The Filmmaker’s Journey from Emerging to Established: In Conversation with BIFA Raindance Discovery Award Nominees


Date: Thursday 29 October, 16:00-17:00 (UK Time)

This panel will be held live on Zoom, the link will be sent to you in the confirmation email upon payment.

To access all panels purchase the UK All Access or International All Access Pass.

The panel will be available on-demand a day after here.

This is part of the Raindance Film Festival, to see the full line-up click here.


BIFA Raindance Discovery Award nominees talk about their filmmaking trajectories before and after the awards, new creative projects and their experiences of this year.

They discuss the challenges in developing a second feature and the opportunities for emerging filmmakers at the transition between “emerging” and “established”, drawing a roadmap helping filmmakers avoid traps on the way to success.

Speakers: Rachael Castell, BIFA, Louise Gallagher (A BUMP ALONG THE DAY), Zara Balfour (CHILDREN OF THE SNOW LAND)

About your speakers:

Rachael Castell:

Over the past ten years, Rachael has coordinated bespoke training for first and second-time feature and documentary filmmakers, shorts filmmakers and animators consisting of panels, workshops, case studies and networking events. Clients include the British Independent Film Awards, BlinkInk, Independent Cinema Office & multiple film festivals.

Louise Gallager:

Louise has over 30 years’ experience as a media professional. After over two decades with BBC Belfast working across radio, television and online, Louise moved into the independent film and TV sector in 2011 where she worked as a freelance Production Manager, Line Producer and Producer on shorts, feature films, children’s TV drama, commercials and live television. In 2019 Louise produced her first feature film, A Bump Along The Way, which achieved wide-ranging critical and commercial success. Louise joined Hat Trick Productions in January 2020 to develop a slate of scripted projects from their office in Belfast.

Zara Balfour:

Zara is an award-winning director, writer and producer. She has filmed in over 20 countries, often documenting community projects in developing countries. Zara began her career as an actress before moving behind the camera, initially training with Raindance. She worked with Sophie Fiennes on a programme for BBC Storyville, going on to produce and/or direct short films, TV commercials and documentary content. Zara then moved into longer format storytelling; directing documentaries and writing. Her first feature documentary ‘Children of the Snow Land’ won the BIFA Raindance Discovery Award 2019, a Grierson Award shortlist, two Screen Awards nominations, One World Media Awards 2020 longlist, 20 festival awards, 60 UK cinema screenings, TV broadcasts including Arte, NHK, UR and VOD on Curzon Home Cinema. Her earlier short films won awards at Berlin Film Festival, London Film Festival, European Film Awards, Creative Review and Cannes Lions. Zara has been featured on BBC Woman’s Hour, BBC World, Talk Radio and she is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She runs a non-profit organisation, Snowland Journeys CIC, which supports Himalayan communities, and she has lectured on cinema and human rights advocacy.

This event is part of the Emerging Filmmakers’ Day, a full day of completely free events, available around the world for filmmakers who are at the start of their careers, full of practical tips to help you take the next steps towards a successful career.

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