Who we are
Victoria Mapplebeck is a BAFTA award winning writer, producer and director. In collaboration with Debbie Manners she is a founder partner of First Person Films. Victoria and Debbie are currently developing Motherboard, a smartphone feature documentary which brings to life the stories archived in the mobile phones Victoria’s owned over the last 16 years. In 2015, Victoria filmed and directed 160 Characters a smartphone short for Film London. Since it received a Vimeo Staff pick it has had over 1.5 million views.
In 2017, Victoria shot and directed Missed Call, which was the first commissioned short film to be shot on the iPhone X and won a 2019 BAFTA . In 2019, Victoria wrote and directed The Waiting Room a Film and VR project which tells the story of her breast cancer (as patient and film-maker) from diagnosis through treatment to recovery. The Waiting Room VR premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival and won The IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling . The Waiting Room Film and VR project was also featured on BBC Click and recently selected for Forbe’s Top 50 XR experiences of 2019
Victoria writes regularly about new approaches to Documentary for The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Broadcast magazine and The Conversation. She has given lectures and keynotes at The Banff New Media Institute, Sheffield Doc Fest, IDFA, iDocs, The V and A and appears regularly on BBC, ITV and Sky discussing developments in VR, digital archives and smartphone production.
Debbie’s previous roles include Director of Rights and Business Affairs at the BBC, Director of Rights for Flextech TV, Chair of PACT, Commercial Director at RDF, COO of Hattrick, CEO of Keo Films and Senior Investment director at Ingenious Media. Debbie works in an advisory capacity in the TV and Film industry, including acting as a non-executive director for companies spanning production, distribution and production services. She is also a founder partner and executive producer for First Person Films with director Victoria Mapplebeck. Debbie was the executive producer on Victoria’s BAFTA winning short film ‘Missed Call’ in 2019. In addition to her formal roles Debbie is involved in a number of projects and companies alongside her day job, including launching a small restaurant group, HERE Cafe Ltd, and holding the role of Chair for the charity SafeHands.
Michelle is a multi-award-winning producer, who has worked in London, New York and Sydney. She devises and produces digital and immersive projects across all genres, and at the cross-section of narrative, content design, user experience and technical innovation. Her credits include “The Dumping Ground: You’re the Boss” for CBBC (awarded a Children’s BAFTA for Interactive – Adapted); “Footballers United” for the BBC (awarded a Prix Italia for Digital Storytelling); “Silverpoint” (immersive digital theatre with Punchdrunk/Absolut); “Horrible Histories” for CBBC; “Britain from Above” for the BBC (awarded an International Digital Emmy); and “History Detectives” for PBS.
She also produced “Make Noise”, a VR experience made by Anagram for the BBC, which was selected as part of the official programme at the Venice Bienale Cinema VR 2018.
In November 2018 Michelle produced the Financial Times’ Hidden Cities Berlin, Google’s first interactive documentary experience created for the Assistant. It included 90 minutes of interactive narrative content where the audience could choose their own journey through the stories.
Michelle is currently working for the Royal Shakespeare Company as Producer of the Audience of the Future project, looking at the future of live performance using immersive technologies.
Michelle has served as a judge for the BAFTA Digital Creativity award and the short-form category at the Broadcast Digital Awards. She was also a member of the VR Jury at Sheffield DocFest, and on the Edinburgh Television Festival Digital Committee. She is a member of BAFTA.