The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has opened applications for BAFTA Breakthrough India, supported by Netflix. The initiative marks BAFTA’s first steps into India, showcasing and supporting the next generation of creative talent in film, games and television globally alongside the UK, USA and China.
BAFTA also announced composer A. R. Rahman as the ambassador for BAFTA Breakthrough India 2020-21. This association with Rahman marks the continued development of creative relationships between the UK and India, enabling and supporting collaboration between the two nations and showcasing the incredible talent India has to offer across different regions on a global scale.
A.R. Rahman said: “I am happy to be working with BAFTA to discover some of the amazing talent that India has to offer in film, games and television. This is a unique opportunity for promising artists to be supported by a world-renowned organisation, to not only make connections with other talented creatives across the world but to be mentored by BAFTA-winners and nominees. I am looking forward to seeing the brilliant talent chosen from India to be showcased on a global stage.”
“We are absolutely delighted to be opening Breakthrough applications in India for the first time,” says Amanda Berry OBE, chief executive of BAFTA. “I am also incredibly grateful for the invaluable support of our brilliant Ambassador A. R. Rahman, an industry leader in his creative work and someone who shares our passion for identifying and nurturing new talent. He is well positioned to support the initiative, with his broad spectrum of work drawing recognition across Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu films, which will help BAFTA to appeal to a wide section of the industry.”
As part of BAFTA Breakthrough India, a jury of British and Indian industry experts will select five talents from across India to take part in the year-long mentoring and guidance program. The chosen participants will receive one-to-one mentoring, global networking opportunities, free access to BAFTA events and screenings for 12 months, and full voting BAFTA membership. The chosen talent will also connect with and learn from some of the best in the British and Indian creative industries, share their expertise with peers around the world, gain access to opportunities beyond geographical borders, and be promoted as BAFTA Breakthrough artists globally.
BAFTA Breakthrough selects talent through a cross-industry jury of leading professionals, hand-picked to ensure a diverse selection of experienced voices. Jurors for the UK & US cohorts included Fiona Shaw (actress), Paapa Essiedu (actor), Edward Enninful (editor-in-chief – British Vogue), Jodie Azhar (games developer) and Kate Townsend (director) to name a few. The 2020 Jurors for Breakthrough India are still to be announced.
BAFTA Breakthrough, launched globally in May 2020 and previously known as Breakthrough Brits, has been running in the UK since 2013 and in China since 2019, but this year marks the first time the initiative is recognising talent globally across the UK, US, India and China.
To celebrate the first global cohort of BAFTA Breakthrough participants and encourage cross-cultural connections and collaboration, this year’s BAFTA Breakthrough global participants will be celebrated and showcased together in 2021. The initiative will continue to use digital communications in the coming months to enhance cross-cultural networking across the globe.
Netflix is the official supporting partner for BAFTA Breakthrough, in the UK, USA and India, providing 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.
Starting Nov 30, 2020, BAFTA is inviting potential candidates from India, who are making a name for themselves as an exciting new performer, writer, director, producer, composer, cinematographer, games director, game producer or game developer within the Indian film, games, or television industries; to submit an application, at www.bafta.org/supporting-talent/breakthrough/bafta-breakthrough-india. The deadline for applications is Monday 25th January 2021.
To be eligible, applicants must be over 18 years of age at the time of submission, primary residents of India for at least 2 years, and conversationally fluent in English. With the aim to encourage cross-cultural dialogue in film, games, and television, this programme is looking for candidates who would be willing to collaborate and share their expertise with UK practitioners and/or produce content for UK audiences.