Directors UK has made two new appointments to spearhead its push for better working conditions and protection for members, with Paul Evans joining as Head of Industry Relations, and Niall Stewart as Public Affairs and Policy Manager.
As Head of Industry Relations, Evans will play a key role in leading the organisation’s work on pay and working conditions, ensuring it addresses the issues faced by members in relation to their engagement as a director.
Joining Directors UK from Bectu, Evans has spent 10 years working as a trade union official in the film and TV industry, helping to negotiate landmark industry working agreements. He has extensive experience advising on freelance employment matters including tax, personal negotiations and dealing with workplace conflict. Evans started his career in publishing before working as an advisor on audiovisual policy to an MEP. He also helped to establish a successful software development business specialising in membership services and representation.
Evans said: “Directors are at the heart of our industry. We look to them for artistic, creative and practical leadership and their voices have impact both on the individual productions they work on and in the wider industry. I believe we need more collective voices to articulate and drive a shared vision that will shape our industry for the better, and I’m excited to help Directors UK in developing their voice.”
Expanding the Directors UK communications team in the role of Public Affairs and Policy Manager, Niall Stewart will focus on lobbying government policy makers to introduce meaningful change in the way that creators’ rights are protected and regulated.
Stewart has worked across policy, public affairs and research for EGIC, Independent Film Trust, PACT, House of Lords and the European Parliament. Before entering the policy and public affairs field, Stewart worked for BBC Films, ITV, STV, Channel Four, Paramount Pictures, Grosvenor Films as well as a number of independent production companies. He was a senior member of the BBC History online team which won an Interactive BAFTA for Outstanding Factual Content.
Stewart said: “I’m excited to be working with Directors UK at this pivotal time for freelance creators. As the UK and international media landscape undergoes a massive change, fighting for directors’ copyright and creative rights in the places where change happens has never been so important.”
Andy Harrower, Directors UK CEO, added: “With many years of experience at Bectu, Paul Evans will strengthen the Directors UK team hugely. He will help us ensure that our partners in the UK television and film industry fully understand and value the role of the director. I can’t wait for Paul to get started.
“We are also strengthening our lobbying power with the appointment of Niall Stewart. Niall’s experience of UK politics and the creative industries will be vital as we seek to influence government policy on the issues that impact our members including maintaining a strong copyright regime; safeguarding public service broadcasting; and ensuring developments around AI support creators.”