Personal profile



Josh Appignanesi is a writer/director whose work spans fiction, documentary and the space in-between. His six feature films were released theatrically in over thirty territories and online in over a hundred, with work gaining festival Competition slots at Tribeca, Rotterdam, Cannes/ACID, Berlin and Sheffield, awards at London, Edinburgh, Turin, and BAFTA, BIFA, BAFTSS and AHRC Research In Film nominations.

His most recent feature film MY EXTINCTION (2023) investigated the barriers to climate action.  Invited to premiere at COP28 in Dubai, the documentary features Zadie Smith, Simon Schama, Ali Smith, David Graeber, George Monbiot, Juliet Stevenson, Simon McBurney, AL Kennedy, Peter Pomerantsev, Juliet Stevenson and Mark Rylance. Funded by the Arts Council and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the theatrical release partnered with major climate NGOs to reach over 50 UK cinemas with panel talks, outreach and recruitment, and an online distribution deal with Curzon Home Cinema, as well as feature pieces in The Mirror, The Guardian, The Observer, Big Issue, Times Radio, BBC Radio and many other outlets.

His prior feature film HUSBAND (2022), a docufiction about heteronormative marriage, was selected In Competition at the Edinburgh Film Festival and positively covered in The Guardian, Times, BBC Radio 4, The New Yorker and a host of other outlets.  

In 2018 he made the docufiction feature film FEMALE HUMAN ANIMAL, "a #MeToo thriller for female surrealists set in the real life art-world", funded by Arts Council England, which Little White Lies called "Unnerving, riveting and mesmerising"  and The Observer called "A Triumph." Starring and written in conversation with the novelist Chloe Aridjis, it features the work of surrealist Leonora Carrington, was part shot at the Tate, and was exec produced by Jacqui Davies. It premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest, was screened at twenty cinemas around the UK and is released globally by online platform MUBI.

Previous features include the acclaimed documentary feature THE NEW MAN (Brooklyn Film Festival) and the ethnic indie comedy THE INFIDEL (Tribeca, Turin Film Festivals), scripted by David Baddiel and starring Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Archie Panjabi & Miranda Hart, which was distributed theatrically in twenty countries. His debut feature was SONG OF SONGS, a religious psychodrama written with Jay Basu and starring Natalie Press (award-winning at Edinburgh, London festivals, Offical Selection Rotterdam and BIFA nominated.)  

Josh also co-wrote Hollywood romcom ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and has directed talent such as John Malkovich, Tom Hiddleston, David Tennant, Sarah Kestelman and Michelle Dockery, and collaborated with artist Martin Creed among others. His short films EX MEMORIA and RUFUS STONE were Wellcome and UKRI/EHRC funded. He also directs commercials for Independent.

His prior teaching, mentoring, training and lab work has included London Film School, Film London, Guardian Masterclasses, Arista, and Met Film School. He works as a script editor, is a voting member of BAFTA and has sat on funding panels and juries such as the BIFAs, Film London’s microwave, UKJF’s Screenwriting Award and UKJF's Pears Fund.



"Skewers middle-class attitudes to impending apocalypse" Catherine Bray, THE GUARDIAN

"Jaunty, funny filmmaking" Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

"A call to arms" TOTAL FILM

"Reminds us working together is empowering" Susie Orbach, THE OBSERVER


"Complex, subtle... A rich new seam of autofictional docucomedy."

Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

"Pointed, self-reflexive critique of a modern marriage... peppered with insight." Ben Nicholson, SIGHT & SOUND

"Genre-defying Freudian docudrama... I couldn't take my eyes off it." Josh Glancy, SUNDAY TIMES

"Very very moving and revealing.. Told with great honesty and love."

Mark Kermode, BBC5

“Appignanesi jumps, in one beautifully executed move, to join the front rank of new British directors. His timing is perfect, his feel for the rhythm of moral action is bracing.”

“Startlingly, for this second project, Appignanesi shifts gear for something more confrontational and taboo-busting... a broad comedy that gleefully and repeatedly stamps on the tender toes of liberal correctness.”
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

"A cinematic milestone… a challenging, unashamedly intellectual rigour to it. In both style and content, the film reveals a distinctive and bold new voice in British cinema."
Jason Solomons, THE OBSERVER

"A daringly original debut."
Wendy Ide, THE TIMES

"A powerful and confident work and shows that Appignanesi is seriously committed to cultivating a real cinematic language."
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

UK Agent: Matthew Bates at Sayle Screen
US Agent: Abram Nalibotsky at Verve

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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