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2018 US Scholarship Recipients Announced

31 July 2018
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Global scholarship program offers educational and financial assistance to 20 scholars throughout the U.S.

Los Angeles, July 31, 2018: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) today announced a record financial contribution of $113,500 to its 2018 U.S. scholars. BAFTA supports British students studying in the U.S. as well as American and international students on select courses.

Of the 20 recipients, nine students were selected to study in New York institutions through the BAFTA New York Media Studies Scholarship Program, while 11 students were awarded scholarships through BAFTA Los Angeles, to support their studies at film schools in the U.S. The students originate from the U.K., the U.S., Ghana, Peru and Iran, with special scholarships targeting underrepresented groups and communities.

Each of the Scholars will receive up to $10,000 of financial aid towards their graduate studies.

“At BAFTA, we make it a priority to foster and support the next generation of talented filmmakers. It is vital that we give them the opportunity to tell their own stories,” said BAFTA Los Angeles Chairman Kieran Breen. “These talented students have the potential to change our industry by making their voices heard and bringing to the screen fresh perspectives that more fully represent our diverse culture and experiences.” 

“Supporting the next generation of artists is one of the key foundations of BAFTA New York’s mission and we could not be more thrilled with this talented group of recipients,” said BAFTA New York Chair Arianna Bocco. “We look forward to working with them now and in the future and could not do this without our amazing partners whose continued support is truly invaluable.”

BAFTA U.S. Scholars in 2018

Pigott/BAFTA Scholarship

  • Bella Randle Racklin: Social Documentary Film at School of Visual Arts
  • Rhys Jones: Filmmaking (MFA) at New York University
  • Clare Byrne: Writing for Film and Television (MFA) at University of Southern California
  • Lola Blanche Higgins: Film Directing (MFA) at American Film Institute
  • Catherine Wignall: Screenwriting (MFA) at University of California, Los Angeles 

BAFTA New York Documentary Scholarship in Honor of John F. Grist

  • Rafael Samanez: Film, Documentary Specialization (MFA) at City College of New York

BBC America Diversity Scholarships

  • Zubaira Ahmed: Television Production (MFA) at Brooklyn College
  • Emmanuel Adu Poku: Film, Documentary Specialization (MFA) at City College of New York

DLT Entertainment Scholarship

  • Taylor Silver: Television Production (MFA) at Brooklyn College

HBO Scholarship

  • Rashad Frett: Graduate Film (MFA) at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

King Features Animation Scholarship

  • Jess Hock: Cinema Arts (MFA) at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema

Taffner Family Charitable Trust Scholarship in Honor of Donald Taffner Sr. and Eleanor Taffner

  • Bahareh Khosravi: Television Production (MFA) at Brooklyn College 

Woman of Her Word Disabilities Scholarships

  • Shannon Ryan: Cinema Arts (MFA) at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema
  • Shannan Shaughnessy: Cinema Arts (MFA) at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema

Nigel Lythgoe Television Scholarship

  • Edward Hancox: Film and Media Production (MFA) at University of Texas at Austin

Hunter Foundation Scholarship

  • Rachel Main: Dramatic Writing (MFA) at New York University 
  • Gavin Laing: Producing for Film, Television and New Media (MFA) at University of Southern California

Access for All Scholarship

  • Hena Ashraf: Film Directing (MFA) at University of California, Los Angeles
  • Robert Treves: Screen Scoring (MM) at University of Southern California
  • Edward Howarth: Screenwriting (MFA) at Boston University 

The 2018 U.S. scholarships are funded by BAFTA events, membership dues, and through donations from individuals and companies. Additional funds for the BAFTA Scholarship Program are graciously provided by Mark Pigott KBE, Burberry, Nigel Lythgoe, Sir Tom Hunter, Michele Spitz, the Taffner Family Charitable Trust, King Features, HBO, DLT Entertainment, BBC America, and the funds raised through BAFTA Los Angeles’ Access for All initiative. The BAFTA scholarships for British and Chinese students studying in the U.K. will be announced later this year. 

For further information:

Caroline Stegner at Rogers & Cowan


[email protected]