About History

Academy Films is a world-renowned film production company, creating commercials, music videos, short films, digital content, art installations and feature films.  The company was set up some 25 years ago by Lizie Gower who continues to run the company at the head office in London.  Some of the world’s finest directing talent can be found within the 40 strong Academy & A+ rosters.

The founding philosophy of Academy was to nurture and develop emerging young talent.  It’s this approach that has led to the company becoming famous for launching stars of the future.  Directors Jonathan Glazer, Frederic Planchon, Si & Ad, Seb Edwards and Martin De Thurah all signed to Academy at the beginning of their careers and continue to shoot award-winning work for clients like Audi, Stella Artois, Levis, Adidas, Honda, Guinness, Sony, VW, and Nike. 

Academy have won numerous major awards in the industry from the date of its inception.  Indeed in the last 4 years alone, the company has won 14 Cannes Lions, 17 D&AD Awards, including 5 Pencils, Production Company of the Year twice and over 40 Awards at the British Arrows, 23 APA Crystals and The Palm D’Or at Kinsale.  In 2012 Academy were awarded a special Black Pencil as the Third Most Awarded Production Company in the World over the last 50 years by D&AD at their prestigious 50th Anniversary Show.  

In 1999, Academy produced what is widely regarded as the best commercial ever made, ‘Surfer’ for Guinness.  The film won 2 D&AD Black Pencils, and ‘Commercial of the Year’ at almost every award show.  The Times voted ‘Surfer’ as The Most Iconic Ad of all time and the film continues to top ad polls, both inside and outside the industry.

In 2000, Academy’s Jonathan Glazer made his debut feature film, ‘Sexy Beast’ starring Ray Winstone and Sir Ben Kingsley. The film won Kingsley an Oscar nomination and received critical acclaim.  Academy then went on to produce ‘Birth’, again directed by Glazer and produced by Lizie Gower.  The film starred Nicole Kidman and Lauren Bacall.  Glazer’s third feature, ‘Under The Skin’ was premiered at the Venice Film Festival.  The film features Scarlett Johansson in an adaptation of Michael Faber’s 2000 novel of the same name.

Notable music videos include ‘Virtual Insanity’ by Jamiroquai and ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by the Verve, both of which won Music Video of the Year awards at the CADS and MTV Awards.  Academy have produced music videos for many other artists, including David Bowie, Madonna, Robbie Williams, The Who, Beyonce, Kanye West, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Jay-Z.

In addition, Jonathan Glazer has won the Lifetime Achievement Awards for his outstanding contributions to music video, plus the Presidents Award at the British Arrows for his commercial work.

In 2010 Academy launched A+ , a new division of the company set up to handle all digital work, short films, web design, installations, music videos, live concert DVDs and all other content that falls outside the traditional television commercial.  Since it’s inception, A+ has echoed Academy’s success, making ground-breaking work and winning awards across the board.