Time is money: IWC's new bursary for British film
The Swiss watchmaker, in association with the BFI, continues its support of the industry with a £50,000 fund and limited-edition timepiece
Spotting big-name timepieces on the silver screen is so common it's an activity in itself (for evidence, look no further than watchesinmovies.info, a website and digital community dedicated to doing just that). But the watch industry's involvement in film goes far beyond product placement and celebrity ambassadors – and IWC Schaffhausen is perhaps the strongest testament to this.
The Swiss brand has long-established relationships with leading film festivals across the world, from Dubai, Zurich, Beijing and Singapore to Tribeca in New York. In the UK, it has supported the British Film Institute (BFI) since 2014 - but this year it is ramping up its activity as the BFI London Film Festival, which runs from 5 to 16 October, celebrates its 60th anniversary.
IWC will once again feature as the Official Time Partner for the festival, but the more exciting news – particularly for budding filmmakers – is the announcement of a new bursary. A fund of £50,000 will be awarded to a British writer or director whose first or second feature-length film premieres at the BFI London Film Festival.
A prestigious panel of experts, including representatives from the BFI, BBC Films and Film4, will judge the submissions. The three finalists will be announced on 20 September, with the winner – decided by IWC chief executive Georges Kern, BFI boss Amanda Nevill and a still-to-be-announced representative of the UK film industry – revealed at the IWC gala dinner on 4 October.
For those more interested in what's on their wrist than on screen, IWC is also releasing a special watch for the occasion – the Pilot's Watch Spitfire Chronograph Edition "BFI London Film Festival 2016".
Limited to 60 pieces, the handsome timepiece comes on a blue strap with matching highlights on the dial and bears the inscription "BFI Film Forever" on the case back. It is available from the IWC boutique on New Bond Street, London, and other selected retailers in the UK.