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Samm Haillay

01642 342365
Job title:
Senior Lecturer (Media Production)
School of Computing, Media & the Arts
Computing, Media & the Arts research

About Samm Haillay

Samm Haillay

Samm Haillay
Senior Lecturer (Media Production), School of Computing, Media & the Arts
T: 01642 342365
Research: Computing, Media & the Arts research

Samm Haillay founded Third with Duane Hopkins in 2001. Third was granted a BFI Vision Award in 2013. He produced Hopkins’ multi-award winning short films and feature debut Better Things, which premiered to critical acclaim at International Critics Week, Cannes in 2008. Samm also produced Hopkins’ multi-channel film installations series Sunday and Hopkins’ latest feature Bypass that premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2014. Samm now developing both feature and TV drama with Hopkins. 

As well as producing all of Hopkins’ film and galley work, Samm also produces a number of other amazing filmmakers feature work through Third, including the BAFTA winning Esther May Campbell, renowned critic and writer Mark Cousins, Sundance winning Simon Ellis, Silver Bear winning Daniel Elliott, and the Venice screening Joseph Bull & Luke Seomore.

In 2010 he coproduced Turner Prize winning, Gillian Wearing’s feature debut Self Made.  In 2013 Samm’s work on The Uprising, a self-funded documentary culminated in it winning best international film at Jihlava documentary festival. 2017 brings coproduction of Christmas Island the debut feature by internationally renowned artist Gabrielle Brady. 
On top of a muscular development slate of feature films Samm’s short film productions have won over 45 awards inc. Berlin, Venice Edinburgh, and Chicago. 

A member of BAFTA, EAVE and ACE, Samm sat on the jury in Berlin 2010 to award the Golden Bear for best short film. He is a group leader for EAVE, Feature Expanded and the Venice College Cinema.  He delivers the training for Creative England’s iShorts scheme and for Film London. He is a board member of Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival sits on the steering committee for the Tyneside cinema & the Film Hub North and a patron of the Underwire Film Festival. 

Samm is also an Associate Senior Lecturer in Film Production at Teesside University specializing in pitch training and is an external examiner at the University of Cumbria and Bath College of Higher Education.

Producer BYPASS by Duane Hopkins
Producer LIGHTYEARS by Esther May Campbell
Producer BLOODCELLS by Joseph Bull and Luke Seomore
Producer BETTERTHINGS by Duane Hopkins
Coproducer SELF MADE by Gillian Wearing
Producer THE UPRISING by Peter Snowdon
Producer SUNDAY by Duane Hopkins 

Research interests

Samm is active in his own work and as well as the seven features produced to date is currently in production of another.  There is also five features in bone fide development on his slate and he is working withWarp Films (This is England) on a TV drama series. Samm is also a driving force behind the schools film research seminar the Social Realism Seminar (SRS) and as well as delivering papers and including undergraduates in the research process Samm aims to produce a film for general release and academic consumption via the SRS. 
Over and above this Samm is studying towards a PhDCW that uses his own work to trace the changing face of the social realist movement and the subjective experience within. 

Research projects & external funding

BETTER THINGS (Feature Film 2008) £1m, BFI, FILM4, EM Media, ARTE, Producer, Cannes Film Festival.

SUNDAY (Multi Channel installation 2009) £60k, Arts Council, Digital City, Producer, Baltic CCA

JADE (Short Film 2009) £20k, BFI, NFM, Producer, Berlin Film Festival (Silver Bear) BAFTA nominated

SELF MADE (Feature Film 2010) £600k, BFI, NFM, BritDoc Co-Producer, LFF

COMPULSION (Short Film 2011) £20k, BFI, NFM Producer LSFF (Winner)

BLOOD CELLS (Feature Film 2014) €150k, Biennale College Cinema, Producer, Venice Film Festival

BYPASS (Feature Film 2014) £1.1m, BFI, FAW, Film I Vast, SFI SVT, Producer, Venice Film Festival

SIX DESIRES: DH LAWRENCE AND SARDINIA (Feature Film 2015) £30k, Private Producer, Sundance

LIGHT YEARS (Feature Film) £900k BFI, Creative England, Producer, Venice Film Festival

HOWLS (Short Film 2017) £40k, Creative Scotland, Creative England, Producer, Edinburgh FilmFestival

PhD and research opportunities

Changing representations of subjective experience in social realism film - Submission for PhDCW made in Sept 2017

External roles and professional activities

Film Producer
Film Financier
Film Industry Mentor for:

  • Venice College Cinema

  • Film London

  • Feature Expanded

  • Creative England

  • BFI

  • Foundation of Arts and Creative technologies

External research collaborations

BLACK COUNTRY (TV Co-creators Andrew McVicar and Benjamin Young) – Development with Warp

THE CREATOR (feature w/d Al and Al) Developed by BFI and Creative Scotland

HEAVEN IS DARK (feature w/d Joseph Bull/Luke Seomore) - Development

MULATTO (TV Co-creators Andrew McVicar and Benjamin Young) – Development with Brain Academy

PETRICHOR (feature w/d Esther May Campbell) – Development with BFI

POPPELKROFT –Producer lead Project Development   

ROOFRAPPER (feature w/d Gavin Whitfield) – Development with Creative England

SAFE DAYS (feature w/d Catriona MacInnes - Development with Creative England and Creative Scotland

WOLF NOTE (feature w/d Duane Hopkins co-w Andrew McVicar) – Development with BFI

ZERO%PROOF (feature w/d Simon Ellis co-w Tim Cunningham) – Development with Film4

Learning and teaching interests

Individual learning and the correlation between theory and practice.

Enterprise interests

Samm is invested in bringing closer links between industry and the school of Design Culture and Arts.  This is mainly through his production company Third films, which regularly employs students on work placements and graduates as freelancers.  However Samm is a respected producer across Europe and brings industry connections and knowhow to the school via his extensive network of directors, producers, agents, distributors, sales agents and financiers. 


Film Premieres

Better Things - Cannes 2008

Self Made – MoMA Docs Fortnight 2011

The Uprising – Jihlava 2013

Bypass – Venice 2014

Blood Cells – Venice 2014

6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia – Sundance 2015

Light Years – Venice 2015


View Samm Haillay's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • Film festival in America to show work by acclaimed Teesside producer
    North East Chamber of Commerce, online, 04/04/2018
    A Teesside University lecturer and acclaimed film producer is to have his latest documentary screened at an international film festival in America.

  • Film festival in America to show work by acclaimed Teesside producer
    North East Connected online, 22/03/2018
    A Teesside University lecturer and acclaimed film producer is to have his latest documentary screened at an international festival in America.

  • A Teesside University lecturer is hoping a crowd funding page will help to get his new film seen by as many people as possible.
    North East chamber of commerce web 06.07.16
    Teesside Lecturer Samm Haillay - Crowd funding page set up to help distribute new film Wednesday 6th of July 2016.

  • Crowd Funding page set up to help new film
    Love Middlesbrough, 30/06/2016: Northern Echo web, 30/06/2016: North East Connected, 01/07/2016;
    Sallam Hallay, Teesside University lecturer has launched a crowfunding campaign to help distribute his new film.

  • Third Films: Samm Hailly and Ben Young
    Screen International - Online, 27/08/2014
    Samm Haillay and Ben Young tell Wendy Mitchell about Third Films’ unusual approach to characters and production, and the outfit’s two films in Venice.