Beeban Kidron

Beeban Kidron
Born (1961-05-02) 2 May 1961
North London, England
Occupation Film director
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Lee Hall (m. 2003)[1][2]

Beeban Tania Kidron, Baroness Kidron, OBE (born 2 May 1961) is an English film director. She has directed an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Baroness Kidron is the joint founder of the education charity Filmclub, which helps schools with after-school clubs in the United Kingdom.

Early life and career

Kidron was born in North London to Nina and Michael Kidron. Michael's family were South African Jews who emigrated to Israel. Michael left Israel to attend Oxford University, where he became a Marxist.[3] He went on to teach economics, and Beeban spent several years living in Yorkshire while he taught at the University of Hull.

She first took up photography when she was given a camera by landscape photographer Fay Godwin during a period when she was unable to speak following a throat operation. Her photographs were spotted by photographer Eve Arnold, whom she worked for at the age of 16 for two years. Aged 20, Kidron enrolled at the prestigious National Film School as a camera woman. At the end of her three years of film school, Kidron switched to directing and stayed on for another year.

In 1983 she made her first documentary Carry Greenham Home with co-director Amanda Richardson. It was filmed during the year that they spent at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp during the anti nuclear protests. The film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and, to celebrate Greenham's 25th year anniversary, it was revived through The Guardian-backed website,

In 1988, she made her first feature film, Vroom, which starred Clive Owen in his debut film. The following year she came to greater prominence with her adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. This won three Baftas including best drama series/serial. Kidron also won an audience award at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. In 2010 The Guardian named Oranges the eighth best TV series of all time.

Following the success of Oranges, Kidron continued to work for the BBC, making TV feature film Antonia and Jane, distributed by Miramax in the USA, and a TV film, Itch. In 1992 Kidron moved to Hollywood to make Used People with Shirley MacLaine and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1993, she was hired to direct the feature film Unstrung Heroes, based on the eponymous memoir by Franz Lidz, but dropped out when the studio, Largo, put the film into turnaround.[4] That same year she returned to the UK to pair up with Winterson for the second time for the BBC film Great Moments in Aviation. Later that year she returned to the States to make Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns, a hard hitting documentary about the New York City sex industry.

In 1995, she made To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, a drag queen road movie starring Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze. It was while filming that she had her first child, Noah Kidron-Style, with then-partner Spencer Style. In 1997, she made Amy Foster (Swept from the Sea), starring Rachel Weisz and Ian McKellen. Her second child, Blaze Kidron-Style, was born in February 1997.

Over the next few years Kidron made a number of TV films both at home and abroad, including Cinderella, Texarkana and Murder, for which she was nominated for a second Bafta. In 2004 she directed in the Bridget Jones series, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

In 2007 she made a documentary about neighbor and friend, the sculptor Anthony Gormley. Beeban and her husband, playwright and author of Billy Elliot, Lee Hall, then began work on Hippie Hippie Shake, a film about the OZ magazine trials. The film was shot in 2009 with Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy; however Kidron and Hall left during post production citing artistic differences with the producers.

Kidron spent much of 2010 in Southern India researching and shooting a documentary on the Devadasi. Sex, Death and the Gods premiered on BBC 4 as part of the Storyville series. The documentary, which was supported by the charity EveryChild achieved critical success and high ratings while the plight of the Devadasi was widely publicized by the film. Beeban appeared on many shows including BBC World, Woman's Hour and Radio 5 Live. She also wrote articles and was interviewed by The Guardian, the Spectator and


Beeban Kidron started Filmclub in September 2006 with Lindsey Makie. Filmclub is an educational charity which sets up after-school film clubs in schools in England and Wales. The scheme is free to all state primary and secondary schools. The organisation was founded in September 2006, and after a successful pilot in 2007 launched by then Chancellor Gordon Brown, Filmclub officially launched across the country in June 2009.

