Our Ambassadors support Into Film in many ways, from visiting young people in their schools and colleges, to supporting our annual events such as the Into Film Awards and the Into Film Festival. They hail from across the nations, and help us champion film and its use in education across all parts of the UK.
Our Ambassadors are made up of those actors and directors from the film and entertainment industry who have shown genuine interest in Into Film's work and would like to inspire a new generation of young people. We're delighted to have the passionate support of so many brilliantly talented people, and hope to continue bringing both more well-established and up-and-coming talent into the Into Film ranks.
We'd like to extend our thanks to all of our Ambassadors for everything they do for Into Film, and for the schools, teachers, parents and children that benefit from the Into Film offer.
"I am really excited and honoured to be a new Into Film Ambassador. I have been a huge admirer of Into Film's work for a long time and have seen the truly positive impact their work can have on children and young people's lives. I hope I can play a part in inspiring young people from all cultural and economic backgrounds to believe in both themselves and in their dreams".
Lashana made history as the first Black and female 007 in the latest Bond film, No Time to Die and was the winner of this year's EE BAFTA Rising Star Award. She can be seen next in Gina Prince-Bythewood's The Woman King, to be released in the UK on 4 October and in Matthew Warchus' Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical which opens both the London and Into Film Festivals and is released in the UK on 25 November. She will soon begin production on the Untitled Bob Marley biopic as the role of ‘Rita Marley' opposite Kingsley Ben-Adir.
"I went to the Westminster Academy with Into Film and saw first-hand the impact that all aspects of film can have on young people - the power to inspire, connect and expand our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. I absolutely loved the day, it was wonderful to meet so many young, galvanised people who were all keen to find out more about the film making process. I hope through being an Ambassador for Into Film I am able to help raise awareness of how film can contribute to their cultural and creative lives."
Eddie Redmayne is an Oscar®-winning English actor, who made his name with roles in films such as Les Misérables and My Week with Marilyn, and has gone on to be one of the most recognisable actors working today. He received huge critical acclaim for his role as Stephen Hawking in the moving biopic The Theory of Everything, and swept the board during award season, picking up the Oscar®, BAFTA®, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for his nuanced, engaging and hugely affecting performance. Now one of the most in-demand actors of his generation, Redmayne is currently best known for his role as Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
"Opening the door even further to the industry at home is something I've always felt extremely passionate about, so I am deeply honoured and proud to be a Northern Ireland ambassador for Into Film."
Thaddea Graham is a Northern Irish performer who starred in hit BBC3 drama Wreck, has appeared in BBC dramas Us and Doctor Who, and just finished filming the latest series of Sex Education.
"I hope to inspire and empower the next generation of writers, directors, producers, sound engineers or stunt coordinators with the knowledge that they too can help make Scotland's film industry a world leader."
Jack Lowden is one of the brightest acting talents to emerge from Scotland in recent years, starring in films such as Dunkirkand Fighting with My Family, and winning a Scottish BAFTA for his performance in crime thriller Calibre.
General Manager & EVP (Executive Vice President) of Lucasfilm
"Into Film is doing wonderful work with schools using film in education. The tools and programmes they provide inspire kids to tell their own stories and that is incredibly important. I am honored to become an Ambassador and I am looking forward to the opportunity to amplify the Into Film educational and career program. I hope I can play a part in encouraging all kids to pursue their interests in creative arts and technology and to dream big."
Lynwen Brennan was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales. She is General Manager and EVP of Lucasfilm, where she has worked for 20 years overseeing all businesses including Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. She is responsible for the development and execution of Lucasfilm's business strategy and implementation of the company vision. Lynwen oversees the Star Wars Franchise groups including Marketing and Integrated Planning, Games, Publishing and Consumer Products, Public Relations, Asset Management and Content Strategy. She also looks after Lucasfilm Studio operations, including Human Resources, Finance and Legal.
In 2016, Lynwen was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her contributions in support of the UK's visual effects industry. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Sir Kenneth Branagh
Director and Actor
"I'm delighted to be an Ambassador for Into Film in Northern Ireland, and keen to highlight what a wonderful resource it can be for young people in a country very close to my heart. I hope I can assist with promoting the education opportunities that Into Film provides in Northern Ireland, and getting as many young people as possible inspired by great films."
Sir Kenneth Branagh is a noted Shakespearean actor and director, and is a hugely experienced and influential member of the British film industry. From acting in films such as Hamlet, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Dunkirk, to directing features such as Thor, Cinderellaand Murder on the Orient Express, Sir Kenneth's film credentials over the past three decades speak for themselves. Born in Belfast, Sir Kenneth is a passionate supporter of Into Film Northern Ireland, and the work Into Film does in schools from disadvantaged areas.
"I am very honoured to be an Into Film Ambassador, and hope to inspire youngsters in Scotland, as well as to encourage fairer representation and gender equality within the film industry."
