An award of £50,000 is given to a British writer, director, or writer-director whose first or second fiction feature film premieres at the BFI London Film Festival. This year for the first time in the bursary’s history all potential applicants will need their film to meet the BFI Diversity Standards in order to be eligible to apply.
The bursary winner will receive £50,000 from the BFI London Film Festival’s official time partner IWC Schaffhausen and will be announced in October 2021 at the 65th edition of the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.
British-based first or second time directors or writers of fiction feature films which are otherwise eligible and which are entered through open submissions or entered by a sales or distribution partner will have the opportunity to formally submit an application for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award after the film is invited to the festival. Any filmmaker who is otherwise eligible but whose film has not yet been assessed for the diversity standards will also have the opportunity to submit it for assessment once the film has been invited to the festival.
Previous winners include Hope Dickson Leach in 2016 (The Levelling), Daniel Kokotajlo, 2017 (Apostasy), Richard Billingham in 2018 (Ray and Liz), Rose Glass in 2019 (Saint Maud) and Cathy Brady for Wildfire in 2020, all of whom have gone on to enjoy further award nominations and significant recognition for their work.
More information can be found below.