Writer-director Richard Billingham (Ray & Liz), writer Nicole Taylor (Wild Rose) and writer-director Harry Wootliff (Only You) are the three names on the shortlist for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award worth £50k ($65k), which the eponymous luxury watch brand gives in conjunction with the BFI.

Photographer and Turner Prize-nominated artist Billingham’s well-reviewed first feature Ray and Liz is based on his memories of his parents Ray and Liz, their relationship, and its impact on Richard and his younger brother Jason.

Taylor recently wrote drama series, Three Girls for BBC1, which won five BAFTAs including mini-series and writer: drama. Prior to that, she wrote The C Word, starring Sheridan Smith for BBC1, which was also BAFTA-
nominated. Wild Rose, which was snapped up by Neon out of Toronto, is about a young woman from Glasgow who wants to escape Scotland for Nashville where she dreams of making it as a country singer.

Wootliff originally trained as an actress and has written and directed for TV including Coming Up for Channel 4. Her debut Only You tells the story of a couple whose passionate love affair comes under pressure when life doesn’t go to plan.

The Bursary is presented in recognition of “outstanding British talent at the beginning of their careers and is designed to support a writer and/or director by providing them with the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity.” Previous recipients include writer/directors Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) and Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy).

Directors Paul Greengrass and Edgar Wright will select the winner with Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI and
Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. The chosen filmmaker or writer will be revealed at an IWC Gala Dinner on Tuesday 9 October, just before the London Film Festival kickoff.

This year’s shortlist was selected by Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films, Ollie Madden, Head of Creative at Film4, Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, Tricia Tuttle, Acting Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival, and Kaleem Aftab, film critic and journalist. To be eligible for the Bursary Award a writer, director or writer-director must be UK-based and have their first or second film in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival.