LONDON — Filmmaker Pia Getty has bestowed the first Pia Pressure Awards to directors and writers Johnny Kenton and Debs Paterson. The awards are an initiative of Getty’s film and television production company Pia Pressure, which launched last year.
The Pia Pressure Awards offer funding and support to filmmakers, who receive up to £25,000 ($35,600) to help fund their projects as well as guidance. Winners will be expected to give their time to help new filmmakers in the Pia Pressure network. Kenton and Paterson will be part of the team that leads the selection and development panels for the next round of award winners.
Kenton started out as a musician, which led to him making experimental films and music videos for many bands on labels including XL Recordings, Columbia and Universal. He also cut his teeth directing theater and interactive and immersive experiences, making works for The Underbelly, The Vaults and National Theatre Studio. In 2013 he wrote and directed “Hereafter,” a young adult scifi pilot released through Channelflip, starring Lydia Wilson, Taron Egerton and Anthony Head. He is a David Lean Scholar at the National Film and Television School, and his films have played at several festivals, including Raindance, New York, Raindance, Berlin and Venice.
Kenton was chosen as a Pia Pressure award winner for his “deeply emotional rock’n’roll filmmaking style and technical flare.” He is currently developing scifi thriller “Realms” and crime drama “Casual Thunder.”
Popular on Variety
Paterson’s first feature “Africa United” was produced by Pathé and BBC Films, and premiered in Toronto, and then played as a red carpet gala screening at the London Film Festival. She was nominated for best debut director at the British Independent Film Awards and named a BAFTA “Brit to Watch.”
She is a recipient of a Pia Pressure Award for her next feature project, “Thin Air,” a female survivor story based on true events that follows a female war reporter’s journey when caught on the wrong side of enemy lines.
While developing this project for Pia Pressure she continues to mentor up-and-coming filmmakers for Raindance and Film London. She is represented in London by Mady Niel at 42 and in L.A. by Rosalie Swedlin at Anonymous Content.
Pia Pressure, which focuses on providing funding for up-and-coming filmmakers, is headed by Getty, with producer James Durrant on board as head of film, and Kenton as director and development executive. The company has the aim of “elevating emerging talent, female filmmakers and filmmakers from under represented backgrounds.”