TBB Talks to … BAFTA Breakthrough 2022 Finalist Runyararo Mapfumo

Writer/Director Runyararo has had quite the journey through the industry up to now, from working in development right through to post production.

She used these years of experience to simultaneously write and direct a series of well-received shorts. This landed her the exciting opportunity to direct episodes of season three’s Sex Education (2021), which secured her a BAFTA nomination for Emerging Talent: Fiction.

A love for genre fiction has inspired her debut feature, currently in development with Film4 and her production company, DessyMak Productions – a futuristic science fiction film inspired by African mythology.

We spoke to Runyararo about making this year’s final 20 BAFTA Breakthrough list …

Please introduce yourself …

Runyararo Mapfumo, I’m a UK based writer and director.

Tell us about the team you worked with – who was imperative to making your life easier whilst working on Sex Education?

I was fortunate that the cast and crew were all so brilliant, generous and dedicated. Maria Moss joined as my assistant and earned the credit of Associate Producer on a couple of my episodes. She’s a huge talent and one of the hardest working people I know. She not only made my life on the show easier but more fun!

Tell us a memorable moment from idea to final edit?

A lot of planning and efforts went into shooting Eric’s journey to Nigeria, particularly as we had to shoot it in Wales due to COVID.

Share a skill-defining moment working on this project …

I directed my first animation for the opener of an episode. It was a very different process to directing live action and it encouraged me to approach my work in a new way but I loved it .

What does being a BAFTA Breakthrough finalist mean to you?

Over the years this initiative has introduced me to filmmakers and creatives whose work I really admire. So it’s exciting and humbling to be acknowledged by BAFTA as a breakthrough talent this year.

How are you hoping it will support your career?

I’m looking forward to connecting with my peers who are also part of this years BAFTA Breakthrough list. Community has always been important to me.

What’s next?

I’m working on my debut feature film Darkness Descends with my production company DessyMak Productions and Film4.

Where can we watch / find your latest work?

You can see Sex Education Season 3 on Netflix and my short films on the DessyMak Productions Vimeo account.


Read the rest of the BAFTA Breakthrough 2022 interviews here.

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