Film producer, Nicola J. Ellis, is judging the 2022 Screenplay Award in the hope of finding scripts to option from screenwriters and produce their story.
Established in 1995, Nichola Ellis is the founder of THE LIGHTHOUSE COMPANY, an LA-based independent production company specializing in socially conscious films in a paradigm-shifting environment.
The company represents distinctive and original filmmaker voices from around the world to share their global stories through narrative films, documentaries and television series.
Lighthouse has spearheaded a number of award-winning films, including:
o Toyland (Germany) – Oscar Best Live Action Short
o Flying Back to the Earth (Lithuania) – DGA Award Outstanding Documentary
o The Ritchie Boys (Germany) – Oscar shortlist Best Documentary
o Vitus (Switzerland) – Oscar finalist Best Foreign Language & Satellite Award winner o Everyone Loves Alice (Sweden) – Satellite Award nominee
o Beat the Drum (South African/US production) – 31 Film Festival Awards
o Conspiracy of Silence (UK) – Winner, National Board of Review
Over the years, Nichola has worked with filmmakers from Scandinavia, East & West Europe, South America, South Africa, Asia and Australia as well as diverse countries as Kazakhstan and the Baltic States. Most recently, she was the US Consultant for the International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey.
As a producer’s rep, she regularly attends the major film festivals and markets around the world including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto and AFM negotiating with sales agents to license worldwide rights. Nichola has also been instrumental in securing US Distribution for films with Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia, Samuel Goldwyn and Sidney Kimmel and broadcast rights with major cable networks including HBO and Showtime.
Nichola was one of the first independent voices to recognize the power of film and the impact these stories can bring to worldwide audiences. Working with filmmakers who share her passion to reach global audiences, she was instrumental in launching “Cinema for Peace” in 2003 in Los Angeles with Dr. Deepak Chopra.
The following year along with Dr. Chopra raised 300,000 Euros at the “Cinema for Peace” black-tie ceremonies in Berlin at the historical Konzerthaus Concert Hall in the Gendarmenmarkt for UNICEF and amfAR.
Nichola began her career in London with Columbia Pictures at Columbia-EMI-Warner on the Royal Premiere of the Academy Award-winning film “Gandhi” directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, starring Sir Ben Kingsley. Her impressive resume features such iconic films as box office hits like “Tootsie” with Dustin Hoffman; “Ghostbusters,” starring Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver; “The Karate Kid” starring Ralph Macchio; Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Big Chill,” “Highlander” with Christophe Lambert in the title role; “Last Exit to Brooklyn” with Jennifer Jason Leigh; and Kevin Costner’s “Dances with Wolves” and “Field of Dreams.”
In 1990, Nichola moved to Los Angeles and worked with a number of prestigious independents as Castle Rock Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Largo Entertainment, and Spelling Films that included major international campaigns as “City Slickers,” “Misery,” “Malcolm X,” and “The Usual Suspects.” Independently, she has also worked with several prominent directors including Simon West (Con Air), Peter O’Fallon (Suicide Kings), Robert Duvall (The Apostle), and Kevin Reynolds (187).
She has toured extensively to China, Japan, India and the Himalayas with notable celebrities like Denzel Washington, Alec Baldwin, Barry Morrow, Shekhar Kapur and has been a guest-panellist on several European seminars and keynote presenter at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University.
She is also a long-standing member of BAFTA, SAG, Film Independent, AFI, IDA and EFA.