Katie Leung is a Scottish actress who famously starred as Cho Chang in the beloved Harry Potter franchise, and has garnered international recognition with critically acclaimed performances across film, television and theatre. Leung was recognised as a prestigious BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2014, and has had a hugely varied and exciting TV and theatre career, taking lead roles in BBC2's television drama miniseries One Child, Mia Chung's You For Me For You at The Royal Court Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Snow in Midsummer. She starred in ITV1 series White Dragon in 2018, and animated TV series Moominvalley in 2019. She has also appeared in several prominent films, including The Foreigner with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan.
"I have admired Into Film Cymru for some time now. The opportunities this charity offers for young people in Wales today and how it supports teachers to utilise film in order to engage and motivate all pupils is amazing. Becoming an ambassador of Into Film Cymru is an honour, and I will do all I can to support the team to maximise the power of film in realising the potential of the next generation, in each and every community across Wales."
Rhys Ifans was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1967. After attending youth acting schools at Theatr Clwyd, Mold, and training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he did a lot of stage work and appeared in many Welsh-language television shows such as the comedy Pobol y Chyff. His first film role was in the Swansea based film Twin Town and he gained international exposure with his supporting part in Notting Hill.
Since then he has taken on a hugely diverse and exciting range of film roles including Enduring Love, Mr. Nobody, The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 as well as lead roles in films like Danny Deckchair and Mr. Nice. He most recently took on the role of Dylan Thomas in Dominion, which documents the last days of the iconic poet's life and features in the soon to be released Official Secrets.
"It's a great honour to be an Into Film Ambassador. I believe strongly in helping the youth in any way possible. I love what this organisation does for pupils - so much so that I wish I could be young again because I never had Into Film growing up. This is a great opportunity for me to hopefully play a part in helping to inspire young people, particularly those who might find themselves lost for a bit, as I was."
Cornelius Walker is the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind Black Sheep - a 30 minute autobiographical film about his traumatic younger life in which he was subjected to racial violence and subsequently became part of a gang. He has since been working with young people - primarily with teenage boys who have fallen out of the educational system and become involved in violence and crime themselves.
Cornelius co-founded the collective Young Once Creative Forever, through which he's made films for the likes of Google, and his most recent film is the gone-viral drama Take Me.
"Films have educated me as much as school has. Through film young people can broaden their horizons, be inspired to recognise their potential and tell their own stories so the rest of the world may one day hear them. I think film can play a really important role in the development of children and young people. It can inspire and challenge. It can educate and inform."
Michael Sheen is a Welsh actor of stage and screen, who has starred in films as diverse as sci-fi adventure Passengers and historical epic Kingdom of Heaven. Sheen is known for his roles in biopics, starring as Tony Blair in several feature films, including The Queen, and as renowned football coach Sir Brian Clough in The Damned United. Sheen is also known for his charity work and is a passionate campaigner for several causes, particularly in regards to his home country of Wales.
"I am honoured and excited to be able to inspire a new generation of actors and filmmakers in the North West and across the UK on behalf of Into Film."
In a very short space of time, Ruby Barnhill has established herself as one of the best young actors working today. She rose to fame in 2016 when she was just twelve years old, as the star of Steven Spielberg's The BFG opposite Mark Rylance, and has since appeared in television series 4 O'Clock Club and as lead voice actor in Mary and the Witch's Flower. She is next to be heard lending her talents to another animation, Princess Emmy, where she will voice a young girl who can speak to horses.
"I wanted to support Into Film because to me, film is on a greater human level, it's educational and helps all kinds of people understand themselves and learn about the world around them. I also think it lends itself like no other medium to the education sector in the way it can inspire young people to learn in a modern and engaging way."
Matthew Rhys is an acclaimed Welsh actor of film and television, having starred in films such as Patagonia, The Edge of Love and The Post, and won an Emmy Award for his role in acclaimed TV series The Americans. Rhys has been Into Film Ambassador for Wales since 2015.
"I'm thrilled to be an Ambassador for Into Film. I find it incredibly rewarding to be part of an organisation that uses film to inspire, educate and motivate young people. Into Film has the ability to help set those involved on a journey of discovery, edification, creativity, storytelling and more, which I hold dear to my heart."
Naomie Harris is an English actress who featured in James Bond films Spectre and Skyfall, as well as Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar® for her role in Moonlight, one of the most significant films of recent years.
Actor, Director and Writer
"It's a very exciting time for film in Wales and I'm thrilled to be part of it and honoured to be made an Into Film Ambassador. The work Into Film achieves and delivers is very exciting and essential in developing new voices for Welsh Film, from the building of emotional literacy through their after school film clubs to the strengthening of self identities through their film making opportunities. I genuinely see this as an opportunity for me to plug straight into a creative mainframe of Welsh film."
Celyn Jones is a multi-talented actor, director and writer hailing from Holyhead, in North Wales, who works to support our work in Into Film Cymru. Jones played Swansea-born poet Dylan Thomas in the 2014 film Set Fire to the Stars, which he also co-wrote, and has starred in numerous television series. Jones is set to portray Winston Churchill in the upcoming true-life drama, Born a King.