icon icon

Stephen Cleary


Stephen Cleary has worked in film and television for over 20 years. His career began at the UK’s national film Agency, where as Head of Development he developed feature films including Before the Rain , (Academy Award nominee for best foreign film, winner Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival), Rob Roy, Butterfly Kiss, Love and Death on Long Island (Richard Kwietniowski) and Photographing Fairies).

Stephen founded and ran Arista, Europe’s largest private film development agency for twelve years. Graduates of Arista’s programs have written, directed or produced over 250 feature films and thousands of hours of television drama. He was Visiting Professor in Film at Westminster University in London, produced the feature New Year’s Day, (Panorama selection Sundance Film Festival, Winner Best British Film Raindance Film Festival) and co-produced of Goodbye Charlie Bright. He co-wrote the feature films Alexandria, and Buddha’s Little Finger, produced in 2013.

Stephen is now a story development consultant working all over the world. He was the story consultant on the BBC TV detective series Hinterland and the lead consultant on the Emmy Award winning feature documentary What Happened Miss Simone? In Australia, he designed and ran the Filmlab low-budget feature initiative with the SAFC, which produced amongst others, the multi-award winning 52 Tuesdays, The Infinite Man and Shut Up Little Man! This year he developed and was the story consultant on Sweet Country, directed by Warwick Thornton, and on the other side of the world ran the first screen story development workshop in Greenland.

He is also the co-author of I Put A Spell on You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone, which has been continuously in print since 2006.