James is a London-based writer/director, working across commercials, promos and fiction. Inspired by his formative years between the sleepy suburbs of London and the industrial cities of the North, he explores modern life through hard-hitting, character-driven work.

In 2023, James was named by the Young Arrows and Creative Circle as one of the most promising directors in the UK. In 2022, his narrative debut, Leopard, won several awards including a British Short Film Award, and has garnered over 100,000 views. In 2021, he won a 1.4 On The Cusp Award and was shortlisted for a Cannes Lion Young Director Award and Venice TV Award.

James was selected for the 2024 Directors UK Inspire Scheme, mentored by Ben A. Williams (Six Four, SherwoodHumans).


Enquires: jamesnicholasarden@gmail.com


Young Arrows 2023 - Best New Director - Shortlist

Berlin Commercial 2023 - Shortlist x 2

Creative Circle Awards 2023 - Most Promising Director - Nomination

Charity Film Awards 2023 - Winner x 2

British Short Film Awards 2022 - Best Drama - Winner

PromoNews 2022 - Best Music Videos of the Year: Rock & Alt

1.4 Awards 2021 - On The Cusp - Winner

Venice TV Award 2021 - New Talent - Nomination

Cannes Lions 2021 - Young Director Award - Nomination

PromoNews 2021 - Best Music Videos of the Year: Pop & R&B

Kinsale Sharks Awards 2020 - Best Director - Nomination

Lift Off Global Awards 2020 - Best First Film - Winner

London Lift-Off Film Festival 2020 - Best Short Film - Winner

Kerry International Film Festival 2020 - Best International Short - Winner