This year's James Menzies-Kitchin (JMK) award has gone to Kate Hewitt to stage Caryl Churchill's Far Away at the Young Vic in November.
The runner up, who will receive £2,000, is Roy Alexander Weise with The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg.
The £25,000 prize, which was presented this evening at the Young Vic, assists young directors with the costs of staging their productions. Previous winners include Thea Sharrock, Bijan Sheibani and Polly Findlay.
Kate Hewitt said: "Winning the JMK award allows me to take the thrilling next steps towards creating my own work, but most significantly with the confidence of the JMK Trust behind me. The rigour and care that goes into the JMK's varied approach to finding the finalists stops it being about someone who can write a great application and it raises your game as a director before you've entered the rehearsal room."
Stephen Fewell, chair of the JMK Trust, added: "All theatre is collaborative, and Kate and her team impressed with their creative and original ideas for this modern classic. But it was Kate's skill with actors that has secured her this year's JMK Award and, with the support of the Young Vic, the rare opportunity to take that risk."
The JMK Trust was set up to commemorate the talented young director James Menzies-Kitchin, whose career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 28.