The British Film Institute and Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen revealed three emerging filmmakers competing for a £50,000 bursary that can be used to fund future projects.
Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper, Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI and Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC will select the winner, who will be announced in London on October 3.
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The three finalists are Daniel Kokotajlo writer and director of Apostasy; Rungano Nyoni, writer and director of I Am Not A Witch; and Michael Pearce, writer and director of Beast.
The Bursary is presented in recognition of outstanding British talent and is designed to support a writer or director at the beginning of their career, bringing them the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity and focus on future projects.
IWC has a strong association with creative arts, particularly the film industry, and sees the BFI bursary as a valuable contribution to developing young talent. “Our priority is the support of up-and-coming filmmakers and their projects. Being storytellers ourselves, we deeply appreciate the creativity and passion that the talented directors and writers selected as the finalists for the second Filmmaker Bursary Award have invested into their work to enchant and captivate their audiences,” says Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC.
MEET THE FINALISTS
Daniel Kokotajlo is a self-taught film director and writer. Born and raised by a Ukrainian-Italian family in Manchester, UK. His debut feature film, “Apostasy”, is inspired by his own experiences growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness in the north of England while attending art college. He learnt how to use a camera working as a cameraman at his local grey- hound stadium. He is a recent alumnus of the Biennale Cinema College, EIFF Talent Lab, and Creative England’s Talent Centre. He was selected as a Star of Tomorrow by Screen International in 2015.
Rungano Nyoni is a self-taught writer/director born in Lusaka, Zambia and grew up in Wales, UK. Her short films have featured in over 400 film festivals. In 2009 she won a BAFTA Cymru for her short film “The List”. Her subsequent film “Mwansa The Great” was funded by UK Film Council and Focus Features (USA). It was selected at over 100 Inter- national Film Festivals, awarded over 20 prizes and nomi- nated for a BAFTA in 2012. In 2015 Rungano was selected for the Nordic Factory, a Finnish/Danish Co Production where she co-directed “Listen”. “Listen” was nominated for a European Film Award 2015 and won the Best Short Narrative Prize at Tribeca Film Festival. Rungano’s debut feature, “I Am Not a Witch”, premiered this year at Cannes Film Festival in the Directors Fortnight Sidebar, and also screened at TIFF ahead of its LFF premiere.
Michael Pearce’s first feature film, “Beast”, premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival in the Platform section. In 2014 Michael was selected to be part of Guiding Lights scheme and was mentored by James Marsh. In 2013 Michael made his first TV drama, “Henry”, through Channel 4’s Coming Up scheme and made the short, “Keeping Up With The Joneses”, through the BFI’s 2012 Shorts scheme, the film was nom- inated at the 2014 BAFTA and BIFA awards. In 2011 Michael was one of Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow and his feature script was selected to be developed through the Torino Film Lab Script & Pitch Workshops and was then selected to be part of 2012 Frame Work pro- gramme. Previously to that Michael’s short film, “Rite”, was nominated at the 2011 BAFTAs and BIFAs, played at over 40 international film festivals.