Symon Lord

York, England, United Kingdom


I am originally from York in the United Kingdom, and am currently based here. My academic background to the Masters Degree level has been in the social sciences/humanities, with an emphasis on Russian/Post-Soviet Studies. I have travelled fairly widely internationally. My professional career has largely been in English language teaching in a wide cross-section of countries, as well as in project management and monitoring & evaluation with the UN and NGOs. My work in developmental and humanitarian assistance has been predominantly in the countries of the former Soviet Union, and projects I have worked on include: Support to refugees and displaced peoples; Rural development; Migration; Disaster Preparedness; Education; Water & sanitation; Support to young filmmakers. I have always had an interest in documentary, and a desire to make them from a fairly young age. I would say that most of life’s experiences have influenced me and given me ideas that could potentially be developed into future works of creation. I finally ‘took the plunge’, and completed a short, intensive course in documentary film-making run by Documentary Filmmakers Group in 2006. After this, throughout the rest of 2006 and into 2007, I made the documentary about the UN Refugee Agency in Azerbaijan for whom I had previously worked, which is described in the previous section. In 2009 I completed a short course in editing at the London Metropolitan Film School, and in the several years after this did much work independently teaching myself to use Final Cut Pro. From 2009 to 2014 I developed a scenario for, and completed a lot of filming for a documentary project about labor migration from central Asia to Russia. I put together a rough cut of the film independently, but unfortunately, the film ran into a variety of difficulties and was never finished. I have, however, learned much from this experience, and this should help my work in documentary in the future. Several years ago, I had the idea to re-work the UNHCR refugee project, and develop the refugee feature documentary outlined in the previous section. I have kept up-to-date with contemporary refugee-related issues, and have a lot of ideas about how the film could be completed, but am also open to new ideas. In late 2018, I worked as a Volunteer for the Aesthetica Short Film festival in York, and attended the festival in 2019. From early this year, I have attended a large number of in-person, and since the ‘Lockdown’ online events related to film and television, organized by ScreenSkills, BFI, Sundance, NYC Doc and other film-focused organizations. Obviously, during this time, I have expanded my network, and expanded my knowledge of all areas of documentary filmmaking. Recently, I have also increased my reading on documentary-making. As of late 2020, I am in the process of developing a proposal for a feature length documentary on refugees. Further information on my professional profile can be found on my LinkedIn profile at: