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BAFTA to Showcase ‘Brit To Watch’ John Maclean in New York and Los Angeles

13 April 2015
The Orange British Academy Film Awards, Show, Royal Opera House, London, Britain - 12 Feb 2012REX Shutterstock

The BAFTA-winning director continues the ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ series in April

London/New York/Los Angeles, 13 April: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced that BAFTA-winning director John Maclean will take part in the latest ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’; a series of showcase events, hosted by BAFTA in New York and Los Angeles, that introduce outstanding British talent to the US film industry. The series is produced in partnership with British Council, with the support of IMDb and the Academy Circle.

On Thursday 23 April in Los Angeles, John Maclean will be presented at a screening of his debut feature film Slow West, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. On Tuesday 21 April he will be guest of honour at a dinner in New York, where the film will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Slow West marks Maclean’s third collaboration with actor Michael Fassbender, who also starred in the director’s short films Pitch Black Heist – for which he won a BAFTA in 2012 – and Man on a Motorcycle in 2009. Slow West was produced by DMC Film, See-Saw Films, Rachel Gardner Films, and funded by film4, the BFI and New Zealand Film Commission. It will be released by A24 in the US later this year.

At each ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ event, a creative who shows great promise is introduced to an exclusive audience of film industry professionals. BAFTA then arranges a number of follow-up meetings for the individuals to meet with key industry figures in both cities.

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) and Yann Demange (’71) .

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “‘Brits To Watch: The Screenings’ brings exciting new UK filmmakers to wider international attention. BAFTA is uniquely positioned to celebrate and support British talent in the US, and we’re thrilled that John Maclean, a BAFTA-winning director for his short film Pitch Black Heist, will showcase his debut feature film Slow West in Los Angeles and New York.”

Kieran Breen, Chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles, added: “The Brits To Watch series is a key initiative for us. It ensures BAFTA serves as a beacon for the Los Angeles industry to discover the rising stars of the British industry, and we are delighted to be working alongside our colleagues in London and New York on this unique project.”

Charles Tremayne, Chairman of BAFTA New York, added: “BAFTA New York is always pleased to help introduce the best of new British talent to the US. Identifying new talent is an electrifying experience and we are sure John Maclean has a career full of achievement in front of him.”

Briony Hanson, Director of Film at British Council, said: “Since its launch in July 2013 Brits to Watch has been a huge success, helping to connect some extremely talented emerging UK filmmakers to key decision makers in the US industry. So we’re delighted to be continuing the series in 2015, working with BAFTA to profile another batch of outstanding filmmakers as they move forward on their international career paths, starting with BAFTA-winning John Maclean and his highly distinctive feature debut Slow West.”

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), 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 John Maclean:

John Maclean studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, before becoming a founder member of The Beta Band, one of the most revered British bands of the last two decades. The creative brain behind many of the Beta Band’s most iconic and ground-breaking music videos, Maclean continued to direct videos for his next band, The Aliens.

In 2009 Maclean wrote and directed his first dramatic work – Man on a Motorcycle – a short film shot entirely on his mobile phone, which played to critical acclaim at the BFI London Film Festival. The film was the director’s first collaboration with actor Michael Fassbender, who also stars in Maclean’s BAFTA-winning short film Pitch Black Heist, shot in 2011, and his debut feature film Slow West, which won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

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 Los Angeles:

Andy Gelb/ Rachael Trager at Slate PR

Tel: 310-461-0111

Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

In New York:

Marlea Willis at Marlea Willis Communications, Inc.

Tel: 914-220-8399/212-485-9810

Email: [email protected]


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) 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, international programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. 

BAFTA Los Angeles serves as a bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities. Its commitment to professional and community education is at the heart of all activity, including an inner-city outreach programme, screenings, seminars, Behind Closed Doors series, Q&As, scholarships for British students studying in the US, and a Heritage Archive project, which preserves in-depth interviews with the industry's leading talents for future generations. BAFTA Los Angeles celebrates and promotes excellence through its annual Britannia Awards, Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties and the Student Film Awards.

BAFTA New York carries the Academy’s mission forward on the Atlantic Coast through its commitment to the film, television and documentary communities. Its activities include screenings, In Conversation series, masterclasses, Q&As and panels focusing on industry trends in film, television and multimedia. BAFTA New York's educational outreach is aimed at underserved youth in New York City and includes the BAFTA New York Media Studies Scholarship Program, which was established to support students pursuing media studies at undergraduate and graduate level institutions within the New York City area.

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, TV and games production, visit For more information, 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).

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