IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

Lights! Camera! Action!

All of the above were present and correct at this year’s IWC & BFI London Film Festival Opening Gala & IWC BFI Filmmaker Bursary ceremony at the Rosewood last week. It was one of those wonderful evenings where every time you turned around you saw either another glamorous, recognisable face or a plate of delicious canapes heading in your direction.

You may remember that I attended the launch of the IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award (the story is here) at the end of September, and the four nominees for Britain’s most valuable filmmaking prize (a £50 000 bursary underwritten by watchmakers IWC) were all in attendance at the gala.

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

As a guest of IWC, I was wearing the chic IWC Portofino Automatic 37, in rose gold with a black strap, which I had collected from the upstairs VIP suite at the IWC New Bond Street boutique the night before, en route to a Bentley event at the Connaught.

IWC boutique New Bond Street London

(I think the watch fitted in very well in the back of the Bentley Flying Spur!)

IWC Bentley flying spur interior

The IWC Portofino 37 had a test run for the gala on my wrist in The Connaught Bar, and I started to wish it wasn’t being returned after the gala.

IWC portofino 37

And so to the Rosewood…

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

sasha wilkins London Film Festival Opening Gala & IWC BFI Filmmaker Bursary

Watch: IWC Portofino 37. Dress: Millie Mackintosh (gifted, & available here).
Clutch: Kate Spade Madison Avenue Zurie Clutch (gifted).

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

The evening was hosted by the inimitable Rob Brydon who possesses the ability to both charm and insult his audience in one breath, moving on to the next gag, before the target has even realised what he was talking about.

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

During the meal the nominated filmmakers were introduced and clips of their films shown, before the winner was announced as part of an impassioned speech by Cate Blanchett (ravishing in just-off-the-runway Gucci) about the importance of supporting young filmmakers, and of giving them the time to develop their ideas.

This is why IWC have come on board – the gift of time that a bursary bestows upon the winner is worth just as much as the money itself, as it loosens the fiscals constraints set upon a filmmaker allowing them to concentrate on developing their next project.

Hope Dickson Leach Cate Blanchett IWC BFI gala
(L to R) Cate Blanchett, Hope Dickson-Leach, BFI CEO Amanda Nevill and IWC CEO Georges Kern.
(PPR/IWC/Getty Images/Dave Benett)

And then the winner was announced: it was Hope Dickson Leach, an award-making filmmaker and co-founder of Raising Films, a campaign to make the film industry more parent-friendly, and the writer/director of debut feature The Levelling,  which deals with the psychological effect of the devastating flooding of the Somerset Levels on the farming community.

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

Above: Hope accepting her award. And then, the end of the evening, and back home to bed…

IWC BFI opening gala London film festival 2016

sasha wilkins London Film Festival Opening Gala & IWC BFI Filmmaker Bursary

This post was written in association with IWC and LibertyLondonGirl.com as part of their collaboration to celebrate IWC’s work with the BFI and the IWC BFI Filmmaker Bursary

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Wonderful !

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