Elizabeth Karlsen

Producer and Co-Director Number 9 Films

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 returned to London, working as Head of Production for the UK’s leading independent distribution and production company Palace Pictures, headed by Stephen Woolley and Nik Powell. There she oversaw productions such as Bill Duke’s A Rage in Harlem, starring Danny Glover, Robin Givens and Forest Whittaker, which featured in the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival; Neil Jordan’s The Miracle starring Beverly D’Angelo; David Leland’s The Big Man starring Liam Neeson; Stephen Gyllenhaal’s Waterland and Richard Stanley’s horror hit Hardware.

She then co-produced Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and secured Jordan the Oscar for Best Screenplay. She continued to produce for Woolley and Powell’s Scala Productions where her credits include Terence Davies’ The Neon Bible, which premiered in main competition at the Cannes Film Festival; Mark Herman’s Little Voice, which was nominated for six Golden Globe Awards including Best Actor, which Michael Caine went on to win, and an Academy Award nomination for Brenda Blethyn as Best Actress. The film was also nominated for six British Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Other credits include Angela Pope’s Hollow Reed and Mark Herman’s Purely Belter, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival Director’s Fortnight respectively. Hollow Reed also won the Audience Award at the Dinard Film Festival. Ladies In Lavender, a resounding international box office hit, saw both Maggie Smith and Judie Dench nominated in the best actress category at the European Film Academy Awards for their performances. Mrs. Harris starring Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 and was nominated for a total of 12 Emmy and 3 Golden Globe Awards including Best Actress and Best Mini-Series or Made For Television Motion Picture. Elizabeth was also nominated for the Producer’s Guild of America and was awarded a Woman’s Image Network award for her work on the project.

After a long collaboration with Stephen Woolley under the banner of Palace and Scala, they formed the London based Number 9 Films, which, in 2004, was awarded one of the much sought after UK Film Council Slate Development Funding schemes. Recent Number 9 releases include Woolley’s directorial debut Stoned starring David Morrissey, Paddy Considine and Leo Gregory, Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto starring Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy and Phyllis Nagy’s multi award nominated Mrs. Harris for HBO.

And When Did You Last See Your Father?, written by David Nicholls, directed by Anand Tucker and starring Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth was released in the Autumn of 2007 in the UK (distributed by BVI UK) to widespread critical acclaim. The film was selected by Edinburgh, Toronto and Telluride film festivals, and was also nominated for 7 British Independent Film Awards. Sounds Like Teen Spirit, a documentary feature focusing on the Junior Eurovision song contest directed by BAFTA-nominated director Jamie J Johnson was released May 2009 by Warner Music Entertainment to rave reviews; Perrier’s Bounty, a co-production with Dublin-based Parallel Films, written by BAFTA-nominated Mark O’Rowe and starring Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson which was released by Optimum releasing in the UK and IFC in the US; and Made in Dagenham, a social comedy set during the 1968 Ford strike written by Billy Ivory and directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls, Saving Grace) starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Geraldine James, Jamie Winstone and Andrea Riseborough, currently screening at the Toronto Film Festival was released in the UK on October 1st by Paramount Pictures, and November 19th by Sony Picture Classics in the US.

Recent Number 9 productions include an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations written by David Nicholls and directed by Mike Newell; forthcoming projects include Todd Haynes’ Carol, currently in Post Production, and Middle of Somewhere, focusing on a decade in the life of British soul singer Dusty Springfield, scripted by Emmy nominated Phyllis Nagy.

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