The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF), the leading UK charity for people working behind the scenes in the film, cinema and commercial television industries, has opened for submissions to its highly anticipated annual John Brabourne Awards (JBAs). Dedicated to providing assistance to individuals who have faced hurdles in progressing their career, the JBAs will award grants of £1,000 and £5,000 to deserving candidates.
Targeted at talented and driven individuals within the film and television industries, the JBAs aim to provide a financial stepping stone for those that have faced barriers within their personal or professional lives – such as financial hardship, accident or illness. Last year's awardees include Charlotte Hudson, an exciting comedy writer and one half of the double act, Two Left Hands; Adam Biskupski, an award-wining shorts editor whose debut feature THE GOOB premiered at Venice Film Festival; and Mahdi Fleifel, a critically acclaimed director whose feature A WORLD NOT OURS has received recognition on the international festival circuit.
Speaking recently at a CTBF and NFM event in Newcastle showcasing the awards (pictured above), JBA Committee member and consultant Dhiraj Mahey offered the following advice to applicants: “We apply three key criteria in assessing applications: talent; genuine need; and having a realistic and thought-through plan.
“In terms of talent, basically we’re interested in people who are interesting. Apply with work that speaks of who you are – that’s far more important than a polished, accomplished portfolio where there’s no point of view – no sense that this couldn’t have been done by someone else. Sometimes what’s most exiting is stuff that doesn’t quite work, but you can see the ambition. Obviously what’s interesting is subjective to some extent, but people shouldn’t be put off by the fear that we’ll evaluate on the grounds of genre, for example. Actually, it’s often precisely the stuff that isn’t to our personal taste but has some spark that captures the imagination most.
“Beyond that, we need to be convinced that the JBA will enable an applicant to do something which would otherwise be impossible for them. And finally we need to be convinced that applicants have a coherent career strategy: you need to explain to us what you want to achieve going forwards and persuade us that you have both a realistic plan and the passion to sustain you through your journey in this very challenging industry.”
Previous recipient Gareth Tunley, whose JBA supported him in the production of psychological feature THE GHOUL, said of his award: "It's no exaggeration to say that The John Brabourne Awards transform the lives of its winners. The belief that the CTBF has shown in my work has given me the confidence to pursue my filmmaking dreams, and the financial means to complete a project that means the world to me. With so many in our industry struggling, the JBAs are a vital lifeline as we each look to fulfil our potential."
Richard Wilson, Chief Executive of the CTBF commented: "The talent within our industry never fails to astound. Yet the stunning work of far too many hard-working, skilled, and highly imaginative individuals struggles to see the light of day, weighed down by financial hardship, accidents, illness, and other outside pressures. The JBAs seek to address this, and to ensure that as many as possible get their chance to shine. We welcome any and all submissions."
Applications should be made via the CTBF website and will close on Friday 31 July. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they possess the talent required to achieve their professional goals, as well as having worked for a minimum of two years behind the scenes in the film and/or TV industries. This experience does not have to be continuous and can be accumulative. They must also explain how funding from the JBAs will help them overcome difficulties and allow them to progress.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in September, and the successful awardees will be announced during the JBA evening reception which will be held in October.
For more information and to make an application click here.