New generation of British filmmakers premiere their work at BFI Film Academy graduation

Actor Zawe Ashton is special guest as 66 BFI Film Academy graduates aged 16-19 unveil the six films they have created at an industry premiere at BFI Southbank. 

BFI Film Academy graduation 2017

BFI Film Academy graduation 2017
Credit: Roy Morris

Actor, writer and filmmaker Zawe Ashton was a special guest at the BFI Film Academy graduation event on 20 April to present a new generation of filmmakers to the UK film industry.

66 talented filmmakers from across the UK premiered their films at BFI Southbank to an exclusive audience of outstanding UK film industry leaders, with Ashton sharing her experiences of developing a successful career, from acting through to creating her own projects.

The BFI Film Academy, which for five years has provided 16-19 year olds with a valuable entry point to the film industry by offering both technical and artistic skills, continues to be backed by the Department for Education (DFE) in England.

The BFI Film Academy’s screening and graduation ceremony was hosted by the BBC’s Film 2017 critic and journalist Danny Leigh with Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI and Nik Powell, Director of the National Film and Television School. Ashton presented the young filmmakers with their graduation certificates.

Talking to the graduates about developing careers in film actress, writer and filmmaker Zawe Ashton said: “The BFI Film Academy is such an important initiative – providing talented young people the opportunity to develop new skills and build a career in film. Film has the potential to be the most representative art form of our age and the BFI Film Academy is committed to realising just that.”

In its fifth year and open to young people from anywhere in the UK, the BFI Film Academy offers a real chance for talented 16-19 year olds to develop the specialist filmmaking skills they need to be part of the future of the UK film industry – no matter where they’re from or what their background. The BFI Film Academy offers bursaries to help those in need with costs, ensuring it is open to as diverse a range of young people as possible. Based right across the UK the Academy has created more than 4,500 places for young people on courses run across the UK since 2012.

The industry premiere at BFI Southbank marks the end of an intensive two-week residential for students of the BFI Film Academy’s Craft Skills course run by the world-leading National Film and Television School (NFTS). The residential delivered by NFTS is the pinnacle of the BFI Film Academy, featuring talented students mostly selected from regional BFI Film Academy courses that have been running across the UK from September 2016.

At the NFTS, the young filmmakers have been working with leading British film talent including Oscar winning director Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), producer Duncan Kenworthy (The Pass, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually) and writer, director Destiny Ekaragha (Gone Too Far!, Hot Pepper) in honing their skills and expertise, culminating in the production of the six short films seen for the first time today.

The six films

The Chime of Youth – When Emily is given a mysterious Christmas box from her Grandmother, she re-discovers her sense of imagination

Director – Cara Howard
Writer – Louanne Honey
Producers – Adekemi Roluga, Lorna de Mello
Cinematographers – Charlotte Halpern, Matthew Willson
Sound Recordists – Jaan Kurtulan, Nathaniel Turner
Production Designer – Krishan Sharda
Editors – Amanda White, Mairi-Kate Giannico
Lead Tutor – Ewan Stewart

Have Some – Princess doesn’t say much. She loves her Dad, but charity does not always start at home

Director – Emma Wise
Writer – Jethro Robathan
Producers – Kerry Allan, Louis Thomson
Cinematographers – Francis Pesquera, Sam O’Neill
Sound Recordists – Aidan Sharples, Natalia Adamou
Production Designer – Amy Jobe
Editors – Pip Watkins, Rosie-Anne Wright
Lead Tutor – Lewis Arnold

Hurt – In the land of fertile field, an escape to happiness is always promised, at least on the surface anyway

Director – Gabrielle May Wood
Writer – Murray Murray
Producers – Alex Bird (Norfolk), Jagpreet Jhamat
Cinematographers – Camilo Canaveral, Mia Campbell
Sound Recordists – Claire Lamarra, Paul Osborne
Production Designer – Athenais Laffont
Editors – Klaudia Cichocka, Louis Binns
Lead Tutor – David Winstone

Look at What the Cat Dragged In – After Christopher becomes a prisoner in his own home, the persistence of a scratchy stranger tugs him back into reality- feet first

Director – Mishaal Memon
Writer – Katie Price, Wylie Queenan
Producers – Melodie Karczewski
Cinematographers – Cameron Brydone-Reed, Karolina Jagiellowicz
Sound Recordists – Anna Campfield, Peter Threipland
Production Designer – Elkie McCrimmon
Editors – Sam Redfearn, Tosin Ogunleye
Lead Tutor – Eva Riley

Nothing in the Middle – Judy and Alan have vowed to stay true to each other and to love for better or for worse. This is the worse

Director – Joe Lowen-Grey
Writer – Lotta-Maija Nurmela
Producers – Diara Vassallo-Ndiaye, Jacob Crow
Cinematographers – Ewan Gaff, Nela Reslerova
Sound Recordists – Ciara Sims, Patch De Salis
Production Designer – Hazel Singzon
Editors – Molly McHale, Sam Hudson
Lead Tutor – Brian Ward

Red Miss – They seem to be a normal family but when the enigmatic house guest, Red Miss, returns home, normality turns swiftly to nightmare

Director – Daniel Purse
Writer – Zia Holloway
Producers – Liam Gillooly, Millie Bennett
Cinematographers – Callum Dawson, Primrose Elliot-Pears
Sound Recordists – Holly Jones, Ben Keeling
Production Designer – William Smith
Editors – Ali Hassan, Krizzah Policarpio
Lead Tutor – Lesley Manning

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