Wild Rose and Only You Writers Shortlisted for Top Bursary Award

The BFI and IWC Schaffhausen today revealed the three filmmakers shortlisted for 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 shortlisted writers are:




Two of those shortlisted, Nicole Taylor and Harry Wootliff, are the writers of exciting new feature films funded by Creative Scotland.

Acclaimed directors, Paul Greengrass and Edgar Wright will join Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI and Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, to select the winner, which will be announced at The IWC Gala Dinner in honour of the BFI, on Tuesday 9 October – the eve of the BFI London Film Festival’s Opening Night.

Nicole Taylor

Glaswegian film and television writer, Nicole Taylor, created the screenplay for Wild Rose, a touching music tale about a country singer from Glasgow pursuing her dreams, starring Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters. Nicole also co-wrote the film’s soundtrack with Jessie Buckley.

Filmed in Glasgow, Wild Rose premiered at Toronto International Film Festival to a standing ovation, with the Hollywood Reporter calling it “pure dead gallus (that’s Scots for ‘wonderful’)” and Variety raving about Jessie Buckley’s “star-making performance.”

Nicole’s recent television writing credits include the BAFTA-winning Three Girls and BAFTA-nominated The C Word, starring Sheridan Smith; both productions for BBC One.

Nicole said: “This is the most generous award imaginable. To be supported via this bursary would enable me to keep on writing what I want to write while supporting a young family.  I am so honoured to be shortlisted.”

Produced by Fable Pictures, Wild Rose is the recipient of Creative Scotland’s £500,000 Production Fund. Wild Rose will hit UK cinemas on Friday 9 February 2019.

Jessie Buckley at Toronto International Film Festival

Harry Wootliff

Only You writer and director, Harry Wootliff, has also been shortlisted. Only You is a love story about a couple, Elena and Jake, who fall madly in love and begin living with each other only weeks after a one-night stand on New Year’s Eve. Before long, they begin trying for a child and are faced with relationship pressures when they can’t immediately conceive.

Set in the heart of Glasgow, Only You is currently in post-production and is geared up for a 2018 release.

Harry’s previous work includes her first short film, the BAFTA-nominated Nits, which was premiered in official selection at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, and her subsequent short film, Trip, which premiered in Official Selection at the Berlin International Film Festival. Harry’s recent television credits include Coming Up for Channel 4.

Harry said: “Making films has multifarious hurdles; you need an enormous amount of self-determination just to keep going. Being a filmmaker whilst supporting yourself and your family is near impossible; a bursary such as this really is a lifeline. And to be encouraged to take the time to delve into yourself and find the stories you have to share is a massive boost; it is genuinely inspiring. I’m very excited to be on the shortlist.”

Creative Scotland is the majority financier of Only You, with further finance coming from Constellation Creatives, Film I Vast and The Bureau.

Jennifer Armitage, Screen Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support this contemporary love story set in the heart of Glasgow. Only You brings together outstanding talent on and off screen, with Harry Wootliff writing and directing, and Josh O’Connor and Laia Costa in the lead roles. Josh O’Connor stunned audiences at the Edinburgh International Film Festival with his performance in God's Own Country."

“This project builds on the relationship between The Bureau and Synchronicity, who produced Weekend together in 2011, and follows Peter Mackie Burns’ debut feature DAPHNE, also produced by The Bureau. We are thrilled that Scotland will be the setting for the debut feature by this exciting new female director.”

A couple embrace on a poster for the film, Only You

Richard Billingham

Richard is the writer and director of Ray & Liz, his first feature film. Ray & Liz is based on Richard’s memories, focusing on his parents, Ray and Liz, their relationship and its impact on Richard and his younger brother, Jason.

In 1997, Richard was the first recipient of the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize and, following the year, BBC Two broadcast his film, Fishtank, produced by Artangel and filmmaker, Adam Curtis. Richard exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2001 and was nominated for the Turner Prize the same year. His work is held in many collections including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, V & A and Tate Galleries, London.

Richard said: I’m extremely grateful to have been nominated for the IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award. Making Ray & Liz involved juggling so many things over six years - no matter how driven you are, you still need time and space to develop ideas. This Bursary would clear my mind of financial pressures and time constraints. I could completely focus on new subject matter and creating original stories, and find the best ways to visualise them on screen.”

Notes to Editors

About the Bursary

Now 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 Bursary 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 recipient include writer/directors, Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) and Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy).

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, commented: “This Bursary award does so much to support some of our brightest and best new filmmakers and it’s not just about winning – as we’ve seen in the last two years, being shortlisted can prove hugely valuable in boosting a filmmaker’s profile within the industry and beyond. I want to thank IWC for their continued commitment to helping us support British filmmaking in this dynamic way. Our three filmmakers offer a rich variety of voices formed through a really exciting range of experiences and disciplines, and once again the judging panel faces a very difficult decision.”

Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, commented: “The worlds of film and fine watchmaking have a lot in common. Both are based on storytelling, craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and creativity. I believe that filmmakers and watchmakers are very similar in their creative ways. Both are trying to tell a complex story with many different aspects, either in the compact timeframe of a movie, or in the compact space of a watch case. This is why we partner with the BFI London Film Festival and support young filmmakers to help them bring their stories to an audience.”

A panel of senior industry figures – Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films, Ollie Madden, Head of Creative at Film4, Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, Tricia Tuttle, Acting Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival, and Kaleem Aftab, film critic and journalist – selected the shortlist of filmmakers. To be eligible for the Bursary Award 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 in Partnership with American Express®.

Once again, the high calibre of shortlisted applicants is testament to the strength of British independent filmmaking and this year also highlights the intersection of film with other creative disciplines, with the three finalists each demonstrating a unique range of experience and presenting original work with a distinctive tone.

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, said: “The three shortlisted filmmakers are each poised to catch the wave of their current success - but feature development needs time and encouragement. We are so grateful to IWC for highlighting and supporting the work of emerging UK filmmakers - and also to the producers of our three candidates for getting them here.”

Tricia Tuttle, Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival, said: “In the last few years we’ve seen an impressive new generation of film talent emerging from the UK. We’re really proud of the role the Festival plays in championing this talent globally, and this Bursary is a key part of how we do that.“

In a unique partnership that unlocks direct philanthropic support for UK creativity and the future of British film, the Filmmaker Bursary Award was created by Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen and the BFI. IWC Schaffhausen has been a sponsor of the BFI and the Official Time Partner of the BFI London Film Festival since 2014.

In 2017 the IWC Bursary Award in Association with the BFI was won by writer/director, Daniel Kokotajlo whose debut feature Apostasy premiered at the LFF that year. The film was released in the UK in July 2018 to widespread critical acclaim.

Explaining how the Bursary has benefitted him, Daniel Kokotajlo said: “This year has flown by; i’ve been extremely busy promoting Apostasy as well as working on multiple new ideas. Winning the bursary gave me a safety net at a crucial time in my career. I was able to explore new ideas freely without any time or monetary pressure. The bursary also helped raise the profile of the film during its release. The IWC bursary really is a unique and incredible gift for British filmmakers looking to develop exciting and challenging work on their own terms. Good luck to this year’s nominees!”

The Bursary presentation will take place at the IWC Gala Dinner in Honour of the BFI on Tuesday 9 October in London.

The BFI London Film Festival 10 - 21 October 2018

BFI London Film Festival is Britain's leading film event and one of the world's best film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and attracts significant international film industry participation.

LFF is a compelling combination of diverse films, red carpet glamour, friendly audiences and vibrant exchange. LFF provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success; promotes the careers of British and international filmmakers through its industry and awards programmes and positions London as the world’s leading creative city.