First Steps Cinematography win BSC Special Achievement Award 2024

12 February, 2024

Screen and Film School is delighted to announce that our very own Manchester college patron, Fabian Wagner, and his initiative, First Steps Cinematography, have won the prestigious BSC Special Achievement Award 2024.

First Steps Cinematography

First Steps Cinematography is an initiative aimed at providing individuals from diverse backgrounds with an entry point into the camera department and the wider film industry. The focus is on promoting diversity, gender equality, and inclusion, irrespective of age, experience, or socio-economic status. 


Mentees are carefully selected before being assigned to suitable productions tailored to their specific needs. This ensures that they receive the necessary support and guidance from Heads of Departments and crew members who are committed to nurturing their talents.  

Alongside co-founders Aga Szeliga and Mitch Payne, Fabian is on a mission to give back to the community and train the next generation of talented cinematographers. Aga, a camera operator and co-founder of Woman behind the Camera, is all about equality in the industry, while Mitch, an experienced focus puller, knows the challenges newcomers face firsthand. Together, this team is a force to be reckoned with. Already, their mentees have been placed on acclaimed productions such as HBO’s House of the Dragon and Amazon Prime’s The Anansi Boy, proving the impact of their collective efforts in shaping the future of filmmaking. 

Supporting the next generation of filmmakers 

Whilst accepting the prestigious award at the ceremony last week, Fabian summed up their mission perfectly: 

“First Steps is really about supporting and enabling people to become the best they can be, and that for us should not be a financial or a time-consuming burden; it should be a shared responsibility for all of us.” 

Fabian is certainly no stranger to supporting up-and-coming filmmakers. As our Manchester college patron, he’s a familiar face on campus, leading masterclasses, networking sessions, and hands-on workshops with our students. In 2021, a £30,000 scholarship was launched in his name, showing his dedication to supporting talent in our community. He personally chose student Muhammed Bittaye as the recipient for the award and has been providing valuable advice and opportunities ever since, proving his commitment to raising up the next generation of voices in film. 

We believe that everyone should have a chance to pursue their dreams in film. The BSC Special Achievement Award 2024 is a huge win for First Steps Cinematography, and we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate their incredible progress in making the industry more inclusive and accessible for all.  

Congratulations to Fabian Wagner and the whole team at First Steps on this amazing achievement! 



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