Board of Governors
Raindance Film School’s Board of Governors is a group of individuals who represent the interests of the school and the communities it serves. The Board meets on a quarterly basis to provide the school with direction and advice, set policy objectives, and to ensure the school is fulfilling its mission and upholding its values.
Each member of the board is carefully selected to ensure they are considered ‘Fit and Proper’ in accordance with the public interest governance principles set by the Office for Students. Raindance Film School’s governance arrangements are reviewed regularly and will draw from external input provided by our validating partner, De Montfort University, where necessary.
Zulfiqar Choudhry, Principal / CEO
Zulfiqar Choudhry has over 25 years of experience in developing and managing commercial and academic courses. He has played a key role in developing Raindance’s undergraduate programmes in close consultation with industry leaders, and will continue to oversee the overall development and coordination of HE courses. Zulfiqar obtained his QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) from UCL Institute of Education in 2005, and holds a BSc (Hon’s) in Computer Science, an MSc in E-Commerce, and an MA in Film with Distinction.
Philip Gambrill, CFO
Philip Gambrill is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience managing the financial affairs of media and high-tech companies, as well as the personal affairs of authors, actors and musicians. His firm, PG Lemon, operates four branches in London and the south east of England. As the co-founder of Raindance Educational Services Ltd., Philip is also the financial director of Raindance Film Partnership LLP. In addition to accounting, he is the executive producer of a number of films, including Deadly Virtues and Enemy of England.
Elliot Grove, Founder / Chair
Elliot Grove founded Raindance in 1992, followed by the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) in 1998. Elliot worked as a Scenic Artist on 68 feature films and over 700 commercials in his native Toronto before moving to London in 1986. He has produced five feature films and executive-produced over 700 short films. Elliot has published two published textbooks in film education, and was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by the Open University for his services to film education.
David Martinez, Raindance Film Festival Producer
Festival Producer of London’s Raindance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the UK with over 10 years of experience on events and film promotion. His previous experience includes working as a film programmer for Glastonbury Festival and events coordinator at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Master in Film as Mass Communications at the University of Leicester, David advocates for diversity and representation in film. He specializes on the promotion of Latin American and queer cinemas. His academic and professional experience in Mexico, US and UK ranges from advertising and marketing to film studies, with a focus on film promotion at festivals.
Sadie Frost, Independent Member
With over 30 years in the film, theatre and television industries, Sadie Frost is an established producer, actor, fashion designer and author. She has starred in films including Bram Stoker’s Dracula; TV dramas including “Uprising”; and she has worked with directors including Francis Ford Coppola and Paul W.S. Anderson.
In 1999, Sadie set up the production company Natural Nylon with fellow actors Jude Law, Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller, which went on to produce the SciFi/horror feature eXistenZ in 1999. The film was followed by Nora in 2000. She went on to co-produce the Angelina Jolie and Gwenyth Paltrow film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
In 2012, Sadie co-founded the production company Blonde to Black Pictures with producer and long-term friend Emma Comley. Dedicated to developing quality films whilst nurturing exciting new talent, the pair regularly work with debut directors including Ben Charles Edwards for Set the Thames on Fire and Tom Beard’s Two for Joy.
Patrick Vernon, Independent Member
Patrick is currently employed as a Head of School for Uxbridge College, and manages a team of 25 staff. Patrick’s school enrols over 500 students each year on courses from Levels 2 through 5. Patrick holds a PGCE, a BSc Degree in Applied Computing, and a MSc in Computer Animation.
Justin Shevlin, Staff Member
Justin Shevlin originally trained as an actor at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art (now Central School of Speech and Drama) and upon graduation joined the Royal Shakespeare Company under the Artistic Directorship of Adrian Noble. He is a freelance filmmaker and has directed viral adverts, music videos and corporate films for the advertising agency Blueprint-London.
Justin has taught at Raindance since 2018 and is the Director for Undergraduate Studies. He developed the BA (Hon’s) top-up programme, which is validated by De Montfort University.
Hilary Lombardi, Student Member
Hilary Lombardi joined the Acting pathway at Raindance in 2019 and is in her final year of the course. Previous to joining Raindance, Hilary worked as an actress in Italy and attended courses at the International School of Screen Acting after moving to London.
Orlando Bryant, Jr., Student Member
Orlando Bryant, Jr. first Joined Raindance to study the HND in filmmaking and follow his passion to become a director. After graduating from the HND, Orlando continued to make independent films and joined Raindance again in 2019 to study on the MA in film.
Orlando is currently in his final year of the course.