There are times in the watch world where you get the sense the marketing department has won the internal battle over where the budget should be spent. This is not one of those case (IWC CEO Georges Kern is an avid amateur filmmaker himself). I had the pleasure of attending the announcement of the four finalists vying for the first ever IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. For those unaware, the BFI or British Film Institute was founded in 1933 and is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

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The bursary is a not inconsiderable £50,000 – the most significant bursary of its kind in the UK film industry. The IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award is presented in recognition of outstanding British talent and is designed to support a writer and/or director at the beginning of their career.  When we piled into the BFI to watch snippets from the finalist’s films and hear them talk – not only about their films, but about what the money would mean to them. It was abundantly clear, this would allow them to stop worrying about money for a moment and focus on their creative output.

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The four finalists are Joseph a. Adesunloye, writer/director of White Colour Black. Hope Dickson Leach, writer/director of The Levelling. Alice Lowe, writer/director of Prevenge, and Paul Anton Smith, director of Have You Seen My Movie? My personal favorite would be Have You Seen My Movie?, a clever collection of hundreds of different movies meshed together seamlessly to tell one coherent story.

Paul said: “Have You Seen My Movie? is a montage in camouage, an appropriation of moviemaking and a hijacking of movie-going. The inaugural IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award would enable me to develop future projects such as a filmed narrative feature but, for now, I would simply like to extend my humble gratitude to IWC Schaffhausen and the BFI for their encouragement and their support of my film, which is representative of a 21st-century, ever-evolving art form and of the theatrical experience as being the most critical component of what we call ‘magic’ at the movies.”

A prestigious shortlisting panel including director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham and upcoming Viceroy’s House), Joe Oppenheimer, acting head of BBC Films, and Rose Garnett, head of development at Film4, alongside Bursary Award architects Clare Stewart, director of the BFI London Film Festival and Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund, selected the four filmmaker finalists.

IWC has also created a Pilot’s Watch Spitfire Chronograph Edition “BFI London Film Festival 2016” (ref. IW387812 – limited edition of just 60 timepieces in stainless steel). It has a vibrant silver sunburst dial with blue Arabic numerals. Within the case there is an automatic IWC  in-house calibre 89365 which powers the chronograph and flyback function.

The Bursary will be awarded at the the Rosewood London on 4 October 2016.

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