22 October 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
     
Cathy Brady shortlisted for this year's IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award
21 Sep 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Writer/Director Cathy Brady
The BFI and IWC Schaffhausen have revealed Irish writer/director Cathy Brady as one of the three filmmakers shortlisted for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI.

At £50k, and now in its fifth year, the Bursary Award has established itself as the most significant bursary of its kind in the UK film industry, expressly designed to support the future careers of exceptional new UK film talent.

“It is such an honour to be on the shortlist and in such talented company. Thank you. I’m still in shock,” said Brady in reaction to her selection.

Acclaimed actor, director, screenwriter, producer and poet Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You, Black Earth Rising, Chewing Gum, Black Mirror, Been So Long) will join Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of the BFI and Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, to select the winner, which will be announced at the BFI London Film Festival 2020 Virtual LFF Audience Awards, on Sunday 18 October – the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival. 

The 2020 shortlist are Cathy Brady, writer-director of her debut feature Wildfire, Aleem Khan, writer-director of his debut feature After Love, and Francis Lee, writer-director of his second feature Ammonite.

The bursary is presented in recognition of outstanding UK talent at the beginning or early stages of their careers and is designed to support a writer and/or director by providing them with the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity. It affords them the freedom to focus on future projects without the pressure of deadlines or the distraction of taking paid work – a precious and extremely rare opportunity for a filmmaker. 

Previous recipients include writer-directors Rose Glass (Saint Maud) in 2019, Richard Billlingham (Ray & Liz) in 2018 and Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy) in 2017. Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) was awarded the first bursary in 2016. Dickson Leach, co-founder of Raising Films, campaigns for improved working practices for parents and carers and is currently developing several new feature films in the US and UK.

Following their wins, Daniel Kokotajlo and Richard Billingham were both nominated for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer at the BAFTAs in 2017 and 2018 respectively, with Billingham going on to win the Douglas Hickox award for debut directors at the British Independent Film Awards. Rose Glass’s debut Saint Maud is released in the UK this autumn.

About the filmmakers

Cathy Brady (Writer-director of Wildfire) 

Screen International Star of Tomorrow and NFTS graduate Cathy Brady is a two-time IFTA-winning director, for her short films Small Change and Morning. Morning was also nominated for European Academy Award for best short. In 2011 Cathy directed the BIFA-nominated TV drama Rough Skin for Channel 4’s Coming Up strand. In 2014, she directed an episode of Jack Thorne’s BAFTA-nominated series Glue and went on to co-develop and direct the first series of Stefanie Preissner’s Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope for RTE/BBC3/Netflix. In 2017, Cathy was one of 15 female directors selected for BAFTA Elevate and in 2019 she was selected as one of The Irish Times ‘50 People to Watch’. Her debut feature Wildfire (backed by the BFI, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland), which she wrote and directed, stars Nora-Jane Noone and Nika McGuigan and had its world premiere at the recent Toronto International Film Festival.

Wildfire: The story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious Irish border. When one of them, who have been missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is re-ignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past but uncovered secrets and resentments which have been buried deep, threaten to overwhelm them.

Buy tickets for Wildfire at LFF

Aleem Khan (Writer-director of After Love)

Born and raised in Kent, Aleem Khan is a writer and director of mixed English-Pakistani heritage. His debut short film, Diana, premiered at the 2009 London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. His subsequent short, Three Brothers, was commissioned by Film London on the inaugural London Calling Plus scheme and premiered at the 2014 London Film Festival before touring the international festival circuit. A BAFTA nomination for best British short film followed in 2015 and, later that year, Aleem was named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow. A 2017 fellow of both the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs, Aleem is also an alumnus of Guiding Lights, The Locarno Filmmakers Academy and BFI Flare. His debut feature, After Love, was backed by BBC Films and the BFI and was selected for this year’s Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, and also received an official selection at the Telluride Film Festival ahead of its LFF premiere.

After Love: Set in the coastal town of Dover in the south of England, After Love follows Mary Hussain, a 62-year-old English Muslim convert who suffers an identity crisis after her husband, Ahmed, dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. In the days after Ahmed’s death, Mary discovers that he has a secret family living just 21 miles across the English Channel in Calais, and sets out on a journey to find them, and herself.

Buy tickets for After Love at LFF

Francis Lee (Writer-director of Ammonite) 

Francis Lee is a filmmaker from West Yorkshire, England. His debut feature film, God’s Own Country (2017), premiered at Sundance 2017, where Francis won the directing award. The film went on to be theatrically released worldwide, winning countless awards and nominations including best film at the British Independent Film Awards 2017, best film at the Evening Standard Film Awards, the Michael Powell Award for best British film of 2017, breakthrough British filmmaker of the year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards 2017 and a nomination for the BAFTA for outstanding British film 2017. God’s Own Country became one of the most successful UK debut films for years. Ammonite, which was selected in Cannes, Telluride and the Toronto International Film Festival 2020 is his second feature, and is due for theatrical release worldwide 2020/21. Ammonite was backed by the BFI and BBC Films who both supported the development with See-Saw Films.

Ammonite: In 1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked palaeontologist Mary Anning is entrusted with the care of Charlotte, a young woman who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. They are 2 women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, they discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realisation that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.

Buy tickets for Ammonite at LFF





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