Neil Monaghan - Writer and Director

Neil is a writer and director, working in both theatre and film.  As a playwright, he was commissioned by Alan Ayckbourn four times for plays staged at his theatre, the Stephen Joseph.  His play ‘100’ won a fringe first before a sell-out West End run.  It is published by Nick Hern Books.  His controversial play ‘Eye Contact’ starred Kelly Brook and made front page news with its uncompromising look at the table dancing industry.

Neil wrote the film ‘Made in Romania’ starring Jason Flemyng, Jennifer Tilly, Danny Huston and Elizabeth Hurley.  He has three other scripts currently under option and one in pre-production.

Neil also has experience in politics, having worked on three general election campaigns.  He worked aboard John Prescott’s battle bus making short films and writing a blog about the campaign trail.  He was even there for the famous punch up in Rhyl.

Visit Neil Monaghan Film here.

Photograph - Elene Hadjidaniel

Jon-Paul Gates - Producer on Election Night

Jon-Paul has starred in over 80 Film & TV productions, as well as having produced 10 movies.  Jon-Paul got his first break starring as Allan Hindle in the BBC soap Eldorado. After various short films and the Channel 4 series Focus North, he starred in his first feature film Cold Fish in 1999 as the lead.

In 2001, he secured lead roles in Palm Tree's The Hawk & the Dove, and played the antagonist 'Ida' in Winter Warrior. From 2002 to 2006, he accumulated more films in Europe, including The Prodigal, Red Rose and Axe Raiders, before trying his luck in the USA. After getting his big break in vampire flick Revamped, he starred in The Asylum’s Dragon, Beyond The Ring with Gary Busey, and Danny Trejo in Dark Games.

Other credits include Messages with Jeff Fahey and Martin Kove, Carmen’s Kiss with Hugo Speer, Tales of the Supernatural  with Bruce Payne, USA hit Casting Couch, Essex Boys: Retribution, and Believe with Brian Cox.  Recently, Gates has been seen in the Haunted/Ghosts franchise, Kicking Off, I am Hooligan, Invasion Earth, and Borstal, all of which have been released in all major UK retailers; HMV, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury & Morrisons.

Darren Ripley - Producer on Two Wrongs

Darren has been heavily involved in the film industry since his directorial debut Tragic Irony in 1997. The 16mm feature, which he co-produced, wrote and starred in, was a gangster thriller in the vein of Pulp Fiction. Made for just £6,000, it was sold to sales agents Cine Electra.
His second film as director, the black comedy short Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, starred Richard Harrington (Spooks, Lark Rise To Candelford) as a funeral director with a morbid plan on how to increase turnover. The short was funded and produced by ITV Wales’ Big Little Pictures scheme with the Welsh film agency, Sgrin.

Darren’s third film was zombie thriller The Gatekeeper, starring Tim Downie (The King’s Speech, Hollyoaks) and Craig Kelly (Waking The Dead, Coronation Street). Darren also developed a hard-hitting, Sopranos-esque series Local Boys for ITV Wales. Darren produced two further shorts, The Boxer (2009) and Wilderness (2010) before returning to the other side of the camera to star in The Stranger opposite Rachel McDowell (Mamma Mia, Quantum Of Solace).

As well as writing The Smoke, he also co-produced the film and played the supporting role of the hitman Phil alongside Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Stephen Marcus and Snatch’s Alan Ford. Darren is currently in development on four features: comedy caper Taff’s Gold, heist movie Going Straight, horror thriller Shadow Valley and film industry mockumentary The Director’s Cut