Written by Kianna Best on Sep 30, 2022. Posted in Awards and Festivals

Winners Announced for BFI and Chanel Filmmaker Awards

On Thursday 29 September 2022, Oscar-winning actor and BFI fellow Tilda Swinton announced the four winners of the BFI and Chanel Filmmaker Awards. Receiving a prize of GBP 20,000 each, the winners include Baff Akoto, Kathryn Ferguson, Sam Firth and Erfan Saadati.


“We’ve selected four remarkable filmmakers, each of them very different in their approaches and their disciplines, but all properly worthy winners. This award from the BFI and CHANEL sets out to support early career creatives, to help them reach their fullest potential by giving them the freedom to invest in their artistry to develop their individual voice and create work that inspires, challenges and nourishes,” commented Swinton. “The choices we had to make were not easy, but we are so proud of our inaugural winners – they are certainly audacious and singular to a degree and we are fully confident that they will make the most of the grace, emancipation and confidence this award will afford them to create a safe space to focus on their work and on their evolution as original artists.”




Baff Akoto, artist and director won for his production work on his project Queen of Glory. Labelled as “a compelling multi-disciplinary artist”, Akoto’s win is a reflection of his talent as an emerging producer. Queen Glory follows Sarah, a Ghanaian-American who leaves her Ivy League doctoral programme to follow after her love.



The second winner was Kathryn Ferguson, director and writer who won for Nothing Compares. The 2022 project follows the career of singer Sinéad O'Connor through her rise to fame and how her controversial personality and viewpoints exiled her from pop mainstream. Regarded as a “beautiful portrait of a feminist”, Ferguson’s documentary making experience evidently influenced her approach to her debut feature.



Thirdly, Sam Firth, director and producer won for her work on The Wolf Suit, a documentary capturing trauma and family dynamics. “She was a clear choice for this award, because we wanted to support and nurture her pure creative audacity,” commented the jury.



Finally was Erfan Saadati, director and producer on Child of Empire. “Erfan demonstrates a real commitment to immersive work, and is someone who is constantly seeking to drive the form forward, to disrupt and invent,” added the jury. The British-Iranian filmmaker lent his hand to the recent VR documentary experience that was shown with the BFI documenting the Pakistan and India Partition through the eyes of two virtual characters form the respective nations.


Taking place at LUMINOUS, the BFI’s biannual fundraising gala, the filmmaker awards aimed to select those entrants who exhibited qualities of creative audacity. Along with Chanel ambassador Tilda Swinton, the jury included British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful OBE, Marie-Louise Khondji, producer and founder of Le Cinema Club and BFI CEO Ben Roberts.


Images courtesy of BFI


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