BMW UK and the BFI have joined forces to create the BMW Filmmaking Challenge. Inspired by the ground-breaking all-electric BMW i7 and its ultra-wide 31.3-inch rear-passenger theatre screen which opened for entries in March 2023. Five filmmaking teams have been shortlisted and given a budget to produce their films. Recently announced high-profile judges – Ncuti Gatwa, Terri White, and Asif Kapadia – will select the final winner in September, ahead of the 67th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.

Emmy-award winning writer, director and actress Michaela Coel will be offering mentoring to shortlisted filmmakers, while also starring in a 90-second promotional film featuring the all-electric BMW i7, written and directed by Aliyah Otchere.


The BMW Filmmaking Challenge in partnership with the BFI has given industry figureheads Ncuti Gatwa, Terri White, and Asif Kapadia the responsibility of judging and championing the untold stories of emerging UK filmmakers.

Offering an eclectic mix of expertise – Actor, Screenwriter, and Director / Producer – the experienced panel of judges bring a varied and unique perspective to the selection process.  


Actor Ncuti Gatwa, known for his role in the popular Netflix series Sex Education has garnered critical acclaim for his performances. He comments “I was drawn to this project because short film is the trajectory for emerging voices to flourish, it’s an exciting time for the genre.”


Acclaimed film journalist turned screenwriter, Terri White believes the Filmmaking Challenge is a unique platform for filmmakers to transform screen culture.  She adds "I have confidence that this competition will showcase exceptional entries and potentially unearth a future star in the world of film”.


Oscar award-winning director and producer, Asif Kapadia says “Short films are an incredible way to experiment and push boundaries. When you have a short length, you have the freedom to try out new styles and techniques. The wide theatre screen format takes it to the next level..." 


Drawing on her personal experience from both sides of the lens, Michaela is encouraging filmmakers to dream big and push boundaries in film.

Michaela says: “I hope this Filmmaking Challenge provides an opportunity for creatives to explore new and interesting perspectives, allowing us to discover the stories yet to be told. The all-electric BMW i7’s technology and theatre screen, which is much wider than we’d traditionally watch, will push creatives to think more expansively.”


The Challenge has benefitted from the reach and expertise of the BFI NETWORK, the BFI’s UK-wide talent development programme for new and emerging filmmakers.

The five selected filmmaking teams have been given a production budget of £10,000 and new 8K camera technology, to ensure they are armed with the necessary tools to unlock the standout potential of 8K / 32:9 cinematography.

Michelle Roberts, Marketing Director at BMW UK, adds, “This challenge is designed to foster creative risk-taking, inspired by the ground-breaking all-electric BMW i7 and its uniquely advanced cinematic technology."


WE COLLIDE: Jason Bradbury & Cheri Darbon

RICE BALL: Harry Shaw, Kristina Pringle & Samantha Locock

DAYTIMERS: Tulsi Shivaanand & Eliza Lewis

BLADES: Christopher Chuky, Enno Mfon. Tony Longe & Amar Russell

HEN DO: Alia Ghafar & Micha McCullagh

More on information on the shortlisted finalists and The BMW Filmmaking Challenge in partnership with the BFI can be found on the BFI website.

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From the five shorts, a winning film will be selected to premiere as part of the Closing Night of the BFI London Film Festival in October 2023 and all five films will be available on BFI Player.

The Challenge provides an exciting opportunity for talent to stretch their creativity and a unique platform to help springboard to the next step in their career.


Highlights inside the new i7 include the Executive Lounge Seating, rear doors integrated with individual touchscreens to operate the infotainment system intuitively and an ultra-wide 32:9 inch, 8K rear passenger cinema screen which can be paired with the 1,965 watts Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system to create a 4D audio experience.

"We look forward to presenting the results in the cinema, on BFI Player and in the back of the new all-electric BMW i7 in October, which is a first for us!” Mia Bays, Director of the BFI Film Fund, says.