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The CTBF announces 2014 John Brabourne Awards

03 October 2014

184 applicants whittled down to 9 awardees in record-breaking year for leading UK film and television charity

The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF), the leading charity for people working behind the scenes in the UK film, cinema and commercial television industries, has today announced the recipients of the annual John Brabourne Awards (JBAs), dedicated to providing invaluable financial assistance to individuals that have faced difficulties in progressing their career. The 2014 awardees will be honoured during a formal reception at BAFTA this evening.

A record 184 entrants applied for consideration, a 50 percent uplift on 2013, with the successful candidates receiving a grant ranging between £1,000 and £5,000, towards the development of their careers in the film and TV industries. Nine awards were made this year, with an experienced industry committee finalising the list of recipients.

Awardees being recognised at tonight’s reception at BAFTA include: Charlotte Hudson, an exciting comedy writer with a number of film and TV projects in development, and one half of the double act, Two Left Hands; Adam Biskupski, an award-wining shorts editor whose debut feature THE GOOB recently premiered at Venice Film Festival and will screen in competition at the upcoming London Film Festival; and the highly promising Hero Mackenzie, an MA filmmaking student at the London Film School.

Richard Wilson, Chief Executive of The CTBF commented:  “We are delighted with the record number of submissions and level of interest shown in this year’s JBA’s, and believe it reflects the unique position, and value, the award holds within the film and television industries. We have chosen a diverse and very deserving group of recipients and trust that this award will act as a creative catalyst for each awardee, helping them achieve their ambitions within their respective fields, and continue to share in the success previous awardees have experienced through the JBA programme.”

Targeted at talented individuals within the film and television industries, The JBAs aim to provide a financial stepping stone for those that have faced difficulties within their personal or professional lives - from financial hardship and accident to illness and bereavement. Previous awardees have gone on to create award-winning film and television, including Krishnendu Majumdar, Series Director, AN IDIOT ABROAD, who received a JBA in 2008, William Jessop, director of BBC 3’s GROWING UP DOWNS who received an award in 2011, and Sandhya Suri, director of I FOR INDIA, who received an award in 2013.   

A full list of this year’s winners can be found below:

Adam Biskupski - A freelance editor specialising in independent and documentary film, his feature debut THE GOOB premiered at Venice Film Festival (2014), and is in competition at London Film Festival & Dinard (2014). His shorts include Lynne Ramsay's BAFTA winning SWIMMER, JONAH (BIFA nominated) and EKKI MÚKK (Winner Best UK Short LSFF).  Features credits as first assistant editor include WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, MR NICE and UNMADE BEDS. 

Lucy Brydon - A writer and filmmaker, Lucy trained in Film Directing at Columbia Film School in New York and on the Writing Programme at the University of Warwick. She has produced and directed short films, commercials and television dramas in the UK, US and China. Lucy's feature script SICK(er) is being developed as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival Network programme.  Her novel SHANGHAI PASSENGER will be published in early 2015.

Mahdi Fleifel - Born in Dubai and raised in Ain El-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon, Mahdi Fleifel graduated from the UK National Film and TV School in 2009. In 2010 Mahdi set up the London-based production company Nakba FilmWorks with Irish producer Patrick Campbell. Their first feature film, A WORLD NOT OURS (2012), premiered in Toronto and has  picked up 34 awards, including the Peace Film Prize at the Berlinale 2013 and the Yamagata, Edinburgh and DOC:NYC Grand Prizes. Mahdi recently completed a new short, XENOS, which premiered at Berlinale 2014.

Lorna Hartnett - Lorna studied television production, radio broadcasting and film-making at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Graduating with a First in Media Studies in 2008, she pursued her lifelong ambition of working in television. She is currently completing a Master's degree in Producing & Directing Television Entertainment at the National Film & Television School, and producing an access documentary about the Swedish retail giant, IKEA.

