ACADEMY

MEET THE TEAM

ROBERT DOUGLAS - Academy Director 
 

With 13+ years of experience in developing people Robert has a passion for helping young creatives from underrepresented backgrounds overcome barriers to working in this industry.

Robert is responsible for all of our training and development initiatives and works closely with other organisations such as BFI, ITV, Princes Trust and Slick Films to create development and employment opportunities for our network of young people.


Favourite Film? TRAINING DAY

Favourite Tv show? THE WIRE

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JON MAX SPATZ - Creative Director 
 

After graduating from the University of Warwick, Jon started his career on the ‘HARRY POTTER’ series. Experiencing first-hand how inspirational and collaborative a film production could be, Jon founded Signature Pictures to provide disadvantaged young people with greater opportunities to access the film industry.

Jon is responsible for overseeing and developing our portfolio of commercial content and fiction films as well as delivering our Content For Creators programme for young talent. Jon is also a Writer/Director.


Favourite Film? THE WILD BUNCH

Favourite Tv show? BUFFY

GLEN FUNNELL - Partnerships Director 
 

A Film graduate from the University of Roehampton, starting his career in the Square Mile, Glen previously led on all commercial activities. He is now responsible for all our Commercial, Industry and Community partnerships ensuring the development of the young people we engage with is at the heart of everything we do. 

He also volunteers his time as an Enterprise Adviser, partnered with Global Academy to provide mentoring, advice, opportunities and support to the students and careers advisers. He is also a member of GA's Industry Board.


Favourite Film? THE GRADUATE 

Favourite Tv show? BELOW DECK 

NAOMI WARING - Lead Facilitator 
 

Naomi is an award winning Director, whose films have screened at Oscar and Bafta qualifying festivals. Her Film Ode was commissioned by BBC N.I. Her style is a mix of narrative and documentary, often working with  communities to explore and create the films she is working on. Naomi is a core member of The Change Collective, who are interested in exploring how the arts help navigate change.

Naomi is a regular visiting lecturer at RCSSD and is committed to diversity in front and behind the camera, opening the doors to filmmaking, for communities often marginalised in the arts.
 

https://naomiwaringfilm.org/

https://www.instagram.com/naomi_waring/ 

SHERIFFAH AREWA  - Operations Administrator 
 

A recent Politics and International Relations graduate from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sheri has just begun her career at Signature Pictures Academy. After previously training to be a professional athlete, Sheri is now working to become a creative professional and manages our social media accounts.

 

Sheri was also on the decision maker panel that decided which youth organisations in the UK receive funding from Comic Relief and the KFC Future Lookin’ Good Foundation.

Favourite Film?  PEARL HARBOUR

Favourite Tv show?  ATTACK ON TITAN (SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN)

NASEEIM BANGURA  - Account Manager
 

After graduating from the University of Bedfordshire in Broadcast Journalism, Naseeim went on to broaden her experience in the Marketing and Sales sector. She became an Account Manager in Lisbon working on global accounts such as Microsoft. Now back in London to continue her creative industry journey.

 

Naseeim also volunteered for ‘Restless Development’ (ICS) as a youth peer mentor for many years in Uganda and London exploring the in-and-out of school youth’s inner talents.  

Favourite Film?  The Witcher 

Favourite Tv show?  The Walking Dead

SAJEDA AKTHAR  - Sales Administrator 
 

Having built a career within the media industry, Sajeda has a strong background in supporting various teams within global organisations. 

 

She also enjoys getting involved with young people from various backgrounds, formerly being a young ambassador for the charity ThinkFoward.

Favourite Film?  Girls Trip

Favourite Tv show?  Money Heist