BAFTA Breakthrough India Comes To India With A R Rahman


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA has finally arrived in India. The pioneering film academy will now showcase talented Indian films to a global audience. 

  • Today, the film academy announced that applications are now open for BAFTA Breakthrough India, supported by Netflix.
  •  The initiative marks BAFTA’s first steps into India, showcasing and supporting the next generation of creative talent in film, games and television globally alongside the UK, USA and China. 
  • BAFTA is inviting applications from potential Indian Talents in categories such as exciting new performer, writer, director, producer, composer, cinematographer, games director, game producer, game developer etc from November 30. 
  • Applicants can visit their website to submit an application by January 25. The application is open to all primary residents of India above 18 years of age who are fluent in English and have been residing in India for at least 2 years. 
  • Applicants will also require a recommendation from a relevant regional film, games, or television industry organization, alongside a leading professional credit on a piece of work that has been:
  1.  theatrically released in India;
  2. or broadcast on a television channel or OTT platform in India
  3. or released in India and is playable by these audiences

Supporting Voices from Different Cultures

Netflix is the official supporting partner for BAFTA Breakthrough will be showcasing these talents in the UK, USA and India, and will help in expanding the initiative to a global audience. 

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, in order to develop and support stories and voices from different cultures. 

Journey Begins With Brand Ambassador A.R. Rahman 

BAFTA begins their Indian journey by announcing the appointment of A R Rahman as their brand ambassador for the prestigious BAFTA Breakthrough India 2020-21 program . This association with Rahman marks the continued development of creative relationships between the UK and India, enabling and supporting collaboration between the two nations and showcasing the incredible talent India has to offer across different regions on a global scale.  

A.R. Rahman, composer and BAFTA Breakthrough ambassador, said: “I am happy to be working with BAFTA to discover some of the amazing talent that India has to offer in film, games and television. This is a unique opportunity for promising artists to be supported by a world-renowned organisation, to not only make connections with other talented creatives across the world but to be mentored by BAFTA-winners and nominees. I am looking forward to seeing the brilliant talent chosen from India to be showcased on a global stage.”

We are absolutely delighted to be opening Breakthrough applications in India for the first time,” says Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA.I am also incredibly grateful for the invaluable support of our brilliant Ambassador A. R. Rahman, an industry leader in his creative work and someone who shares our passion for identifying and nurturing new talent.  He is well positioned to support the initiative, with his broad spectrum of work drawing recognition across Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu films, which will help BAFTA to appeal to a wide section of the industry.”

Selecting the Best Indian Talents 

The initiative will have a strict programme to select the best of the Bests amongst the many talents who will be getting an extensive access to mentoring and BAFTA events for the next one year. 

  • As part of BAFTA Breakthrough India, a jury of British and Indian industry experts will select five talents from across India to take part in the 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 Breakthrough selects talent through a cross-industry jury of leading professionals, hand-picked to ensure a diverse selection of experienced voices. Jurors for the UK & US cohorts included Fiona Shaw (actress), Paapa Essiedu (actor), Edward Enninful (Editor-in-Chief – British Vogue), Jodie Azhar (Games Developer) and Kate Townsend (Director) to name a few. The 2020 Jurors for Breakthrough India are still to be announced.

Encouraging Cross Cultural Connections

BAFTA Breakthrough, launched globally in May 2020 and previously known as Breakthrough Brits, has been running in the UK since 2013 and in China since 2019, but this year marks the first time the initiative is recognising talent globally across the UK, US, India and China.

To celebrate the first global cohort of BAFTA Breakthrough participants and encourage cross-cultural connections and collaboration, this year’s BAFTA Breakthrough global participants will be celebrated and showcased together in 2021. The initiative will continue to use digital communications in the coming months to enhance cross-cultural networking across the globe. 



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