The David Lyle Foundation, launched in April, has named the first-ever winners of its annual scholarship program, which aims to help young executives build careers in the entertainment business.
Gabriella Lafor (pictured left), production secretary at London-headquartered, Argonon-owned indie Like A Shot, and Chris Sanders (right), senior development executive at UK-based Zig Zag Productions, will each receive a one-year education and development program — valued at US$10,000 — in 2020.
The program is designed to fast-track their understanding of the global television-content business. Lafor and Sanders will then document their year-long journey with a series of posts on the foundation’s website.
Each scholarship offers VIP access to select international markets and festivals, a mentor program and a suite of subscriptions to trade publications and organization services.
Cheryl Clarke, president of the David Lyle Foundation, said in a statement: “It’s almost trite to say that it was extremely tough to choose the final two, but the judging process proved very clearly there is a huge dollop of passion and compassion in the future talent in our industry. Both Chris and Gaby embody the spirit of what we are trying to achieve with this.”
The not-for-profit David Lyle Foundation was established in memory of the television executive, who passed away in September 2017. Lyle had held senior positions at Nat Geo, Fox and Fremantle and PactUS over the course of his 40-year career.
Founding partners include Realscreen, Broadcast, C21Media, Edinburgh TV Festival, EMC, FRAPA, NATPE, NPact, Pact, Reed Midem and TBI Vision.