Joe Utichi is a journalist specialising in film and entertainment. He is a regular contributor to The Sunday Times Culture, Deadline, The Guardian and Yahoo! Movies. Joe is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
He has appeared as a film commentator on radio and television for BBC Radio 4 and Five Live, Heart, Capital FM, BFBS, Channel 4, CTV and ITV News. In 2010 he presented film and dvd review programmes weekly for BFBS Radio.
Joe is available for commissions and consultancy on film and entertainment. He can be contacted through this form.
Joe has worked online since 1999, initially as a hobbyist writer and the founder of a fan site dedicated to the Sega Dreamcast console. From 2003 he created and ran FilmFocus.Co.UK, a movie reviews and news site which became one of the most popular in the country, with peak audience numbers of more than 450,000 monthly uniques.
In October 2006 he was invited to launch a localised version of popular film website Rotten Tomatoes for the UK market at the newly-formed Fox Interactive Media UK Ltd. He worked with local and international teams to define the feature set of the site and bring its world-famous Tomatometer to the UK. At the time of the site’s launch in January 2007, 300,000 UK-based film fans were using it. In the following three years, that audience had risen to more than 900,000 UK monthly uniques.
While at Rotten Tomatoes, Joe delivered world-class editorial features for the local and international sites. He secured big exclusives from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Keira Knightley and Kevin Smith, conducted extended interviews with everyone from Ricky Gervais to Guillermo del Toro, and covered three successive Cannes Film Festivals.
Following the site’s acquisition in the US by Flixster Inc. in January 2010, Joe oversaw the handover and centralisation of the international offices and left to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, maintaining an association with the site as a contributing editor.
As a freelance writer Joe has contributed regularly to outlets including Sunday Times Culture, Empire, The Guardian, Yahoo! Movies and The Daily Mirror. He has hosted a regular movie and DVD review show for BFBS Radio and made appearances on BBC Radio 5 Live, Channel 4 and ITV.
Internationally, Joe’s work can be read in Spain in Fotogramas magazine and in the US on AOL’s Cinematical.com and MTV’s NextMovie.com. In addition, he has worked with film distributors including 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures to provide internationally-syndicated interview content for films such as Prometheus, X-Men: First Class, Django Unchained and True Grit.
In 2011 he was accepted as a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Other Career Highlights
Joe has sat on six consecutive juries for the EE British Academy (BAFTA) Film Awards. In 2008 and 2009 he joined jury chair Finola Dwyer and the Film Committee to decide the winner of the BAFTA for Best British Film. Awards were presented to Shane Meadows’s This is England and James Marsh’s Man on Wire, in respective years. Fellow jurors included Alfonso Cuaron, Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Morrissey.
In 2010, Joe joined the jury to determine the nominees and winner of the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. With jury chairs Simon Relph and Stephen Woolley, and fellow jurors including Jane Goldman, Debra Hayward and Asif Kapadia, Joe remained on this jury for the awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The respective awards were presented to Duncan Jones for Moon, Chris Morris for Four Lions, Paddy Considine & Diarmid Scrimshaw for Tyrannosaur and Bart Layton & Dimitri Doganis for The Imposter.
He has also served as a jury member for two consecutive Raindance Film Festivals, in 2008 and 2009, with fellow jurors including Mick Jones, Iggy Pop and Andrea Arnold.
Joe has presented masterclass events with the actors Corey Feldman (Raindance, 2008) and Elliott Gould (Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2012), and often moderates after-film Q&A sessions. He regularly speaks at panels on the subjects of the film industry and journalism.