The first-time British director Rose Glass has been won one of the largest artistic prizes in the UK, a £50,000 bursary backed by the BFI and the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen.
The jury – led by the director Danny Boyle – picked her from three finalists, chosen from all of the UK-based directors with a first or second feature, programmed in this year’s London Film Festival.
Boyle described Glass as “an extraordinary talent and powerful storyteller” and said her debut feature, Saint Maud, was “a genuinely unsettling and intriguing film. Striking, affecting and mordantly funny at times, its confidence evokes the ecstasy of films like Carrie, The Exorcist and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Her skill in successfully incorporating original elements to a genre story and finding new ways to offer audiences a thrilling cinematic journey through madness, faith and death signifies Glass as a true original.”
Glass said it was amazing and hugely exciting to receive the bursary.
The honour was handed out at the BFI Luminous fundraising gala, attended by stars including Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant and Dame Helen Mirren.
Addressing the guests, Arterton said that with the film industry being difficult to get into, the money raised would offer young people “a viable route into a profession that can inspire and drive them.”