March 7, 2023

The F-Rated Podcast

Listen to the F-Rated Podcast HERE

Join us for intersectional F-eminist chat with remarkable women in film from director Amma Asante to multi-award winning composer Nainita Desai. Hosted by F-Rated founder, Holly Tarquini and BBC World Service presenter, journalist Anu Anand exploring all aspects of the film industry by talking to some of the brilliant British women who shape the stories we see on screen.

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Released on International Women’s Day 2023 – of course and featuring Buffy the dog (of course she’s called Buffy!).

Holly Tarquini began her career in television, spending over a decade in London as a Producer/Director of documentaries and unscripted programmes and series. 

After setting up and running a guest-house for yoga students in India, she moved to the West Country. The multi-tasking skills gleaned in broadcast media combined with the haggling and negotiation talents honed in India proved a winning combination for running a film festival and since 2011 she has been increasing the profile of FilmBath – previously Bath Film Festival – quadrupling the turn over and gaining international recognition.

In 2014, Holly founded this, the F-Rating, a F-eminist film rating highlighting films written and/or directed by women. The F-Rating has since been adopted by over 100 cinemas and film festivals in the UK including the Barbican, The Irish Film Institue and IMDb.

Anu Anand is a BBC World Service anchor/presenter with 22 years experience in international news and current affairs. Anu has worked all over the world, reporting major stories like the death of Mother Theresa, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Nepal’s devastating earthquakes in 2014 and several Indian elections.

She was based in New Delhi for 8 years covering the country’s epic economic and social changes.

She has also worked for APTN, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Al Jazeera English and Marketplace, launching the global edition of Marketplace Morning Report from the BBC World Service in 2017.


Rebecca O’Brien has been an independent film producer for thirty five years. Prior to becoming a producer she worked her way up through the industry in various production roles including location manager on MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (1985) and production manager on some early Channel 4 films.

She has produced fourteen feature films directed by Ken Loach, including LAND AND FREEDOM (European Film Awards winner, 1995), SWEET SIXTEEN (European Critics’ Award 2002 – Prix FIPRESCI), MY NAME IS JOE (1998) and LOOKING FOR ERIC (2009). In 2006 THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY and in 2016 I, DANIEL BLAKE won the Palme d’Or in Cannes. THE ANGELS’ SHARE (2012) won the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes. She also produced Ken Loach’s acclaimed archive documentary THE SPIRIT OF ’45 (2013), an essay on the moment, immediately post-war, when Britain elected its first socialist government and introduced the National Health Service, the Welfare State and nationalized key industries.

She has also produced a number of films by other directors including BEAN (Mel Smith, 1996) and PRINCESA (Henrique Goldman, 2001). Rebecca O’Brien is currently a member of the UK Film Industry Training Board and the British Screen Advisory Council. She runs the production company Sixteen Films with Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty.


Helen O’Hara has been working as a film journalist for over fifteen years, after qualifying as a barrister and immediately getting bored. She started her film writing career on the staff of Empire, the world’s biggest film magazine, and remains their editor-at-large and co-host of the Empire podcast, where she can be found weekly singing the praises of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and complaining about La La Land. She is also the author of Women Vs Hollywood, “A call to arms from Empire magazine’s ‘geek queen’, Helen O’Hara, that explores women’s roles – both in front of and behind the camera – since the birth of Hollywood, how those roles are reflected within wider society and what we can do to level the playing field.”


Weaving the world around her into intricate stories, Sarah’s many short films have screened internationally and won major awards. Her BAFTA-nominated directorial debut, Brick Lane, earned her The Alfred Dunhill Talent Award at the London Film Festival. Sarah went on to direct, Suffragette, featuring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw. Her first full length drama, the Dennis Potter Award-winning, This Little Life for BBC TV, earned her the TV BAFTA for Best New Director, Best Newcomer by the Royal Television Society and Women in Film and TV Awards, as well as a nomination for the Douglas Hickox award for Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards. Sarah’s latest film, Rocks, premiered at TIFF and garnered two BAFTAs wins and eight nominations.


Gaby Chiappe is an experienced TV writer. She has written extensively for long-running series such as Family Affairs, Doctors, EastEnders, Casualty, Survivors and many more. She also wrote for the series Lark Rise to Candleford, Shetland, Vera and created and wrote (with Alexander Perrin) the series The Level for ITV and more recently The Beast Must Die for BritBox.

Gaby’s first feature film was Their Finest (Triple F-Rated, directed by Lone Scherfig), premiered at the London Film Festival it follows a former secretary, played by Gemma Arterton who is newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films and joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them. Her next was Misbehaviour (also Triple F-Rated and directed by Philippa Lowthorpe) which tells the stories of both the women who disrupted the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London – and the competition including the first ever Black Miss World winner.

Apologies for the recording quality – this was a lockdown recording and we had a microphone issue.


