Ms. Owen was educated at University College, London, and worked in various capacities in production, distribution, and development before becoming a producer. She first produced pop music promos/videos and commercials. She next worked on documentaries and in television before beginning film projects. Her television successes included the U.K. series Diary of a Teenage Health Freak, which won the RTS Award for Best Youth Programme, and End of an Era which won the Silver Rose at the Montreux Festival and was nominated for a BAFTA Award.
She produced her first feature, Hear My Song, in 1991. Directed by Peter Chelsom, and starring Ned Beatty, Adrian Dunbar, and Tara Fitzgerald, it was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards and won Best Comedy Film at the British Comedy Awards. Ms. Owen was nominated as Most Promising New Producer by the Producers Guild of America.
Ms. Owen then set up shop at Working Title, where she established a low-budget film division. She returned to producing with The Young Americans, starring Harvey Keitel and directed by Danny Cannon. She next produced David Anspaugh's Moonlight and Valentino, which marked her first collaboration with Sylvia star Gwyneth Paltrow; Roseanna's Grave, directed by Paul Weiland and starring Jean Reno and Mercedes Ruehl; and the globally successful Elizabeth, which was the breakthrough film for its star, Cate Blanchett.
Partnering with Sylvia co-producer Neris Thomas, she inaugurated the production company Ruby Films in January 1999. Ruby has thus far made Steve Barron's Rat (starring Pete Postlethwaite); Menhaj Huda's Is Harry on the Boat? (starring Danny Dyer); Philippa Collie-Cousins' Happy Now? (for BBC Films, starring Paddy Considine); and Sylvia.
Ms. Owen is currently at work on Proof, the film version of David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, starring Gwyneth Paltrow for director John Madden; Dominic Savage's Love & Hate; and Tulip Fever, to be directed by John Madden from Tom Stoppard's screenplay adaptation of Deborah Moggach's novel, with Jude Law and Keira Knightley starring. Her future Ruby projects as producer also include Sandra Goldbacher's Faith; Siege of Krishnanpur, with Working Title Films; and Rachel's Holiday, with BBC Films.
Separately from Ruby, she is executive-producing Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, which is in post-production.
Alison Owen Facts