About Braintrust

Braintrust is a London-based independent production company focused on developing and packaging high-end television series, features, and animated series. We are fortunate to work with an impressive roster of emerging British talent and established relationships with agencies and co-production partners in London, Canada, South Africa, and Los Angeles.

Team

Sam Bank
Producer/Founder

Sam Bank is a BIFA-nominated film and music producer from Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Syracuse University, Sam moved to Los Angeles and got his start in the mailroom at UTA. Sam then worked in development and production at Discovery Networks and yU+co, a commercial VFX company, before his love of warm beer and average food drove him to London, earning his masters degree at the National Film and Television School as a producer. In his independent work, Sam secured representation for screenwriting, including a TV pilot and feature he co-wrote and developed with two major studios. His animated short film, The Wrong End of the Stick, was long-listed for a BAFTA and has screened at 78 international film festivals, including being nominated for ‘Best British Short’ at the BIFA awards and a separate nomination for the Annie Awards in Los Angeles. In 2016, Sam founded Braintrust, which quickly expanded with additional team members, projects, talent, and partnerships abroad.

Ian Loizeaux
Financial Director

Ian Loizeaux is an investor and entrepreneur from Baltimore, Maryland. After studying engineering and economics at the University of Pennsylvania, he moved to San Francisco, where he was an investment banker in the technology sector. He left California to get his MBA at the London Business School and subsequently spent five years in the hedge fund industry, most recently as a Partner at New Peak Capital in London. In addition to his role at Braintrust, Ian runs Nosara Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in online marketplaces globally.

Hélène Sifre
Head of Development

Following two-years working in development in Paris, Hélène joined the Producing MA at the NFTS. There, she assisted Christine Vachon during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival; and produced three short films that all competed in festivals worldwide. Fishwitch earned a nomination at the 44th Annie Awards, won the Verna Fields award at the Golden Reels and Best Student Film at the Irish Young Directors Awards; whilst Ferris & The Fancy Pigeon won the 2017 RTS Award for Best Postgraduate Drama. In 2016, she started her own company, Kleio Films, where she produced Caroline Bartleet's second short film, The Bind, for BBC Films, which played at Underwire, Tirana and won the Golden Knight for Best Short Film at Malta International Film Festival. Hélène is now developing a slate of feature films, including the iFeatures project Blue Jean, which has been picked up by BBC Films, and a feature in co-production with Agile Films (Beast). Outside of her own production activity, Hélène has been providing coverage for the BFI, BBC Films, StudioCanal, Working Title, Anton Capital, and STX. She also worked as executive assistant/junior business & production executive at Filmwave, before joining Braintrust in 2018 as Development Executive. In 2019, she was selected for the Berlinale Talents Lab, the Inside Out Finance Forum and the Edinburgh Talent Lab.

Alice Schweitzer
Development Coordinator

Alice has worked in the film, TV and theatre industry. She started out freelancing as a Director’s and Production Assistant for theatre and film companies including Rather Good Film, The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Old Vic. After becoming Assistant Producer/Script Coordinator at Classic Spring/Open Palm Films, Alice discovered her passions lie in storytelling and in working with writers to develop scripts to their full potential. She has also worked as a reader for several production companies including BBC Studios, Mammoth Screen, Carnival Films and Channel Four Drama. Most recently, Alice has been the Writer's Room Assistant on Avalon's Sky comedy Breeders and the Script Secretary on CBBC's Horrible Histories. Alice joined the Braintrust family in December 2021 as Development Coordinator and is excited about what lies ahead.