Wilson, Richardson Awarded Arts Council Grants

March 17, 2021

Rory Wilson and Rick Richardson each received $5,000 to assist with their respective film projects, with Mr Wilson working on a short film called Coerce, while Mr Richardson is producing a documentary on the Labour movement in Bermuda.

A Government spokesperson said, “Today the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr. the Hon. Ernest Peets, JP, highlighted two recent recipients of the Bermuda Art Council [BAC] Grants.

“Mr. Rory Wilson and Mr. Rick Richardson each received $5,000 to assist with their respective film projects. Rory Wilson is currently working on his sixth short film, Coerce. The film, which is based on Alex Skeel’s true story, explores the dynamics of an abusive relationship from a male perspective.

“As a note, Mr. Wilson, a previous BAC grant recipient, had recent success with his last film, Loco. It was named ‘Best Film’ at the British Film Institute [BFI] 2021 Future Film Festival.

“In fact, Rory received a BAC grant in 2019 for Loco, which has gone on to receive several honours from various film festivals, including being selected for and winning Best Actor at Long Story Short International Film Festival. It was also awarded an Honourable Mention in the London Seasonal Short Film Festival 2020.

Coerce Bermuda March 2021

“Rick Richardson is currently producing an hour long documentary called Victory, which chronicles the origins of the Labour movement in Bermuda.

“The central figures in the film, include former Bermuda Industrial Union [BIU] President, Mr. Ottiwell Simmons, former Premier, Sir John Swan [then Minister of Immigration and Labour], and Cabinet Secretary at the time the late Mr. Kenneth Richardson. They offer vivid accounts of the events surrounding the Island-wide industrial strike of 1981.

Minister Peets said, “We’re pleased to be able to assist the film aspirations of Rory and Rick. We are always looking to expand our collection of local historical films, as well as introduce new and innovative content to our film library. In fact, Rory’s recent ‘Best Film’ award is further validation of the value of the Department of Culture’s and the Bermuda Arts Council’s investment in our local art makers.

“The Ministry will continue to support those critical cultural and artistic initiatives, events and projects that the public have come to expect from us. The BAC awards provide invaluable financial assistance to our creatives and this is a demonstration of our commitment to ensuring that we’re supporting our Bermudian artists of all genres.”

Victory Bermuda March 2021

Mr. Wilson said, “I’m very appreciative of this grant from the Bermuda Arts Council. The funds will be used to cover the production costs of filming and post-production; paying cast and crew; securing equipment; and paying for film festival submission fees. My previous films have been well received on the festival circuit, most recently at the London BFI Future Film Festival 2020. Coerce will be the biggest and most ambitious project I have undertaken which is an exciting challenge as I continue to build a career in the film industry and again, I am pleased to have the support of the Department of Culture and the BAC.”

Mr. Richardson added, “I am gratified to be working with a team of dedicated and knowledgeable individuals on this documentary. And we are very pleased to receive this grant from the Bermuda Arts Council as it will greatly help in the continued production of this very important piece of visual history. Persons unaware of the unprecedented Strike of 1981 will see the commitment of thousands of Bermudians go beyond the protests, and marches, and acts of civil disobedience to advance the cause of workers’ rights to secure a greater share of the economic pie.”

Jennifer Phillips, Chair of the BAC concluded, “Bermuda Arts Council remains committed to supporting local artists across all genres. In the midst of the shelter in place restrictions of 2020, support for creative endeavours was especially significant, since engagement with the arts has long been associated with physical and mental health, life satisfaction and general happiness. Despite tightened budgetary constraints, we were pleased to be in a position to award grants to these two worthy projects by Bermudian filmmakers.”

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  1. Well done says:

    Congrats. Both are important topics which need to be covered . Thank you Ministry for finding the funds in these difficult times.