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BAFTA To Showcase ‘Brit To Watch’ William Oldroyd In New York And Los Angeles

31 August 2016
Daniel Foeldes

British director and his acclaimed debut feature Lady Macbeth will be showcased at BAFTA’s 10th ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ event, in partnership with the British Council 

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced today that film director William Oldroyd will be profiled at the next ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’, the 10th showcase in a series of events hosted by BAFTA in New York and Los Angeles that present outstanding British talent to the US film industry.

‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ is produced in partnership with British Council, with the support of IMDb, the Academy Circle, and Soho House New York.

On Tuesday 27 September at Soho House New York, and Thursday 29 September at Soho House West Hollywood, William Oldroyd will be presented at a screening of his highly anticipated feature-length debut Lady Macbeth, which will receive its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ events introduce British talent who show great promise to an exclusive audience of film industry professionals. BAFTA then facilitates a number of follow-up meetings with key industry figures for the individuals in both Los Angeles and New York.

The series began in 2013 and has featured directors and writer-directors Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant), Richard Laxton (Burton and Taylor), Amma Asante (Belle), Kieran Evans, (Kelly + Victor), Hong Khaou (Lilting), Yann Demange (’71), John Maclean (Slow West), Carol Morley (The Falling) and Stephen Fingleton (The Survivalist).

BAFTA-winning director and previous ‘Brit to Watch’ Amma Asante, whose latest film A United Kingdom, will open the 60th BFI London Film Festival on 5 October, said: “Being selected for BAFTA’s Brits to Watch in 2013, has been one of the great privileges of my career thus far, endorsing me through BAFTA’s prestigious brand. It created relationships within the industry for me across the Atlantic that are ongoing, instigating work that is in the pipeline that I will eventually be able to share with the world.”   

In Lady Macbeth, a “gothic tale about a young woman trapped in a marriage of convenience whose passionate affair unleashes a maelstrom of murder and mayhem on a country estate” (TIFF 2016), William Oldroyd relocates Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 Russian Novella, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, to 19th century England. The film is written by award-winning playwright Alice Birch and features British rising star Florence Pugh (The Falling) as Katherine, opposite one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow, Cosmo Jarvis, as Sebastian.

Lady Macbeth is produced by Oscar nominee Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly of Sixty Six Pictures, and is financed by Creative England, BBC Films, the BFI and Oldgarth Media through iFeatures, Creative England’s talent development and low budget feature film initiative, designed to support emerging filmmakers make their first feature film. International sales are handled by Protagonist Pictures.

The ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ series builds on the legacy of BAFTA’s 2011 ‘Brits to Watch’ event supported by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at which BAFTA introduced 42 promising British newcomers to leading figures in the US film, television and games industries at a black-tie gala in Los Angeles.

The initiative is endorsed by ‘Friends of Brits to Watch: The Screenings’, a high-profile group of leading industry practitioners including: actors Damian Lewis (Homeland) Tom Hiddleston (Avengers Assemble, Midnight in Paris), Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer, Brighton Rock), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness, Men in Black 3) and Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher, American Sniper), Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End, Vicky Christina Barcelona) and David Harewood (Homeland, Blood Diamond); director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World); screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, The Aviator); and writer, director and producer Armando Iannucci (Veep, In The Loop).

Biography of William Oldroyd

William Oldroyd’s short film Best won the Sundance London Short Film Competition in 2013 and was then invited to be screened at the Sundance Festival, 2014.

He began working with film and video at art college before becoming a successful theatre and opera director in the UK and abroad. As Director in Residence at the Young Vic Theatre in London, he staged contemporary adaptations of European classics, such as Ghosts by Ibsen. Subsequently, he was invited to direct adaptations of Sartre in Tokyo, Beckett in Munich and Shakespeare in UK for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. His opera productions include works by Pergolesi in Portugal and Donizetti at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.

Lady Macbeth is William’s first feature film and continues his fascination with adaptations of classics.

William is represented by Giles Smart at United Agents.

Notes to editors:

‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ is produced as a collaboration between the BAFTA offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.

The initiative is a talent showcase for the industry, and the associated screenings are not intended as film previews for press.

For further information, please contact:

In London:
Eleanor Pickering at BAFTA
T +44 (0) 20 7292 5863
E [email protected]

In New York:
Lina Plath / Stephanie Davidson at Frank PR
T 646 861 0843
E [email protected] / [email protected]

In Los Angeles:
Elyse Weissman at SLATE PR (US)
T 310-461-0114
E [email protected]


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit For more, visit

About British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. It is a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

British Council Film department links UK films and filmmakers to new international audiences, profiling the innovation, diversity and excellence of British films around the world and finding opportunities for creative exchange. As part of its programme it provides a preview service for selectors from the world's major film festivals/markets (including Toronto, Cannes, Berlin and Sundance). For more information, please see: