Award-winning director (and wheelchair user) working in film & TV.

BAFTA-Connect | BBC Elevate | Directors UK
OWEN TOOTH photographed by RANKIN

What's new?
My most recent short won numerous ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Comedy’ awards, and my documentary (featured below) won ‘Best BTS’ at the BRAND film awards and was screened around the world.

I'm expanding from features into TV, and been selected for BBC Elevate (raising the profile of disabled talent in TV).

I have a BBC New Creatives short on the festival circuit. I've guest-directed for the BAFTA and Emmy-winning Horrible Histories and recently shadowed on a Jack Thorne BBC1 major four-part drama... as well as on further multi-award-winning shows such as Call The Midwife, Hollyoaks and Jack Rooke’s Big Boys S2 where I also directed second unit.   

I'm midway through the comprehensive Silent Witness director-training scheme and about to start shadowing on EastEnders: I don't stay still!

What motivates you?
I’m a born storyteller known for bringing a fresh perspective to the screen. I love the whole process: collaborating with writers to bring an idea into existence, pushing the story further in the edit, the rush of that first screening...

But it’s on set, in the dance between cast and crew, where I come alive.

I have a distinct voice which shines through my work regardless of genre. I'd describe it as elegant, emotional, often dark and always highly creative.

I’m passionate about diversity and representation on and off screen. I'm trailblazing a path for myself and others into the industry, but exploding limiting beliefs about disability is just part of my mission. 

Poster for Owen's short comedy 'PMS' featuring some of its many laurels
Owen guest directing Horrible Histories

The hard sell
I hope my track record of awards and screenings at hundreds upon hundreds of festivals worldwide speaks for itself.

I'm proudest of my ability to balance filmmaking's most technical demands with nurturing a relaxed, creative atmosphere on set where I can help actors find their performance. I'm commonly told I run a calm, peaceful set where cast feel embraced to do their best work, and crew are challenged to outdo themselves.

I want to know more 
There's no faster way to get to know me than to watch this film. You'll even see superstar photographer RANKIN take the black and white portrait of me that I use at the top of this page! 

I was hired by The Annex to direct a behind-the-scenes doc about the first TVC campaign with a fully-inclusive crew.

On the day of the shoot, the lead interviewee couldn’t join us, and I realised that it was the time to go in front of the camera and share my story.

The response has been phenomenal.

Owen on the set of Jack Rooke's Big Boys S2

What else do you do?
I currently teach an MA in Film & Screen Production at the University of Derby (where I also graduated with first class honours).

There, I am a disability role model, proud LGBTQ+ ally, and active member of the Decolonisation Board which I helped to set up.

In my (rare) spare time, I play guitar, compete in wheelchair-basketball and enjoy exploring the muddy mountains of the Peak District in my all-terrain wheelchair with my wife. 

When not in the great outdoors, you’ll find me in the great indoors, gazing at a cinema screen.

So, your director's chair has wheels... will X, Y or Z offend you?
I'm asked this on every production I've been involved in since becoming a wheelchair-user, so let's get this out there right now: I’m totally relaxed talking about myself and disability in general - so don't be shy!

I'd love to work with you but this shoot isn't accessible...This is the limiting belief which has hurt my career the most; assuming something isn't possible without asking. 

You'd be surprised how easily I can get onto any set; be it mountainside, forests, tiny spaces, up stairs... If the crew can get there, so can I - with a little ingenuity. So why not give me a call!

Poster for my debut feature, Devil's Tower


A selection of my training and development experiences. Ask for my most recent CV, or check my IMDB for up-to-date credits.

Jack Rooke's Big Boys S2: Second Unit director and shadowing

With showrunner Jack Rooke and director Jim Archer, Channel 4's Big Boys is a tender coming of age, coming out comedy/drama with a cinematic scope and a stellar cast. 
I was welcomed into RoughCut family to shadow Jim for a fortnight, Owen was soon directing second unit with footage to match the brilliant look of the show.

Silent Witness Director Training

 14-day prestigious Director Training Scheme through producer Jayne Chard with directors Toby Frow and Roberto Bangura, to give comprehensive training in the demands of directing for the television arena. It encompassed 4.5 days in pre-production, 4.5 days in production, 4 days in post and a consolidation day with a written report. 

Director Shadowing on Jack Thorne BBC1 Drama

Three weeks shadowing the director on a major BBC1 four-part drama written by Jack Thorne and starring the incredible Sharon Horgan opposite a career-best Michael Sheen, exploring the production from prep to post, as well as assisting production with EPK and in the edit.

Production Safety Passport

The Mark Milsome Screenskills Film & TV Safety Passport (valid to March 2027).
I have also taken ScreenSkills training courses in Addressing unconscious bias (valid to Oct 2023); Tackling Harassment and Bullying at Work; Mentoring for Mentees; Coronavirus Basic Awareness Training.

Hollyoaks Shadowing

Shadowing a pair of directors on Hollyoaks (Candida Scott-Knight and David Crowley) and getting to know the full production team, also spending two days with the post-production team in the edit suite.

Ralph & Katie Digital Traineeship

Produced by the incomparable Jules Hussey, this gave unprecedented insight into the inner workings of a TV production during the creation of the groundbreaking series. All paperwork was shared, from contracts and early script drafts through to exec notes on edits of each episode. 

Virtual Production @XPLOR

A hands-on day exploring Virtual Production / VP as a director and producer: what are the costs (high!), how do you shoot do get the best out of it? How do you prep for a VP shoot and plan your location work to match? 
This was a highly technical, hands-on and confidence-boosting day spent pressure testing the Unreal Engine environments with live cast.

BA Film & Video Production

First Class Honours (University of Derby). Practical degree shooting and editing on 16mm film as well as digital video.
I actually ended up writing and teaching practical modules for the third-year students, not long after graduating and recently taught a full practical module for the Film & Screen Production MA students!