After an early career in theatre and television production, Simon Perry entered the British film industry in 1974. Over the next eight years, he worked as an independent filmmaker (“Knots”, 1975; “Eclipse”, 1976), as a trade journalist for Variety, and as head of the National Film Development Fund.
In 1982, he set up his own production company, Umbrella Films, which has produced or co-produced 10 feature films to date. These include: Michael Radford’s “Another Time, Another Place”, 1983, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, 1984, and “White Mischief”, 1988; Richard Eyre’s “Loose Connections”, 1983; Conny Templeman’s “Nanou”, 1986; Jana Bokova’s “Hotel du Paradis”, 1986; Gillies Mackinnon’s “The Playboys”, 1991; and Patrick Dewolf’s “Innocent Lies”, 1995.
In January 1991 he was appointed Chief Executive of British Screen Finance (“British Screen”), the UK’s national investor in film development and production. He ran the organisation for almost ten years, until September 2000 when it was absorbed by the UK’s new Film Council.
Notable British Screen successes during Perry’s time in office included Neil Jordan’s “The Crying Game”, Sally Potter’s “Orlando”, Mike Leigh’s “Naked”, Milcho Manchevski’s “Before The Rain”, Marleen Gorris’ “Antonia’s Line”, Ken Loach’s “Land and Freedom”, Peter Howitt’s “Sliding Doors”, Danis Tanovic’s “No Man’s Land” and Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham”.
Between 2000 and 2005 Perry worked as a course designer and lecturer at the International Filmschool in Cologne, and as a film selection correspondent for the Cannes Film Festival. For a year he was Director of Co-Productions at Ingenious Media, a leading London-based film financier specialising in tax-based investment.
Between 2006 and 2011 he had been Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Film Board, the state agency responsible for the support of all Irish filmmaking.
He is also president of Ateliers du Cinéma Européen (ACE), which provides advanced training for European producers.
Perry holds the French honour of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres and that of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).