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Lily Freeston

Lily Freeston

FULBRIGHT  | BAFTA SCHOLAR  2020

Lily was privileged to grow up in a vibrant patch of Manchester, in the north of England, surrounded by people with different backgrounds, cultures and life experiences to hers. The place she's from informs the documentaries she makes, which hear from people whose stories often go unheard or misrepresented in mainstream media.
 
After graduating with a first class degree from University of the Arts London, Lily trained as a youth-worker, supporting young people in communities around the UK. During this time, she co-directed a short animation for Channel 4 and British culture magazine, Dazed, and had another film screened at BAFTA in London. In 2017, she kicked off the next chapter of her career as a current affairs journalist at the BBC. Lily has reported on and produced films, radio documentaries and podcasts internationally – looking at low conviction rates for rape and finding out how fatherhood classes reduce violence. A film she co-directed about child marriage screened at a UN summit, and her documentary about female sexual pleasure, which has been watched by 4 million people online, was reviewed positively by major British media outlets such as The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph.
 
With a Fulbright BAFTA and BUNAC scholarship, Lily is undertaking an MFA in documentary filmmaking in Chicago, a city with a rich history of community organising which makes this move the perfect fit for her. Lily's ambition is to direct films that challenge perceptions and help people to better understand the world we live in. The turbulent, divisive climate we’re in makes now an important time to do this.