A film-maker since 1982, Stuart has made highly regarded, award winning popular TV drama and movies that have sold around the world, winning him two British Academy (and other) awards.
At 13, Stuart had his first film shown at the Cannes Film Festival. The Virus of War was a thirty-minute 16mm drama about a fascist outpost on some British Islands in the Atlantic. It is preserved in the National Film Archive.
After graduating from Balliol College, Oxford, with a first in Modern History, Stuart worked as writer, director and producer. His first feature-length BBC drama, An Ungentlemanly Act, dramatising the first 36 hours of the Falklands War starring Ian Richardson and Bob Peck, won a BAFTA as Best Single Drama and many international awards.
From 1994-95, Urban directed Our Friends in the North, the most successful drama for 15 years on BBC2, which won him another BAFTA for Best Drama Serial. It was recently voted one of the Top 25 Television Programmes Of All Time in the influential British Film Institute Poll 2000.
In 1995, he wrote the $6 million HBO/BBC film Deadly Voyage that won the Silver Nymph for Best Screenplay at Monte Carlo and proved one of HBO’s most popular movies of the year. In 1997, through his company Cyclops Vision, he wrote, produced and directed cult comedy Preaching to the Perverted, theatrically released in 23 countries and a popular title on the film festival circuit. In 1999, Harold Pinter chose Stuart to co-write, produce and direct Against the War, an acclaimed and hard-hitting documentary attacking the NATO bombing of Serbia for the BBC and Cyclops Vision.
From 2000-2001 he co-produced, wrote and directed Revelation a Cyclops Vision Production for Romulus Films . This mystical/supernatural thriller stars Terence Stamp and Udo Kier and was shot in Europe and the Mediterranean. It concerns the quest to locate and understand a relic that heralds the fusion of science and religion. Budget is $7.5 million and it was theatrically released in UK April 2002, playing for 5 weeks in the West End. It has sold to 24 countries and Alexander Walker of the Evening Standard found it “excellent…a film with a brain behind it”.
He has also directed extensively in factual television, most recently for BBC’s Panorama where he did the influential 2005 edition Blair v Blair which covered civil liberties and terrorism.
Tovarisch I Am Not Dead (www.tovarisch.net) is his theatrical feature documentary about his father, Garri Urban, who survived and escaped from both the Holocaust and the Gulag. The film is being completed for delivery in 2007 after 14 years in the making.
In 2012 Stuart wrote and directed the black comedy May I Kill U? (www.mayikillu.com), starring Kevin Bishop and Frances Barber. The film, described by several critics as a breakout film of London’s FrightFest, was released in 2013 in UK, Russia and Zambia so far. Phillip French of The Observer, one of Britain’s most eminent critics, described it as “funny, sharp, and ruthless”.
The film received the Melies d’Argent prize at Brussels International Fantasy Film Festival in 2013, nominating it as one of the best genre films of the year on the festival circuit. It is released in the USA late 2013
Please click here to read Stuart’s notes on the making of Preaching To The Perverted..