Debbie Howard

Debbie Howard is the founder of Big Buddha Films. She is a director, writer, actor and producer.


Debbie was an actress for twenty five years appearing in many popular television programs including Life on Mars, Coronation Street and Holby City. An increasing disillusionment with the roles for women on screen acted as the catalyst for Debbie to begin writing and directing her own films.

Over the past eleven years she has made a number of short films for Big Buddha Films, both fiction and documentary, which she has written, produced and directed. She also completed her critically acclaimed feature documentary, Still Loved, which had a successful cinema release and won an Impact Award for Excellence, was BIFA long listed, won a best documentary award and received a four star review in The Guardian. Debbie also works as a freelance television director. She has directed Doctors for the BBC and Coronation Street for ITV. She is planning to direct more television over the next few years in between film productions.Debbie’s strengths lie in her strong sense of story and character and a passion for tackling difficult subjects head on. Using her own extensive experience, she has great skill at working with her actors, knowing how to get the best performance out of her cast and ensuring an excellent on screen performance. In documentary, she nurtures a deep sense of trust with her participants, making sure to never exploit a situation and show respect at all times. Her work has been screened at film festivals all over the world winning both critical acclaim and a number of prestigious screen awards.

Debbie was commissioned to make a documentary called Absent From Our Own Wedding for Little Dot Studios for the Real Stories Digital Platform. This was shot in the beautiful backdrop of Montana, USA. She is a Guest Lecturer in many universities teaching film and acting. She also mentors on the BFI Film Academy and leads other industry related workshops. She is also trained in multicamera TV directing. She completed Filmonomics 2017.


“You can only be struck by the resilience the interviewees display, and the trust they place in Howard – repaid several times over by a work of commemoration that will also surely provide considerable consolation.”
Mike McCahill, The Guardian

“I worked with Debbie for 12 weeks on a feature documentary called Still Loved about stillbirth. It was a very emotional and difficult subject. At all times Debbie was extremely professional and collaborative. She was always open to ideas but had a clear vision of what she wanted the film to be and who it was for. The material that she had gathered was of the highest quality and I was spoilt for choice. I would happily work with her again.”
Joby Gee, Editor,Still Loved, Dark Horse, Versus, The Fallen, Dogging Tales

“Howard’s film reflects her talent as a storyteller but also as a film maker. It is an extremely poignant piece which encapsulates the difficult emotional and physical journey couples face who’ve experienced stillbirth.”
James Wallis, Vulturehound Magazine

“Tenacity, Integrity, creative vision and true grit, working with Debbie for the past 4 years has been both a pleasure and a privilege. Whether filming on a beach, in a tunnel or outside Number 10 her ability to work with challenging material, diplomatic necessities and limited resources in a professional, proactive and positive way is unparralleled. Debbie’s drive, determination and directorial skill is a gift to Producers, DOPs, Editors and all who are fortunate enough to work with her. Her uncompromising attitude to quality and efficiency, alongside her creative problem solving, humility and organisational strengths make her an auteur par excellance, who would lend any film crew confidence, clarity and creative strength.”
Polly Perkins, Producer, Still Loved