Rungano Nyoni has been awarded the 2018 Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship at an event in London.
The Fellowship presents a screenwriter with a £30,000 grant to allow them to spend time researching the intersection between writing, health and science.
As part of the award, Nyoni will also receive access to Wellcome’s science and humanities resources, including accessing research, meeting with leaders in the fields of science and medical history, visiting clinical centres, and entry to the Wellcome Collection.
The Fellowship is presented by charitable foundation Wellcome in partnership with the BFI and Film4.
Nyoni won an Outstanding Debut Bafta earlier this year for her first feature I Am Not A Witch, the story of a young girl in a village in Zambia who is accused of witchcraft.
“It’s not often that someone shows so much faith in you and your work that they support you with no strings attached. It has come at a time where I am trying to figure out what kind of filmmaker I want to be as I embark on my second feature,” commented the director on receiving the prize.
The 2017 recipient of the Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship was Michaela Coel, who has spent this year working with a range of researchers and experts on different states of consciousness, the brain, memory and cognition.
Previous recipients include Carol Morley, Jonathan Glazer, Clio Barnard and Sally Wainwright.
The Screenwriting Fellowship is chaired by Kate Leys with Lizzie Francke (senior development and production executive, BFI), Lauren Dark (commissioning executive, Film4), Imran Khan (head of public engagement, Wellcome), Iain Dodgeon (creative and partnerships manager, Wellcome) and Emma Duffy (drama and film executive, Wellcome).
“It’s wonderful to see Rungano’s unique creativity and talent be so rewarded. She leads a new renaissance of storytelling reinvigorating British cinema,” said Lizzie Francke.
“I Am Not A Witch was such a genre defying mix of social commentary and magical realism, we can’t wait to see what Rungano does next,” added Lauren Dark.