Bastards was released in UK cinemas to critical acclaim, picked up prizes at film festivals around the world, and a shorter version was broadcast in some of the world’s poorest countries through BBC World Storyville Global and The Why, a human rights initiative with Danish public television.
After many years in documentary film making, Deborah Perkin is taking a new direction as a playwright. She received funding from the Arts Council of Wales to develop her first stage play, working title The Risen Woman, about the 19th century opera singer Adelina Patti’s struggle to control her art and her reputation. A script lab fortnight with actors, director and musical director at Theatr Brycheiniog, was brought to a sudden halt in March 2020, due to the COVID19 pandemic. When public spaces reopen, she intends to stage a rehearsed reading. Her short film script Ashes to Ashes has been longlisted for 2021 by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Acting.
As a film maker, Deborah is recognised for her thought-provoking, entertaining, immersive work, and her strengths in long form observational documentary, investigative journalism, and experimental history. Of all her films, some award-winning, the three of which she is most proud are Breach of Faith, made in 1993, Britain’s first expose of the Catholic Church’s role in sheltering a paedophile priest; her 2008 biography of musical legend Quincy Jones; and Bastards, released in 2014, which follows an illiterate Moroccan woman who takes on tradition, her own family and the Moroccan legal system, for the sake of her illegitimate child. Bastards was her first cinema documentary, with a score by Debbie Wiseman, made in association with Ffilm Cymru.
Starting out as a BBC graduate trainee, she combined a film making career with senior BBC management roles in London and Cardiff as Executive Producer, Series Producer and Head of Network Development. She left the BBC in 2013 to set up her own company Deborah Perkin Media Ltd.
Deborah has always made time for public service. She is currently a Trustee of Cardiff Women’s Aid (serving female victims of domestic abuse and their children) and of Health Care South Sudan (providing basic health care to war-torn communities). In recent years she has served on many governing bodies and charitable trusts including Moroccan Children’s Trust, University of South Wales, Newport University, and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority where for three years she chaired its Sustainable Development Fund. In the past she was a founder member of the BBC Equal Opportunities Network, and Vice Chair of the Fawcett Society.
Raised in Lancashire, educated in London, Bristol and Chicago, she has lived in Wales since 1994, happily married to an NHS Intensive Care consultant. They have a son and a daughter.
#blacklivesmatter Deborah Perkin believes that Britain has a mature society which can look back truthfully at its imperial history, accept that we have built a better society where BAME people’s rights are enshrined in law, but that we can do better in the future by ensuring that those rights are adhered to in practice. https://blacklivesmatter.com/