Writer | Creator | Film Maker

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Ishbel Whitaker/ Bio

Ishbel Whitaker, previously of directing duo Marc & Ish (AKA Darkfibre), is a critically acclaimed film maker who has been Academy Award shortlisted and has won at Sundance. Her work encompasses both beautiful, cinematic and sensual imagery alongside fine performance.

She also intelligently tackles contemporary cultural issues seamlessly within the narrative. She has shot campaigns for the luxury brand Cartier and done groundbreaking work for Amnesty International, including the Unsubscribe campaign, which highlighted the use of torture by the West in the War On Terror, and the seminal ad for Benetton/ Fabrica: Gay Pride Moscow Red Square.

Ishbel headed up a creative think tank with the advertising agency BBH that campaigned for Transgender positive awareness. She has a background in experimental theatre and trained with the Polish director, Zophia Kalinska who was a protégé of Kantor and Grotowski. She was the studio assistant of Jimmy Cauty (KLF) before moving into film.

She was the Exec Producer of David Lachapelle’s Oscar-shortlisted feature documentary ‘Rize’ (Lions Gate) and directed the critically acclaimed feature documentary ‘Living Goddess’ for UK TV channel, More4. Currently, Ishbel is developing a range of Film, TV drama and documentary projects.


Academy Award shortlist Best Documentary ‘Rize’ 2005

Grierson Awards Shortlist Best Newcomer ‘Living Goddess’ 2008

Webby Awards Honoree 2012

Sundance Film Festival – Short Film Making Award

Bangkok Film Festival – Golden Kinnaree Award Best Documentary

Aspen Film Festival – Best Short Documentary

Mountain Film Festival Special Juried Recognition


Praise for Rize  ‘A visual miracle’ - Rolling Stone Magazine

Praise for Living Goddess  ‘Lushly shot film - all sumptuous reds, flickering candles and rituals to a Nitin Sawhney score’ - The Observer 

‘Ishbel Whitaker’s beautiful, languid film skillfully places the ancient superstitions vested in Sajani against the upheavals of modern-day Nepal’  - The Guardian

‘Beautifully encapsulates the way a little girl embodies both the past and the future of her land’  - The Sunday Times Culture

‘Visceral, intense with a cumulative power, not to mention a distinct sense of unpredictability as it becomes apparent that events are spiralling out of control’  - Time Out

‘Striking Documentary’ - Gerald Gilbert, The Independent

‘Remarkable Film’ - Radio Times

‘Elegantly filmed and bewitchingly scored by Nitin Sawhney ... absorbing’ - Daily Mail

‘Rich and gorgeously photographed’ - The Telegraph

‘Lushly shot film - all sumptuous reds, flickering candles and rituals to a Nitin Sawhney score’ - The Observer

Praise for Va Va Voom – Renault Clio ad ‘Britain’s sexiest TV ad ever!’ - News Of The World


Living Goddess Trailer

Living Goddess Movie

Rize Trailer


Moscow Gay Pride/ Benetton/Fabrica

Glamour/ Cartier

La Petilante/ Cartier

La Franchie/ Cartier

Stuff of Life/ Amnesty International

Waiting for the Guards/ Amnesty International

Aides/ French Government

Va Va Voom/ Renault Cleo

Unwatchable/ Save the Congo


Boxer Rebellion/ The Runner


Executing God/ Total City

A multimedia art project, exploring an accelerated urban vision of the future. Made in collaboration with Zaha Hadid and Hideuke Tanaka.

A city of consumerist overload: where everything and everyone is for sale. You can buy anything thing and anyone that you want. Brands are worshipped as talismans. Religions have gone corporate. You can bank with the Vatican and fly Krishna Airlines. Executions are broadcast live on TV, and if you can afford a ticket, you can go and watch mass feedings of the poor. How would this shop-soiled and sold out city respond if there were a real Avatar in its midst? Sign her up for product endorsement - that’s what!

Angel Games. Angel Wings ...

Speed Angels

T-Girl pop band: Outlaw Superstars. Transgressive. Subversive. Enlightening. Part of a project called Create Yourself, exploring gender fluidity and identity. Made in collaboration with the global ad agency BBH. Under the banner Create Yourself, we were looking at ideas surrounding free choice and identity. That it’s YOUR choice to be who you want to be!