The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is taking its first step into India with a talent hunt initiative. This initiative helps the Academy identify and nurture up to five talents working in film, games, or television in India.
The exercise, known as BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, is part of the Academy’s year-round effort to support new talent, operating alongside their Awards ceremonies. The programme has in the past supported artistes such as Tom Holland, Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Jessie Buckley, Josh O’Connor, and Callum Turner.
Coming to India is part of BAFTA’s global expansion effort of the initiative. BAFTA Breakthrough India aims at facilitating the development of relationships between British and Indian talents.
In 2020, BAFTA will identify, celebrate, and support up to five talents working in film, games, or television in India, through this program in the country. The chosen participants will be offered a year-long support programme from BAFTA and be showcased across India and the UK.
By showcasing talent globally, BAFTA Breakthrough aims to push their careers ahead by helping them to learn more about the industry, overcome barriers to progression, and network globally with people who can influence their careers.
BAFTA Breakthrough India is a new international iteration of the successful Breakthrough initiative, which has been running in the UK since 2013 and China since 2019. The effort was launched in the United States this year, supporting over 130 emerging talents to date.
Industry supporters of the initiative in recent years include actors Oliva Colman, Naomi Harris, Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, actor-producer Brad Pitt, directors Tom Harper and Barry Jenkins, game designers Brenda Romero and Tim Schafer, and actor-writers Sharon Horgan and Amy Schumer.
“BAFTA is uniquely placed to facilitate creative partnerships across the moving arts, being one of the only art charities to work across film, games, and television and on a global scale,” said Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and New Talent, BAFTA.
“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,” Hunter added.
BAFTA Breakthrough will showcase and support emerging stars of film, games, and television in India, supported by Netflix.
“We share BAFTA’s vision and responsibility in 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,” said Monika Shergill on behalf of the streaming giant.
Under the initiative, BAFTA will work closely with local cultural bodies and industry in India to reach each sub-region and identify excellent individuals who have shown creative promise in film, games, and television.
The programme will be supported by a series of craft masterclasses, which will feature British and Indian talent sharing their expertise and insights with audiences across India and the UK.