Celebrities including Rosamund Pike, Natalie Dormer and Ruth Wilson celebrated the start of the London Film Festival 2018 on Tuesday evening (9th Oct) by awarding a worthy winner for the  IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI.

Richard Billingham, writer and director of Ray & Liz was bestowed the £50,000 prize, by leading British director, Edgar Wright – of Shaun of the Dead fame – at a star-studded gala dinner at London’s Electric Light Station.

The guests marked the eve of the opening of the BFI London Film Festival and the most significant bursary of its kind in the UK film industry, expressly designed to support the future careers of exceptional British film talent who have a film in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival.

In its third year, the Bursary is presented in recognition of outstanding British talent at the beginning 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. The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. At £50,000, it is the most significant bursary of its kind in the UK film industry, expressly designed to support the future careers of exceptional new British film talent.

The Festival celebrates the highest creative achievements of British and international filmmakers in its Competitive sections, applauding extraordinary storytelling and inventive filmmaking across all the categories.
This year’s line-up across the competitive sections showcases the enormous depth and diversity of talent working in the global film industry today, with female directors or co-directors making up at least half of the films in three out of the four categories (Official Competition, First Feature Competition, Short Film Competition). The winners in each competition will be selected by our hand-picked juries, and for the first time this year, the winners will be revealed in front of a public audience on the evening of Saturday, October 20th.
Each winning film will be presented as a surprise screening in each category at Vue Leicester Square, preceded on stage by the presentation of the Festival’s official award, the bronze Star of London, in the presence of A rtistic Director Tricia Tuttle, the President of the Jury and the winning filmmaker. This places audiences at the very heart of the awards celebration and encourages them to experiment and see the winning films as a surprise. This year’s Awards are supported by Italian luxury eyewear brand, Persol.

The UK premiere of Ray & Liz takes place at the festival on Wednesday 17th October.

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