A growing selection of the top graduates from UK and abroad graduating in last 12 and upcoming 12 months.
Curated by recent NFTS graduate Annie Mullineux, current Falmouth University student Lauren Hyslop and Primetime's Founder.
Illustration by Victoria Emslie.
Primetime Graduate Showcase 2020Championing New Voices In The Industry
During this unprecedented time we want to celebrate some of the best up-and-coming talent in our Industry. With graduations moving online, getting a foot in the door may seem harder than usual and so we have put together a showcase for women graduates to give them greater visibility and connect them with established members in our network.
All of those listed below have either been shortlisted or nominated for Student BAFTAs both in UK and LA, are RTS Student Award and Grierson Award winners & nominees, have had their film screened at a BAFTA or Academy accredited film festival, or have been selected for one of our Industry friends' programmes.
Now is the time to champion new voices: here they are. Share their work, sign them, hire them.
Daughter (Czech: Dcera) is a Czech short animated drama film directed by Daria Kashcheeva. The film received 38 awards during half a year after its premiere at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, including the Annecy Cristal for the best film in the graduation films category, and a Student Academy Award (Student Oscar). It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
Director: Daria Kashcheeva
Distributer: Miyu Distribution
Aspen Shortsfest 2020 - Nominated for Best Animated Short Film
Premiered at Annecy Animation Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival - Winner of the Short Film Jury Award: Animation
Nominated for the 92th Academy Award for the Best short animated film
BAFTA LA - Shortlisted in the Animation category of the Student BAFTA Awards 2020
Daria Kashcheeva is an animator and director, who first started animating in 2013 - her first Animation film Giraffe and Me was made at home in the kitchen with her as director, animator, editor, sound engineer - and her grad film Daughter has won many accolades including Student Academy Award in the category Animation (International Film Schools).
Daria is represented by Luce Grosjean and Zuzana Křívková.
Watch the trailer here.
In Al Sarab, three estranged siblings, all from different backgrounds and cultures, arrive in the desert to attend their father’s funeral. Writer-Director Riffy Ahmed is an award-winning London based film director, writer and visual artist who has had her work screened and exhibited in both the art and film world, with The Times, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, BFI Flare, ICA, Saatchi Gallery and more. She is a 2020 graduate of the National Film and Television School's Directing Fiction course.
Director: Riffy Ahmed
Director of Photography: Rachel Liew
Production Designer: Ann Kutzer
Editor: Margred Pryce
Composer: Sarah Ann Boughton
Costume Designer: Leena Mistry
Make Up Department: Clare Eastham, Bouchra Sakhi
Production Manager: Jovana Damjanovic
Third Assistant Director (UK Unit): Laura Briggs
Art Assistants: Lara Jensen, Lydia Pitman
Sound Designer: Tatiana Sanches
Digital Compositor: Eliis Kuusk
First Assistant Camera: Lou Macnamara
Third Assistant Camera: Camilla Valli
Location Manager: Eva Lance Hughes
Script Supervisors: Lucy Hatherley, Merryn Rae Peachey
Riffy Ahmed looks to tell stories of ‘unlikely heroes’ who we don’t always see on the big screen, particularly framing women, BAME and diaspora identities. Her work has been screened around the world, including at the Tribeca Arts Centre and BFI Flare Festival. Al Sarab was filmed on location in Marrakech and High Wycombe, where Production Designer Ann Kurzer meticulously designed - and Rachel Liew meticulously shot - interiors to match the Agafay desert, 3000km away.
Riffy is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Currently on the festival circuit. Watch the trailer for the film here and request to watch the full film from NFTS here.
An 8 year old girl, Chasuna, visits her father in the big city and meets an unwelcome addition to the family. Yuan Yuan is a screenwriter and director. She is currently an Ang Lee Scholar at New York University as an MFA candidate in writing and directing.
Director: Yuan Yuan
Writer: Yuan Yuan
Producer: Yuan Yuan, Ming Jue Hu, Ye Sun, Eris Qian
25th DGA Student Film Award - winner of Grand Prize
2020 Aspen ShortsFest - winner of Best Student Film
2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival - winner of Best Student Film
2020 OFF Odense International Film Festival - Denmark
Yuan Yuan is a Chinese screenwriter and director based in the US. While moving along with her family, Yuan has been exposed to urbanization changes and social class conflicts from an early age. Her experience has deeply impacted her perspective on life and cinema. Heading South, a story focusing on family separation in urbanization in Inner Mongolia, won Best Student Film at Palm Springs International Film Festival among other accolades.
