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As the producer of Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies, Simon Channing Williams was an Academy Award nominee. In addition to the Best Picture nomination, the film was also an Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Brenda Blethyn), and Best Supporting Actress (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). Secrets & Lies won the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at the 1996 Cannes International Film Festival.
Mr. Channing Williams' longstanding partnership with Mike Leigh began when he worked as first assistant director on the 1980 BBC television film Grown-Ups. After working together again, as co-producer of the BAFTA Award-nominated short film The Short and Curlies and as producer of the award-winning feature film High Hopes, the two men set up Thin Man Films to formalize their partnership.
The first Thin Man project was the feature Life is Sweet, which was applauded by critics, garnered awards worldwide, and won new international audiences for the director's work. Next came A Sense of History, which was named Best Short Film at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival. This was followed by several features: the multi-award-winning Naked; the aforementioned Secrets & Lies; Career Girls; Topsy-Turvy (which won two Academy Awards, for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup); All or Nothing; and, most recently, Vera Drake. The latter film's numerous awards include the top prize, the Golden Lion, and the Best Actress prize at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival; and three Academy Award nominations, for Best Actress (Imelda Staunton), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
Beyond the Thin Man works, Mr. Channing Williams has produced a variety of projects. These include Tony Palmer's U.K. telefilm Puccini; Clive Rees' When the Whales Came; Tim Sullivan's Jack and Sarah; Doug McGrath's Nicholas Nickleby (which received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Picture); Paddy Breathnach's Man About Dog; and, most recently, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's Brothers of the Head.
He has been executive producer of the BAFTA Award-nominated Little Pig Robinson, directed by Alan Bridges; the short film The Pan Loaf, winner of a Silver Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival and named Best Short Film at the Cork Film Festival; and Irwin Winkler's De-Lovely.
In 2000, Mr. Channing Williams formed, with Gail Egan, the independent production company Potboiler Productions Ltd.