About History

Academy Films is a world-renowned film production company, creating commercials, music videos, short films, digital content, art installations and feature films. The company was set up some 30 years ago by Lizie Gower. Some of the world’s finest directing talent can be found within the Academy roster.

The founding philosophy of Academy was to nurture and develop emerging young talent and this approach has led to the company’s well established reputation for launching stars of the future. Directors Martin De Thurah, Seb Edwards, Jonathan Glazer, Frederic Planchon and Si & Ad all signed to Academy at the beginning of their careers and continue to shoot award-winning work for clients like Adidas, Audi, Guinness, Honda, Levis, Nike and Stella Artois.

Academy has won every major award in the industry, and were presented with a special Black Pencil as the Third Most Awarded Production Company in the World by D&AD at their prestigious 50th Anniversary Show. At the end of both 2014 and 2016 Campaign Magazine named Academy ‘Production Company of the Year’.

The company produced what is widely regarded as the best commercial ever made, ‘Surfer’ for Guinness. The film won 2 D&AD Black Pencils and ‘Commercial of the Year’ at almost every award show. The Times voted ‘Surfer’ as The Most Iconic Ad of all time and the film continues to top ad polls inside and outside the industry.

In 2000, Academy’s Jonathan Glazer made his debut feature film, ‘Sexy Beast’ starring Ray Winstone and Sir Ben Kingsley. The film won Kingsley an Oscar nomination and received critical acclaim. Academy then went on to produce ‘Birth’, again directed by Glazer and produced by Lizie Gower and Nick Morris. The film starred Nicole Kidman and Lauren Bacall. Glazer’s third feature, ‘Under The Skin’ starred Scarlett Johansson and was hailed by critics as a ‘landmark in filmmaking’.

Academy have won MVAs and MTV Awards including The Icon Award (for both Jonathan Glazer and Walter Stern), Production Company of the Year, Best Director, Best Producer, Music Video of the Year, the Young Director Award and more. The company have produced music videos for some of the the world’s most iconic music talent including Beyonce, David Bowie, Kanye West, Jack White, Madonna, James Blake, Massive Attack, Jay-Z, The Prodigy, and Radiohead.

In addition, Jonathan Glazer & Lizie Gower have both won Lifetime Achievement Awards for their outstanding contributions to the Advertising and Music Video industries.

In 2018, Medb Riordan joined Simon Cooper as joint Managing Director to continue building on Academy’s heritage of launching stars of the future. With VR projects, feature films, social content and short form television series all in development, Academy continue to be at the forefront of cutting edge technology and emerging platforms.