Our
People

Nova began in 2007 as a partnership between Alan Jones and Matt Stephenson, becoming a limited company in 2014 and now employing six full-time film-makers. We’re a self-contained, creative, agile, multi-skilled team – our directors are writers and journalists, our shooters also edit, our editors also colour and mix. We keep our crews light and our production values high. We’re fast and efficient, we’re fun and respectful, we care – and we love what we do. And we’ve never missed a deadline, even when it hurts. Please like us.
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Alan Jones

After his A-levels, Al’s band Spacemaid signed to French label Big Star records, their second single became Radio 1 Single Of The Week and the band supported Kylie at the Radio 1 Roadshow in Cornwall. Then Big Star sold out to Universal and Spacemaid didn’t get a new contract – so Al set up as a producer with a recording studio in Hull called Nova. Somewhere along the way he bought a decent video camera and discovered a new talent – and people started asking for films…

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Matt Stephenson

After two years in newspaper advertising sales, in 1991 Matt set up Hull’s first ever comedy club The Three Legged Dog and also established the city’s first free ‘Time Out-style’ listings magazine, Radar. In 1995 he joined the Hull Daily Mail as a feature writer, columnist and leader writer, leaving the Mail after nine years to become a freelance feature writer working regularly for The Guardian.

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Lina Chaouki

Lina joined the team as a full-time editor in 2020. Fluent in French, English and Arabic, Lina learnt her trade at the prestigious INSAS film school in Brussels before honing her skills in Montreal, Canada. Her African – European background brings something new to the mix and her dazzling editing capabilities are often at the centre of what makes a Nova film work so well.

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Callum Mitchell

In 2019, we went to the University of Lincoln and asked who was their outstanding media graduate from the previous year? They immediately suggested Callum – a recent graduate who’d just won a Royal Television Society award for videography. Not only can Mr Mitchell fling about a camera with skill, flair and style, but he’s got a great eye for a story, a fresh approach to cutting and a real talent for putting movement into graphics.

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Barney Stephenson

After a year and a half working as a reporter for the Hull Daily Mail, Barney was lured away to come and join the Nova crew in autumn 2020. Barn graduated from the country’s leading school of journalism at the University of Sheffield with an MA in 2019. In the time since, his reporting featured in titles across the national and regional press. At Nova, Barn uses his experience in digital and print journalism to manage and plan many of our projects, conduct interviews and cut audio.

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Lydia Shearsmith

Lydia’s passion for creative storytelling, natural ability to master technical skills and artistic eye made her the standout applicant when we were searching for a trainee shooter/editor. Nova first encountered Lydia’s energy and talent back in 2021 on the creative digital skills workshops we facilitated for Hull Maritime. Lydia has a first-class degree in photography from the University of Falmouth and her impressive CV boasts a photographic exhibition for ArtLink and a recent post working as a lecturer and technician at Hull College.

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Lansana Mansaray

We have worked closely with Lansana since our first visit to Sierra Leone in 2006. In 2019 Lansana was nominated for an Emmy for his film Survivors, which tells the inside story of the 2014 ebola crisis. He also established the Freetown Media Centre which plays an active role in developing talent in Sierra Leone. Working in partnership with Lansana, Nova produced the ‘How Do You Have A Happy Life’ series of films for Hull City of Culture.