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Meet 2015's UK scholars

14 September 2015

In 2015 16 talented students received scholarships through the BAFTA Scholarship Programme in the UK.

BAFTA Scholarship Programme in 2015

13 new and 3 returning students received scholarships as part of the 2015 BAFTA Scholarship Programme, which assists talented people in need of financial support to study a post-graduate course in film, television or games.

Of those selected, three received Prince William Scholarships in film, television and games supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros, which are awarded in the name of HRH The Duke of Cambridge in his role as President of BAFTA.

About the Scholarships

Each BAFTA Scholar received up to £10,000 towards their course fees for a year, mentoring support from BAFTA members, and free access to BAFTA events.

Meet the 2015 UK Scholars

Event: BAFTA Scholarships Launch 2015Date: 30 September 2015Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly

Prince William Scholars:

Other new BAFTA Scholars:

Continuing Scholars in 2015:

Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros.

Event: BAFTA Scholarships Launch 2015Date: 30 September 2015Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly

Hosea Ntaborwa

Hosea Ntaborwa, from Croydon, south London, received £7,500 to study for a Diploma in Production Sound for Film and Television at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). 

BAFTA Mentor: Chris Munro, production sound mixer (Gravity, Captain Phillips)

Since receiving his scholarship, Hosea has been mentored by BAFTA-winning production sound mixer Chris Munro, who has helped him secure a position as a visiting trainee on a feature film set.

Hosea says "My relationship with my mentor [Chris Munro] has been great, it's beyond what I expected [and] I would say it's [the] best mentoring scheme you can ever have."

Christopher Schlechte-Bond

Christopher Schlechte-Bond, from Widnes in Cheshire, was awarded £9,700 to complete the MComp in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music in London.

BAFTA Mentor: John Lunn, composer (Downton Abbey, The Last Kingdom)

Christopher has corresponded regularly with his mentor, BAFTA-nominated composer John Lunn, and attended one of his recording sessions in London.

Christopher says: “The BAFTA Scholarship has helped me immensely through the crucial and final year of my postgraduate course at the Royal College of Music. With the scholarship, I didn't have to worry about [how] to finance my studies; I could devote my time to honing the musical skills that I will need after I graduate. I've also attended [events] through BAFTA, so I have really begun to feel like I am getting a foot into the door of the industry. I couldn't recommend this scholarship programme more.”

Shivani Shah

Shivani Shah, from Leicester, was awarded £10,000 to continue her studies for the MA Digital Effects at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). 

BAFTA Mentor: Hayden Jones, visual effects supervisor (Jekyll & Hyde, Broadchurch)

Shivani attended the Film Sessions 2016, which featured practitioners discussing their BAFTA-nominated projects.  Through her mentor, visual effects supervisor Hayden Jones, Shivani has also received support from Hayden’s colleague, fellow VFX supervisor and BAFTA member, Louise Hussey (Les Misérables, The Hollow Crown).

Shivani says: “Being a BAFTA Scholarship recipient has benefited me in more than one way. The scholarship offers opportunities and the chance to network and meet people who are insightful, who can offer you advice and direct you in path I could never imagine myself going down. Being a BAFTA Scholarship recipient has only offered positive prospects and I am so grateful because I couldn’t think of better way to receive support that BAFTA provide.”

Other new BAFTA Scholars in 2015

Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes, from Reading, was awarded £4,200 towards the MComp in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music in London.

BAFTA Mentor: Maggie Rodford, Music Supervisor (Harry Potter, Cinderella)

Tom meets with his mentor Music Supervisor Maggie Rodford of Air Edel Studios, on a monthly basis. He has attended several BAFTA events including a conversation between BAFTA-nominated composers Johann Johannsson (The Theory Of Everything, Sicario) and musician Alva Noto (The Revenant) at BAFTA's Film Sessions.

Tom says: “I am completely indebted to BAFTA; without their support I simply would have not been able to start my studies. Receiving guidance from such an experienced industry member [as music supervisor Maggie Rodford] has given me more confidence when it comes to tackling various aspects of my career, in particular practical and legal details of the industry which I previously ignorant of. I have connected with various other BAFTA Scholarship recipients from a range of different backgrounds to mine, [and] being associated with BAFTA has proven a valuable tool for networking.” 

Adam Barnett

Adam Barnett, from Newcastle, was awarded £10,000 to complete the MA Cinematography course at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). 

BAFTA Mentor: Gavin Finney, cinematographer (Wolf Hall, Going Postal)

Adam has attended several BAFTA events, including masterclasses in cinematography with BAFTA winner Chris Menges and BAFTA nominee Ed Lachman, and A Life in Pictures event with the BAFTA-winning director Sam Mendes.

