Stars gather in support of BFI LUMINOUS

Stars from the UK’s film and television industries gathered in support of BFI LUMINOUS, the biennial fundraising gala presented in partnership with IWC Schaffhausen.

LUMINOUS’ special guests included Gemma Arterton, who gave a rousing speech about the importance of film education and Oscar®-winning director Danny Boyle, lead juror on the coveted £50k Filmmaker Bursary. They were joined by a host of luminaries including Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant, Gemma Arterton, Taron Egerton (performing ‘Your Song’), Dev Patel, Lesley Manville, Romola Garai, Sian Clifford, Natalie Emmanuel, Emily Beecham, Tuppence Middleton, Naomi Ackie, Joan Collins, Cara Horgan, Edgar Wright, Terry Gilliam and Ben Wheatley, who came together to celebrate UK film, raise money to ensure young people from all backgrounds can engage with, learn from and be inspired by film, and to and champion new talent and emerging filmmaking voices.

The centrepiece of the evening was the announcement of the fourth annual £50,000 IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI, awarded to Rose Glass, writer/director of her debut SAINT MAUD. Presented by Boyle with co-jurors IWC Schaffhausen CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr and Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI. One of the largest prizes for the arts in the UK, the Bursary is unique, offering talent at the beginning of their career the gift of time, allowing them to grow and develop as a filmmaker.

Danny Boyle, who led the Jury for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI commented: Rose Glass is an extraordinary talent and powerful storyteller. SAINT MAUD is a genuinely unsettling and intriguing film – all the more so for being a debut. Striking, affecting and mordantly funny at times, its confidence evokes the ecstasy of films like Carrie, The Exorcist and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Her skill in successfully incorporating original elements to a genre story and finding new ways to offer audiences a thrilling cinematic journey through madness, faith and death signifies Glass as a true original. We wanted to provide her with the time to support and develop her own singular vision as a writer/director by awarding her this unique Filmmaker Bursary.”

Rose Glass writer/director of SAINT MAUD comments: “I feel like I’ve spent most of my life trying to get a film off the ground and now it is finished and out in the world, it is amazing to be here and receive this prize. It is hugely exciting – thank you so very very much IWC and BFI.”

Glass was shortlisted alongside Hong Khaou writer/director of MONSOON and Peter Mackie Burns director of RIALTO. The three filmmakers were selected from the UK-based directors or writer/directors with their first or second film in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival in Partnership with American Express®.

The star-studded gala was held at London’s iconic Roundhouse, on the eve of the BFI London Film Festival. Josh BergerBFI Chair and President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK, Ireland and Spain, and Amanda Nevill hosted the evening, with Jonathan Ross as Master of Ceremonies. Guests were also treated to a surprise live act by Taron Egerton, singing Elton John’s ‘Your Song’, reprising his thrilling performance as Elton in the biopic Rocketman.

A charity with education at its heart, the BFI is committed to embedding the love of film for the next generation, and tonight the industry came together to celebrate and raise money to create new opportunities for young people. By bidding on exclusive, bespoke and money-can’t-buy lots, guests at BFI LUMINOUS are directly supporting the BFI’s transformational education programmes. Funds raised will ensure opportunities are available for young people from all backgrounds to access training, resources and the platform to tell their story.

On stage, actor and producer Gemma Arterton spoke to filmmaker Charlotte Regan, who has benefited from BFI’s education offer, an alumni of BFI Future Film. Discussing the impact of Future Film and the opportunities it opened up for her career, Charlotte said: “The BFI made me feel like my stories are worth telling. I didn’t think people wanted to hear my experiences because I hadn’t seen examples of what my life was about, that I could relate to, in the cinema or on TV. The BFI Future Film team constantly championed and supported me. Before I worked with the BFI I didn’t really think film was a career option for me or anyone I knew, I had no idea what the path of a filmmaker or director was. They offered me unconditional support and guidance, like I’d never experienced anywhere else.”

Producer and actor Gemma Arterton said: “Film is an incredible industry to work in; but it is not always an easy industry to get into. Access to a career in film can often be dictated by connections and obscure pathways: visible and open to some, but notoriously not to all. So what the BFI is doing, at a crucially formative moment in a young person’s life, is offering them a viable route into a profession that can inspire and drive them.”

LUMINOUS’ charity auction was led by renowned Sotheby’s auctioneer Lord Dalmeny, comprising over 50 extraordinary lots including a flight in a Spitfire TR9 across the English Channel and an exclusive IWC Schaffhausen Spitfire Chronograph timepiece; the ultimate prize bundle from Warner Bros. with a visit to a top secret and highly anticipated Warner Bros. film set shooting in the UK, and then attending its red carpet premiere in 2020; a 007 experience at the Royal Premiere and exclusive after party for the 25th James Bond film, NO TIME TO DIE, completed with a luxury escape to the stunning north coast of Jamaica at the GoldenEye resort; a set visit to the fourth season of ‘The Crown’ with Olivia Colman (as Queen Elizabeth II) and Helena Bonham Carter (as Princess Margaret); meeting Hugh Grant at the red carpet premiere of Guy Ritchie’s latest film THE GENTLEMAN and mingle with the stars at the exclusive after party, as well as a chance to see a set in action and have lunch with Hugh Bonneville on one of his forthcoming projects; a post-show drink with Tom Hiddleston following ‘Betrayal’ on Broadway; a private garden tour with Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam at his home; and be immortalised in the next ‘Broken Sword’ video game. Ahead of the event, the lots were open to bidders all over the world online.

CEO of the BFI, Amanda Nevill CBE, comments: “We wouldn’t have wonderful films if we didn’t seek out talent and nurture it for the future. I am overwhelmed by the incredible support we’ve had from so many people for LUMINOUS, including our generous sponsor IWC Schaffhausen, and people across the UK. It is so exciting to know that our BFI education programmes will now reach further to find talented young people of all backgrounds, to open doors and propel them into the industry.”

CEO of IWC Schaffhausen Christoph Grainger-Herr comments: “The IWC Bursary Award is designed to provide really meaningful support to the most exciting new and emerging UK filmmakers. Each and every year we are given the tough choice of judging three exceptionally written and masterfully shot films. I would like to congratulate Rose Glass as well as all our finalists for their creativity and brilliant storytelling.”

News Editor

Author: News Editor

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