BAFTA Breakthrough India Returns for a Fourth Year

BAFTA, the leading UK charity for the screen arts, is back with its Breakthrough programme for a fourth year in India, in partnership with Netflix. BAFTA Breakthrough India identifies and celebrates the next generation of talented professionals in the films, games, and television industries across the country. This year also marks the second time the BAFTA Breakthrough programme opens applications simultaneously in India, the US and UK regions, BAFTA, through its mentorship and talent programme, has guided several creative individuals in the pursuit of their craft by curating an all-encompassing programme that helps breakthroughs address the barriers in their respective fields of work, sharpening their skills, and assisting them to create international networks that will accelerate their careers.

The recipients will be part of one-to-one meetings with industry stalwarts and group roundtables. They will receive professional coaching to develop their professional and creative skills. They will also get access to all of BAFTA’s training, development and networking events for the duration of the programme, i.e., 12 months, along with opportunities to network with industry members across the world through BAFTA membership. Additionally, the breakthroughs will have a PR-backed showcase.

Tim Hunter, BAFTA Executive Director, Learning, Inclusion, Policy & Membership, said:

“We’re pleased to say that applications for BAFTA Breakthrough India are once again open. Thanks to the generous support of Netflix, this initiative will see us nurture a cohort of outstanding creative talent working in India’s film, television and games industries, and showcase their talents to our global membership – to be unveiled later this year.”

Monika Shergill, Vice President of Content, Netflix India said:

“The BAFTA Breakthrough India programme perfectly aligns with Netflix’s vision of empowering upcoming creative voices and bringing them to a global audience. The diversity of talent unearthed in the past four years is a testament to this programme’s immense success. We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with BAFTA and discover and nurture the next generation of Indian creative voices.”

Guneet Monga Kapoor, Founder & CEO of Sikhya Entertainment, Film Producer and Breakthrough India Ambassador said:

“India boasts of abundant creative talent, as evidenced by the past three editions of Breakthrough. I grew up at a time where access to such opportunities were unheard of. I highly encourage the next generation of creatives across film, television, and games in India to apply for this year’s programme. BAFTA Breakthrough offers invaluable resources to young change makers in our industry, and I’m so excited to witness how this year’s participants will leverage the opportunities to refine their skills, and elevate the Indian Screen Industries on an international platform.”

As the principal partner for the sixth 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.

BAFTA Breakthrough 2023 witnessed promising talent, including Abhinav Tyagi, who is an editor and worked on ‘An Insignificant Man’ in 2016 as editor, post producer, and chief assistant director. Shardul Bhardwaj was another cohort member who is actively working as an actor. He starred in the 2019 critically acclaimed film ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’ and also served as an assistant director and casting director on Netflix’s 2018 film ‘Soni’.

BAFTA Breakthrough opened doors across the globe for its previous cohorts, aiding them to share spaces with some of the most distinguished and influential people in their respective industries and learn through their expertise, knowledge, and experiences to further their careers with newer perspectives.

Actress Tanya Maniktala was one of the breakthroughs during the first year of the programme in India. She starred in Mira Nair’s Netflix adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel ‘A Suitable Boy’. In her testimony, Tanya Maniktala said, “It has been an incredible experience being associated with the BAFTA Breakthrough Programme. Thank you so much for all your guidance and encouragement.”

Alokananda Dasgupta, a music composer and director, was a part of the 2022 cohort. She had the great fortune of interacting with actress, comedian, and producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, along with directors Richie Mehta and Asif Kapadia. Comedian Sumukhi Suresh also received the opportunity to meet industry veterans like actress Ratna Pathak Shah and BBC Comedy Commissioner Emma Lawson, via the Breakthrough Programme.

BAFTA’s commitment to excellence extends to its selection process. A distinguished jury of industry experts, meticulously chosen for their diverse experience and proven track record, will evaluate applications for BAFTA Breakthrough India. This ensures a comprehensive and insightful assessment of each candidate’s potential.

BAFTA Breakthrough 2024 will culminate later this year, and the Breakthroughs/shortlisted participants from India, the US & UK regions will be concurrently revealed in a global announcement.

Application Requirements

BAFTA is looking for candidates who:
● Aged 18 or over at the time of application
● Primarily resident in India
● Conversationally fluent in English
● Working as an Animator, Choreographer**, Cinematographer, Colourist, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Game Developer, Game Director, Game Producer, Hair/Make-up Artist, Performer, Presenter, Producer, Producer/Director, Production Designer, Series Director, Series Producer, Sound Editor/Mixer, Writer or VFX/3D Artist within the Indian film, games or television industries
**Though choreographers are not explicitly represented in BAFTA’s global membership, applicants can apply for the Breakthrough programme where, if selected, they will receive opportunities to develop knowledge and be connected with other departments and creatives across film, games and television, reflected in BAFTA’s membership and network.

They will also have:
● A recommendation letter from a relevant regional film, games or television industry organisation
● A leading professional credit on a piece of work that has been:
– theatrically released in India between 1 June 2023 and 1 September 2024 (or is reasonably expected to at the time of application).
– or broadcast on a television channel or OTT platform in India between 1 June 2023 and 1 September 2024 (or is reasonably expected to at the time of application).
– or, for games, released in India on a publicly available platform between 1 June 2023 and 1 September 2024 (or is reasonably expected to at the time of application).
● A demonstrable ambition to collaborate and share their expertise with UK practitioners and/or to produce content for UK audiences

Applications for BAFTA Breakthrough India 2024 are open . To learn more about the programme, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, please click here.