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Bury student wins £30k scholarship from Hollywood cinematographer


Fabian Wagner, the Emmy-nominated cinematographer on Games of Thrones, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and The Crown has awarded a £30,000 scholarship to a student from Bury.

Wagner made the announcement as he officially opened the Screen and Film School Manchester, where he’s a patron.

The inaugural Fabian Wagner Scholarship will go to Muhammed Bittaye, who is originally from The Gambia and along with his mother and brother, arrived in the UK and applied for asylum. They settled in Bury and Muhammed studied at Bury College.

“I am very happy and grateful, and this motivates me to work hard so I can hopefully be able to do the same thing for someone else in the future,” he said.

“I still haven’t had a chance to tell my mum, as she’s at work today! I have been in shock all day since finding out.”

Wagner began his career in the North of England, working on shows including Jimmy McGovern’s The Street and The Accused, DCI Banks and Scott and Bailey.

“For years, I’ve tried to give young people opportunities wherever I can. Someone who feels restricted may be inspired to go for it with this scholarship. I saw something in Muhammed Bittaye. He has a passion for filmmaking. The list of applications was long and full of talented young students, so settling on a winner was extremely difficult, and I took the final decision seriously,” explained Wagner.

“Supporting young filmmakers and aspiring cinematographers have long been a passion of mine, so I’m delighted to be giving this opportunity to another fantastic talent in Muhammed. I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops and supporting him in whatever way I can in the years to come. I will be there to support Muhammed every step of the way, as will everyone at Screen and Film School Manchester. My advice to Muhammed would be to take everything that he possibly can from the three years with us.”

In December Muhammed’s short film 5 Senses of Black won the Minute Shorts competition, you can view it here:

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