Dickson Leach’s debut feature The Levelling plays in competition at LFF.

Hope Dickson Leach

The Levelling director Hope Dickson Leach has received the inaugural IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award, presented in association with the BFI, which comes with a £50k grant.

The award was presented to Dickson Leach by Cate Blanchett at a dinner held on the eve of the BFI London Film Festival (Oct 5-16).

Ellie Kendrick-starring drama The Levelling plays in competition at the London Film Festival, screening on Friday (Oct 7), following its premiere at Toronto.

Dickson Leach won from a shortlist that also featured Prevenge director Alice Lowe, White Colour Black director Joseph A. Adesunloye, and Have You seen My Movie? director Paul Anton Smith.

Hope Dickson Leach commented: “Winning this means everything - my life has just changed in two minutes. Being a mother of two children and a filmmaker is really tricky and I’ve now been given the gift of time.”

BFI CEO Amanda Nevill added: “All four shortlisted candidates were so strong that it was heart-breaking to be forced to select only one. It’s a great joy to bring their films to new audiences in the festival. Hope Dickson-Leach is a hugely promising director and The Levelling demonstrates her assured transition into feature filmmaking with a story about women in British society, exploring complex family relationships at a point of crisis.”

IWC Schaffhausen is a Swiss luxury watch brand.