This is a press release directly from the industry, selected by our editorial team for its importance, that we are reposting in addition to our usual coverage.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is calling all Indian games directors, producers and developers to apply for their flagship new talent initiative ‘BAFTA Breakthrough’. For the first time, the initiative will recognise five emerging Indian talents across the film, games and television industries.
BAFTA Breakthrough India, supported by Netflix, marks BAFTA’s arrival in India, showcasing and propelling the upcoming generation of creative talent in film, games and television globally alongside talent selected talent from the UK, USA and China.
The games professionals recognised by the Breakthrough initiative will receive the opportunity to take part in a 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 also announced today an extension of the Breakthrough India application deadline by two weeks, with the new deadline on Monday 8 February 2021.
Adrienne Law, Games Producer and BAFTA Breakthrough 2018 said, “Being a Breakthrough was a life changing experience. I was introduced to amazing industry contacts, had opportunities to learn new skills, and gained a newfound confidence in myself and my work. Through a combination of mentoring and members events throughout the year, it helped me to figure out the direction my dream career would take. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support the scheme provided in making that dream a reality.”
Charu Desodt, games producer and 2014 Breakthrough Brit said, “Being named a BAFTA Breakthrough in 2014 was a career highlight for me. People recognise the BAFTA name and in turn it makes people pay more attention to you and your artistic vision. I would definitely encourage people to apply to the Breakthrough India programme, the deadline is now Monday 8th February!”
Jodie Azhar, 2016 Breakthrough Finalist and games director, said: “BAFTA Breakthrough helped me immensely. It gave me access to a wealth of knowledge from some of the most influential experts in my field. It actually changed my career path; I went from working at studios on other people’s games to founding my own studio, Teazelcat Games, where I’m making independent games. Breakthrough not only gave me the confidence to breakout on my own but also the connections that helped elevate me to the next level of my career. So I’d really encourage game developers, directors and producers to apply, and to put themselves forward.”
The BAFTA Breakthrough initiative has been running in the UK since 2013, China since 2019 and launched in the USA and India in 2020, supporting over 160 emerging talents to date. Encouraging creative and cultural exchange between some of the major centres of film, games, and television in these countries, and (now) India; the programme has supported individuals such as Tom Holland, Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Jessie Buckley, Josh O’Connor, and Callum Turner. Supporters of the initiative in recent years also include actors Olivia Colman 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.
The eligibility criteria states that 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.