which sets up after-school film clubs in schools in England and Wales. The scheme is free to all state primary and secondary schools. The organisation was founded in September 2006, and after a successful pilot in 2007 launched by then Chancellor Gordon Brown, Filmclub officially launched across the country in June 2009.
Filmclub gives children from participating schools access to thousands of films and organises school visits by professionals from within the film industry. Pupils are encouraged to watch a diverse range of films including blockbusters, classics, black and white movies and foreign language titles, and to review the films they watch on the organisation's website (www.filmclub.org). The clubs are generally run by teachers or a similar education professional, but may also be led by older pupils, often from a school's 6th Form.
Kidron was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University in 2010 for her contribution to education. She became a board member of the UK Film Council in 2008 with a mandate to provide film education. Following the dissolution of the Film Council, she became a governor of the BFI. In March 2015, she was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award under the Social Driver category for her extensive work on Filmclub and the iRights Framework used to empower young people on the use of social media and the internet. This was the first award she had won for her campaigning work.
Peerage and honourEdit
On 25 June 2012, Kidron was created a life peer as Baroness Kidron, of Angel in the London Borough of Islington, and was introduced in the House of Lords the following day. She was appointed on the recommendation of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and sits as a crossbencher.
5Rights and youth advocacyEdit
In July 2015 Kidron launched the 5Rights initiative for youth digital rights. At the launch she described it as a civil society initiative that aims to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people. 5Rights signatories include Unicef, the NSPCC and Barclays bank.
She was a member of the Growing Up Digital Taskforce for the Children's Commissioner's Growing Up Digital report, and sits on the Royal Foundation Taskforce on cyber bullying. She is also a member of the UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, a UN commission set up to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
|Title !||Year||Director||Editor||Cinemat-ographer||Producer||Production Company||Notes|
|Victoria & Abdul||2017|
|InRealLife||2013||Studio Lambert||Documentary film|
|Sex, Death and the Gods||2011||BBC, Cross Street Films||series documentary|
|Hippie Hippie Shake||2010||Universal, Working Title|
|Anthony Gormley: Making Space||2007||C4, Cross Street Films|
|Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason||2004||Universal, Working Title|
|Texarkana||1998||Sacret, NBC||TV movie|
|Swept from the Sea||1997||Sony, Tapson Steel|
|Eve Arnold in Retrospect||1996||BBC, Omnibus|
|To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar||1995||Universal, Amblin|
|Great Moments in Aviation||1993||BBC, Miramax|
|Hookers Hustlers Pimps and Their Johns||1993||C4, Wonderland||Documentary film|
|Used People||1992||20th Century Fox, Largo|
|1991||C4, Chrysalis||Episode: Itch|
|Antonia and Jane||1991||BBC, Miramax|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||1989||BBC, A&E|
|Global Gamble||1985||Diverse, C4|
|Carry Greenham Home||1983||Contemporary Films, C4|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|Alex||Won||Lillian Gish Award 1983||Best Writer/Director|
|Carry Greenham Home||Won||Chicago International Film Awards||Golden Hugo|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Won||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama Series|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Won||San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival||Best Feature|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Won||GLAAD||Outstanding TV movie|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Won||Cannes Film Festival||FIPA D'argent|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Won||Prix Italia||Special Prize for fiction|
|Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar||Nominated||GLAAD||Outstanding Film|
|Murder||Nominated||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama|
|Used People||Nominated||Golden Globes||Marcello Mastroianni and Shirley MacLaine Best Actor/Actress|
|Murder||Nominated||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama Serial|
|Murder||Nominated||Emmy||Best TV Movie|
|Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason||Won||Evening Standard Readers||Film of 2004|
|Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason||Nominated||Peoples Choice Award||Best Comedy|
|Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason||Nominated||Peoples Choice Award||Best Sequel|
|Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason||Nominated||Empire Award||Best British Film|
|Hookers Hustlers Pimps and their Johns||Won||Erotic Awards||Most Erotic British TV Show|
|Herself||Won||WFTV UK Awards||Creative Originality Award 2010|
|Herself||Won||Glamour||Woman of the Year 2005|
- Obituary for Michael Kidron, The Guardian, 27 March 2003.
- Producers will throw MGM 'Bone', Variety, April 15, 1993.
- "InRealLife". IMDb.com. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Baroness Kidron interview: 'Children's online safety is too vital". Independent.co.uk. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Victoria & Abdul". IMDb.com. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- 2DD, Civil Service e-Media Internet Team, Cabinet Office, Communication Group, 9 Whitehall, London, SW1A. "House of Lords Appointments Commission - new non-party-political peers". lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- "Movie stars speak out on the importance of film education and what led them into the industry". Independent.co.uk. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly.
- "Beeban Kidron". IMDB.
- Hawcock, Neville (14 January 2011). "Beeban Kidron talks about her career". Financial Times.
- Barr, Gordon (15 October 2003). "Bridget's boys". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 10.
- "Kenneth Branagh knighted in Queen's Birthday Honours". BBC News. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- House of Lords Minutes of Proceedings for Tuesday 26 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Communications Committee - membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "House of Lords - Growing up with the internet - Select Committee on Communications". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Visiting Fellows - Lady Margaret Hall". Lady Margaret Hall. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "5Rights launch". Childnet.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "5Rights - Signatories". 5rightsframework.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Growing Up Digital : Taskforce Report January 2017" (PDF). Childrenscommissioner.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Leading Technology companies join The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying". Royal.uk. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development". Broadbandcommission.org. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "commissioners". Broadbandcommission.org. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Beeban Kidron on IMDb
- "Sex, Death and the Gods", BBC Four.
- Baroness Kidron, Grassroot Diplomat.
- Hilary Whitney, "Interview: Film Director Beeban Kidron", The Arts Desk, 21 January 2011.
- "Beeban Kidron on the devadasi system" as told to Joanna Moorhead, The Guardian, 21 January 2011.
- Tom Lamont, "The film that changed my life: Beeban Kidron", The Observer, 1 August 2010.
- "The Guardian's top 50 television dramas of all time".
- "Welcome to Greenham".
- "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1989)", IMDb.
- National Film and Television School.
- Stephen Armstrong, "Filmclub takes international news into schools", The Guardian, 14 June 2010.
- "Beeban Kidron speaks to Filmclub member Emma about Closing the Gap". YouTube.
- Beeban Kidron website.
- Beeban Kidron biography, Women make Movies.
- Sue Fox, "How We met; Eve Arnold and Beeban Kidron", The Independent, 12 May 1996.
- Beeban Kidron at TED