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Oscar Winning Director Chris Overton Joins Annex

Production Company
London, UK
Chris made his directorial debut with The Silent Child, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film

Born and raised in Cannock, Staffordshire in the West Midlands Chris’ film career began as an actor (aged eight) and he worked on various television and film projects with directors including Joel Schumacher and Roman Polanski. He also played a lead role in the BAFTA Award-winning film Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus.

He made his directorial debut with The Silent Child, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. He won Best Director at The River Bend Film Festival and the film has won over 50 international awards around the world.

His debut commercial in the UK for the hugely successful Huawei Story Sign Christmas campaign. (FCB Inferno), won seven Lions at Cannes in 2019 (four of which were Gold), eight One Show awards, three D&ADs and a Grand Prix at Eurobest.  

Like many directors, Chris’ love of filmmaking started in his early teens as a way of entertaining himself and his friends, keeping them out of trouble, but it eventually built into a passion. Being an actor gave him an enviable access to film sets and all that could be learned from watching the whole filmmaking process. “Also, being an actor from such a young age really helped me understand and empathise with actors. I love working with them. I guess that’s my forte (If I have one). Because I’ve done it, I’ve experienced it and I’ve actually been through the process. I’ve now been an actor for over 20 years, so that experience is invaluable for me as a director”.

He really found his voice directing The Silent Child. “I met my now wife Rachel Shenton and she had this idea for a script about a deaf child born to a hearing family. I told her that she had to write it. A few weeks later she presented me with The Silent Child. I think it was reading that script. Something quite literally changed in me. It was like someone lit a fire in my belly. I could picture it all in my head and I just knew that I had to tell it. So, before then I had directed bits and pieces, but I hadn’t really grabbed the bull by the horns.”

Chris’ most recent film Leader is making waves on the festival circuit. Shot entirely on a mobile phone, Leader is the story of Donnie, who lives on his own in a very remote area by the sea. He creates sculptures from ocean waste, until one day the tide changes and he inspires a new normal. The project came about when Xiaomi Studios approached Chris to create a poignant short film that would be shot on their latest phone the Xiaomi Mi 11.

Chris’ new short In Too Deep has just finished in post-production and is set to start its festival run.

“Chris has a wonderful ability to elicit subtle, nuanced performances from his cast and we are delighted to be signing him.  We can’t wait to begin working with him” Basil Stephens executive producer and head of stuff – Annex.