The BFI and IWC Schaffhausen today reveal the three filmmakers shortlisted for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. At £50,000, it’s the most significant bursary of its kind in the UK, expressly designed to support the future careers of exceptional new UK film talent. The award goes to a UK-based writer, director or writer-director with a first or second feature film screening in the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) will join Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, and Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, to both select the winner and present the award at BFI LUMINOUS, on Tuesday 1 October at London’s iconic Roundhouse. Taking place on the eve of the 63rd BFI London Film Festival, LUMINOUS is the BFI’s biannual fundraising gala raising money to support talent through education programmes.

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The 2019 shortlist are Rose Glass, writer-director of her debut feature Saint Maud; Hong Khaou, writer-director of his second feature Monsoon; and Peter Mackie Burns, director of his second feature Rialto.

Academy award-winning Director Danny Boyle, said: “I’m honoured to be leading the jury for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI, which provides up and coming filmmakers a truly unique opportunity, one which eases some of the financial pressures while they seek to shape and develop their next story.”

Now in its fourth year, the Bursary is presented in recognition of outstanding UK talent at the beginning of their careers, designed to provide them with the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity. The Bursary affords them the freedom to focus on future projects without pressure of deadlines or distraction of taking paid work – a precious and extremely rare opportunity for a filmmaker. To be eligible a writer, director or writer-director must be UK-based and have their first or second film in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival. Previous recipients are writer-directors Richard Billingham (Ray & Liz) in 2018, Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy) in 2017, and Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) in 2016.

A panel of senior industry figures – Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films, Ollie Madden, Head of Creative at Film4, Ben Roberts, BFI’s Deputy Chief Executive, Tricia Tuttle, Director of BFI Festivals, and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Chief Film Critic at Metro – selected the shortlist of filmmakers.

The panel commented on the 2019 shortlist: “This is an incredibly strong year for first and second features by filmmakers with bold and uncompromising voices, making this a really tough decision but, as a snapshot for new UK filmmaking talent, it is hugely exciting. In Rose Glass (Saint Maud), Hong Khaou (Monsoon) and Peter Mackie Burns (Rialto), we have three extremely accomplished filmmakers who have produced distinctive and compelling work showing they are in full command of their craft.” 

The final three in contention for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI are:

Rose Glass

Writer & director of Saint Maud (UK premiere)

Rose has been making films since childhood. Upon discovering her dad’s mini-dv camera, she began by experimenting with stop-motion animations before realising it took a very long time, and that she preferred working with real people. Her small friendship circle and long-suffering family were regularly cast in nonsensical, surreal adventure films until she went to London College of Communication at 18 and had a chance to make shorts with ‘real’ actors. An MA at the National Film and Television school followed a few years later. Her shorts have been screened at various international film festivals including SXSW, Palm Springs Shortfest and London Short Film Festival. She is an alumna of Guiding Lights, Berlinale Talent Campus, an iFeatures finalist and Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2018. Her debut feature Saint Maud was backed by Film4 and the BFI and premieres at Midnight Madness in Toronto International Film Festival. 

Saint Maud

Dir-Scr Rose Glass. Prod Oliver Kassman, Andrea Cornwall. With Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle. UK. 2019. 83min. Prod Co Escape Plan

Maud starts work as live-in nurse to glamorous ex-dancer Amanda, who is now dying and unable to walk. As Amanda grows friendlier, the lonely, young Maud becomes enraptured, but her fixation soon mutates into an obsessive mission to save Amanda’s soul.

Hong Khaou

Writer & director of Monsoon (UK premiere)

Hong Khaou is a British filmmaker, born in Cambodia and raised via Vietnam. In 2013 he was one of Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow. His debut feature Lilting was funded through the Film London’s Microwave scheme. Lilting, starring Ben Whishaw and Cheng Pei Pei had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival in 2014, in the World Dramatic Competition, winning the Best Cinematography Award. Lilting also received three nominations at The British Independent Film Awards, including Best Debut Director whilst also securing a BAFTA nomination for Outstand Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer in 2015. Monsoon is Hong’s second feature film, funded by the BFI and BBC Films, shot entirely on location in Vietnam, starring Henry Golding.


Dir-Scr Hong Khaou. Prod Tracy O’Riordan. With Henry Golding, Parker Sawyers. UK. 2018. 86min. Sales Protagonist Pictures

Kit, a British Vietnamese man, returns to his birth country in search of a place to scatter his parents’ ashes. As a child, he and his family escaped Saigon as ‘boat refugees’ during the Vietnam-American war. No longer able to speak his native language, Kit embarks on a journey from Saigon to Hanoi. 

Peter Mackie Burns

Director of Rialto (UK premiere)

Peter was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He spent much of his childhood in rural England and attended boarding school in Germany. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and completed his MA at Goldsmiths’ College, London. He later studied screenwriting at the Binger Film Lab in Amsterdam. Peter worked in theatre directing new work before his short film Milk starring Brenda Fricker won the Golden Bear at Berlinale 2005. His second short Run Screened at Telluride 2007. Peter’s debut feature film Daphne starring Emily Beecham premiered at Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017 while his follow-up, RIALTO, had its world premiere in the recent Venice International Film Festival.


Dir Peter Mackie Burns. Prod Alan Maher, John Wallace, Tristan Goligher, Valentina Brazzini. Scr Mark O’Halloran. With Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan. Ireland-UK. 2019. 90min. Sales The Bureau Sales. With English subtitles.

Colm is in his mid-forties, married, with two teenage children. Still grieving the death of his father, Colm struggles with his relationship to his own son, while at work a recent takeover threatens his job. In the midst of this crisis, Colm solicits sex from a young man called Jay which develops into a growing infatuation.