BAFTA Plans Breakthrough Initiative India to support new talent

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on Monday announced its ‘Breakthrough Initiative’ which will identify and support up to five talents working in film, games, or TV in India.

According to a press statement, BAFTA Breakthrough India will help facilitate the development of relationships between British talent and India’s homegrown creatives. The initiative is supported by Netflix.

The flagship new talent initiative is part of BAFTA’s year-round work to support new talent, operating alongside their awards ceremonies worldwide.

“India is one of the most prolific and accomplished industries and a fascinating centre for the screen arts with lots of creative diversity, which extends far beyond the world-famous ‘Bollywood’.

“Some of the best practitioners in the world work in Indian film, games, and television – and practitioners from around the world have much to learn from them,” Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and New Talent, BAFTA, said in a statement.

BAFTA aims to work with local cultural bodies and industry in the country to reach each sub-region’s unique landscape and identify individuals who have shown creative promise in film, games, and TV.

Participants will be selected by a jury and will be offered a year-long support programme from BAFTA and be showcased across India and the UK.

They will also receive one-to-one mentoring, guidance sessions, global networking opportunities, free access to BAFTA events and screenings for 12 months, and full voting BAFTA membership as part of Breakthrough.

Monika Shergill, Vice President, Content, Netflix India said the streaming giant shares BAFTA’s vision of providing “breakthrough opportunities to emerging talent”.

“We’re thrilled to extend our support to the programme in India and help amplify our country’s new voices. This initiative will meaningfully bring together creative communities across borders, support their stories, unearth raw talent and provide them with recognition on the world stage,” Shergill said.

BAFTA Breakthrough India is a new international iteration of the Breakthrough initiative, which has been running in the UK since 2013, China since 2019 and has launched in the USA this year, supporting over 130 emerging talents to date.

The programme has supported individuals such as Tom Holland, Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Jessie Buckley, Josh O’Connor, and Callum Turner.
Industry supporters of the initiative in recent years also include actors Oliva Colman, Naomi Harris, Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt, Sharon Horgan, Amy Schumer, directors Tom Harper and Barry Jenkins, game designers Brenda Romero and Tim Schafer.

The Breakthrough programme will be supported by a series of content which will feature British and Indian talent sharing their expertise and insights with audiences across India and the UK.

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