The David Lyle Foundation, the not-for-profit that helps young executives to build successful in the international television business, has announced the winners of the second iteration of its annual scholarship programme.

The 2024 winners are Olu Adaeze, a writer, director and producer who has worked across television, film, theatre and fashion in a variety of roles; and film and TV actor and producer Andre Fyffe.

The DLF awards two annual scholarships to promising young creatives. The successful candidates receive a one-year programme of education and development designed to fast-track their understanding of the global television-content business. This includes subscriptions to key trade publications and organisations, as well as all-access passes to the world’s leading content-industry events.

Adaeze has worked with a range of media and brand clients, whilst simultaneously independently writing, developing and producing projects  from theatre to short films and documentary. She recently founded her own production company — Ikenga Creative Labs — through which she produces her own work – ‘as a means to consolidate her work experience and in order to amplify unheard voices’. Adaeze is also an associate artist at B3 Media, an award-winning network that connects the UK’s multicultural creative talent with industry.

Fyffe began his career at The Sylvia Young Theatre School, during which time he was cast in a broad range of roles in theatre, television and commercials. He then broke into production, working across commercials and short films, including the hard-hitting youth drama Drawn Out and award-winning documentary Deleted. He recently earned his first AP credit on the third season of Stephen Merchant’s The Outlaws, which is set to air this year on BBC and Amazon Prime. In addition, Fyffe is co-founder of Elicit Pictures, which aims to connect established filmmakers with diverse emerging talent.

Adaeze said: “Winning The David Lyle Foundation scholarship serves as a gateway to my long-held aspirations to inspire other individuals like myself, who have a passion for story and its landscape but come from severely underprivileged backgrounds and feel like ‘unlikely candidates’. As a care leaver who has experienced a plethora of socio-economic obstacles, I’m fiercely proud to have forged my path with determination, driven by a desire to produce my own work. I want to depict nuanced realities, diverse voices and experiences that I don’t see on screen, to experiment with form and approach, to engage differently with audiences and to honour global cultural richness.”

Fyffe said: “The David Lyle Foundation scholarship programme represents a commitment to supporting up-and-coming creative talent, offering mentorship and guidance that can make a huge difference to people’s careers. For someone like me, who’s always looking to learn more about the business, this opportunity to fast track my learning within the entertainment industry, combined with the programme’s focus on innovation and creativity, is super inspiring. Plus, it will give me practical tools to help overcome challenges, take advantage of emerging possibilities and better explore my potential.”

Cheryl Clarke, director of the DLF, said: “The DLF scholarship offers access to people and organisations that are focused on and inspired by the values embodied by the Foundation’s namesake, David Lyle: to mentor, champion and support those that would not otherwise be admitted to the places and people that have the power to breathe life into new ideas. The intention and aspirations of all of the applicants — and most certainly this year’s winners —gives huge hope that remarkable people remain committed to social change through creativity. I can’t wait to see what Olu and Andre come up with.”

The first two DLF scholarships were awarded in January 2020, but the programme was frozen until 2023 on account of the Covid pandemic. The inaugural winners were Gaby Lafor, director of LineLight, and Chris Sanders, development producer at Rare TV.

Jon Creamer

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