Bee is a photographer, specializing in portraits, but she has also had many years experience in film stills, theatre front-of-house and reportage. She has worked as a script reader, film researcher and writer, and produced The Cement Garden, the award-winning film based on Ian McEwan's novel. After the death of her son Anno, Bee set up the charity in partnership with his father Andrew Birkin and has been running it since its inception in 2006. Bee is the director of ANNO'S AFRICA, responsible for policy, the practical running of the workshops in Kenya, and for fund-raising events in the UK.
Andrew is a feature film and television screenwriter and director. His many credits include The Final Conflict, The Name of the Rose, Joan of Arc, Perfume, and The Lost Boys television trilogy for the BBC about the author J M Barrie, which won him the Royal Television Society's Writer's Award. He wrote and directed the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel The Cement Garden, which won him Best Director at the 1993 Berlin Film Festival, and Sredni Vashtar, which won a BAFTA award and an Oscar nomination. He is also the author of J M Barrie & The Lost Boys. Andrew has five children, one of whom is Anno.
Allan Corduner is an accomplished actor, whose TV work include The Way We Live Now, Fat Friends and Whistleblowers. On film he is best remembered as Sir Arthur Sullivan in Mike Leigh's award-winning Topsy Turvy, and most recently appeared inDefiance with Daniel Craig. Another highly acclaimed collaboration with Mike Leigh was Two Thousand Years at the National Theatre. Before that, Allan had already enjoyed success with Caryl Churchill's Serious Money both in London's West End and on Broadway, and in the musical Titanic, again on Broadway. He has just finished playing Alfieri in a hit West End run of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. Allan is also a very skilful pianist, and, as his roles in Topsy Turvy and Titanic testify, music is very close to his heart; just as much as storytelling through plays and poetry, he believes music can be a great healer and a powerful tool with which to educate young people.
Emma is a film and TV screenwriter, whose credits include BBC1's Jamaica Inn; the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated The White Queen; Sky's The Tunnel; C4's Shameless; original BBC film Consuming Passion; and Bush Theatre play Airsick. Prior to becoming a writer, Emma trained as an fine artist and spent several years working in theatre design and programming. In addition to being a trustee, Emma has taught in Africa on the Theatre Studies programme, teaching mask and costume making, as well as theatre set and prop design. Additionally Emma helps with the day-to-day running of the charity, dealing particularly with policy, publicity, events and fundraising.
Sarah is a London based artist and designer whose passion for Africa flows from time spent living there during her childhood. This is evident across the diverse range of her artwork, from rich warm colours to nature inspired imagery. Her design for the Anno’s Africa logo combines this and the ambition is the colourful red acacia tree logo is instantly recognised as a symbol of optimism and creativity reflected in the Anno’s Africa ethos. Sarah’s journey into the wonderful world of social media began when, five years ago, the teenage daughters of friends set up a twitter account for her for fun at a New Year’s Eve party. She soon recognised its extraordinary potential and now delights in her unofficial title as ‘Head of Social Media’ at Anno’s Africa.
Hayley began her acting career at the age of 12 & became one of the world's biggest movie stars. She was awarded an honorary Academy Award for her performance in Pollyanna, before going on to make six movies for Walt Disney, including family classic The Parent Trap. There followed a career in theatre, starting with Peter Pan and going on to such classics as The Importance of Being Ernest &The Three Sisters. Hayley is the daughter of screen legend John Mills, with whom she acted in numerous films including her screen debut Tiger Bay. In 1963 she starred as Kathy in Whistle Down the Wind, based on the novel by her mother, Mary Hayley Bell. Hayley has a special connection to Kenya after filming the TV series Flame Trees of Thika there in 1980 and more recently the ITV family drama Wild at Heart.
Deepak is a barrister at Fountains Court Chambers, a leading set of chambers in the Temple where he specialises in various types of commercial disputes. He is also a trustee-elect of the University House Legal Advice Centre in Bethnal Green London.
Louise is a television journalist with a particular interest in foreign affairs. She has produced and executive produced BAFTA, Emmy & Grierson award winning programmes for both US and UK Broadcasters. She has travelled widely & filmed with children all over the world - many of them in distressing circumstances. She is involved in Anno's Africa because she is swept away be Bee's vision that every child should be given the opportunity to shine & realise their creativity and self worth.
