James is a London-based writer/director. Inspired by his formative years spent between the sleepy suburbs of Southern England and the industrial North, his work explores modern British life through character-driven social realism with a surreal edge.

In 2023, James was named by the Young Arrows and Creative Circle as one of the most promising commercial directors in the UK. In 2022, his narrative debut, LEOPARD, starring Elisha Applebaum (Netflix's Fate: The Winx Saga), won several awards including Best Drama at the British Short Film Awards, 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. He is currently in pre-production for BLACK CAB and writing his first feature.


Enquires: jamesnicholasarden@gmail.com

Footage Licensing (Worldwide): Filmsupply

Photo Licensing (Worldwide): Kintzing

Associate Member: Directors UK


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


LBBOnline, David Reviews, Directors Notes, Kodak Shot on Film, The Guardian, NME, Rolling Stone, Vice, ID, MTV, Boom TV, Beyond the Short, Shorts on Tap, Videoclip Italia, PromoNews.