Tom Merilion

Tom Merilion is a filmmaker and photographer based in London. Born in Birmingham he has a BA (Hons) degree in Media Production from Northumbria University.

His commercial work as a director has seen him direct campaigns for brands such as Ford, Vodafone, Sainsbury’s, BT, Coca Cola, Aviva and HSBC.

Aside from commercial work, Tom focuses his time shooting films and photographs for charities and NGOs in India and Africa. His relationship with Cheka Sana began in 2012 on a project that took him to San Salvador, New York, New Dehli and Mwanza, Tanzania.

Aviva Insurance commissioned him to make a series of films hi-lighting their ‘Street to School’ program which gives street children a chance to enter educational programs. The resulting films were shown before the National Theatre’s ‘Live Events’ program at 500 cinemas around the UK and at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in the US.

His photographs of Anastazia and John, both street-connected children who have been supported by Cheka Sana in Tanzania, were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Award in 2016. 

More recently, his picture of Nina, a swimmer who uses open water cold swimming as a way of treating her anxiety and severe depression has been shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust photography prize 2020.

Tom is a keen open water swimmer having swum both the channel and around the island of Manhattan as part of the Belly Flops relay team. He spends his time between London and France where his two teenage sons live.