MJ Bassett appeared at a previous festival. View this year's speakers here.

MJ Bassett

Screenwriter & Director
MJ Bassett headshot

As a teenager in the UK, MJ’s career started as a wildlife photographer and documentary maker, subsequently becoming an on-camera host of various nature and science programs before writing and directing the feature film Deathwatch.  Starring Jamie Bell, Matthew Rhys and Andy Serkis it was an original horror movie set in the trenches of World War

Following the success of Deathwatch, MJ directed the horror feature Wilderness with Toby Kebbell and Sean Pertwee, and then adapted and directed the heroic fantasy adventure Solomon Kane, starring James Purefoy, Max Von Sydow and Pete Postlethwaite based on the classic fantasy novellas by ‘Conan’ creator Robert E. Howard.  MJ followed that with the video game adaptation Silent Hill: Revelation, shot in 3D and starring Sean Bean, Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harrington and producer by Samuel Hadida.

In 2013, MJ began directing in television. Initially guest directing episodes of the Cinemax/HBO/Sky action show Strike Back before becoming lead director, a writer, co-producer and finally executive producer of the next 3 seasons before it’s cancellation in 2015. As the shows’ most prolific director MJ pushed the action, scale and intensity beyond any other show of its kind on TV. MJ was then given an exclusive deal at STARZ, directing on the hit drama Power and also Ash vs Evil Dead (once again writing and co-exec producing) as well as delivering a script for an action-comedy pilot.  But after a year off air, in 2016, Strike Back was recommissioned and MJ was asked to return as executive producer and director for the reboot with an entirely new cast.

Additional television credits include such shows as Iron Fist for Marvel/Netflix, Nightflyers, based on the George R.R. Martin novel for Syfy with Doug Liman’s ‘Hypnotic’ productions, The Player, starring Phil Winchester and Wesley Snipes for NBC and Taken, again for NBC with Europacorp.

MJ was born, and still lives part time, in Shropshire, England.  Coming out as transgender in 2016 she is currently spending a great deal of time shooting on locations around the world and divides her time between England and Los Angeles which she intends to eventually make a home base.

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