Elizabeth Karlsen began her career in independent film production in New York, working with directors such as Bill Sherwood, Zbigniew Rybczynski, Jim Jarmusch and Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
Elizabeth co-founded Number 9 Films with Stephen Woolley in 2002 after a long collaboration at leading independent UK film distribution and producing company Palace Pictures and at Scala Productions during which time credits include: Terence Davies’ Neon Bible starring Gena Rowlands and selected for Cannes Films Festival competition; Mark Herman’s Little Voice nominated for 6 Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award and 6 British Academy Awards, including Best Picture; She also produced the international box office success Ladies In Lavender starring Maggie Smith and Judi Dench and co-produced Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, nominated for 6 Academy Awards.
Elizabeth’s producing credits at Number 9 Films began with HBO single drama Mrs Harris starring Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley nominated for 12 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Producer’s Guild of America Award and for which she received the Women’s Image Network Award. This was closely followed by Made In Dagenham a social comedy set during the 1968 Ford strike, directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls, Saving Grace) starring Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins. This was nominated for 3 BAFTAs, 4 BIFAs, 2 Evening Standard Awards and a London Critics Circle Award. Made In Dagenham the Musical opened at the Adelphi in London’s West End in October 2014 starring Gemma Arterton. Soon after was the BAFTA nominated Great Expectations, written by David Nicholls, directed by Mike Newell and starring Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Robbie Coltrane as well as Byzantium written by Moira Buffini, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan.
Recent credits include: Hyena directed by Gerard Johnson and starring Peter Fernando. Hyena opened the Edinburgh Festival in the UK and screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Co-producer on Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, and Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, adapted by award winning Mrs Harris scribe Phyllis Nagy, directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Both Youth and Carol screened in 2015 Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim. Rooney Mara won Best Actress for Carol.
Forthcoming Number 9 productions include: an adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem by Jane Goldman and directed by Juan Carlos de Medina, an adaptation of Lissa Evans’ Their Finest Hour and a Half by Gaby Chiappe, directed by Lone Scherfig – both of which began production this Autumn. An original project from Director Camera D’Or winner Anthony Chen and a new untitled project directed by Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice).
Elizabeth has served on the board of EM Media, The Edinburgh Festival and is currently chair of Women in Film and TV UK.