Currently on the Festival circuit. Watch the trailer here.
Minnesota 1880: The trust of three Norwegian sisters is tested when a stranger appears on their prairie. When the eldest invites him in to heal her dying sister, she doesn’t realise that a supernatural force is crossing her threshold. Director Astrid Thorvaldsen graduated from the Direction Fiction course at NFTS in early 2020. Who Goes There? was shortlisted for an BAFTA LA Student Award and will have its world premiere at the BAFTA-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival.
Director: Astrid Thorvaldsen
Producer: Leah Bethany Jones
Editor: Armiliah Aripin
Production Manager: Amy Vearncombe
Production Coordinator: Lotte Gibson
Production Assistant: Lára Theódóra Kristjánsdóttir
Costume Designer: Janice Lai
Gaffer: Natasha Duursma
Second Assistant Director:Laura Briggs
Third Assistant Director: Rosie Collins
DFX: Eliis Kuusk, Valerie George
Indy Shorts International Film Festival - Winner of Heartland Horror Award and Audience Choice for Heartland Horror
BAFTA LA - Shortlisted in the Fiction category of the Student BAFTA Awards 2020
Astrid Thorvaldsen is a Norwegian director based in the UK. Who Goes There? was borne of a wish to make a hybrid between a Western and a horror, with the vast landscapes often depicted in the Western genre perfect for a story about isolation and paranoia. The film enjoyed its world premiere at the Indy Shorts International Film Festival in the US, where it won the Heartland Horror Award and the Heartland Horror Audience Choice Award.
Astrid is repped by Hannah Boulton at The Agency.
Watch a trailer for the film here.
From asylum-seeker to refugee, a mother recalls the struggles of her resettlement in the search for a home. Created by recent BA Film graduates from Falmouth University, Women Uprooted has been shortlisted for the 2019 British Documentary Awards (The Grierson Awards) for Best Student Documentary. This is a debut film from Dominique De Villiers.
Director - Dominique De Villiers
Producer - Fran Brotherton-Cottrell
Cinematographer - Ellie Price
Editor - Grace Mosley
Sound Designer - Andrea Stensholm-Klæboe
Grierson Awards 2019 - Shortlisted for Best Student Documentary
RTS Student Television Awards 2020 - Winner of Undergraduate Craft Skills - Editing
Dominique De Villiers is a freelance filmmaker with a passion for documentary and experimental film. Having grown up in France as an Anglo-Canadian and moved to England at 18, she has a personal interest in stories of marginality and displacement, and she believes in the use of film as a tool for activism, specifically documentary filmmaking and its power to amplify marginalised voices. She worked with an all-female crew on Women Uprooted.
Dominique is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Watch the film here.
Shortlisted for the Student BAFTAs from NFTS graduates, Meow or Never is a madcap musical - a scientist cat travels the Galaxy looking for the meaning of life, when she encounters a space pup eager to help but only gets them into trouble at every turn.
Director - Neeraja Raj
Producer - Diana Põdra
Screenwriters - Neeraja Raj, Vanessa Rose
Cinematographer - Nathalie Pitters
Production Designer - Ann Kutzer
Production Manager - Lára Theódóra Kristjánsdóttir
Composer - Cora Miron
Casting Director - Sharon Sorrentino
Lead Model Maker - Gemma Byrne
Model Makers - Helen Ferguson, Narika Jaggard, Penelope Konstantara, Grace Lawrence, Agathe Lederer, Roisin McCallum, Sophie Monks, Rosemarie Nelson, Alice Simonato,
CG Lead - Mafalda Soares
Compositors - Yilin (Lesley) Cai
BAFTA LA - Shortlisted in the Animation category of the Student BAFTA Awards 2020
Neeraja Raj is a director, writer, animator but first and foremost: a storyteller. With her work in Meow or Never, she wanted to tackle a deep philosophical question in a lighthearted, musical, manner. Neeraja has screened previous projects at festivals over the world, and completed a 6-month animation apprenticeship with The Walt Disney Company India in 2016.
Neeraja is currently seeking representation- why not drop her a line!
Watch the trailer here and request to watch the full film from NFTS here.
