Deborah Espect

Deborah is an award-winning playwright, script writer, novelist and ghostwriter. Her short films have been shown in festivals in West Hollywood, Cannes, Brighton and London and her plays have been performed in leading fringe theatres in London, where they received critical acclaim. 

Deborah created 'As We Are' after becoming disenchanted with her favourite lesbian characters always dying on TV. She wanted to write a positive story with a happy ending, but her original ideas for main character Chloe lacked a certain direction. Then, she discovered an inspiring series about the lives of trans women in America, and the transphobic response it generated from within the LGB community encouraged her to explore the way some cis gay and bisexual women view people with a trans experience. Chloe isn't usually attracted to men, and she struggles to understand her feelings towards Blake. Her best friend Hannah is quick to tell her off when she thinks Chloe is being transphobic, yet she herself is very keen to establish that the woman she fancies at the bar is definitely cis before trying to chat her up. 'As we are' is about unintentional transphobia, and the lack of knowledge that can surround trans issues. It is Deborah's debut as director and producer.

Anya Krasnikova
​Director of Photography

Anya's interest in film began in her childhood; she loved visualising the stories told by her family and learnt about photography and film projections from her grandfather. 

Born in the USSR, growing up in Egypt and living in England, Anya's family and background have given her a very diverse perspective on the world. She aims to tell stories that encourage diversity and broaden views. 

Anya's experience has given her the drive and passion to support other women in film. Anya has filmed over thirty short films, including recently 'Jedi's Code', two feature films and won an award for a self-directed short film at the Unchosen Film Festival. Anya is currently in pre-production for three other feature films. 
See for more details.

Angie Thomas

Angie has worked for ten years producing animated and live-action content for broadcast, cinema, online, and presentation use. It's hard to say what she loves best about her job, but one of the major appeals is story telling, whether it is a documentary, short film or even a 15-second animation. Angie tends to operate as a one woman band and often takes a project from concept through to finished advert - brainstorming, storyboarding, scripting, shooting, editing and adding motion. To see her work, take a wander round 

Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir (Owl)
Co-writer, episode 4
'Mysterious woman at the bar', episode 3

Owl is a trans campaigner, writer and feminist, who navigates the world with their own radical vulnerability as instrument of choice. They have been active in the fight for trans and queer rights for many years and are currently one of the spokespeople for trans people in Iceland and across Europe.

With a degree in gender studies and personal experience as a non binary trans person, they’ve both been involved in many different NGO’s in Iceland and across Europe. They are a former board member of Trans Iceland and of IGLYO. They’ve organised many events on behalf of IGLYO as well as given lectures on queer issues in Iceland, across Europe and recently did a TEDx talk on the rigid binary categories of sex and gender.

Owl also writes blogs, articles and stories based on their personal experiences, giving people an insight into some of their most vulnerable and closest thoughts. They also co-ordinate My Genderation with their partner Fox Fisher, which is a documentary project based on documenting the lives of trans people. Together they make videos, documentaries and travel to do workshops on trans issues.

​​Joe Starrs
​1st AD

Joe Starrs is a 1st Assistant Director working in and around London. He has worked as a 1st AD on a large number of ranging productions such as music videos, short films, fashion promos, web series and feature films. 

Noted works include creating music videos for artists such as Huntar, on the promo for "4am", Sundura Karma's "Flame" and one of The Fratellis most recent tracks "Baby Don't You lie To Me". He also worked with the acclaimed director Rob Savage on his upcoming short film "Dawn of the Deaf", and Mark A.C Brown's comedy feature film "Guardians". 

Matt Wilkinson 
​Sound Engineer

Matt has been working with sound for over 10 years. Initially training as a musician, Matt always had a keen interest in recording both from a musical and technical point of view. He has his own sound engineering business which supplies events and festivals with equipment and crew. He has recently graduated from Brighton Film School with a diploma in Cinematography and Directing.

Emma Bailey

Studying Film Production at UCA gave Emma an introduction to the world of filmmaking, and at the Farnham campus, she specialised in Cinematography, where she learnt how to light 16mm, 35mm and digital under award-winning DoPs.
After graduating, she became a camera assistant for artists and progressed further into the industry via her camera roles as film loader and focus puller on short films, music promos to feature films. She advanced into lighting and consequently began operating and became a director of photography on short and feature films.
Using the skills and discipline she learnt in the film industry, Emma moved to Brighton and became a photographer, where she has held numerous fine art exhibitions and has created a diverse corporate portfolio from natural light portraits to time lapse videos.
Within the LGBT community she has worked for g3 magazine, photographing the scene in London and Brighton and regularly documents gender performers and events.

Alex Tyler
Set Dresser/Master of Props/Script Supervisor

Alex is still a beginner to filmmaking but has had a varied career already; designing her first feature film 'Subject' in 2015, working as a set dresser on soon to be released action thriller 'Alleycats', as well as making props and art directing for shorts and a sci-fi challenge competition. Alex also enjoys working with fringe theatre productions to design cost effective and dynamic sets, while holding down a day job as a film archivist - another passion.

Virginia Popova
​Make-up Artist
Virginia Popova is a freelance Make-up and SFX Make-up artist. She has been freelancing since 2009 when she qualified as a Media Make-up Artist in London. While freelancing Virginia has worked on various projects including short and feature films, music videos, web series, theatre plays and corporate videos.

She enjoys creating strong and artistic Make-up looks and challenging gory SFX make-ups. Seeing people's faces and hearing their reactions when they see her bloody and gory effects gives her a feeling of satisfaction for having successfully created a realistic effect. She feels the same way when complimented for her beauty, fashion and fantasy looks.
Virginia has skills in the area of life casting, sculpting, mould making casting, creation and application of prosthetic make-up, face and body painting, natural, beauty and fantasy make-up and hairstyling. She is also a fully qualified Model/Prop Maker.
For full credits and examples of her work please visit

Sharon Kilgannon

Sharon is a Brighton-based photographer and videographer, who works a lot within the LGBTQ community. She was commissioned to do the photography and portraits for the book Brighton Trans*formed, documenting the lives of Trans* people, and she is the regular
photographer at LGBTQ events, including Trans* Pride.  Sharon also works a lot with charities, doing portraits for advertising, including recent campaigns for ADDACTION, MGEDT and AGE UK.

Rowan Halford
Camera Assistant

Having just graduated from Brighton Film School with a degree in Film Production, Rowan is now a freelance Camera Assistant and Camera Operator based in Brighton, shooting on the Sony A7S and Sony FS7. He has been involved in many shoots - most recently, as a camera operator for Fort Process, which is a music and art festival based on exploring the acoustic properties of Newhaven Fort.

Rowan is also a keen photographer with a passion for architectural photography.

Executive Producer: Deborah Espect
Production Manager: Elizabeth Mienert
Production Consultant: Natalie Malla
Casting: Deborah Espect
Runners: James Geldert, Michelle Hau
Website Design: Jennifer Baxter

Daisy Behagg, Alex Dougherty, Michelle Hau, Steph Henchley, Alena Kaleda, James McCauley, John McCullough, Suzanne Mead, Edwin Pynegar, Amy Squirrell, Emma Taylor, Andrew Stock
For all enquiries, contact
All photos by Sharon Kilgannon,

For all As We Are related enquiries, contact
All photos by Sharon Kilgannon,