Leslee Udwin

The Mirror Holder

Leslee Udwin is a filmmaker and producer. In 1986, Leslee faced a life-threatening experience at the hands of one of Britain’s most notorious criminal landlords. After fighting a long battle against him, and winning – setting a legal precedent in the UK High Court – she tried her hand at turning it into film, to serve as an inspiration to others. That resulted in ‘Sitting Targets’ on BBC Screen 2, which had considerable impact as a piece of campaigning television.

Leslee was then approached by the Birmingham Six Campaign Group to set up a film in their defence. She developed and produced the award-winning drama-documentary feature “Who Bombed Birmingham?” starring John Hurt. The film helped get the case of the six innocent men reopened and led to the release of ‘the Birminghjam Six’ (after 17 years of wrongful imprisonment). It also led then PM Margaret Thatcher to pronounce in parliament “We will not have trial by Television in this country!” Leslee went on to produce five feature films, including the BAFTA-winning East is East a comedy drama about cultural integration, and its sequel West is West (starring Om Puri). In 2015 Leslee was voted No. 2 in the NY Times ‘Most Impactful Woman of the Year’ list (after Hillary Clinton), won the Anna Lindh Human Rights Award in the Swedish Parliament, was voted ‘Global Hero’ by Safe Magazine and ‘Global Thinker’ by Foreign Policy. She and India’s Daughter have won 28 international awards.

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