In Celtic folklore, Selkies were seals that became human on land by taking off their sealskin coats. If their coat was stolen, however, they would be trapped on land until it was recovered. Sealskin pivots around the moment when Tara, a headstrong girl more interested in sailing than starting a family, finds a sealskin hidden by her father. Realising what it means, she must decide whether to use it to escape an arranged marriage herself or give it back to her mother who has been trapped on land since before Tara was born. Sealskin is writer and director Daisy Leigh-Phippard's graduation film from the Film Production course at Arts University Bournemouth.
Writer/Director: Daisy Leigh-Phippard
Producer: Anna Venuto
Executive/Associate Producers: Teresa Adinolfi, Helen Leigh-Phippard
1st AD/Co-Producer/ Casting Director: Lara Karam
2nd AD: Eleanor Lodge
Cinematographer: Julia Kacalack
Editor/Script Supervisor: Elli Redman
Sound Design: Marta Anderson
Production Manager: Ashleigh Powell
Costume Designers: Amy Barnes, Kate Turner
HMU: Amelia Ball, Martha Eley, Hannah Gaite, Tillie Harbour
Royal Television Society - Winner of Best Drama at the Southern Centre Student Awards
RTS Student Television Awards 2020 - Nominated for Best Undergraduate Drama
Daisy is a screenwriter and director who finds her stories strongly influenced by [mythology’s] tendency to address political and moral issues with magical imagery and coded symbols around a protagonist. Her interest in feminism, sexuality, mental health and multiculturalism has meant that magical realist and period genres are what she gravitates towards.
Daisy is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Watch the film here.
Haunted by the ghost of war, a stoic Syrian Barber is trying to build a home for himself and his family on a remote Scottish island. He must find a way to survive this new unfamiliar life and protect the memory of Syria for his young children. Laura Wadha's NFTS Directing Documentary Grad film, Isle of Us, had its world premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest, was shortlisted for a BAFTA LA Student Award and nominated for a One World Media Award.
Director: Laura Wadha
Sound Designer: Ruth Knight
Production Manager: Priya Sidhu
Production Coordinator: Beatriz Honorio
BAFTA LA - Shortlisted in the Documentary category of the Student Film Awards 2020
One World Media - Nominated for the Student Award 2020
Laura Wadha is a documentary director, who has had her grad film screened at this year’s iteration of Sheffield Doc Fest. Of her method, she has said that she likes “to involve everyone in the story from the very beginning - I love bouncing around ideas and getting a sense of how everyone is individually reading the rushes”.
Laura is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Available to watch for Industry Passholders on Sheffield Doc/Player. Watch the trailer here.
The terror of false awakenings and sleep paralysis become a recurring nightmare for Mia, as she can't seem to wake up from her egg fried nightmares and sweet and sour dreams. A debut film by Lauren Burnham during her graduate year at Staffordshire University, since graduating Lauren has set up her own production company Prickly Peach Films.
Director/Producer: Lauren Burnham
Assistant Producer/Sound: Alice Briers
Royal Television Society Student Awards - Winner in National Undergraduate Short Form 2020
RTS Midlands Student Awards - Winner in Regional (Midlands) Craft Skills: Camera 2020 and Short Form categories
“Using film to promote people’s hard work and talent is really what drives us to aim higher with our productions all the time. I’m so thankful for all the incredibly talented and resilient women I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years on my films.” ~ Lauren Burnham.
Watch the film here, and a behind-the scenes of the shoot and Lauren's post-production process here.
In a future swallowed whole by environmental disaster, a nomadic young woman finds her survivalist values tested when she meets a mother and daughter in need of protection. Rona Bradley wrote and directed Gimcrack under the umbrella of the NFTS x Kickstarter Bridges To Industry scheme.
Writer/Director: Rona Bradley
Producer: Annie Mullineux
Co-Producer: Leah Bethany Jones
Composer: Natalia Tsupryk
Line Producers: Amy Vearnecombe, Lára Theódóra Kristjánsdóttir
First Assistant Director: Marguerite Poupinel
Third Assistant Director: Laura Briggs
Casting by: Katy Covell
First Assistant Camera: Lou Macnamara
Second Assistant Camera: Rebecca Doctor
Costume: Janice Lai, Alys Young
HMU: Hannah Shaikh
Standby Art Director: Frances Bent
Rona Bradley is a writer, director and curator from rural Lincolnshire, who has worked in impact campaigns/distribution (@16days16films) and programming. Of Gimcrack: “The project was very personal - I was exploring a female character who didn’t want to be a mother, for whom a maternal nature did not come easily to. I was interested in combining this with the Lone Ranger of classic Western plotlines".
