Creative England and BAFTA announce Lindsey Dryden as awardee of the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary

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Producer of Sundance Special Jury Award-winning and Oscar shortlisted Unrest is awarded the coveted bursary that recognises the huge contribution Relph made to the development of new talent in the film industry

An independent filmmaker who produces, writes, directs and executive produces short and feature length films, Lindsey Dryden was selected by a panel of industry leaders including renowned producer and director Stephen Woolley, Creative England CEO Caroline Norbury MBE, Working Title co-Chairman Tim Bevan CBE, former head of Film4 Tessa Ross and Simon Relph’s daughter, Bella Relph, along with last year’s bursary awardee producer Anna Griffin.

Dryden is the founder of Gloucestershire-based production company Little By Little Films Ltd, and a proud founding member of Queer Producers Collective and FWD-DOC. Lindsey produced Sundance Special Jury Award-winning and Oscar shortlisted UNREST (2017; PBS/Netflix) and TRANS IN AMERICA (2018; SXSW, ACLU/Conde Nast), which won an Emmy® in September 2019. She is currently Exec Producing feature documentary AHEAD OF THE CURVE (expected 2020) with an all-female LGBTQ+ crew.

She has a passion for developing stories that allow an audience unique access to unexpected, moving and gripping new worlds, and she brings lived experience and an authentic route to those unseen perspectives. She also focuses on innovative audience engagement and distribution, and is a Sundance Creative Distribution Fellow.

The bursary was created in memory of Simon Relph CBE, distinguished producer and enthusiastic supporter of new filmmakers and new voices. As Chairman of BAFTA he was a passionate advocate of the academy and his passion was critical to the profile and growth of independent British cinema. Relph was also one of the founders of the country’s leading filmmaking programme iFeatures.

Launched by Creative England in 2018, with support from BAFTA, industry leaders and Relph’s family members, the bursary will continue Relph’s legacy by supporting an independent producer. Whilst there are numerous awards, bursaries and programmes for writers and directors, there is very little overt financial support available for producers especially those living outside of London.

Lindsey Dryden will receive the bursary of £15,000 from Creative England, enabling her to grow Little by Little Films, based in the South West of England, and develop their slate of projects. In addition to the financial backing, Dryden will also receive ongoing support and mentoring from a group of industry leaders, as well a place on Creative England’s Market Trader programme to enable her to take upcoming projects to international markets.

Caroline Norbury, CEO of Creative England said:

 “This bursary is one of the few to offer financial support exclusively for producers, particularly those who live and work outside London, and we are proud to continue this initiative to honour Simon’s legacy of inclusivity and providing opportunities for filmmakers across the country. We are excited to see how Lindsey will benefit from this valuable and tangible support. She won us over, not only because of her commitment to find stories few others are telling, but also because of the energy and integrity she brings in developing and uncovering those stories”

Stephen Woolley, film producer and director, said:

“The fact that this award is in the name of Simon Relph is perfectly fitting and appropriate. Simon was a rock for many young film-makers who made their entry into the business in the 80s when he was CEO of British Screen Finance. Whilst there, he fought tooth and nail for proper government financing for low-budget British films. He brought his unique experience and bountiful optimism to the ears of any young film-maker lucky enough to be in his orbit. He was the godfather to a whole generation of aspiring film-makers, sticking his neck out when needed. His influence as one of the few honest, clear and resonant voices in our often muddled and hypocritical industry will be felt for decades to come. He was a dignified, principled and selfless film-maker in an often undignified and confused industry.”

Lindsey Dryden, Independent producer and Simon Relph Bursary awardee, said:

“I couldn’t be more thrilled by the support offered to me by the Simon Relph Bursary. It’ll be absolutely game-changing to have the gift of time to develop my slate, and I can’t wait to be able to work with talented and unheard filmmaking voices on new stories. I can’t quite believe I get to learn from these mentors! And it’s a real honour that the bursary remembers someone who supported producers with such heart and principle.”

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