Adam says: “My Mentor Gavin Finney BSC [and I] have met several times, each time has been hugely helpful for me to get an insight on the higher levels of the industry and of where I’d, one day, like to see myself. [The BAFTA Scholarship has] given me a huge confidence boost and has allowed me, with the help of my mentor to meet some truly extraordinary people"

Jurell Carter

Jurell Carter, 23, from Leicester, was awarded £3,700 to support him whilst studying for a BA (hons) in Acting at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).

BAFTA Mentor: Noel Clarke, actor, writer and director (Kidulthood, Doctor Who)

Jurell’s scholarship, given in the form of a bursary, has enabled him to gain Spotlight membership and covered his travelling costs to meet agents and to take part in performance showcases.

He is being mentored by actor and Rising Star Award winner Noel Clarke, and met BAFTA-nominated actor Jamie Dornan at an Academy Circle event.

Jurell says: “The Academy Circle event with Jamie Dornan was hugely insightful; a man with such experience and credentials giving us his time and knowledge for even a short amount of time was amazing. Being a BAFTA Scholar has undoubtedly given me attention, [as] a world renowned organisation such as BAFTA carries a huge reputation. I personally think it is helping me, not only through financially aiding, but also having a widely experienced industry professional such as Noel [Clarke as a mentor] has helped in agents coming to see my showcases.”


Scholarships 2015 - Laura-Beth Cowley

Laura-Beth Cowley

Laura-Beth Cowley, from Isle of Portland in Dorset, was awarded £5,300 to study the MA Animation at the University of the West of England.

BAFTA Mentor: Merlin Crossingham, animation director (Morph, Creature Comforts)

Laura meets monthly with her mentor Merlin Crossingham, the Creative Director of Wallace & Gromit at the BAFTA-winning Aardman Animations. He has given her invaluable advice on her course and her works in progress.

Laura says: “As well as being an honour I feel having received a BAFTA scholarship has already helped me by putting me in contact with leaders in my chosen industry as well as making me stand out as someone BAFTA has faith in. I feel in today's world anything you can do to make yourself known is extremely useful.”

Jason Harris

Jason Harris, 25, from Wolverhampton, was awarded £6,000 to support him whilst he completes his BA Acting at East 15.

BAFTA Mentor: Riz Ahmed, actor (Nightcrawler, Four Lions)

Jason’s scholarship, which was provided in the form of a bursary for expenses, has helped him to secure the collateral he needs to showcase his talents as an actor, including a voice reel, headshots, and membership of Spotlight and Equity.

He has attended a number of BAFTA events, including an Academy Circle event with Jamie Dornan, where he has met directors, actors and industry professionals.

Jason says: “Finishing my final year being financially stable [has] meant my art form, what I love to do [has been] my main priority. It's easier to fully immerse yourself in a rehearsal room when you're not worried about financial pressures. I [have] truly felt less blind in a profession I [am] about to enter. Becoming a BAFTA scholar boosted my confidence ten-fold. For an organisation like BAFTA to take a chance on someone that isn't from the usual walk of life that most actors are from says so much about BAFTA.”

Jason Harris and Jurell Carter met Jamie Dornan

Kyle Horwood

Kyle Horwood, from Swindon, was awarded £5,100 to study for the MProf in Games Development at Abertay University.

BAFTA Mentor: Karen Stanley, environment artist (London Heist)

Kyle helped BAFTA and Abertay University to develop prototype games for the winners of BAFTA's Young Game Designers (YGD) competition which were showcased to HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of BAFTA and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge on a visit to Dundee.

Kyle speaks daily with his mentor Karen Stanley of Playstation VR and has met with her at BAFTA’s headquarters. He attended BAFTA's showcase event for The Chinese Room’s Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, where he met the Creative Director Dan Pinchbeck.

Kyle says: “The [BAFTA] Scholarship has enabled me to be able to do a Masters in Games Development on which has given me time to better myself as an artist. The relationship [with Karen Stanley that I] have gained from this experience is great and her help really has helped me push my skills.” 

Benjamin Luff and Kyle Horwood met The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson, from Liverpool, was awarded £10,000 to complete his MA Sound Design for Film and Television at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). 

BAFTA Mentor: Niv Adiri, sound effects editor (Gravity, Ex Machina)

Michael has been mentored by BAFTA-winning Sound Effects Editor Niv Adiri, who has provided him with guidance and advice.

Michael says: “I owe everything to BAFTA for seeing something in me and helping me [to] achieve my goals and dreams.  Like many postgraduate students I was in a very dire situation financially before the help from BAFTA.  Since receiving the scholarship I have been able to fully focus on my studies and [concentrate] on becoming the best I can be.” 

Jonny Lavelle

Jonny Lavelle, 28, from Houghton-le-Spring in County Durham, was awarded £3,060 towards the MA in Acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

BAFTA Mentor: Shaun Dooley, actor (Broadchurch, Cuffs)

Jonny has attended BAFTA events including the annual David Lean Lecture from director David O Russell and an Academy Circle event with Natalie Dormer. He interviewed BAFTA-winning actor Eddie Redmayne as part of BAFTA's Film Sessions. He has been mentored by actor Shaun Dooley.