Charlotte Hudson - A Sheffield-born writer, actress and presenter, Charlotte formed comedy double-act Two Left Hands with Leila Hackett. They have written for  Radio 4’s Recorded for Training Purposes and BBC2’s Watson & Oliver. In 2014 they were commissioned to write their first screenplay by twice-BAFTA nominated Moonspun Films. Charlotte’s on-screen credits include BBC2 comedy shows Bruiser and Lead Balloon, Sky One series Brainiac, C4’s Big Brother's Little Brother and co-hosting BBC1’s Watchdog.

Hero Mackenzie - After receiving a distinction for her MA in Screenwriting at London Film School, Hero assisted director Stephen Poliakoff, and screenwriter Tony Grisoni on various projects. She is currently working towards an MA in Filmmaking, also at London Film School.

Amanda Richardson - A successful screenwriter, Amanda was recently awarded a grant from Napier University to develop her adult animation idea about dinosaurs in heaven. Her short film script "Pushing Buttons" reached the finals at the IMDB Script to Screen Award and will be made next year with the help of Bath Spa University. She made her break into the industry in 2013 writing for CBeebies "Dinopaws", , and this year she was also selected for the Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab and was shortlisted for Funny Women's Comedy Writing Award for her sitcom script "Paper Cups".

Rosie Taylor - Rosie has worked in the film exhibition sector with Afrika Eye Film Festival, Slapstick Festival, and Bristol based silent film organisation Bristol Silents, for the past two years. She is currently Assistant Curator and Head of Digital Media for Slapstick Festival and a voluntary member of the Bristol Silents programming team. She is currently developing her career as a film programmer, curator and historian.

Gavin Scott Whitfield - A playwright and screenwriter, Gavin has six film credits to his name, including the BAFTA-nominated “The Last Regal King Size”. He has also written and broadcast for the BBC (‘Backwash’, Radio 3 programme about Liverpool in 2007). Gavin received The Alan Clarke Award for his screenplay “Leave-Taking” in 2010.  In the last two years he has written and directed two short films, ‘Thomas Hartley’, and ‘The Slain’, and is attempting to use this work to further his ambition to make a first feature.

About the CTBF
The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) is the leading UK charity for people working behind the scenes in the film, cinema and commercial television industries. The CTBF exists to support creatives, production professionals, marketers and administration staff from script to screen, who are experiencing extreme hardship due to ill health, redundancy or other unfortunate circumstances. The CTBF does this through the following schemes:

Financial Assistance - The CTBF offers grants or loans in order to help those finding it difficult to make ends meet, or struggling on a low income.

Practical Assistance - The CTBF assists in the necessary replacement of domestic appliances that are outdated or unsafe, as well as in making adaptations to a home in order to allow families to go on living there.

Back to Work – The CTBF ‘Back to Work’ package helps those that are out of work and finding it difficult to obtain more work. After assessment, the CTBF offers an “immediate needs” payment and grant to help with bills for six months.

In addition to one-off grants and regular payments to those in need, the Fund runs a number of wider-welfare initiatives. These include the John Brabourne Awards, providing financial assistance to individuals working behind the scenes in the Film and TV industries that have faced difficulties in progressing their career due to unfortunate circumstances in either their personal or professional lives, the Glebelands Care Home, providing residential care and full nursing; and the CTBF National Care Plan, enabling those who have worked in the film or commercial television industries for at least two years, and their parents, to receive a discount in any Anchor care home across England. In addition, the CTBF offers independent living in the Broccoli Cloister, a development of twenty seven flats.

The CTBF, is registered in England, Wales and Scotland (No. 1099660)

Further information is available on the official website and on Twitter @theCTBF.

About John Brabourne
John Brabourne was one of Britain's most prolific producers with an illustrious career spanning four decades and twenty-seven films. He produced some of the greats of British cinema, including A PASSAGE TO INDIA, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and ROMEO AND JULIET. His films secured five Oscars® and twenty one nominations.  John Brabourne was also Chairman of Thames Television and a Director of Euston Films and Thorn EMI.

Throughout his career he consistently championed the need to support new talent entering into the film and television industries, a cause he furthered in his time as a Trustee of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.