Thomas was born into cinema as his father and uncle were successful film directors. He started in the film laboratories and graduated to the editing department, working on many movies and ultimately editing a film for Ken Loach. In 1974, Thomas produced his first film in Australia, Philippe Mora’s Mad Dog Morgan starring Dennis Hopper, and then founded Recorded Picture Company. Thomas has since gone on to produce many distinctive films in a truly international career, including Jerzy Skolimowski’s The Shout, Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing, Eureka and Insignificance, and Nagisa Ôshima’s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence starring David Bowie. In 1986, Thomas collaborated with director Bernardo Bertolucci on The Last Emperor, which won nine Academy Awards® including Best Picture, along with many other international awards. Thomas went on to make many films including The Sheltering Sky, Stealing Beauty and The Dreamers with Bertolucci.
Thomas has strategically remained an independent producer, resulting in a diverse body of work, including titles such as David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch, Crash and A Dangerous Method, Takeshi Kitano’s Brother, Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast, David Mackenzie’s Young Adam, Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, Blade of the Immortal and First Love, the Oscar-nominated Kon-Tiki by Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, and Tale of Tales and Pinocchio by Matteo Garrone. Throughout his career, Thomas has worked with many other leading filmmakers including Stephen Frears, Richard Linklater, Bob Rafaelson, Phillip Noyce, Wim Wenders, Khyentse Norbu and Terry Gilliam.
In 1992, Thomas was appointed Chairman of the British Film Institute, and was made a Life Fellow in 2000. He has been the recipient of many awards throughout the world, including BAFTA’s Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 1991. He has been President of the Jury at the Tokyo, San Sebastian, Berlin and Cannes film festivals (Un Certain Regard), and has also served on the main Jury at Cannes. His long relationship with Cannes has seen him premiere over fifteen films at the festival. Thomas was named C.B.E. in the 2009 Queen’s Honours for his services to film. Thomas has produced over sixty films and continues to make movies at Recorded Picture Company, with titles upcoming from Takashi Miike and Julien Temple.
Mark is an Irish-Scottish director and writer. His films – including The First Movie, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, What is This Film Called Love?, Life May Be, A Story of Children and Film, Atomic, Stockholm My Love, I am Belfast and The Eyes of Orson Welles – have premiered in Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and Venice film festivals and have won the Prix Italia, a Peabody, the Stanley Kubrick Award, the European Film Award for Innovative Storytelling, and many other prizes. He has filmed in Iraq, Sarajevo during the siege, Iran, across Asia and in America in Europe. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling.
Mark’s books include Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary, The Story of Film and The Story of Looking. They have been published around the world. He has collaborated with Tilda Swinton on innovative film events, and tried to find new, passionate, filmic ways to explore his themes: looking, cities, cinema, childhood, and recovery.
He is the Chair of the Belfast Film Festival, a Patron of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and an advisor to Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. His 14 hour documentary Women Make Film tries to rethink cinema. It is narrated by Jane Fonda,Tilda Swinton, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Debra Winger, Adjoa Andoh and Thandie Newton. His newest film is The Storms of Jeremy Thomas. He has walked across Los Angeles, Belfast, Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin, Dakar and Mexico City. He once drove from Edinburgh to Mumbai, and loves night swimming.
Writer/Director: Mark Cousins
Producer: David P. Kelly
Cinematographer: Mark Cousins
Editor: Timo Langer
Composer: David Holmes
Jeremy Thomas (Academy Award-winning Producer, The Last Emperor)
Tilda Swinton (Academy Award Winner, Michael Clayton)
Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment)