London, 4 October 2016 – Swiss luxury watch manfacturer IWC Schaffhausen and the BFI revealed Hope Dickson Leach as the winner of the first ever IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. The award was presented at a star-studded gala dinner at London’s Rosewood hotel attended by acting legend Cate Blanchett and was hosted by Rob Brydon, accompanied by the sounds of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Luminaries from the worlds of film, music, fashion and culture joined forces to celebrate this unique bursary, at GBP 50,000 the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry. The gala dinner marked the eve of the opening of the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®.
The IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI is given in recognition of outstanding British talent and is designed to support a writer and /or director at the beginning of their career, bringing them the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity. Hope Dickson Leach’s film The Levelling was selected from thousands of entries to make it into the Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival. The winner was chosen with the help of an esteemed shortlisting panel of film industry experts, with the final decision made by a board comprising Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, and this year’s guest judge, actor, BFI Fellow and British icon Sir John Hurt.
Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, comments: “We are so pleased to have awarded this first bursary award in the UK to a filmmaker who shows so much promise and such clear talent. We are very proud to be a part of Hope Dickson Leach’s journey through our collaboration with the BFI as they continue to create exciting and groundbreaking work.” Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, comments: “Huge congratulations to Hope Dickson Leach, whose creativity and originality make her a very deserved winner against some extremely tough competition that has absolutely confirmed that the UK has some of the best emerging filmmaking talent in the world. Hope Dickson Leach has a great future ahead of her, and this extraordinary partnership and the generosity of our friends at IWC Schaffhausen is enabling us to support that future in a way that will truly allow her the ‘gift of time’ to develop her next project.”
Award-winning actress and BFI Fellow Cate Blanchett said: “I am so pleased to be here to celebrate four remarkable and unique filmmakers being supported at the beginning of their career by the BFI and IWC. I wish all the filmmakers involved great future success.” IWC Schaffhausen has been a sponsor of the BFI and the Official Time Partner of the BFI London Film Festival since 2014.
We are so pleased to have awarded this first bursary award in the UK to a filmmaker who shows so much promise and such clear talent. We are very proud to be a part of hope Dickson Leach's journey through our collaboration with the BFI as they continue to create exciting and groundbreaking work.
The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI follows a long tradition of the brand’s commitment to and support of the film industry – evidenced by its established partnerships with the Tribeca Film Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival, the Zurich Film Festival, the Beijing International Film Festival and the Singapore International Film Festival, as well as the brand’s long-standing relationships with high-profile film talent, including Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett, all of which demonstrates IWC’s ongoing passion for film.
WC has also launched the exclusive Pilot’s Watch Spitfire Chronograph Edition “BFI London Film Festival 2016” (Ref. IW387812), a limited edition of just 60 timepieces in stainless steel on an elegant blue strap. Each model is numbered on the case back, alongside the inscription “BFI Film Forever”, increasing their appeal to collectors. The timepiece features an IWC in-house 89365-calibre movement alongside a chronograph and flyback function and is available at the IWC Boutique London, 138 New Bond Street, as well as selected retailers in the United Kingdom.
IWC Public Relations
Tribecca Film Festival Gala 2016
IWC Schaffhausen is Partner of the Tribeca Film Festival® (TFF) in New York and created the IWC Portugieser Edition Tribeca which is dedicated to the festival.
IWC Filmmaker Award at Dubai International Film Festival
Actress Olga Kurylenko presented the fifth IWC Filmmaker Award to Abdullah Hassan Ahmed from the United Arab Emirates for his project “Sunrise". Find out more.
IWC Schaffhausen has been a sponsor of the BFI (British Film Institute) and the Official Time Partner of the BFI London Film Festival since 2014. For 2021, IWC and the BFI have repurposed the Bursary Award with a strong focus on representation and inclusion.