RTS Bursary Student Interview: Amaar Zafar

3rd May 2024

Welcome back to our RTS Bursary student interviews! Last week we were delighted to sit down with Niamh Quirke to get an exclusive insight into how the experience on the programme has been so far.

This week we’re turning our attention to Amaar, a second year student on our BA (Hons) Filmmaking degree. Get ready to dive into Amaar’s unique perspective on how he plans to contribute to film and TV in the future, and what the RTS bursary means for his career.

Student Experience

Can you tell us about your experience applying for the RTS bursary and how it has impacted your studies?

Applying to the RTS was a fairly straightforward process, but one that has been so beneficial to me! Joining the scheme has given me the opportunity to interact with people who share my passion and be invited into spaces within the industry that would have otherwise been out of reach.

What motivated you to pursue a career in TV/film, and how do you see the RTS bursary supporting your goals and aspirations?

Creating short films and videos has been a passion of mine since I was a young child. It took me a long time to realise that it would be the career path I’d pursue, but after the pandemic, I knew that I didn’t want to waste my time pursuing a career that didn’t fulfil me in the way that filmmaking does. I foresee the opportunities and mentorship provided to me by the RTS enabling me to make connections with the right people and lead me towards the direction of where I want to be working within the industry.

In what ways do you hope to contribute to the TV/film industry in the future?

I wish to make TV and films that resonate with people on an emotional and spiritual level. I believe making films with purpose can bring good to the world, whether it’s through giving someone an outlet to feel seen or heard, or to inform or entertain an audience. Filmmaking is sometimes seen as purely a means of making art that doesn’t serve a larger purpose, but it does. Films can have such a large impact on people’s lives, and I hope to contribute to that movement.

Can you share any projects or initiatives you are currently working on, and how the bursary has facilitated your progress?

I’m currently working on a number of short film projects and the bursary has been beneficial by putting me in touch with a mentor who I’m able to bounce my ideas off and ask any question about the process where I feel unsure.

What advice would you give to other aspiring television professionals who may be considering applying for the RTS bursary in the future?

If you’ve been looking at the RTS bursary scheme and you think you fit the criteria, just apply! The worst response you’ll get is a no, but if you’re passionate and show the right drive, then it could be highly beneficial for you and you’ll be so glad you applied! Be yourself and highlight what makes you unique; you’ll be surprised at how much people value you for you!

How do you envision leveraging the networking opportunities and connections provided by the RTS bursary to enhance your professional development in the industry?

Since joining the RTS, I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to Netflix’s headquarters in London, to sit alongside a panel of industry leaders and engage in talks with them. I’ve found this to be a wonderful opportunity and hope to leverage this to make some invaluable industry connections and get advice from those at the top of the industry.

Can you discuss any challenges you have faced in pursuing your career goals, and how the bursary has helped mitigate or overcome these obstacles?

Filmmaking is an expensive career choice to get started in, especially as an aspiring cinematographer who needs to be aware of current trends and challenges in the industry. The RTS bursary has not only helped me financially, but they’ve supported me through the mentorship scheme to start getting my foot in the door for bigger industry jobs.

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish as a result of the RTS bursary, both personally and professionally?

The financial assistance of the RTS bursary has enabled me to have the funds to start taking driving lessons. With my driving licence, I’ll be able to take on more film work and easily transport film equipment for work.

Finally, can you reflect on the significance of receiving the RTS bursary and what it means to you in terms of recognition and support of your aspirations?

Receiving the RTS bursary has been a great confidence boost for me. To know that such an esteemed board deems my work and my passion to be that fit for industry is a massive compliment and tells me that I’m headed in the right direction.



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BIMM University provides an extensive range of courses in modern music, performing arts, filmmaking, and creative technology to over 8,000 students across 14 schools in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. We have a long-standing commitment to providing the highest quality in creative industries education, allowing students to maximise their career potential in an inclusive community built on a culture of shared passion, creativity, and collaboration. Berlin | Birmingham | Brighton | Bristol | Dublin | Essex | London | Manchester