The film is currently on the festival circuit. Watch a trailer for the film here, request to watch the film from Rona directly, and read more about the NFTS' Bridges to Industry development and funding opportunities here.
Blue hot-pants, pink skin, and a lot of love. You’re Fit explores what actually happens at the gym.You're Fit is animator and illustrator Lydia Reid's BA Animation graduation film from Kingston School of Art, 2019. It was created in TV Paint, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.
Director/Animator: Lydia Reid
Background Designer: Julia Tudisco
Fatal Femme Film Festival - Winner of Audience Choice Award
RTS London Student Awards 2020 - Winner in Animation Category
Lydia Reid is a 2D Animator/Storyteller who enjoys delving into themes of self-love, gender and freedom. She uses humour to counteract the sometimes-serious topics she discusses with her work - animation is the perfect medium to discuss these topics due to how playful, engaging and fun it can be.
Lydia is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Watch the film here.
Eleven-year-old Phoenix has always yearned to be the IT girl but can’t shake her tomboyish ways. When her abrasive older brother, Kurt, breaks a promise, Phoenix ventures out on her own to a local corner store.
Director: Aisha Ford
DoP: Angelia Scuilli
2nd AC: Kimisha Renee Davis
In 2019, Women in Media (WiM), a women-led 501(c)3 non-profit, launched its first ever CAMERAderie Initiative. Aisha's was one of 3 scipts greenlit and mentors for this project included: Chinonye Chukwu, Effie T. Brown and Hannah Beachler.
Aisha Ford is an award-winning filmmaker studying as a 4th year graduate film student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Over the past few years, she has written and directed short films that have broadcasted on platforms such as the American Black Film Festival Independent TV series and screened at multiple film festivals across the country.
Her recent accomplishments include: the recipient of the Tisch School of the Arts Dean's Fellowship, the Spike Lee Film Production Grant and the prestigious NYU Wasserman Award for her 2nd year short film “Royal.” She is also the recipient of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts HBO Scholarship. In 2019, she was chosen as one of the fellow MFAs to attend the Sundance Film Festival, on behalf of the BET Blackhouse Foundation.
Aisha is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Cherry Lemonade is currently on the Festival circuit and can be watched by contacting Aisha directly. Watch her showreel here.
Something Borrowed is the story of a sweet old woman who can’t ever find the right words. Her thoughts are interrupted when she lends her pen to a hopeless young chap. In a whirlwind chase she begins to realise it’s more than just her words that elude her. Micky Wozny is a successful animation director, in 2018 she went back into education to study MA Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School, and her graduation piece Something Borrowed has since been nominated as part of the BAFTA LA Student Awards Shortlist.
Director: Micky Wozny
Sound Designer: Ruth Knight
BAFTA LA: Shortlisted in the Animation category of the Student Film Awards 2020
Micky Wozny is a director and animator from Nottinghamshire. Having worked for a content agency in Sheffield as an animator, she ventured back into education to pursue her passion for character animation. She’s passionate about rich and authentic storytelling and is eager to bring stronger female roles to the forefront of animated media.
Micky is currently seeking representation - why not drop her a line!
Watch the trailer here, and a BTS making-of of the film here.
Graduates to watch from other departments:
Raluca Petre - Editor on Higher Land, official selection for Leeds International Film Festival and the more recent #FOLLOWME which has been selected for the upcoming BFI London Film Festival.
Michelle Brøndum - Producer of Konfirmanden which won Best Live Action Short at Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
Lauren Hyslop - Camera Trainee on BBC's Doctors and dailies on Shakespeare and Hathaway and who has been a core part of the curation team for this showcase.
Annie Mullineux - producer on Gimcrack and since graduating from NFTS she has been working alongside Primetime CEO and Founder Victoria Emslie, to curate this showcase, and has been an invaluable asset to the team. After experience in the distribution and exhibition industries, she is looking to expand her role as a Creative Producer and in Development capacities.
If you are a recent or upcoming graduate who would like to be featured in this line up get in touch at admin [@] primetime.network. We want to hear from you.