Having initially studied to be an artist, it was not until one of his lecturers gave him some art-house films on VHS that Michael Pearce decided he wanted to be a filmmaker. Directing a steady stream of short films, Michael already had two BAFTA nominations under his belt (Rite, 2011 & Keeping Up with the Joneses, 2014) before he was selected as a Breakthrough Brit in 2018.
Throughout his year of mentoring and support, Michael was able to gain advice and draw on the knowledge and experience of some of the leading practitioners in his field, from upcoming Bond director Cary Fukanaga, to prolific director and screenwriter Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan).
“BAFTA is one of the most recognised film organisations in the world. It was great to get that recognition and it kind of validates all the hard work that you put into it. It appeases some of your self-doubt and encourages you to keep working. It’s been a great experience.”
Michael’s BAFTA journey reached an incredible conclusion when his first feature Beast was recognised at the 2019 EE British Academy Film Awards, achieving a nomination in the Outstanding British Film category, and winning the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.