Emerging UK filmmakers shortlisted for the BMW Filmmaking Challenge in partnership with the BFI

The BMW Filmmaking Challenge provides a platform for filmmakers to stretch their artistic creativity under the mentorship of industry game-changer Michaela Coel.

The shortlisted teams

The BMW Filmmaking Challenge in partnership with the BFI is proud to announce the five shortlisted filmmakers who will have the opportunity to showcase their talent at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express. Industry figureheads Ncuti Gatwa, Terri White and Asif Kapadia will judge the overall winner to be announced as part of the closing night on 15 October 2023.

With the aim of supporting aspiring filmmakers in their career development and bringing fresh perspectives to the film industry, the BMW Filmmaking Challenge provides a platform for filmmakers to stretch their artistic creativity under the mentorship of industry game-changer Michaela Coel. Coel is supporting the execution of the filmmakers’ visions, creative influences, and production process.

The calibre of shortlisted applicants is a testament to the vibrant creativity alive in UK independent filmmaking. Coel shares her experience of meeting the shortlisted filmmakers, stating, “It’s been an honour to contribute to this vibrant, intuitive, and eclectic group of shortlisted filmmakers. The level of talent and creativity they’ve displayed is exceptional. As a mentor, it’s been an enriching experience to witness their dedication and passion for the craft.”

With a focus on supporting the creativity of the UK’s future filmmaking talent, the challenge draws inspiration from the ultra-wide 31.3-inch rear passenger screen of the BMW i7. The filmmakers have been tasked with bringing their unique stories to life in just 90 seconds, adhering to the theme of “Evolving Perspectives.”

Each of the shortlisted teams will now receive a £10,000 production budget, access to 8K camera technology, support from the BFI through executive producer Caragh Davison and ongoing mentorship from Coel. 

Renowned for her work creating and starring in multi-award-winning TV shows such as Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You, and recently featured in the Marvel movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Coel adds, “The ‘Evolving Perspectives’ theme of the BMW Filmmaking Challenge resonates deeply with the current cultural climate. This truly is a platform for these emerging filmmakers to experiment, explore the capabilities of new technology, and make a powerful statement in a condensed format inspired by the i7’s ultra-wide screen. 

“Their films will not only captivate audiences but also contribute to the ongoing evolution of the film industry. I am excited to witness the reveal and to celebrate their achievements at the BFI London Film Festival in October.”

The five shortlisted prospective shorts and lead creatives making up the filmmaking teams include: 


A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable…

  • Christopher Chuky, director: Award-winning director of short films, theatre, and music videos
  • Tony Longe, producer: Freelance creative producer with a focus on film and promos who has worked in the screen industries
  • Eno Mfon, writer: Screenwriter, playwright, and performer with a focus on political, honest and human works
  • Amara Rossell, producer: Background in advertising, producer of commercials, music, film, and TV


An insight into Daytimers, the South Asian DJ collective that are breaking new ground in Britain.

  • Tulsi Shivaanand, Director and Writer: Writer and director with experience of short films, film festival circuits and a background in theatre and art
  • Eliza Lewis, Producer: Producer and actor with production experience in music promos, commercials, and short films

Rice Ball

Told through animation, a young Taiwanese schoolkid is afraid to bring her lunch to school out of the fear of being ridiculed for being different.

  • Kristina Pringle, director and writer: A Taiwanese writer and director residing in London with experience of both narrative projects and commercials 
  • Samantha Locock, producer: Freelance producer on short form narrative and a production coordinator on commercials
  • Harry Shaw, producer: Award-winning producer

Hen Do

En-route to her hen weekend, bride-to-be Faye kills the vibe with a bombshell confession.

  • Alia Ghafar, director and writer: Glasgow-based writer and director of short films which have screened widely at film festivals, currently developing her debut feature
  • Misha McCullagh, producer: Scottish producer with interdisciplinary experience in the creative industries


We Collide

A queercore romance — a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the   most unlikely of places.

  • Jason Bradbury, director and writer: Writer and director exploring the themes of home, memory and the search for belonging for LGBTQI+ people, currently developing his debut feature.
  • Cheri Darbon, producer: Freelance producer with a focus on internationally appealing genre films and television 

Mia Bays, director of the BFI Filmmaking Fund, said: “This partnership has allowed us to open up an exciting new opportunity to emerging UK filmmaking talent, which has inspired an exciting range of creative responses. The calibre of the shortlisted projects and the teams behind them are impressive, and it’s pleasing to see filmmakers so engaged with the theme of ‘evolving perspectives’. We can’t wait to see the work that comes out of this new challenge.” 

Currently in production, the five films will be completed in September. The three judges will select a winning film set to premiere as part of the closing night of the 67th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, on 15 October 2023. All five films will be available for viewing on BFI Player following the premiere.

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