One of the most respected collaborators in the film industry, Zelda Barron directed three features of her own, in addition to providing valuable assistance to such directors as Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty and Michael Apted. She was born in Manchester in 1929 and started out in film as a secretary. That led to work in continuity and other production areas. She served as associate producer on The Triple Echo (1972), Michael Apted’s first feature, and continued working with him on Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) and Continental Divide (1981). On Reds (1981), she served as script supervisor and script doctor while also assisting Beatty on the scenes in which he acted. On his recommendation, Barron provided similar services to Streisand on Yentl (1983).
Meanwhile, she had formed her own production company, Skreba, for which she wrote and made her directing debut with Secret Places (1984), an acclaimed tale of a German refugee who befriends an English schoolgirl during World War II. She followed that with The Bulldance (1988), a thriller about a rape at a school for Olympic hopefuls, and Shag (1989), a critically acclaimed coming-of-age tale starring Bridget Fonda. In 1989, she co-founded the support group Women in Film.