The CDA is an alliance of professional UK Casting Directors dedicated to upholding professional standards within the industry.

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Meet The Jury

DAVID STEWART

David Stewart is a photographer and director whose meticulously observed scenes take inspiration from the strangeness of everyday life, people and pop culture. Working with actors to stage large-format tableaus often based on real-life experiences, David adroitly crafts imagery that is both humorous and compassionate. David has built an illustrious career in commercial photography, lending his trademark aesthetic to global brands; a subject that he sends up with knowing humour in landmark project paid content. The project wryly captures in rich detail the strange rituals of the creative industry, and was accompanied by an exhibition at Wren London and a glossy soft cover publication published by Browns Editions.

Other acclaimed bodies of work include Fogeys, a playful collection of photographs celebrating growing old disgracefully, BAFTA nominated short film, Cabbage, and Teenage Pre-occupation – a project from which lead David to win the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2015. Clients include Absolut, Amazon, American Express, Channel 4, EE, ITV, Land Rover, National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and Sky.

Emma Dyson trained at the Guildford School of Acting. After working in other areas of the arts, she became an agent for a leading West End actors agency and developed a broad understanding of the relationship between the performer, management and casting process. Her experience as an agent gives her an invaluable insight and perspective on portfolio photography, profiles, showreels and voicereels. As well as liaising with drama schools in the UK and overseas, Emma is an experienced public speaker, contributing on industry panels and discussions.

EMMA DYSON

RACHEL REISS

Rachel Reiss CSA is a senior casting director at Liz Lewis Casting Partners where she casts Film, TV, Commercials, Animation and VO nationwide. She has cast hundreds of commercials and voice-overs, including many that have been recognized with Clio Awards and Cannes Lion Awards. Rachel was honored as the 2019 Heller Awards Recipient for Best Northeast Commercial and VO Casting along with her colleague Angela Mickey.

Rachel serves on the National Board of Directors for the Casting Society of America as the VP of Technology, and was proud to be a driving force in opening CSA membership to commercial casting directors. Rachel is also the chair of the Commercial and Tech Committees.
Some recent film and television credits include Let’s Get Rolling with Otis , Lady-Like, The Painter, King of Knives, and web series Simi Valley and Stellar People, which won Best Supporting Actor, Best Comedy and Best Ensemble Cast at NYC Web Fest. She has also cast podcasts including To & From and Investigation Discovery’s upcoming Love Gone Wrong.

Shion is the Head of Production in Anonymous Content’s UK office. Prior to joining Anonymous, she was a freelance producer across commercials, fashion & narrative work. Her two short films both had successful runs in the festival circuit.

SHION HAYASAKA

SIMON ALVERANGA

Simon Alveranga has been head of production at Kash for over 10 years and is often involved in the casting process. He has overseen a wide range of productions from branded content and commercials to music videos and documentaries. Simon started his career in television production working as a producer/director on documentaries for all of the major broadcasters. He is currently leading Kash’s pivot towards entertainment and community outreach heading up a number of short films and educational projects, bringing together young people and filmmaking professionals to deliver positive outcomes for all involved.

Steve is the Chief Executive of the Advertising Producers Association. He is focused on the APA’s main objective of creating the best possible business environment for its members. Steve is also a member of the board of the Advertising Association, Executive Vice President of the CFPE and one of the founders of the World Producers Summit in Cannes.

STEVE DAVIES

TIGGER BLAIZE

Tigger is originally from Guernsey, trained at Rose Bruford, and works as an actor in theatre, TV, film and audio. Tigger is also an Intimacy Coordinator/Director, delivers workshops in Trans Awareness; and works as an LGBT+ consultant to Arts organisations.
Tigger is Vice Chair of Equity’s LGBT+ Committee, recently contributing to the union’s “Guidelines for Entertainment Professionals working with LGBT+ Performers”.
In the winter he does a bit of ski instructing; and runs a monthly pavement cake shop – “CAKE on the hEdge” – when not doing all of the above.

Casting Directors Association