BAFTA Launches Hong Kong Scholarships

Program details unveiled as second leg of outreach kicks off

The British Academy of Film & Television Arts on Monday (March 24) unveiled details of its U.K.-Asian scholarship program. It also kicked off the second leg of its Hong Kong outreach initiative.

BAFTA will allow two U.K. nationals to pursue a postgraduate course in film, television or games in Hong Kong, while the reciprocal BAFTA Yip Foundation Scholarships will permit two Hong Kong permanent residents to study in the U.K.

Each could receive £20,000 ($33,000) of course fees and a $16,500 contribution to living expenses. Successful applicants will also receive free mentoring and access to BAFTA events.

Financier and businesswoman Katherine Yip, whose Yip Foundation assists individuals and charities in Hong Kong, said that she had been working for 3½ years to get the scholarships to launch. “We are a very strong supporter. This is part of who we are in Hong Kong,” she told Variety.

“In the first year we are getting our bearings with the scholarships and starting with Hong Kong,” BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry said. “In the second year we might widen the experience to allow (British) students to choose to study in Japan or Korea or wherever is most appropriate to their field. And we might also take candidates from Japan, Korea, China or Taiwan as well.”

The first of BAFTA’s Afternoon Tea networking events also debuted on Monday. It saw “Ilo Ilo” director Anthony Chen, Jamie Campbell Bower (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” parts 1 and 2) and actress Celina Jade (“Legendary Assassin”) in attendance. In the evening the BAFTA Hong Kong advisory board had its second meeting.

The week will continue with “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill” producer Duncan Kenworthy holding first a masterclass and later an Academy Circle event on Wednesday.

Applications for the scholarships will be assessed by a specially convened panel including filmmakers, a newspaper editor and a sitting judge.

“We are looking at a range of collaboration and cultural exchange, we will support other institutions and want to get this right,” said Berry. “We are all about supporting rising talent, and who knows, maybe a future BAFTA prize winner.”

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