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BAFTA Inaugurates New ‘Breakthrough China’ Program With Five Winners

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced the first winners of its new talent-cultivation program in China, including a young director, an up-and-coming actress, and a line producer on a $127-million-grossing romcom.

Five Chinese artists were named Tuesday as the inaugural honorees of BAFTA’s Breakthrough China program. Among them is young director Bai Xue, whose first feature, “The Crossing,” grossed $1.4 million (RMB9.9 million) in March, and her producer He Bin, who is also an audio engineer. Line producer Ye Ting, who worked on last year’s box-office hit romantic comedy “How Long Will I Love U,” actress and director Bonnie Chen (“Clover,” shortlisted by ARFF Amsterdam), and games producer Guan Dan, who worked on the full-length live-action interactive work “The Invisible Guardian,” were also selected for the program.

Over the next year, BAFTA will support the five honorees to “build, develop and continue their careers” via meetings, events and introductions in the U.K.; promotional assistance; and mentorship and career guidance from British creatives and BAFTA winners, nominees and members, the organization said in a statement.

The young talents chosen are all “at a pivotal stage in their careers,” BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry said. “It has been my ambition to see BAFTA recognize and support talent in Asia, and these exceptional winners deliver that ambition brilliantly. With BAFTA’s support, guidance and mentorship, I am excited to see what they will do next.”

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BAFTA Breakthrough China is the first overseas iteration of the academy’s Breakthrough Brits initiative, in place since 2013. Almost 50% of talents in the British program have gone on to become BAFTA winners or nominees, including actress Letitia Wright (“Black Panther,” “Black Mirror”), actor Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), and games producer Dan Gray (“Monument Valley”).

The China program is run in partnership with Yu Holdings. A ceremony was held Monday in Shanghai in the winners’ honor.

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