IWC backs new British film talent with £50,000 bursary

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 07: (L to R) Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen, Emily Blunt, Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, and Christoph Waltz attend the BFI London Film Festival IWC Gala Dinner in honour of the BFI at Battersea Evolution Marquee on October 7, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for BFI / IWC)

IWC is backing British filmmaking talent with a new £50,000 bursary to support outstanding new directors and writers.

Filmmakers with a first or second feature-length film premiering at the BFI London Film Festival will be eligible for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmakers Bursary Award in association with the BFI.

The Swiss watch brand recently announced it had extended its existing role of official time partner of the BFI and BFI London Film Festive, which  began in 2014, until 2019.

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Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, comments: “We are delighted to be able to support British filmmaking with the introduction of this Bursary Award. It is important to recognise the impact of up-and-coming talent within the film industry and to offer emerging filmmakers the freedom and time to develop their projects, thus ensuring a successful future.”

The bursary award will be presented to the recipient at the IWC Gala Dinner in honour of the BFI to be held on  4 October 2016, the evening before the LFF’s opening night.

Eligible film makers will need to submit a 150-word biography, a filmography, a summary of the projects they are developing and a statement explaining how they would use the bursary award to help their future development in film.

All submissions will be assessed by a Shortlisting Panel that includes Clare Stewart, director of the BFI London Film Festival; Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Lottery Film Fund, and a further four senior executives representing the UK film industry.

The Shortlisting Panel will suggest three filmmakers for consideration, and the Decision-Making Board – comprising Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the BFI;  Georges Kern, chief executive of IWC Schaffhausen, and a key representative of the UK film industry to be announced later in 2016 – will decide which filmmaker will benefit from this extraordinary opportunity.

Submissions for the 2016 BFI LFF are now open. Feature- length and short films can be submitted through the BFI LFF website at www.bfi.org.uk/lff. The final deadline for short films is 10 June 2016 and for feature-length films  17 June 2016.

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