Stephen Woolley

Stephen Woolley
Born (1956-09-03) September 3, 1956
London, England
Years active 1980–present

Stephen Woolley (born 3 September 1956 in London) is an English film producer and director. He is best known for his work with director Neil Jordan, which has resulted in a number of critically acclaimed films, including the Oscar-winning The Crying Game.[1][2][3]

After programming The Screen On The Green cinema in Islington, North London, and managing The Scala Cinema near King's Cross railway station, Woolley established Palace Video in the early 1980s to distribute the types of cult cinema and international art films that had been the core of his cinema programmes.[4][5][6] The company then moved into cinema distribution, becoming Palace Pictures; and then film production in 1984, with many projects being supported by Channel 4. His successes as a producer include The Company of Wolves, Mona Lisa, and The Crying Game (nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture), and Interview with the Vampire, all directed by Neil Jordan.[7][8][9] He also helped established director Michael Caton-Jones as a major directing talent.[10] Woolley established an association with Miramax, which distributed a number of Palace films in the United States.[11]

Woolley had established his reputation with a series of low budget but high production value releases, but began developing more ambitious projects. In 1992, Palace Pictures became bankrupt.[12][13][14] A year later, The Scala Cinema closed down after it entered into receivership following its defeat in a court case caused by an illegal screening of A Clockwork Orange, whose screening rights had been withdrawn in the UK by Stanley Kubrick in 1971.[15][16][17] Since then, Woolley has concentrated on producing Jordan's films in association with Hollywood studios. By securing a three-picture deal with Warner Brothers after the worldwide box office hit of Interview with the Vampire, Woolley was able to fund the controversial historical drama Michael Collins.[18] His directorial debut, the 2005 film Stoned, was a biopic of Brian Jones.[19][20]

Personal life

Woolley is married to fellow film producer, Elizabeth Karlsen.[21][22]


As producer

As executive producer


  1. "Overview for Stephen Woolley". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  2. "Woolley, Stephen (1956-) Biography". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  3. "Stephen Woolley Biography". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  4. Clarke, Donald. "How a cinema ticket-tearer teamed up with Neil Jordan and helped save an industry". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  5. Woolley, Stephen. "Beyond B-movies: Recreating The Scala's movie mecca". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  6. "Stephen Woolley". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  7. Fitzherbert, Henry. "Box office success in Stephen Woolley's undead end jobs". Daily Express. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  8. "Byzantium Metropole Press Kit" (PDF). Metropole Films. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  9. Woolley, Stephen. "How to close a movie deal at Cannes: a producer's guide". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  10. "VIP GUESTS & SCHOOLS". National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  11. Woolley, Stephen. "British producer Stephen Woolley says independents have a powerful friend called Harvey". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  12. "The rise and fall of the film production company Palace Pictures". CINEPHILIA and FILMMAKING. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  13. Coleman, Caryn. "Darren Banks: The Palace Collection". Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  14. Picardie, Ruth. "Golden girl, producer, mother, babe". The Independent. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  15. "Scala Cinema". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  16. "Building History". Scala. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  17. "La Scala". Total Production International. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  18. Fitzherbert, Henry. "Box office success in Stephen Woolley's undead end jobs". Daily Express. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  19. Bradshaw, Peter. "Stoned". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  20. Sandall, Robert. "Sex and drugs and Brian Jones". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  21. Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (14 May 2015). "Passion project: meet the indie super-producer behind Cannes hot ticket Carol". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  22. Jaafar, Ali (2 March 2016). "'Carol' Producers Elizabeth Karlsen And Stephen Woolley On Turning Good Taste Into A Business". Retrieved 26 April 2016.

External links

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