2019 started off well for Jersey-born film director Michael Pearce who, alongside Lauren Dark, won a BAFTA for Outstanding British Debut of a Director, Writer or Producer for ‘Beast’ at the 2019 BAFTAs.
Beast is a psychological thriller that was written and directed by Michael Pearce and large parts of the movie was shot locally in Jersey.. It is Michael’s first feature film, which was funded by BFI and Film 4.
Reflecting on the win at the post-show press conference, Michael described the experience as “very overwhelming” and said: “It’s a good closing chapter for the film. We released it in Toronto in 2017 and this is like the final moment and it’s a great homecoming and embrace, it’s great.”
Since the world premiere of ‘Beast’ at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017, the film has received strong reviews and was nominated for two BAFTA awards, one of which the film won at the awards ceremony last night.
ArtHouse Jersey supported Michael during the early stages of developing the project through their seed-funding and artist residency programmes.
Speaking about the success of the film, Tom Dingle, our Director said: “We are so happy for Michael and the whole team behind ‘Beast”. Winning a BAFTA is an amazing recognition of the hard work that went into making the film and a celebration of the high quality of the finished product.
We are so proud to have supported Michael and the project at the early, developmental stage through our grants to attend the Torino film lab to develop the script, writing residencies and providing accommodation for some of the cast and crew for the filming in Jersey. He is a gifted writer and director and a fantastic ambassador for Jersey.
Michael’s story is an excellent example of what can happen when dedicated individuals are supported with early investment and access to opportunities. We welcome approaches from others who are working hard to achieve their artistic goals.”