Four young filmmakers will vie for the new IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award, the most generous prize of its kind in Britain to encourage new film-making talent.
The £50,000 ($65,000) stipend is set to be awarded for the first time during this year’s BFI London Film Festival, the British Film Institute announced Tuesday. The award recognizes a U.K.-based writer or director, with a first or second feature in official selection at the film fest, and is designed to provide financial stability for the recipient to develop his or her creativity and focus on future projects.
“This extraordinary partnership, and the generosity of our friends at IWC Schaffhausen, is enabling us to support exciting up-and-coming British talent in a truly dynamic way,” said BFI CEO Amanda Nevill. “We have an incredible shortlist of filmmakers and a very difficult decision to make.”
The four finalists from a long-list of 15 entries are: Joseph A. Adesunloye, writer-director of “White Colour Black”; Hope Dickson Leach, writer-director of “The Levelling”; Alice Lowe, writer-director of “Prevenge” (pictured); and Paul Anton Smith, director of “Have You Seen My Movie?”
The short-list was determined by a panel including filmmaker Gurinder Chadha; acting head of BBC Films, Joe Oppenheimer; Film4’s head of development, Rose Garnett; director of the London Film Festival, Clare Stewart; and director of the BFI Film Fund, Ben Roberts.
“This is a happy short-list for many reasons,” said Roberts. “All four filmmakers are on very different paths in terms of their filmmaking. Each has already developed an enviable confidence and style, and this bursary would greatly benefit any of them.”
“White Colour Black” and “Have You Seen My Movie?” will receive their world premieres at the London Film Festival, which kicks off Oct. 5. “Prevenge” debuted at the Venice Film Festival and “The Levelling” at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.
The winner of the award will be decided by Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen; Nevill of the BFI; and actor John Hurt. It will be awarded at a special IWC gala dinner in honor of the BFI on Oct. 4 at London’s Rosewood Hotel.