Catherine McCarthy – Chief Executive

Catherine brings a wealth of senior experience from the BBC where she was for many years, a commissioner and TV exec. She has a background in educational broadcasting, she set up and ran BBC Learning Zone and co-commissioned many award winning BBC series, including some of the biggest BBC landmark programmes. She is passionate about using media to make a difference.

She previously worked for BBC Media Action, the BBC’s International Development Charity, where she was a Senior Adviser supporting teams around the world to produce high quality content. She worked in Bangladesh as Head of an innovative award winning multimedia project which has transformed the lives of millions. Prior to the BBC she worked for VSO and SHELTER. She is originally a trainer teacher.

Catherine has been a mentor for Documentary Campus, a global project to develop new talent in film-making, an Advisory Member to the European Broadcasting Union, a Governor at the Evelina School in St Thomas’s Hospital and an Adviser to Sheffield Documentary Film Festival and Global Health Films initiative. She served on the steering group of the initial Nominet Trust’s 100 most innovative social tech projects worldwide.

Helen Coombe – Head of Evaluation and Learning

Helen has worked extensively in programme management, monitoring & evaluation, capacity building and consulting roles in the international development sector, focusing mainly on the needs and rights of unsupported and vulnerable young women and men. She has a masters’ degree in international health and community development and is a professionally qualified youth and community worker.

Steven Zarnfaller – UK SCREEN Project Manager

Steven’s career bridges both the private and public sector, including global program management in mass-media initiatives at BBC Media Action and Concern Worldwide, as well as marketing and communications for Merrill Lynch and The Fedcap Group. At BBC Media Action, he managed content production teams in Africa and South Asia producing high-quality local-language content for TV, radio and social media related to health, governance and economic sustainability. Before this, he launched an MNCH initiative with Concern Worldwide in Malawi, which identified and evaluated ground-breaking ideas from the general public to improve health outcomes and access for mothers and children.

Katherine Allen – Fundraising Manager

Katherine joined MAF in April 2020 and brings 15 years’ experience of fundraising, predominantly from Trusts and Statutory sources. Katherine has worked for a broad range of organisations in the UK, successfully raising funds for projects in the fields of health, research, education, youth work and homelessness.

Fiona Sanders – Producer

Fiona Sanders Medical Aid Films ProducerFiona’s experience spans PR and Comms, factual TV production and eLearning for broadcasters including the BBC, Sky TV, and The Guardian Media Group. Before joining Medical Aid Films, she produced photography and branded film content for the corporate and charity sector, and for two years worked on an independent feature documentary about a Syrian family caught up in the civil war. She enjoys developing ideas, and telling stories that evoke a universal understanding of humanity.

Emma Smith-Bodie – Digital Manager

Emma joined in 2021, bringing 5 years experience working in digital, marketing and communications in the third sector.  She also has experience working as a television researcher for the BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and MTV. She has delivered social media campaigns, email marketing, website redevelopment and multimedia creation, and is passionate about using digital and data for good.

Nataliya Cuttell – Finance & HR Manager

Nataliya joined us in 2017 and brings over 25 years of experience in finance, HR and administration. She has previously worked abroad, specialising in commercial SME finances and holds a degree in Global Economy. Nataliya is responsible for the day-to-day charity finances, preparation of year end accounts and management reports. She is passionate about recycling, human and animal well-being and preserving old crafts and skills contributing to several charities.

Ashley Yonga – Volunteer Research Assistant

Ashley recently graduated with a Masters in Global Health and Development from UCL, with an undergraduate degree in Global Health from University of Bristol. She is interested in health education and community engagement as she believes that communities should be involved in both the planning and execution of all programmes, projects and research as well as informed about their health problems. Her main interests are in maternal, child and adolescent health, with a huge focus on youth and digital engagement. Ashley has always believed in the power of film to change people’s perspectives and transform their lives.

Sheida Kiran – Production Coordinator

Sheida is a final year student studying BSc Social Sciences at UCL. She has conducted ethnographic and narrative research investigating traditional gender roles and reasons for migration among rural-to-urban female Turkish migrants. Her studies on Ethnographic Documentary Making at UCL led her to shoot, edit, and direct short documentaries on the life of a Syrian refugee in the UK, and the female perception on Womanhood. She has also spent an extensive period studying and composing music for film after interning at Saran Holding dubbing studios in Istanbul, and now performs her music around London music venues.