Bukky Bakray, star of Brussels, Dublin and San Sebastian-winning film “Rocks,” Aleem Khan, director of Cannes Critics’ Week Label title “After Love,” and Kate Byers and Linn Waite, producers of British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) debut award-winner “Bait,” are among 34 participants of the 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough initiative.
Supported by Netflix, the new talent initiative supports emerging talent across film, games and television. In this round, 23 participants have been announced from the U.K. and 11 from the U.S., with applications opening this month in India and in 2021 in China.
The talent was selected through cross-industry global juries comprising leading industry professionals, including actors Paapa Essiedu (“I May Destroy You”) and Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”), filmmaker Amma Asante (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
The participants will receive one-to-one mentoring and career guidance, full voting membership of BAFTA, and access to BAFTA events and networking opportunities, both in the U.K. and internationally.
BAFTA Breakthrough, launched globally in May 2020 and previously known as Breakthrough Brits, has been running in the U.K. since 2013 and in China since 2019, but this year marks the first time the initiative is recognizing talent globally across the U.K., U.S., India and China.
Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing our first ever BAFTA Breakthrough participants in the U.S. alongside those for our seventh year in the U.K. This year’s cohort is such a strong and inclusive list, revealing the future stars of our industries. We are delighted to be partnering with Netflix again this year, which is supporting the global expansion of Breakthrough into the U.S. and India. Netflix shares our vision to raise awareness of and celebrate emerging talent from an array of different backgrounds and cultures.”
The full list of BAFTA Breakthrough participants in 2020:
Abigail Dankwa, multi camera director (“Love Song”)
Aleem Khan, director/writer (“After Love”)
Ali Tocher, game audio designer (“Surgeon Simulator 2”)
Amir El-Masry, actor (“Limbo”)
Ben Sharrock & Irune Gurtubai, director/writer & producer (“Limbo”)
Bethany Swan, hair and makeup up designer (“I May Destroy You”)
Bim Ajadi, director (“Here Not Here”)
Bukky Bakray, actor (“Rocks”)
Catherine Unger, artist/co-writer (“Tangle Tower”)
Chella Ramanan, narrative designer/writer (“Before I Forget”)
Claire Bromley, external game producer (“Sackboy: A Big Adventure”)
Jordan Hogg, director (“Ackley Bridge”)
Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, producer (“Blue Story”)
Lea Schönfelder, lead game designer (“Assemble With Care”)
Linn Waite & Kate Byers, producers (“Bait”)
Rina Yang, cinematographer (“Sitting in Limbo”)
Rubika Shah, director/writer (“White Riot”)
Ruka Johnson, costume designer (“Blue Story”)
Tamara Lawrance, actor (“The Long Song”)
Tim Renkow, writer/actor (“Jerk”)
Youssef Kerkour, actor (“Home”)
Aadip Desai, writer (“The Goldbergs”)
Arnaldo Licea, game designer (“The Last of Us Part II”)
Edson Oda, director/writer (“Nine Days”)
Ekwa Msangi, director/writer (“Farewell Amor”)
Fernando Reyes Medina, multiplayer designer (“Halo Infinite”)
Gene Back, composer (“Cowboys”)
Jim LeBrecht, co-director (“Crip Camp”)
Lauren Ridloff, performer (“Eternals,” “The Walking Dead”)
Mary Kenney, game writer (“Spider-Man: Miles Morales”)
Nicole Newnham, co-director (“Crip Camp”)
Shannon DeVido, performer (“Insatiable,” “Difficult People”)