Star of Sex Education Ncuti Gatwa and actor/filmmaker Aki Omoshaybi join the jury of one of the UK’s most important film festivals for young people.

‘The 13th BFI Future Film Festival showcases the work of young filmmakers aged 16-25 years old. Director Sarah Gavron (Suffragette (2015) and Rocks (2020) ) joins as the Jury Chair for this year. Ncuti Gatwa, who can be currently seen playing Eric in series two of acclaimed comedy-drama Sex Education and Aki Omoshaybi, whose acting credits include Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi and whose directorial debut, Real, is released in UK cinemas this April join co-creator and producer of award-winning satire Black Mirror Annabel Jones, and Head of BFI Networks Jess Loveland. The jury will select the Best Short Film in two age groups – 16-18 and 19-25 – who will each receive £1,000 as well as awarding the Future Film Lab Award, which offers the recipient a year of dedicated industry mentoring and £5,000 to develop their next project.

Sarah Gavron, BFI Future Film Festival’s Jury Chair says “I am thrilled to chair the Jury for this year’s BFI Future Film Festival Awards, and look forward to discovering new and exciting work by talented young filmmakers from around the globe. The Awards offer those who are at the beginning of their creative journey a unique opportunity to develop their raw talent and passion, not only with the help of prize money and new camera kit, but also through a year of expert mentorship and technical support from the BFI and wider industry partners. I’m looking forward to the challenge of selecting the Award winners from a shortlist of incredible talent, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for all the young filmmakers who attend the BFI Future Film Festival, a vital Festival in the UK film industry calendar.”

The Festival returns to BFI Southbank from 20-23 February 2020, with the winners being announced at a ceremony on Thursday 20 February. In addition to the three awards being judged by the jury, the other competition categories are Best New Talent: Animation, Best New Talent: Documentary, Best Non-Narrative Film, Best Writer, Best Director, Best International Short, and International New Talent, all of which will be judged by BFI and industry experts. All the nominated films will screen during the course of the Festival; the 50 shortlisted films have been shortlisted by the Festival programming team from more than 1,900 submissions from around the world.

Across the four days of the Festival there is a rich programme of events, masterclasses, workshops, and screenings, which all offer a range of perspectives and voices from across the industry. This includes a daily keynote talk from leading women in the industry, including from director Jessica Hausner (LOURDES) who will deliver the final keynote of the Festival on Sunday morning. Hausner’s latest film LITTLE JOE, which is released UK-wide by the BFI on 21 February, will also be screened during the Festival (on 22 February) with an introduction by Hausner as part of a wider focus on her work at BFI Southbank.

Aki Omoshaybi’s film ‘Real’ starring himself alongside Pippa Bennett-Warner

All events in this year’s festival have been programmed around three strands, Storytelling, Business of Film and Career Ladders. Events in Storytelling include HBO Presents: How I Found my Passion in Post Production, offering a masterclass with HBO’s top post-production supervisors, taking you behind the scenes on shows like BIG LITTLE LIES and VEEP. Pinewood will host an event in the Business of Film strand titled Telling your Story through Sound which explores the crucial role sound can have on a story’s development. In the Career Ladder strand there will be an event on Music Videos – Finding Your Voice, hosted by Black Dog Films, who are pioneers in music videos, working with acts such as Madonna, Coldplay and Beyoncé.

This year the Festival introduces a Marketplace venue takeover on Thursday, giving young filmmakers the chance to meet companies, universities and organisations who offer opportunities to those starting out in the industry. The Festival’s popular Hot Spot sessions returns in 2020, featuring current UK talent (to be announced soon) who will be speaking to our audiences up-close and personal.

The full programme of events is available to browse online from 15 January and tickets will be available to buy from 16 January.

The Reuben Foundation also return as the lead supporter of BFI FUTURE FILM. The Foundation’s gratefully received charitable contribution brings significant support to the BFI’s year-round film education programmes, of which the BFI Future Film Festival is a centrepiece.

TikTok – the leading destination for short-form mobile video – is this year’s main partner and official social media partner. They will also be supporting the Festival’s Best Director Award.

Sex Education series 2 starring Ncuti Gatwa – currently available on Netflix