Three Columbia Students Receive 2020 BAFTA Scholarship

BY Felix van Kann, October 6, 2020

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the recipients of its 2020/21 scholarships program with three Columbia students included. Students Adam Baroukh, Olive Nwosu and Timothy Moorhouse will all receive financial support from the Pigott/BAFTA Scholarship. Additionally, they will gain free access to BAFTA online events and resources as well as one-to-one mentoring from BAFTA award winners, nominees and members.


This year, BAFTA has awarded a total of 28 scholarships, of which 12 went to students in the UK and 16 to students in the US. Baroukh has received the scholarship for a second year in a row.


Adam Baroukh’s first written project Just Desserts (2015) played at the BFI London Film Festival and won the Discovery Award at the London Comedy Festival as well as Best Comedy at the Isle of Man Film Festival. His directorial debut Kitty’s Fortune (2016), a short drama based on the life of Holocaust-survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon, won Best Fiction at the Polish International Film Festival. Turning the lens upon his own community, Baroukh set his next film The Outer Circle (2018) within London’s Iraqi diaspora. The script was awarded the UK Pears Short Film Fund and played in over 30 festivals worldwide. His most recent short The Covenant (2019) was selected for funding by The Story Lab and is currently in post-production. Baroukh is developing his first feature-length project The Descent of Man with help from the BAFTA scholarship. 


Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Olive Nwosu is a BAFTA 2020 scholar, Alex Sichel Fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, and one of four ‘African Promises’ directors selected for the Institut Français’ Africa-2020 programme. Troublemaker, Nwosu’s most recent short film – set in rural Nigeria and featuring a cast of entirely non-actors – is currently playing at film festivals around the world. The short received the Best Student Film Prize at Discover Film Festival in London, the Best Shorts Director Prize at Queens World Film Festival in New York, and played as part of the African Perspectives Selection at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, and at Aspen Shortsfest. Nwosu’s work as a filmmaker is informed by the fragmentary nature of her life experience across multiple continents and identities. Themes typically focus on the place and role of the outsider, and the African, challenging the status quo of whom and what we have grown accustomed to seeing on screen.


You can find an interview with Nwosu about her experiences in making her short film Troublemaker here


Moorhouse grew up in a working-class community in East London. He is motivated to tell stories that address the societal issues endemic to his hometown through sensitive portrayals of the characters at the heart of them. He is fascinated by human psychology, the universality of the human experience and the role of catharsis in storytelling. Currently, he is studying an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing at Columbia University, New York, made possible with the financial support of BAFTA and Columbia. Prior to this, he spent two-and-a-half years directing numerous music videos for Sony Music UK and a television commercial for Syco Entertainment. He has also made two short films entitled Dancer, which screened at Edinburgh Film Festival, and Billy Hicks, which screened at Screentest Film Festival.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration.