Neil Bonner


Creative, passionate and versatile, Neil is a TV documentary maker of international renown with considerable overseas filming experience, from Afghanistan to South Sudan. With a strong research and character finding background across documentary, specialist factual, current affairs and entertainment, he is also an experienced DOP of actuality, interviews and stylised sequences, shooting on a range of digital cameras and it is this experience that makes Neil a very visual and stylised Director. He is particularly strong with character driven narratives, working closely with contributors to get revealing and insightful dialogue.

His first film, Kris: Dying to Live (BBC 3) received wide acclaim from the national press:

‘an excellent film…” Sunday Times
“a programme that represents the strength of BBC3” Metro
“the most affecting thing I’ve watched in ages. Essential viewing” Radio Times

The film followed Kris Hallenga as she lived with an incurable form of breast cancer, but both Kris and Neil were determined to make a film about living with cancer, rather than dying or surviving. The result is a documentary that tells the story of Kris’s cancer without allowing it to define her. Paradoxically, it was this determinedly optimistic outlook that posed the biggest obstacle for Neil. When interviewed for The Guardian said “when you meet Kris she’s immediately a very enthusiastic and positive person, but this has its own challenges in that she’s very guarded and so to get underneath her skin a little bit, to find that vulnerability, was difficult. She’s told her story a million times and she’s very good at giving sound bites. The challenge was to find the real Kris.”

This was exactly the kind of film we wanted to make for Novartis, when we asked Neil to breathe life into what can be an exhausted and obvious form of B2B and Health Care Provider branded content.

He recently finished producing and directing the documentary “Walking The Nile” following ex-soldier and explorer Levison Wood and is currently back with Levinson working on his next series, set in Central America, tackling a route that few foreigners have ever travelled…

More work from Neil Bonner

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