Sarah co-founded the film company Working Title in 1984 with Tim Bevan, and whilst there produced several films including My Beautiful Laundrette, Wish You Were Here and A World Apart. In 1993 she left to pursue a more independent career and set up her own company, Sarah Radclyffe Productions. Since then she has produced or executive produced, amongst others,Second Best, Cousin Bette, Les Miserables, The War Zone, Ratcatcher, There's Only One Jimmy Grimble, Love's Brother, How About You, The Edge of Love and the forthcoming Cirque du Freak. Sarah served on the board of Channel 4 and the BFI between 1997 and 1999 and the UK Film Council from 1999 to 2004. She is really looking forward to being actively involved in ANNO'S AFRICA and, having two teenage sons, relishes the opportunity of getting their generation involved in such an exciting venture.
Karen is a director of Sweet Talk Productions. She began her career in Theatre PR before joining BBC Radio Drama to work in casting and promotions. She left the BBC in 1997 to become a freelance producer, making documentaries, drama and comedy for Radios 4 and 5 and through the Radio Drama Department, BBC Bristol and Pier Productions in Brighton, for whom she also freelanced as development executive between 1998 and 2000. In 2001 she launched her own independent company, Sweet Talk Productions and has supplied drama, readings, comedy and documentaries to the BBC Radio's 3, 4, 5 and World Service since 2002 . Karen became aware of ANNO'S AFRICA whilst making a drama documentary for BBC Radio 4 which interwove the stories of writer J M Barrie and Anno Birkin, the son of Bee Gilbert and Andrew Birkin. She followed it up with a second drama documentary, based on the experiences of Billy Scherer (Anno's great friend and sole survivor of their band KjD) and Lulu, a teenager from the Mathare Slum, who came together to run music workshops for a seven week creative programme, set up in Anno's name for the kids of the Majengo slum in Nairobi.
Ian taught in inner city comprehensives for twenty years before working as the G&T Strand Coordinator at the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster in 2000. London Gifted & Talented, originally part of the London Challenge, was formed by Ian from a consortium of leading Local Authorities and Higher Educational Institutions across the capital in 2002. It has tackled issues of disadvantage across the city since then, directly working with well over 3,000 schools and 9,000 teachers across 33 London Boroughs, nationally and internationally. More than 150,000 educators worldwide have used LGT’s e resources. Ian’s chief areas of interest are more able education, disadvantaged and underachieving students, professional development and independent state school partnerships. Ian has published extensively in the field of education with books, articles and chapters in national and international educational journals. He has written worldwide collaborative research papers, and spoken at national and international conferences. He is consultant editor for Gifted Education International, and has written e-learning and face-to-face modules for LGT and many worldwide organisations.
Anna Nygh L.I.S.T.D.
Anna was born in Holland and grew up in Sydney, Australia. She began ballet at the age of five and subsequently became a ballet teacher when she received her Associate Teachers Qualification. In 1971, she came to London and worked for Vaccani School of Ballet, where she completed her final qualification, receiving a Licentiate of the Institute of Teachers of Dancing. In 1973, Anna became an actress, enjoying a thirty-eight year career in theatre, film and television. More recently, she completed a three-year course to become a Shiatsu practitioner and has studied the anatomy of movement intensively. In 2006 Anna joined the very first arts programme for Anno’s Africa, teaching RAD ballet in the slums of Nairobi and has headed the dance programme ever since
Owen is a freelance theatre and comedy director. His show Eric and Little Ern, about Morecambe & Wise, was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2014. The show played at the Vaudeville and St James theatres in London’s West End and toured nationally. His Downton Abbey satire The Only Way Is Downton, starring the insanely talented Luke Kempner, played at the Trafalgar Studios and Ambassadors Theatre in the West End and toured extensively across Britain. It has recently finished a US tour under the name America’s Got Downton. Other recent work includes Grumpy Old Women – 50 Shades of Beige (national tour); Suggs: My Life In Words And Music (Garrick Theatre, London & national tour); This Is Ceilidh (Assembly Spiegeltent, Edinburgh); Joe Stilgoe: Songs On Film (Assembly, Edinburgh); and the musical comedy Harri Parris: The Big Day (Chapter, Cardiff & Welsh tour). Owen has also just finished recording the Harri Parris as a radio sitcom for BBC Wales.