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The Baroness Kidron
Beeban Tania Kidron
2 May 1961
North London, England
|Alma mater||National Film School|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, campaigner|
|Parent(s)||Michael Kidron; Nina Kidron|
Beeban Tania Kidron, Baroness Kidron,(born 2 May 1961) is a British filmmaker and an advocate for children’s rights in the digital world.
Kidron is Chair of 5Rights Foundation, a charity that delivers children’s rights for young people online, and the joint founder of the education charity Into Film (previously FilmClub), which uses film to educate and inspire state school children aged 5-19.
Early life and education
Kidron was born in north London, to Nina and Michael Kidron. Her parents were the founders and proprietors of the independent publishing house Pluto Press, which started life from the laundry room of their family home. Michael's family were South African Jews who immigrated to Israel. Michael left Israel to attend Oxford University. He went on to teach economics, and the family 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 Kidron 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 anniversary, it was revived through The Guardian-backed website, www.yourgreenham.com.
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. 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 US, as well as Itch starring and co-written by Alexei Sayle for Channel 4's 4 Play anthology series. In 1992 Kidron moved to Hollywood to make Used People with Shirley MacLaine and Marcello Mastroianni. The following year she returned to the UK to pair up with Winterson for the BBC film Great Moments in Aviation starring Rachel Weisz and Ian McKellen, which was subsequently renamed Amy Forster by Mirimax CEO Harvey Weinstein. Later that year Kidron returned to the States to make Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns, a hard hitting documentary about the New York City sex industry.
The 1990s and early 2000s saw Kidron move between Hollywood, New York and London, making features, TV programmes and documentaries. In 1995, she made To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, a drag queen road movie starring Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze. 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 the second instalment of 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 neighbour and friend, the sculptor Antony Gormley. Kidron and her husband, playwright and author of Billy Elliot, Lee Hall, and 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.
In 2013 Kidron directed the documentary InRealLife, a co-production between Cross Street Films and Studio Lambert. The films explored teenagers and their relationship to the internet. It was this film that acted as a catalyst for her campaign work around children's rights in the online world.
Following a period away from feature films, Kidron produced the Stephen Frears-directed Victoria & Abdul, which was released in 2017. It was the first feature film produced by Cross Street Films, and starred Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar was rereleased in 2019 and was named by the New York Times as on the top ten comdies on Netflix.
Filmclub and Into Film
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 (www.filmclub.org). 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.
In 2013, Filmclub merged with First Light to become the film-based charity, Into Film. As well as running film clubs in schools, Into Film runs a youth film festival and youth film awards.
Peerage and honour
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. She was appointed on the recommendation of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and sits as a crossbencher.
From 2019 to present, Kidron sits on the House of Lords Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee, having previously been on the Lords Communications Select Committee and contributed to the 2017 House of Lords "Growing up with the Internet" report. as well as reports; “BBC Charter Renewal: Reith Not Revolution” (2016), “A Privatised Future for Channel 4?” (2016), “Skills for Theatre: Developing the Pipeline of Talent” (2017), “UK Advertising in a Digital Age” (2018), “Regulating in a Digital World” (2019) and “Public Service Broadcasting: As Vital as Ever” (2019).
5Rights Foundation and youth advocacy
Kidron is the Founder and Chair of 5Rights Foundation, an organisation she established in 2013 to promote the rights of children online. At the launch she described it as a civil society initiative that aims to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people. 5Rights signatories include Unicef, the NSPCC and Barclays bank. Starting out as the iRights campaign, in 2018 it was formally registered as a charity formally constituted as The 5Rights Foundation.
5 Rights Foundation states that its mission is to build the digital world children and young people deserve. It develops policy, regulation and innovative approaches to digital issues on behalf of children and young people, working with an interdisciplinary network of experts. 5Rights has pioneered a range of international policies and programmes, such as; developing Child Online Protection Policy for the Government of Rwanda; contributing to the creation of a General Comment (codicil) on the digital world, to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); and working in partnership with IEEE Standards to create Universal Standards for Children and for Digital Services and Products.
Kidron is also a member of the UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, a UN commission set up to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals;, a member of the Global Council for Extended Intelligence; a member of the UNICEF Artificial Intelligence and Child Rights policy guidance group; and sat on the WeProtect Child Dignity Alliance Technical Working Group.
Age Appropriate Design Code
Kidron, gaining cross-party support, introduced an amendment to The Data Protection Act 2018 that gave effect to the requirement to offer children specific data protection. That amendment became section 123 of the Act and required the Information Commissioner to introduce an Age Appropriate Design Code to set data protection standards that protect children by making online services ‘age appropriate’. When a draft Age Appropriate Design Code was put forward by the Information Commissioner in January 2020, Baroness Kidron stated “Children and their parents have long been left with all of the responsibility but no control. Meanwhile, the tech sector has, against all rationale, been left with all the control but no responsibility. The Code will change this. It is the first piece of regulation anywhere in the world to explicitly prevent children’s data being exploited in ways that undermine their safety and wellbeing.” The Code will apply to all online services ‘likely to be accessed’ by a child, and requires such services to have regard to the different needs of children at different stages of their development and the UK’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In June 2020, the UK Government laid the Code before parliament making it the first piece of legislation of its kind and in doing so establishing that data protection is a powerful tool for delivering a better experience for children online.
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. Following the dissolution of the Film Council, she became a governor of the BFI. 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. This was the first award she had won for her campaigning work.
Kidron was a member of the Joint Arts Council England and Durham University Commission on Creativity and Education from 2018, is a patron of Law Action Worldwide and was previously was a member of the Royal Foundation’s Taskforce for the Prevention of Cyberbullying, chaired by HRH Duke of Cambridge. She is a frequent speaker and contributor on all aspects of children’s digital interactions and the need for human-centred system design. From 2016 to 2019 Kidron was a visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford University. Kidron was a member of the Growing Up Digital Taskforce for the Children's Commissioner's Growing Up Digital report in 2017.
|Victoria & Abdul||2017|
|InRealLife||2013||Studio Lambert||Documentary film|
|Sex, Death and the Gods||2011||BBC, Cross Street Films||series documentary|
|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|
|Texarkana||1998||Sacret, NBC||TV movie|
|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||Documentary film|
|Used People||1992||20th Century Fox, Largo|
|4 Play||1991||C4, Chrysalis||Episode: Itch|
|Antonia and Jane||1991||BBC, Miramax|
|Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||1989||BBC, A&E|
|Global Gamble||1985||Diverse, C4|
|Carry Greenham Home||1983||Contemporary Films, C4|
Awards and nominations
|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||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama Series|
|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||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama|
|Used People||Nominated||Golden Globes||Marcello Mastroianni and Shirley MacLaine Best Actor/Actress|
|Murder||Nominated||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama Serial|
|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|
|Herself||Won||WFTV UK Awards||Creative Originality Award 2010|
|Herself||Won||Glamour||Woman of the Year 2005|
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