Tessa Hoffe head shot black and white

BIMM University / Master's

BAFTA and Emmy-nominated director Tessa Hoffe joins Manchester MA faculty

15th May 2024

We are thrilled to introduce Tessa Hoffe, an Emmy-nominated director known for her exceptional work on Netflix’s Zero Chill, who will be joining our Manchester faculty as a lecturer in the MA Screen & Film Production programme.

Originally from New Zealand and now based in the UK, Tessa has directed numerous acclaimed projects, including the BBC hit mini-series Crossfire starring Keeley Hawes, and the award-winning series KIN, featuring Ciaran Hinds, Aidan Gillen, and Charlie Cox.

Tessa’s impressive resume also includes the Emmy-nominated Youth and Consequences and the cult hit Wayne, executive produced by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. She is a BAFTA nominee for her work on the BBC drama Rocket’s Island and has directed over 150 episodes of award-winning British serial dramas

Her recent short films, Spinosaurus and Majority, have garnered numerous international awards on the festival circuit. Tessa continues to develop new and exciting projects. In this interview, Tessa shares her journey in the film industry, her approach to directing, and her excitement about mentoring the next generation of filmmakers.

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Can you tell us about your background and journey as a filmmaker, and how you became involved in teaching at MA level?

I am an established filmmaker and television director. I started as a runner and worked my way up, writing and directing short films. A lull in the industry last year brought me to taking this part-time position at Screen and Film School.

What inspired you to pursue a career in filmmaking, and what particular genres or styles do you specialise in?

I always wanted to be a storyteller of some sort – and ended up being a director! Recently, I’ve been directing shows such as KIN, Crossfire and Gangs of London – all of which include thriller, tension and action elements.

As a tutor at Screen and Film School, what do you find most rewarding about working with MA students?

It’s fantastic to hear new perspectives, new ideas, and see the students pull their resources together to be creative, intuitive and engaged in the filmmaking process.

What unique opportunities does teaching at MA level offer for both educators and students in the field?

I find the experience very rewarding, and it’s re-engaged me with my own work and skillset. It’s great to go back and watch, and learn about why I wanted to be a director myself.

How do you approach mentoring and guiding MA students through their creative projects and academic studies?

It depends on the individual’s needs, what it is that they’re most interested in, and how they engage in storytelling.

Can you share any memorable experiences or success stories from your time teaching at Screen and Film School?

It’s always a positive experience to see students who were, at times, too nervous to share their thoughts and opinions start gaining confidence and opening up to creative collaboration.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments, and incorporate this knowledge into your teaching?

Watching films and TV shows!

Can you discuss any research or creative projects you’re currently working on, and how they inform your teaching practise?

With every project, I learn something new, gain more experience, and more confidence in what I’m working on. This, in turn, no doubt helps me to help students.

What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers who are considering pursuing a master’s degree in Screen and Film Production?

Know what you want to make and what stories you want to tell. Be collaborative, keep an open mind – and listen to your tutors!


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