Jonny says: “Especially considering the costs associated with living in London it is great to know that there are organisations out there like BAFTA, who really want to help people pursue their dream careers. My mentor and I have recently met and are building a lovely relationship discussing our shared passion. It's fantastic to simply speak with someone who works in your industry at a professional level, and the fact that they are happy for you to glean as much as you can from them and their advice is very heartening and encouraging! All in all it has been a pretty mind blowing, wonderful year for me so far and I have BAFTA to thank for so much of that.”

Benjamin Luff

Benjamin Luff, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was awarded £5,100 to study for the MProf in Games Development at Abertay University. 

BAFTA Mentor: Ted Timmins, game designer (Fable)

Benjamin is in regular contact with his mentor, game designer Ted Timmins, and they are looking forward to meeting at the British Academy Games Awards in April.

Benjamin says: “[Ted] has been an absolutely huge help and lovely to talk to, taking an active interest in my projects and sharing a lot of wisdom through time in the industry. There is a lot I can learn from [Ted] and he has been all too happy to share a lot of relevant experience with me.”

Daniel Seager

Daniel Seager, from Whitstable in Kent, was awarded £9,500 to study an MA 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University. 

BAFTA Mentor: Jim Jagger, animation director (Grand Theft Auto V, LA Noire)

Daniel has attended several BAFTA events, including an animation masterclass with BAFTA nominees Pete Docter from Pixar (Inside Out), and Mark Burton and Richard Starzak from Aardman Animations (Shaun the Sheep Movie). Daniel has been corresponding with his mentor, Animation Director Jim Jagger, by phone and email while Jim is working in the US, and looks forward to meeting him in person when he is back in the UK.

Daniel says: “Being a BAFTA Scholar benefits me every day as it helps me to stay motivated and understand why I am here. It’s a real confidence boost, which for me is something that would be one of my biggest hurdles to overcome. [I like] being able to tell myself that whilst I might not think I deserve to be here, BAFTA believes in my creative abilities enough to encourage me to help realise my potential.”

Continuing scholars

Scholarships 2014

Matilda Ibini

Matilda Ibini, from Hackney in London, who was named a Prince William Scholar in 2014, received a further £4,500 to complete an MA Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) at City University in London.

BAFTA Mentor: Jack Thorne, screenwriter (This Is England, The Fades)

Matilda, a Prince William Scholar in 2014, is in regular contact with her mentor, BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jack Thorne, who reviews and provides feedback on her work and has introduced her to industry contacts as well as offering advice and guidance about writing for the screen. Matilda has attended various events at BAFTA, including the David Lean Lecture given by director David O Russell.

Matilda says: “The BAFTA scholarship has given me peace of mind and meant that I can pour all my resources into completing the final year of my masters. [Jack] has given great advice [and] I found the David Lean Lecture incredibly motivating and useful. Being a BAFTA Scholar has given me a platform to take my career to new heights.”

Scholarships 2014

Bradley Morgan Johnson

Bradley Morgan Johnson, from Norwich in Norfolk, received a further £2,000 to complete his MA Moving Image and Sound at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

BAFTA Mentor: Stuart Craig, production designer (Harry Potter, The English Patient)

Scholarships 2014

Elizabeth Mercuri

Elizabeth Mercuri, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, who was named a Prince William Scholar in 2014, received a further £3,100 to complete the MSc Games Software Development at Sheffield Hallam University. 

BAFTA Mentor: Lizi Attwood, games programmer (Call of Duty: Strike Team, Buzz)

Elizabeth meets monthly with her mentor Lizi Attwood and has attended several BAFTA events, including showcases of forthcoming games, as she finds them a fantastic way of networking and getting to spend time with talented liked-minded individuals.

Elizabeth says: “There is absolutely no way I would be where I am now, doing what I love, met so many amazing people and been given the opportunities I have been, had it not been for the scholarship. My mentor Lizi Attwood has gone above and beyond what I expected from mentorship; she has done wonders for my confidence and I wouldn't be tackling my final project so confidently and ambitiously without her input and support. The scholarship has given me confidence in my abilities and career aspirations by giving context to and enriching my studies [and] I am so unbelievably grateful!”

Scholarships 2014

Tadhg Culley 

Tadhg Culley, from Burntwood in Staffordshire, was awarded £10,000 to study the MA Screenwriting at the National Film and Television School (NFTS).

BAFTA mentor: Tony Grisoni, screenwriter (How we Live Now, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)

Tadhg says: “To be recognised and supported by BAFTA as fresh talent is one of the greatest honours I have yet received…It has enabled me to take the first concrete steps towards my dream career in screenwriting and finally act meaningfully upon my lifelong ambitions…I hope I can use this platform to inspire the younger generation that such dreams can become a reality with hard work, dedication, commitment and a healthy, creative imagination.”