BAFTA has announced its 2023 BAFTA Breakthrough cohort, featuring 42 creatives working in film, games and television, from across the UK, US and India.
In the UK, there are 20 creatives, including creators, writers, directors, producers, designers, a 2D artist and make-up artists. Writer/creator Pete Jackson (Somewhere Boy) is in the list, as is 2D artist/ game designer Fiona Byrne (Gibbon: Beyond the Trees) and director Ella Glendinning (Is There Anybody Out There?).
BAFTA Breakthrough is the arts charity’s flagship talent initiative in partnership with Netflix, providing a springboard to creatives spanning craft specialisms from hair & make up, production, editing and games design, to performance, directing and cinematography.
Awarded to those in the midst of, or on the cusp of their breakthrough moment, the year-long initiative includes one-to-one meetings and career guidance, full voting membership, access to BAFTA events and screenings, as well as networking events, both in the UK and internationally.
This year’s participants have been involved with some of the most exciting creative debuts and projects over the last year. Selected by a jury comprised of leading cross-industry figures led by BAFTA sector committee chairs and members including Ade Rawcliffe, Sara Putt, Emily Stillman, Emma Morgan and Anisa Sanusi in the UK and Aadip Desai (USA) and Guneet Monga (India) the full list of this year’s BAFTA Breakthroughs is as follows:
UK BREAKTHOUGHS (20):
Adjani Salmon, writer/performer/exec producer – Dreaming Whilst Black
Bella Ramsey, performer – The Last of Us
Cash Carraway, creator/writer/exec producer – Rain Dogs
Charlotte Regan, writer/director – Scrapper
Cynthia De La Rosa, hair & makeup artist – Everyone Else Burns
Ella Glendining, director – Is There Anybody Out There?
Funmi Olutoye, lead producer – ‘Black History Makers’ (Good Morning Britain)
Georgia Oakley, writer/director – Blue Jean
Holly Reddaway, voice and performance director – Baldur’s Gate 3
Joel Beardshaw, lead designer – Desta: The Memories Between
Kat Morgan, hair & makeup designer – Blue Jean
Kathryn Ferguson, writer/director – Nothing Compares
Kitt (Fiona) Byrne, 2D artist/game designer – Gibbon: Beyond the Trees
Michael Anderson, producer – Desta: The Memories Between
Pete Jackson, writer/creator – Somewhere Boy
Raine Allen-Miller, director – Rye Lane
Rosy McEwen, performer – Blue Jean
Samantha Béart, performer – The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow
Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson, writer/director/presenter – Too Autistic for Black
Vivian Oparah, performer – Rye Lane
BAFTA’s CEO Jane Millichip, said: “BAFTA Breakthrough is a gold standard programme. And the fact that we are celebrating our ten-year anniversary is testament to the dedication of our incredible alumni, industry supporters, juries, and industry advisers. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed over the years, and particularly to our partner Netflix. This year’s cohort is really impressive, having already achieved credits in high-end TV drama, debut films, documentaries, hair and make design; and game design. BAFTA Breakthrough is designed to harness that early success and develop the skills for life-long, rewarding careers. Congratulations to this year’s BAFTA Breakthroughs.”
Anne Mensah, Vice President, Content, Netflix UK said: “This is our fifth year supporting BAFTA Breakthrough and we are so proud to support a programme that offers such transformative support, networks and opportunities. Breakthrough alumni are the next generation of creative visionaries from right across the entertainment spectrum. Its impact is unrivalled with talent such as Josh O’Connor, Florence Pugh, Laurie Nunn and Charlie Covell making waves across the industry as well as on Netflix.”
Aadip Desai, TV Writer and Chair of the BAFTA Breakthrough US jury said: “It was an honour and a privilege to chair the 2023 BAFTA Breakthrough USA jury as a proud alum of the inaugural 2020 Breakthrough USA cohort. Being selected as a Breakthrough is akin to finding Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket but for your film, TV, and games career. Our outstanding, diverse jury brought thoughtful expertise to the review of these exceptional candidates, making deliberations an absolute joy, save for the occasional fistfight.
Congratulations, 2023 Breakthroughs! You impressed and inspired us with your creative brilliance and resilience. You should be proud to have earned this recognition and validation. I’m thrilled for you to avail yourself of the robust resources BAFTA offers to support your careers, including the opportunity to connect and build relationships with your talented cohort, alums, and potential mentors among the industry’s most distinguished and generous creatives. Welcome to the BAFTA family! We can’t wait to see what you do next.”
Guneet Monga, Film Producer and Ambassador for BAFTA Breakthrough in India, said: “There is no shortage of creative talent in India as demonstrated by the previous two iterations of BAFTA Breakthrough. We had a tough time choosing ten deserving candidates from an enormous pool of fresh candidates. It will be exciting to see how they harness BAFTA Breakthrough’s opportunities to hone their craft on a global stage.”
BAFTA Breakthrough is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. As an incubator for the industry’s future change-makers, BAFTA Breakthrough nurtures and celebrates peer-to-peer network building among a host of 121 meetings including with Danny Boyle, Paul Greengrass, Barry Jenkins, Martin McDonagh, Abi Morgan, Lesley Manville and Brad Pitt, among many others
Over 200 people have passed through the programme to-date, including screenwriters, actors, games designers, producers, costume designers, directors, DoPs, editors and production designers. Many go on to develop their own games, TV shows or features and achieve national and international industry acclaim, including BAFTA nominations.
Supporters of the initiative in recent years include world-class talent: actors Emma Thompson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Olivia Colman, Tilda Swinton, Zawe Ashton, Will Poulter, actor-producer Brad Pitt, directors Tom Harper, Nia DaCosta, Barry Jenkins and Asif Kapadia, game designers and developers Brenda Romero, Hideo Kojima, Tim Schafer, actor-writer Sharon Horgan, screenwriter Jesse Armstrong, writer-director Amma Asante and journalist Louis Theroux.
As the principal partner for the fifth year on BAFTA Breakthrough, Netflix continues to provide integral support towards its global expansion. Through Breakthrough, BAFTA and Netflix share a joint vision to celebrate and provide opportunities for emerging talent across the world, bringing together international communities across global networks, to develop and support stories and voices from different cultures.
Image ©BAFTA/Vivek Vadoliya, 2023
Share this story