The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the names of 21 students in financial need who will receive scholarships to study in the UK or US including, for the first time this year, two students from mainland China who will be studying at British institutions. As well as financial support of up to £20,000 tuition fees, plus £10,000 for living expenses, they will gain free access to BAFTA events and receive one-to-one mentoring from BAFTA members, award-winners and nominees.
Li Gong, from Lanzhou in Gansu Province, and Qingling Zhang from Shanghai, have been awarded BAFTA scholarships plus a bursary for living expenses. Li Gong will study Film Directing at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. Li, aged 23, attended Fudan University in Shanghai, where she majored in journalism. She has previously completed an internship at Shanghai Media Group as an assistant director on the documentary, Survival in Shanghai. Li says: “I chose to come to the United Kingdom because it is a country which values creativity and provides millions of opportunities for youngsters to make their voices heard. BAFTA scholarships are a good example of this.”
Qingling Zhang will study Production Design at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield. Aged 24, Qingling has a BA in Media Art Design from Jiangsu University, and completed her graduate diploma in Art and Design from University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Farnham, Surrey in 2016. Qingling says: “To be awarded the BAFTA Scholarship is the greatest honour I have ever received. I am immensely grateful to BAFTA. The incredible scholarship gives me huge support and encouragement, so I am more confident to pursue new challenges and achieve my ambition of production design. For profiles of Li and Qingling, go to: http://www.bafta.org/asia/initiatives/scholarships.
As President of BAFTA, Prince William announced the BAFTA Scholarship in China in 2015 during his first visit to China. The inclusion of students from mainland China is the latest expansion of BAFTA’s global scholarship activity, which saw Hong Kong resident Wan Pin Chu receive a scholarship for the Master of Composition (MComp) in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music in London in 2014. The Scholarship aims to encourage UK-China cross-cultural exchange by enabling talented Chinese nationals to study film, television, or games as an international student in the UK.
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “BAFTA celebrates creative excellence and a crucial part of its work is to ensure that talented people, whatever their background or personal circumstances, are given every opportunity to engage in the film, TV and games industries. I’m delighted that, for the first time, we have been able to support talented individuals from mainland China.” The BAFTA Scholarship Programme is overseen in the UK by BAFTA’s Learning and New Talent Committee, chaired by Sara Putt, and made possible by the generous support of a number of individuals, foundations and partnerships.
Warner Bros. sponsored “Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games”
In the UK, nine new and three returning British students will receive up to £12,000 as part of their package of support. For a fourth year, three of these students will receive the Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros. These scholarships – an integral element of Warner Bros. Creative Talent, Warner Bros.’ investment in UK creative industries’ skills and training – are awarded in the name of HRH The Duke of Cambridge in his role as President of BAFTA. For more information about the British BAFTA Scholars in the UK, go to: http://www.bafta.org/supporting-talent/scholarships/scholarships-2016.