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IWC Schaffhausen  - Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI

IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI

Actress Rosamund Pike and Directors Edgar Wright & Paul Greengrass join stars to celebrate IWC’s 150th anniversary & an evening of British film.

IWC Schaffhausen and the BFI (British Film Institute) revealed Richard Billingham as the winner of the third annual IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. The award was presented during a gala dinner at London’s Electric Light Station, attended by acting greats Rosamund Pike, accompanied by the sounds of Izzy Bizu. Luminaries from the worlds of film, music, fashion and culture joined forces to celebrate this bursary, which, at £50,000, is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry. The gala dinner marked the eve of the BFI London Film Festival opening in partnership with American Express®. 

The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, in association with the BFI, is given in recognition of British talent and is designed to support a writer, director and/or writer/director at the beginning of their career, providing them the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity. Richard Billingham’s film “Ray & Liz” was selected among thousands of entries to make it into the Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival. The winner was chosen with the help of a panel of film industry experts, with the final decision made by a board comprising Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, and this year’s guest judges; acclaimed director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead” ,“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”, “Baby Driver”) and Paul Greengrass (“Bourne”, “United 93”, “Captain Phillips”), along with celebrated actress Rosamund Pike. 

Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI

Rosamund Pike and Christoph Grainger-Herr © IWC

“We are delighted to be a part of the third annual Bursary Award in association with the BFI,” commented Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “It is vital to give young and emerging filmmakers the platform to showcase their projects, whilst also supporting them as they continue to create and entertain us with their films.” 

“The IWC Bursary Award is a perfect partnership, designed to provide really meaningful support to our most exciting new filmmakers and give them the time they need to develop,” stated Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI. “The jury had such a tough choice to make, and I salute all three of our finalists for their outstanding work, which resonated so deeply with us. I have no doubt all three will go on to do great things.” 

“The British film industry thrives on new, exciting, independent voices with stories to tell,” said Academy Award and BAFTA nominated actress, and friend of IWC,  Rosamund Pike. “But as we know it’s one thing to have a story to tell, another to find the means of expressing it. This partnership between IWC and the BFI, and the bursary from IWC allows us to shine a bright light on a few young filmmakers at the beginning of their careers, to celebrate their visions and to give them the signal ‘we hear you, we see you, your stories matter, please keep on going.’ I am delighted to be part of it.”  

“I’m extremely grateful to have won the IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award,” stated IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI winner Richard Billingham. “Making ‘Ray & Liz’ involved juggling so many things over six years—no matter how driven you are, you still need time and space to develop ideas. This Bursary will clear my mind of financial pressures and time constraints. I will be able to completely focus on new subject matter and creating original stories, and find the best ways to visualise them on screen.” 

IWC Schaffhausen has been a sponsor of the BFI and the Official Time Partner of the BFI London Film Festival since 2014. 

Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI

Edgar Wright, Amanda Nevill, Richard Billingham, winner of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, and Christoph Grainger-Herr. © IWC

“Ray & Liz” 

On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society, the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break cultural taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. Turner Prize nominate and Deutsche Börse Prize winning artist, Richard Billingham, returns to the striking photographs of his family during Thatcher era Britain. The film is based on Billingham’s memories, focusing on his parents Ray and Liz, their relationship, and its impact on Richard and his younger brother Jason. At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humour, three episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat. 

IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI 

The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI is awarded annually, forming a key part of the BFI London Film Festival’s commitment to UK film and those who drive its creative success and demonstrating the steadfast support of IWC Schaffhausen for British filmmaking. 

Writers, directors, and writer/directors who identify themselves as British and have a first or second fiction feature film premiering in Official Selection at the LFF are eligible for the Award. Filmmakers need to submit a 150-word biography, a filmography, a précis of the projects they are developing and a statement setting out how they would use the Bursary Award to help their future development in film. 

Founded in 1933,  the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE. 

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With a clear emphasis on technology and development, IWC Schaffhausen has been manufacturing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. Its philosophy, based on a passion for watchmaking, aims to maintain a spirit of indefatigable initiative and impeccable craftsmanship.

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