London turns 60 with major award for new and emerging British filmmakers
by Naman Ramachandran
- Festival to unspool 5–16 October
The British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival (5-16 October) turns 60 this year. In a major development, the festival has teamed with luxury Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen for a new bursary award to support exceptional new and emerging UK filmmakers. The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmakers Bursary Award in association with the BFI is a £50,000 award to benefit an outstanding British writer, director, or writer/director whose first or second fiction feature film premieres at the BFI London Film Festival. It will be awarded annually and is given with no strings and no deliverables. “It is designed to provide the chosen filmmaker with the freedom to develop – both themselves and their projects – ensuring their future success,” according to a BFI statement. The first award will be presented 4 October.
Eligible filmmakers will need to submit a 150-word biography, a filmography, a précis of the projects they are developing and a statement on how they would use the bursary award to help their future development in film. All submissions will be assessed by a panel that will include BFI London Film Festival director Clare Stewart, director of the BFI Film Fund Ben Roberts, and a further four senior executives representing the UK film industry, from development and production through to distribution and exhibition.
The panel will put forward three filmmakers for consideration, with the decision making board – which will include BFI CEO, Amanda Nevill, IWC Schaffhausen CEO Georges Kern and a key representative of the UK film industry to be announced later in 2016 – finalising which filmmaker will get the award.