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This year, BAFTA is awarding over £180,000 to scholars studying in the UK and US. In addition to financial aid towards their annual course fees, the BAFTA Scholars will gain free access to BAFTA events and receive one-to-one mentoring from BAFTA members, award-winners and nominees.
Among the nine scholars announced for the coming year is Chris Hawkins, 24, from St Helens, Merseyside, who has been awarded £10,000 to support his MA in Computer Games Art & Design at Goldsmith’s University.
Chris recently completed a BA in Game Arts and has been self-studying for a year, taking commissions to improve his modelling skills, before his MA in Game Arts and Design at Goldsmiths starts.
Chris enjoys anything to do with making things, from drawing character ideas and environments to 3D modelling and rigging for animation. In his spare time, he likes painting miniatures for contests and crafting costumes for conventions. Joining the games industry and being part of a team responsible for creating entire worlds within games engines would be a dream come true for Chris and thanks to the scholarship, he is proud to switch from being a player of games to a maker of games.
On being awarded a BAFTA Scholarship, Chris said: “I am truly grateful for BAFTA, as securing their help has opened up a world of opportunity for me whilst also allowing me to further my studies towards working in the games industry. I look forward to working with them to bring out the best of my abilities.”
Chris met his fellow UK Scholars and Apprentices on Sunday morning for a welcome breakfast before attending BAFTA’s flagship new talent festival, Guru Live.
Previous BAFTA scholars from Merseyside include Michael Johnson, who studied Sound Design at National Film and Television School, and Luke Stapleton, who studied Screenwriting at Liverpool John Moores University. Other previous BAFTA Scholars have gone on to work on BAFTA-nominated and -winning productions, and achieve BAFTA membership, such as animation director Daisy Jacobs, cinematographer Craig Dean Devine, visual effects artist Shivani Shah and VFX supervisor Eloise Tomlinson.
The scholarships are part of BAFTA’s charitable activity to support talented people at all stages of their career, regardless of their background or circumstances. Each BAFTA Scholar receives financial support towards their annual tuition fees, alongside personal mentoring from a BAFTA member and access to BAFTA events. In return, the scholarship recipients share their learning experiences on BAFTA Guru (www.bafta.org/guru), BAFTA’s online learning resource, and participate in BAFTA’s outreach to young people.
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