Applications are open for BAFTA Breakthrough UK and USA 2021

Jun 11, 2021

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced applications opening across the UK and USA for BAFTA Breakthrough 2021, BAFTA’s flagship talent support initiative in partnership with Netflix.

The initiative, previously known as Breakthrough Brits, has been running in the UK since 2013 and in the US and India since the global expansion last year. BAFTA Breakthrough is a global new talent initiative that showcases and supports the next generation of creative talent in film, games and television.

Since its launch in 2013, BAFTA Breakthrough has championed over 160 talented newcomers, including performers Bukky Bakray, Paapa Essiedu, Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Josh O’Connor, Abubakar Salim and Lauren Ridloff, games creatives Chella Ramanan, Segun Akinola, Gemma Langford, and directors Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht, Rose Glass, Stella Corradi and Destiny Ekaragha, amongst many others. Previous Breakthrough alumni have gone on to flourish within their respective disciplines, many becoming BAFTA winners and nominees.

Supporters of the initiative in recent years include actors Olivia Colman, Tilda Swinton, Zawe Ashton, actor-producer Brad Pitt, directors Tom Harper, Barry Jenkins and Asif Kapadia, game designers and developers Brenda Romero, Hideo Kojima, Tim Schafer, actor-writers Sharon Horgan, Amy Schumer and writer-director Amma Asante.

As the main supporting partner for the third year on BAFTA Breakthrough, Netflix continues to provide integral support in the global expansion. BAFTA and Netflix share a joint vision to celebrate and provide opportunities for emerging talent across the world, bringing together international communities across global networks, in order to develop and support stories and voices from different cultures.

BAFTA Breakthrough selects and identifies new talent through a cross-industry jury of leading professionals and BAFTA works closely alongside local cultural bodies in each region to ensure they advise and deliver the necessary support. The successful Breakthrough applicants will receive one-to-one mentoring and career guidance, full voting membership of BAFTA, free access to BAFTA events and screenings for 12 months, both in the UK and internationally.

Like much of BAFTA’s work in recent months to keep the industry creatively inspired and connected during COVID-19, this year’s initiative will continue to embrace the digital era of communication. Networking opportunities will be made available digitally across the globe for Breakthrough participants in all regions, enhancing cross-cultural connections and collaboration.

Amanda Berry OBE, chief executive of BAFTA, said: “We are delighted to announce that Breakthrough applications are now open in both the UK and USA. Breakthrough is a brilliant initiative that has been championing emerging talent for eight years in the UK, with a wonderful network of talented individuals growing each year. We are excited to be partnering with Netflix for a third year, following last year’s global expansion into the USA and India. We look forward to seeing who will be discovered as part of the next talented global cohort spanning the film, games and television industries.”

Applications for BAFTA Breakthrough in the UK and the USA are now open. To apply, visit here.

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