Amma Asante MBE is a multi-award winning writer and director who won a BAFTA for her first film, A Way of Life (2004). This made Amma the first Black director to win a BAFTA Film Award for writing and directing a feature film. The film went on to garner 17 additional awards worldwide, including FIPRESCI, and Grand Jury prizes.

Her follow up movie, Belle (2013) drew widespread critical acclaim, going on to become one of the highest grossing independent films of the year and saw Amma named one of CNN’s Leading Women of 2014, as well as being named by Variety as one of their 10 Directors to watch.

In 2016, A United Kingdom, (2016) directed by Amma for Pathé and Fox Searchlight US, was released and its European Premiere saw Amma celebrated as the first Black director to open the BFI London Film Festival in its 60 year history.

In 2017, Amma was named an MBE by Queen Elizabeth in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list, for Services to Film as a Writer and Director. She is a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, has twice been elected to the council of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Amma was so great – and so interesting that we split her in two see episode 12 for more.


RTS award winning composer Nainita Desai is a World Soundtrack Awards, Ivor Novello, BIFA and Cinema Eye Honors nominee; a Bafta Breakthrough Brit, and the IFMCA Breakthrough Composer of the Year. Amongst various Bafta, Oscar and Emmy acclaimed productions, Nainita’s recent projects include Oscar 2020 nominated and Bafta & Cannes winning feature doc For Sama, Sundance 2020 winning feature The Reason I Jump, Bad Boy Billionaires (No1 Netflix series in India), American Murder Netflix’s most watched documentary to date, BBC drama series Unprecedented (James Norton, Olivia Williams, Gemma Arterton), and Interactive game / video game Telling Lies, the acclaimed release by Annapurna Interactive. Film4 recently labeled her as one of the top 5 ‘composers of 2020 who should be on your radar’.


Philippa Lowthorpe is a three times Bafta winning TV and Film Director.

She became the first woman to win a Bafta for Best Director at the Bafta Television Awards in 2013. She was awarded her second directing BAFTA in 2018 for Three Girls, the highly acclaimed and multi award-winning TV Series which won 5 Baftas in total.

She was lead director of the first series of “Call The Midwife”, which became an immediate hit, gaining the highest viewing figures of any BBC show for the previous 10 years.

Philippa was born in Yorkshire and grew up in Lincolnshire. She began as a documentary maker before moving into drama.

She is known for The Third Day (2020), Misbehaviour (2020), The Crown (2017), Three Girls ( 2017)


Released on 27 April 2023

Multi-award winning editor, Úna Ní Dhonghaíle ACE, BFE is best known for her work on The Crown, Misbehaviour, Three Girls and Stan and Ollie. She has worked on the leading lights of British drama in what some are calling “The Golden Age of Television”. Having completed a degree in Film and Media Studies in her native Dublin, Úna specialized in film editing at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) from 1995-1998.

Úna has since gone from strength to strength, earning her first of four BAFTA nominations in 2009 for the Abi Morgan’s TV feature White Girl. She has edited three episodes of the Netflix multi-award winning show, The Crown Series 1 and 2, starring Claire Foy and John Lithgow, Kenneth Brannagh’s Wallander, BBC’s Les Misérables, Doctor Who, Ripper Street and The Missing Series 1, amongst others. Over a five year period, she co-directed and edited a documentary Invisible Man, for which she won the 2016 IFTA for Best Editing in Television. Úna has also received much recognition for her editing of the highly acclaimed BBC drama Three Girls, for which she has won the BAFTA award for Best Fiction Editing, the Technicolor Craft Award from Women In Film UK, the IFTA for Best Editing, the RTS Award for Best Editing of Fiction, the RTS West of England Award for Editing and the Televisual British Bulldog Award for Editing.

Úna has edited Stan and Ollie starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly, directed by Jon S Baird and Rosie, directed by Paddy Breathnach and written by Roddy Doyle and Sir Kenneth Branagh’s All Is True, starring Ken Branagh, Judi Dench and Ian McKellan and most recently, Misbehaviour with Philippa Lowthorpe directing. Úna also edited Death On The Nile with Sir Kenneth Branagh.


Released on 4 May 2023

Briony Hanson is British Council’s Director of Film, responsible for promoting UK film internationally. Previously she directed The Script Factory training organisation, headed both Tyneside Cinema and the BFI Programme Unit, and co-programmed London’s LGBTIQ+ Film Festival.

She also chairs BAFTA’s Original Debut Award Jury, is a frequent film critic for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, The Film Programme and Saturday Review shows, and is a regular onstage interview host for BAFTA and others.


Released on 10 May 2023

In episode 6, we spoke to Amma Asante about growing up in racist London with her Ghanaian parents; being on Grange Hill as a child actor; going to secretarial college where she wrote her first script to get her typing speed up; and her trip to LA where she had a meeting with execs at a big studio. In this episode, we spoke to her about her first directing jobs in TV and then her break directing feature film, A Way of Life and then Belle, A United Kingdom and Where Hands Touch. This is the final episode of season one of the F-Rated Podcast. Do please tell everyone you know about this podcast.

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