Michaela Coel biography
Michaela Coel is an award-winning actress, playwright, screenwriter and poet. As one of the UK’s most promising and versatile new talents, Michaela has won multiple awards for writing and starring in the hit comedy-series CHEWING GUM.
CHEWING GUM is based on Michaela's sensational play, CHEWING GUM DREAMS, which ran at the Bush Theatre in 2012 and then at the National Theatre in 2014. Michaela has received monumental praise for her stellar performance as the central character ‘Tracey Gordon’; a restricted, religious virgin, who desperately wants to lose her virginity. The E4 sitcom follows Tracey and her friends, navigating their way through their twenties and trying to discover the meaning of life on her estate in Tower Hamlets, East London.
In 2016, Michaela received two Royal Television Society Awards for ‘Best Comedy Performance’ and ‘Breakthrough Performance’, a BAFTA Television Craft Award for ‘Breakthrough Talent’, the ‘Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme’ award at the Television BAFTAs and a Broadcast Digital Award for ‘Best Scripted Programme’. The sitcom was also nominated for A BAFTA TV ‘Best Scripted Comedy’ award. The highly anticipated second series aired earlier this year to rave reviews from around the world.
Earlier this year she filmed an episode of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian drama series BLACK MIRROR, returning to the series for the second time. In 2016 Michaela made her first appearance on the show, in an episode directed by Joe Wright. Her other television credits include E4 comedy-drama THE ALIENS alongside Michael Socha, Ashley Walters and Michael Smiley, the BBC espionage drama LONDON SPY, starring alongside Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent, the award-winning, raw and gripping C4 drama TOP BOY and LAW AND ORDER: UK. She is currently filming a contemporary drama for BBC and Netflix.
Michaela recently filmed the lead role in a feature adaptation of the hit stage musical BEEN SO LONG, directed by Tinge Krishnan. This love story set in London also stars Arinze Kene, George Mackay and Joe Dempsie.
Michaela’s theatre credits include acting roles in HOME directed by Nadia Fall, MEDEA and BLURRED LINES, directed by Carrie Cracknell, all at the National Theatre, and THREE BIRDS at the Bush Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange, directed by Sarah Frankcom. Michaela attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and graduated in 2012.
Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.
As part of our strategy for engaging audiences with science and health research, Wellcome runs initiatives which connect writers and filmmakers with science and health research to inspire future stories for screen and radio. This includes the Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship programme in the UK and India, NFTS Sky Atlantic Bridges to Industry for Drama programme, BBC Radio 4 Experimental Stories programme, and Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Screenwriter-in-Residence in partnership with Beltane Network.
Recent films and television developed and produced by Wellcome include Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Paddy Considine’s Journeyman, Dylan Howitt’s Out of Thin Air, Fergus O’Brien’s Against the Law, Rachel Tunnard’s Adult Life Skills, James Wood’s Quacks, Bryn Higgin’s Electricity and Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton’s Biophilia Live.
For further information visit www.wellcome.ac.uk/screen
About the BFI
The BFI Film Fund supports world-class UK filmmaking from talent and film development, through to production and audience development across exhibition, distribution and international sales. With over £50 million of National Lottery funding to invest each year, the BFI is the UK's largest public investor in film.
Highly anticipated films backed by the BFI include Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here which won Best Screenplay for Ramsay and Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete which had its World Premiere in Competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival; Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Saul Dibb’s Journey’s End, Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley, Michael Pearce’s Beast and Daniel Kokotajlo’s Apostasy all of which World Premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival; Deborah Haywood’s Pin Cushion which opened the Critics’ Week at Venice; Paddy Considine’s Journeyman; Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon’s Even When I Fall; Nick Park’s Early Man; Mercedes Grower’s Brakes; Steve McLean’s Postcards from London and Matthew Jones’ The Man from Mo’ Wax.
In prep and production are Tom Harper’s Country Music; Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir; Annabel Jankel’s Tell it to the Bees; Claire Denis’s High Life; Mike Leigh’s Peterloo; Idris Elba’s Yardie; Tim Travers Hawkins’s XY Chelsea; Brian Welsh’s Beats; Wash Westmoreland’s Colette; Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long; Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War; Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.
Successful releases include Ken Loach’s 2016 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or and BAFTA winner I, Daniel Blake; Andrea Arnold’s 2016 Cannes Jury Prize award-winning and BAFTA-nominated American Honey; Yorgos Lanthimos’s 2017 Oscar®-winning The Lobster; Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not A Witch which premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2017; Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country, winner of the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance 2017 and the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival; Andy Serkis’s Breathe, which opened the BFI London Film Festival; Peter Mackie Burns’s Daphne which won the Best Performance in a British Feature Film for Emily Beecham at the Edinburgh International Film Festival; Lucy Cohen’s Kingdom of Us which won the Grierson Award for the Best Documentary at the BFI London Film Festival; and Sophie Fiennes’s Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami.
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
• Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
• Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
• Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
• Promoting British film and talent to the world
• Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
bfi.org.uk / @bfi
Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, both new and established.
Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years and David Mackenzie’s Starred Up.
Film4’s recent releases include Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, Todd Haynes’ Carol and Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette. Forthcoming releases include festival award winners Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here and Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, as well as Clio Barnard’s Dark River, John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Michael Pearce’s Beast, Paddy Considine’s Journeyman and Toby MacDonald’s Old Boys. Films in production include Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Bart Layton’s American Animals, Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long, Iain Morris’s The Festival, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona.
For further information please visit www.film4productions.com.