ACTRESS ROSAMUND PIKE AND DIRECTOR EDGAR WRIGHT 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 star-studded 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 unique 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 outstanding 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 an esteemed shortlisting 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.
Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, commented: “We are delighted to be a part of the third annual Bursary Award in association with the BFI. 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.”
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, stated: “The IWC Bursary Award is such a perfect partnership, designed to provide really meaningful support to our most exciting new filmmakers and give them the time they need to develop. 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.”
Academy Award and BAFTA nominated actress, and friend of IWC, Rosamund Pike said: “The British film industry thrives on new, exciting, independent voices with stories to tell. 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 film makers 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.”
IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI winner Richard Billingham stated: “I’m extremely grateful to have won the IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award. 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. The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, in association with the BFI, follows a long tradition of the brand’s support of the film industry as evidenced by its established partnerships with Film Festivals such as the Toronto Film Festival and the Zurich Film Festival, as well as the brand’s long-standing relationships with film talents, including Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz and Rosamund Pike, all of which embody IWC’s ongoing commitment for film.
ABOUT “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 nominated 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, focussing 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.
ABOUT THE 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.
A unique partnership that unlocks direct philanthropic support for UK creativity and the future of British film, it was created by the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer and experts from the BFI.
ABOUT THE BFI
The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
- Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
- Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
- Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK—investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
- Promoting British film and talent to the world
- Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It performs this role:
- As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
- By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
- By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.