ⓘ BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer


ⓘ BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

The BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer is presented annually at the British Academy Film Awards in London. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, is a British organisation that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. The Outstanding Debut award recognises the work of writers, directors and producers whose first films have been released in cinemas during the awards qualification window. It is presented in honour of screenwriter and producer Carl Foreman.

  • From 2009–present, this category has been known by its current name of Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.
  • From 2001–2008, this category was known as the Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their first Feature Film.
  • From 1998–2000, this category was known as the Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer in British Film and was presented to a writer, director or producer.

1. Jury Process

Unlike many of the other BAFTA Awards, which are decided by a membership vote, the Outstanding Debut Awards nominees and winner are decided by a jury of industry experts who view and consider eligible films over the course of the year. The jury can choose to nominate any combination of debut writer, director or producer involved in a film.

The jury has been chaired by Arthur Mellows 2008–09, Simon Relph 2009–2012, and Stephen Woolley 2012–2016. Jury members in recent years have included former winner Asif Kapadia, Peter Bradshaw, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan, James Watkins, Joe Cornish, and Moira Buffini.


2. History

The first version of the award was established by the Foreman Williams Jones Foundation in 1991. Scholarships were awarded to promising British students to study filmmaking in the United States.

The present version of the award was initiated by the Foundation in 1997 and was conducted jointly by the Foundation and by BAFTA until 2009. It was established to encourage British filmmaking by recognising the most promising British newcomer in the selected disciplines of screenwriting, producing or directing or in more than one of these disciplines. The first award of the present version was made in respect of 1998. In 2009, the name of the award was changed and it is now solely administered by BAFTA. The award continues to be presented in honour of Carl Foreman.


3.1. Carl Foreman Award 1998–2008 Special Achievement by a British Writer, Director or Producer in their First Feature Film 1998–2000

  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – Matthew Vaughn
  • The Governess – Sandra Goldbacher
  • Twenty Four Seven film – Shane Meadows
  • 1998: Love and Death on Long Island – Richard Kwietniowski
  • 1999: Ratcatcher film – Lynne Ramsay
  • East Is East – Ayub Khan-Din
  • Human Traffic – Justin Kerrigan
  • Waking Ned – Kirk Jones
  • Saving Grace – Mark Crowdy
  • Some Voices – Simon Cellan Jones
  • 2000: Last Resort – Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Billy Elliot – Lee Hall
  • Billy Elliot – Stephen Daldry

3.2. Carl Foreman Award 1998–2008 Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their first Feature Film 2000–2008

  • South West 9 – Richard Parry
  • Strictly Sinatra – Ruth Kenley-Letts
  • Gosford Park – Julian Fellowes
  • The Parole Officer – Steve Coogan Henry Normal
  • Late Night Shopping – Jack Lothian
  • 2001: Jump Tomorrow – Joel Hopkins Nicola Usborne
  • AKA – Duncan Roy
  • Christie Malrys Own Double-Entry – Simon Bent
  • 2002: The Warrior – Asif Kapadia
  • Lost in La Mancha – Lucy Darwin
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring – Peter Webber
  • American Cousins – Sergio Casci
  • To Kill a King – Jenny Mayhew
  • 2003: Kiss of Life – Emily Young
  • AfterLife – Andrea Gibb
  • Dear Frankie – Shona Auerbach
  • Layer Cake – Matthew Vaughn
  • 2004: A Way of Life – Amma Asante
  • Shaun of the Dead – Nira Park
  • Tsotsi – Peter Fudakowski
  • Everything – Richard Hawkins
  • 2005: Pride & Prejudice – Joe Wright
  • Festival – Annie Griffin
  • Shooting Dogs – David Belton
  • 2006: Red Road – Andrea Arnold
  • Black Sun – Gary Tarn
  • Rollin with the Nines – Julian Gilbey
  • London to Brighton – Paul Andrew Williams
  • Pierrepoint – Christine Langan
  • 2007: Control – Matt Greenhalgh
  • Brick Lane – Sarah Gavron
  • Scott Walker: 30 Century Man – Mia Bays
  • The Killing of John Lennon – Andrew Piddington
  • Taking Liberties – Chris Atkins


4. Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer 2009–present

  • 2009: Moon – Duncan Jones writer/director
  • Nowhere Boy – Sam Taylor-Wood director
  • Shifty – Eran Creevy writer/director
  • Exam – Stuart Hazeldine writer/director/producer
  • Mugabe and the White African – Lucy Bailey director; Andrew Thompson director; Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock producer; David Pearson producer
  • The Arbor – Clio Barnard director; Tracy ORiordan producer
  • Monsters – Gareth Edwards writer/director
  • Skeletons – Nick Whitfield writer/director
  • 2010: Four Lions – Chris Morris writer/director
  • Exit Through the Gift Shop – Banksy director; Jaimie DCruz producer
  • Attack the Block – Joe Cornish director
  • 2011: Tyrannosaur – Paddy Considine director; Diarmid Scrimshaw producer
  • Black Pond – Tom Kingsley director; Will Sharpe director; Sarah Brocklehurst producer
  • Submarine – Richard Ayoade director
  • Coriolanus – Ralph Fiennes director
  • McCullin – David Morris director; Jacqui Morris director/producer
  • The Muppets – James Bobin director
  • Wild Bill – Dexter Fletcher writer/director; Danny King writer
  • 2012: The Imposter – Bart Layton director; Dimitri Doganis producer
  • I Am Nasrine – Tina Gharavi writer/director
  • For Those in Peril – Paul Wright director/writer and Polly Stokes producer
  • Good Vibrations – Colin Carberry writer and Glenn Patterson writer
  • 2013: Kelly + Victor – Kieran Evans director/writer
  • Shell – Scott Graham director/writer
  • Saving Mr. Banks – Kelly Marcel writer
  • 71 – Gregory Burke writer and Yann Demange director
  • Kajaki – Paul Katis director/producer and Andrew de Lotbiniere producer
  • Lilting – Hong Khaou director/writer
  • Northern Soul – Elaine Constantine director/writer
  • 2014: Pride – Stephen Beresford writer; David Livingstone producer
  • Ex Machina – Alex Garland director
  • The Survivalist – Stephen Fingleton writer/director
  • Second Coming – Debbie Tucker Green writer/director
  • 2015: Theeb – Naji Abu Nowar writer/director and Rupert Lloyd producer
  • A Syrian Love Story – Sean McAllister director/producer and Elhum Shakerifar producer
  • The Girl with All the Gifts – Mike Carey Writer/Director, Camille Gatin Producer
  • Notes on Blindness – Pete Middleton, James Spinney Directors Jo-Jo Ellison Producer
  • The Hard Stop – George Amponsah Director, Dionne Walker Producer
  • The Pass – John Donnelly Writer, Ben A Williams Director
  • 2016: Under the Shadow – Babak Anvari Writer/Director, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh Producers
  • Jawbone – Johnny Harris Writer/Producer, Thomas Napper Director
  • Lady Macbeth – Alice Birch Writer, William Oldroyd Director, Fodhla Cronin OReilly Producer
  • Kingdom of Us – Lucy Cohen Director
  • 2017: I Am Not a Witch – Rungano Nyoni Writer/Director, Emily Morgan Producer
  • The Ghoul – Gareth Tunley Writer/Director/Producer, Jack Healy Guttman & Tom Meeten Producers
  • 2018: Beast – Michael Pearce Writer/Director, Lauren Dark Producer
  • Ray & Liz – Richard Billingham Writer/Director, Jacqui Davies Producer
  • Apostasy – Daniel Kokotajilo Writer/Director
  • A Cambodian Spring – Chris Kelly Writer/Director/Producer
  • Pili – Leanne Welham Writer/Director, Sophie Harman Producer
  • Harry Wootliff Writer/Director – Only You
  • 2019: Bait - Mark Jenkin Writer/Director and Kate Byers, Lynn Waite Producers
  • Alex Holmes Director – Maiden
  • Waad Al-Khateab Director/Producer and Edward Watts director – For Sama
  • Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio Writer/Director – Retablo