About

Tanya Stephan is a director and series director of primetime documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV. 

Her work has been nominated for numerous awards including The Grierson Award for Best Newcomer, The Royal Television Society Student Award, and The Royal Television Society Education Award for Best Single Documentary.

In 2017 her film "Life and Death the Pentecostal Way" was voted Best TV Programme Runner Up at the Sandford St Martin Religion & Ethics Broadcast Awards.

She has a strong track record as a series director - on Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Inside the Post Office (BBC2) about a year of crisis in one of Britain’s oldest, and biggest institutions; and the first Liberty of London series (C4) watched by over 2 million viewers. She has series produced, overseeing six films about police detectives for Married to the Job (ITV).

Stephan also directs authored single documentaries some of which she's secured commissions for based on exceptional access. She made the first film ever shot inside a Muslim faith school (Muslim School C4) and followed the unprecedented story of an egg donor tracing her donor conceived children, filmed over 18 months (Donor Mum BBC One). 

Before becoming a documentary director she studied History at Cambridge University then worked freelance as a radio reporter and presenter, for the BBC World Service and BBC Radio Scotland Arts and Features.

She trained in Documentary Directing at the National Film and Television school with an award from the British Federation of Women Graduates. At the NFTS she developed her intimate and crafted approach to shooting, collaborating closely with the people she films. Her graduation film 'Naz' told the story of Zoora Shah who was given a life sentence for killing her partner with arsenic and was nominated for an RTS Award for Best Student Documentary.

Her first film for Channel 4 was made for a groundbreaking series about teenagers and mental health called 'Inside My Head'. Her film for the series about Michael, a young teenager living with schizophrenia, was nominated for an RTS award for best single documentary and a Grierson award for Best Newcomer.

Her documentaries are often made over the course of many months, requiring a strong relationship of trust between her and the people she films. She also regularly returns to the NFTS as a visiting tutor.