Nik Powell OBE

Producer, Co-Founder, Virgin Records & Chairman, Scala Productions


In the early 1970s Nik Powell set up Virgin Records with Richard Branson and in the space of ten years the pair turned a small mail-order record operation into a multi-million pound conglomerate.

In 1982 Powell went into partnership with Stephen Woolley, having sold out from Virgin in the previous year. Together they formed Palace Pictures (where UK releases included THE EVIL DEAD, DIVA and BLOOD SIMPLE) and then Palace Productions, soon establishing each as highly regarded entities within the film distribution and production industry. Powell acted as Executive Producer on all of Palace’s productions including Neil Jordan’s COMPANY OF WOLVES, Academy Award nominated MONA LISA, Michael Caton-Jones’ SCANDAL and Neil Jordan’s multi-Academy Award nominated THE CRYING GAME.

Nik and Stephen Woolley’s new company Scala produced Iain Softley’s BACKBEAT, Terence Davies’ THE NEON BIBLE, Shane Meadows’ debut TWENTY FOUR: SEVEN, Mark Herman’s Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning LITTLE VOICE, Fred Schepisis’ LAST ORDERS starring Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay, Helen Mirren, David Hemmings and Ray Winstone, and Charles Dance’s LADIES IN LAVENDER, starring Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith and Daniel Bruehl. Nik also executive produced box office smash CALENDAR GIRLS starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters as well as Martin Koolhoven’s BRIMSTONE with Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning and Kit Harington which premiered in September 2016 at the Venice Film Festival before screening in Toronto and London.

In 2018 Nik stepped down from his role as Director of the UK’s renowned National Film & Television School (regularly listed amongst the world’s leading film schools). During his time at the NFTS, films produced by students garnered numerous BAFTAs and Academy Award nominations. The school was awarded the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution at the 2018 ceremony.

A former Chair of the European Film Academy, the BAFTA Film Committee and Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et Lettres, Nik was named an OBE in the 2018 Honours List. He is now focusing on his role as Chairman of Scala Productions.

Scala is currently in post production on Golden Lion winner and Oscar nominee Milcho Manchevski’s WILLOW, a Macedonia/Hungary/Belgium co­production on which Nik is executive producer.
Also close to completion is award­winning filmmaker Julius Amedume’s feature debut RATTLESNAKES.