Clare-Louise English: Co-Creative Director
Clare-Louise is a deaf filmmaker who lost her hearing as a teenager, she trained as an actor and theatre-maker and has 20 years experience across theatre, film and TV. In 2012 Clare trained at RADA on the MA Theatre Lab course and, on graduating, Co-Founded Hot Coals Productions, alongside fellow graduate, Jo Sargeant.
In 2020 Clare directed, and co-wrote with Jo, her debut short film, My Darling Christopher, which tells the true story of a young boy who lost his hearing at the outbreak of WW2, and combines spoken English, BSL, Visual Vernacular and creative subtitles. This film went on to festivals across the globe and has won 7 awards, including: Best International Short, (Idyllwild Film Festival) and a Platinum REMI Short Film Award (WorldFest Houston) and gained Clare nominations for directing and screenwriting.
In December 2022 she worked with Ditto Films on their feature film, Warhol as Second Unit Director. Also in 2022 she directed two short films We Care and Indefinitely which are the first two from a collection of 7 films written by Deaf and disabled writers called Talking Bodies, commissioned by Hot Coals. These first two films are currently doing the festival circuit for 2023/24.
As co-writers Clare and Jo are also currently working on their comedy drama script commissioned by 5Acts (ITV Studios).
Jo Sargeant: Co-Creative Director
Jo is a dyspraxic writer/producer, performer, and designer, who has been in the industry professionally since she was 12 years old. She has always had a passion for storytelling and creating worlds, and a talent for making things happen . Graduating with a BA in Drama from University Winchester, and an MA from RADAs prestigious MA Theatre Lab, Jo founded Hot Coals Productions in 2012 with fellow RADA graduate Clare-Louise English and is one of BAFTAs inaugural BAFTA Connect members.
In 2020 Jo co-wrote, produced and designed Hot Coals' first short film, My Darling Christopher in which she also played the role of Dorothy. A role which gained her the award for best voice actress at the (Overcome Awards 2020). My Darling Christopher went on to tour film festivals around the world and won 7 awards including Best International Short (Idyllwild Festival 2021) and Best Sound design at the (Music + Sound Awards 2021), and gained an additional 10 nominations.
Since then she has co-produced an animated educational film A New Kind of Normal with Kathy Haywood and produced and designed two further short films with Hot Coals, We Care and Indefinitely, which have both already been selected for film festivals with Indefinitely having won its first award, the Vanguard Award for Cinematic excellence at Idyllwild 2023.
Jo is passionate about breaking down barriers and levelling the playing field for DDN Talent both in front of and behind the camera and has many projects in the pipeline ready to do exactly that!
Caroline Parker MBE: Patron
Caroline Parker is a well know Deaf actor and director who is famous for her brilliant signed songs and is proud patron of Hot Coals.
She has recently toured with Ramps on the Moon and Sheffield Crucible production, Much Ado About Nothing playing the role of Dogberry.
Other recent theatre credits includes: Dottie in Milesians The Coming of The Gaels. Fagin in Ramps on The Moon/Leeds Playhouse production of Oliver Twist now streaming on NT at Home and Sir Toby Belch in Southwark Theatre’s Twelfth Night.
TV appearances include: BBC’s Moving On, Doctors, Murphy’s Law, Switch. Caroline won 3 best Actress awards for her role Mabel Morgan in BSLBT Zone film If I Don't Lose, I'll Lose, including Cannes Film Festival.
In the cabaret circuit Caroline performs her unique style signed songs, she gave a TEDx talk on Singing Without Her Voice. At the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony she signed the closing number I am What I Amalongside Beverly Knight.