Filmclub gives children from participating schools access to thousands of films and organises school visits by professionals from within the film industry. Pupils are encouraged to watch a diverse range of films including blockbusters, classics, black and white movies and foreign language titles, and to review the films they watch on the organisation's website ( The clubs are generally run by teachers or a similar education professional, but may also be led by older pupils, often from a school's 6th Form. The organisation is a charity, and is funded by the Department for Education, with the DVD rental service subsidized by LOVEFiLM.

Kidron was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University in 2010 for her contribution to education. She became a board member of the UK Film Council in 2008 with a mandate to provide film education. In March 2015, she was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award under the Social Driver category for her extensive work on Filmclub and the iRights Framework used to empower young people on the use of social media and the internet.[5] This was the first award she had won for her campaigning work.

Peerage and honour

Kidron was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[6][7]

On 25 June 2012, Kidron was created a life peer as Baroness Kidron, of Angel in the London Borough of Islington, and was introduced in the House of Lords the following day.[8] She was appointed on the recommendation of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and sits as a crossbencher.


Directed Year Production Company
InRealLife 2013 Studio Lambert
Sex, Death and the Gods 2011 BBC, Cross Street Films
Hippie Hippie Shake 2010 Universal, Working Title
Anthony Gormley: Making Space 2007 C4, Cross Street Films
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 2004 Universal, Working Title
Murder 2002 BBC
Cinderella 2000 C4
Texarkana 1998 Sacret, NBC
Swept from the Sea 1997 Sony, Tapson Steel
Eve Arnold in Retrospect 1996 BBC, Omnibus
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar 1995 Universal, Amblin
Great Moments in Aviation 1993 BBC, Miramax
Hookers Hustlers Pimps and Their Johns 1993 C4, Wonderland
Used People 1992 20th Century Fox, Largo
Itch 1991 C4, Chrysalis
Antonia and Jane 1991 BBC, Miramax
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit 1989 BBC, A&E
Vroom 1988 Film 4
Global Gamble 1985 Diverse, C4
Alex 1985 NFTS
Carry Greenham Home 1983 Contemporary Films, C4
Produced Date
Victoria and Abdul 2017
Sex Death and the Gods 2011
Antony Gormley: Making Space 2007
Amy Foster, Swept from the Sea 1997
Eve Arnold in Retrospect 1996
Cinematographer Date
Carry Greenham Home 1983
Sex, Death and the Gods 2011
Editor Date
Carry Greenham Home 1983
Thanks Date
An Education 2009

Awards and nominations

Film Result Award Category
Alex Won Lillian Gish Award 1983 Best Writer/Director
Carry Greenham Home Won Chicago International Film Awards Golden Hugo
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won BAFTA Best Drama
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Best Feature
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won GLAAD Outstanding TV movie
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won Cannes Film Festival FIPA D'argent
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Won Prix Italia Special Prize for fiction
Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar Nominated GLAAD Outstanding Film
Murder Nominated BAFTA Best Drama
Used People Nomination Golden Globes Marcello Mastroianni and Shirley MacLaine Best Actor/Actress
Murder Nominated BAFTA Best Drama
Murder Nominated Emmy Best TV Movie
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Won Evening Standard Readers Film of 2004
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Nominated Peoples Choice Award Best Comedy
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Nominated Peoples Choice Award Best Sequel
Bridget Jones, on the Edge of Reason Nominated Empire Award Best British Film
Hookers Hustlers Pimps and their Johns Won Erotic Awards Most Erotic British TV Show
NA Won Wifta Creative Originality Award 2010
NA Won Glamour Woman of the Year 2005
Thanks Date
An Education 2009


  1. Hawcock, Neville (January 14, 2011). "Beeban Kidron talks about her career". Financial Times.
  2. Barr, Gordon (15 October 2003). "Bridget's boys". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  3. Obituary for Michael Kidron, The Guardian, 27 March 2003.
  4. Producers will throw MGM 'Bone', Variety, April 15, 1993.
  5. "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60173. p. 10. 16 June 2012.
  7. "Kenneth Branagh knighted in Queen's Birthday Honours". BBC News. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  8. House of Lords Minutes of Proceedings for Tuesday 26 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.

External links

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