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BAFTA announces Breakthrough Brits of 2017

Story by Jack Foley

THE British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the UK’s most promising future stars of film, games and television at an event hosted by Maya Jama at the global Burberry flagship, 121 Regent Street.

The 20 new BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, will be supported by BAFTA over the next 12 months as they progress their careers.

The talented newcomers were selected by a jury of industry experts after a UK-wide open call for applications and nominations.

Actor and Breakthrough Brits juror Will Poulter said: “I jumped at the chance to be part of the Breakthrough Brits Jury because what I love most about BAFTA as an organisation is that it isn’t just commending people for reaching a certain height in their career.

“They are also doing so much work to nurture talent and provide people with the opportunity to get to that level.”

At the event, actors Jenna Coleman, Joe Dempsie, Suranne Jones and Vicky McClure revealed that the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits in 2017 are…

Adam Vian and Thomas Vian – Game Directors
Anna Hollinrake – Games Artist
Charlie Cooper and Daisy Cooper – Writers/Actors
Chloë Thomson – Cinematographer
Daniel Fountain – Game Designer
Francis Lee – Writer/Director
Henry Hoffman – Creative Director (Games)
Hope Dickson Leach – Writer/Director
Jessie Buckley – Actress
Josh O’Connor – Actor
Kit Fraser – Cinematographer
Lydia Hampson – Producer
Mahalia Belo – Director
Molly Windsor – Actress
Olivia Wood – Games Writer & Editor
Sarah Quintrell – Writer
Segun Akinola – Composer
Susan Wokoma – Actress

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, identifies the very best emerging talent in film, games and television. As it reaches its fifth year, I am so proud of what the initiative has achieved and the talented people it is has honoured.

“Over the next year the Breakthrough Brits will be supported by BAFTA and mentored by some of the industry’s most established professionals. This year’s Breakthrough Brits truly represent the diverse range of talents that make up our industries. We’re thrilled to be recognising these individuals this evening.”

BAFTA and Burberry share a vision of celebrating British talent and giving them the tools to develop their skills at the start of their careers, wherever they are in the world.

The annual Breakthrough Brits initiative, which was launched in partnership with Burberry in 2013, celebrates and supports the UK’s future stars of film, television and games. Honourees receive one-to-one mentoring, an international travel bursary, guidance sessions and networking opportunities, as well as free access to BAFTA events, for 12 months.

BAFTA-nominated actress and 2016 Breakthrough Brit Ruth Madeley (Don’t Take My Baby) said: “Being part of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits has been an incredible experience. The initiative has enabled me to meet so many new contacts and learn from my fellow Breakthrough Brits. I feel that my career is still only just taking off and, with BAFTA’s help, I am excited to see what the future holds.”

Since the launch of the initiative in 2013, previous Breakthrough Brits have gone on to be recognised at BAFTA’s awards ceremonies, including four BAFTA winners: Games producer Daniel Gray and game designer Rex Crowle (as part of the development teams for Monument Valley and Tearaway respectively), screenwriter Dominic Mitchell (In The Flesh) and producer Marc Williamson (The Last Chance School).

Games sound designer and 2015 Breakthrough Brit Jessica Saunders also worked on the BAFTA-winning Batman: Arkham Knight (British Game in 2016).

Writer Vinay Patel, who was named a Breakthrough Brit in 2016, received two BAFTA nominations for Murdered by My Father earlier this year.

In addition, actor Tom Holland, who was named a Breakthrough Brit in 2013, received the EE Rising Star Award at this year’s British Academy Film Awards.

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