Damian James Le Bas was born in England in 1985 to a large Romani family. In 2006, he graduated from Oxford University with the highest first-class degree in his year (B.A. Hons theology). Together with Phillip Osborne and Charles Newland, Damian Le Bas became part of the filmmaking collective Notown Productions. Their films include Witchfinder (2011, short film, Latitude Contemporary Art Prize Edit), The Decision (2008, winner of the Shane Meadows short film competition), A Quiet Heart in the Night Time (2011), Riley Smith – Portrait of a Gypsy Tap Dancer (2014), the Romani language shorts Rokkerenna (2012) and Acimisko Tan (2013), as well as Sootenna (2014), a tale of payback and mud.
From 2011 to 2015 he was the publisher of Travellers’ Times, the only magazine for Romani in the UK. His first book, The Stopping Places, published by Chatto & Windus in 2018, has received a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for non-fiction. His poetry and journalism have appeared in The Guardian, the Literary Review, Test Centre, the Times Literary Supplement, GQ Style, Raw Vision, Flash Art and others. He has performed his poetry at many leading venues and literary festivals. Furthermore, he has had various short films shown at multiple international film festivals, and a short film that he wrote, The Oldest Show on the Road, won a Royal Television Society diversity award.
Not only has he worked as a Romani language consultant for Universal Studios and the BBC, he has also been a regular contributor to BBC television and radio for the last ten years and was a founder member of the International Romani Film Commission (IRFC). He has eight years’ experience as a tutor and workshop leader. Although he is mainly a director and producer he also writes film projects, plays and radio pieces and works as an actor and writer.
Filmography – Writer/Presenter
2017 The Travelling People Today (in post-production)
2016 The Oldest Show On The Road
2016 Could You Love Me?
2008 Access All Areas
Filmography – Director
2014 Riley Smith: Portrait Of An English Gypsy Tap Dancer
2013 International Romani Film Commission Omnibus – Cottbus Film
2012 Ačimasko Tan (Stopping Place)
Filmography – Producer
2014 Her Majesty’s Grief Unit (forthcoming 2014)
2012 Rokkerenna (They Say)
Filmography – Editor
2011 To Gypsyland Glasgow
2011 Selma: A Quiet Heart In The Night Time