BAFTA unveils its 2022 UK and US Breakthroughs and we speak to some of the UK Breakthroughs …

Today, BAFTA has revealed the 33 creatives from across the UK and US selected for BAFTA Breakthrough 2022. BAFTA Breakthrough is the arts charity’s flagship talent initiative that provides a springboard to creatives in film, games and TV, Breakthrough participants receive unique professional development support from BAFTA – from coaching and mentoring to networking opportunities with BAFTA’s global membership of key industry figures. 

The annual cohort is selected by international creative leaders and over 200 people have passed through the programme to-date, including screenwriters, actors, games designers, producers, costume designers, casting directors, DoPs, editors and production designers.

Many go on to achieve national and international industry acclaim, and Breakthrough alumni include Florence Pugh, Tom Holland, Letitia Wright, Daisy May Cooper, Charlie Covell, Aisha Bywaters, Kayleigh Llewellyn, Jim LeBrecht, Ember Lab (Games), Aadip Desai, PC Williams and Jessie Buckley. 

The 2022 UK jury was chaired by Ade Rawcliffe (Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV), and was comprised of cross-industry names including Fiona Lamptey (Director of Features, Netflix), performer Marianne Jean-Baptiste, BBC Comedy commissioning editor Emma Lawson, Casting Director Lauren Evans, and Breakthrough alumnae Ruth Madeley and Charu Desodt. Meanwhile in the US, the jury was chaired by actor Nyasha Hatendi, and included the likes of actors Jodi Balfour and Bianca Lawson, cinematographer Ava Berkofsky, TV executive producer and showrunner Ari Katcher, director, writer and producer Stephanie Laing and Netflix Studio Exec Racheline Benveniste. 

Leon Harrop, Runyararo Mapfumo, Ambika Mod, Chloé Fairweather, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Jack Rooke, Marley Morrison, Theo Williams, Nell Barlow & Jamal Green Photography by Sophia Spring First Assistant

Breakthrough is a global initiative encompassing the USA and India – and has been running for almost a decade, which is a testament to its continued success and massive impact

TBB spoke to the following UK based BAFTA Breakthroughs:

TBB Talks to … Runyararo Mapfumo | Writer/Director
Breakthrough credit: Television series – Sex Education

I’ve always loved film and when I got an opportunity to be on a set for the first time, I saw the director working and interacting with the cast and crew in a way that really appealed to me. Once I’d learned more about the role, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I love collaborating with creatives from different disciplines and all working towards a singular vision. I had no idea how to get into the film industry but I was really fortunate to have an encouraging mum and sister, who supported me...”

Read Runyararo’s full interview here.

Jamal Greeen – Photo credit: Sophia Spring

TBB Talks to … Jamal Green | Composer –
Breakthrough credit: Game – TEON

[Music] is really the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I started at middle school, just writing tunes on Garage Band… My family is not very musical, just my older sister, who’s now the drummer for the Pet Shop Boys. When we were growing up, she was in the room next to me and I could hear her practicing through the walls. I fell to sleep to that every night. Looking back, it just had to be music …

Read Jamal’s full interview here

TBB Talks to … Nicôle Lecky | Writer/Executive Producer/Performer
Breakthrough credit: Television series – Mood

There’s not a single person in my family who is in the arts. But I loved movies as a kid and read a lot, so maybe I just wanted to create my own stories… I also loved Barbie and would create really elaborate plots for them. I’d spend hours with them, real soap opera territory. I had a very active imagination…
“I love the process of writing. It’s your own little precious thing before anybody else gets their hands on it. When I’m writing, I’m burrowing in my brain and want to be left alone. But, when I’m ready to share it, I’m excited for everyone to read it…

Read Nicôle’s full interview here

TBB Talks to … Alex Thomas | Director
Breakthrough credit: Television series – Yorkshire Cop: Police, Racism and Me

Making my dad’s film, I realised that my family just naturally gravitates towards trying to help people. My dad was in the police, my mum was a nurse and my sister teaches neurodiverse children. I don’t know whether it’s subconscious or innate but that’s where we gravitated. Even when I was doing architecture, it wasn’t for affordable housing that is out of reach for most people, it was to help people who were struggling… I believe you don’t really learn anything from having two like minds with the same life experience. You learn so much more from people with a different perspective and life experience. I want to put that in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in everything that I do.”

Read Alex’s full interview here.

TBB Talks to … Joanna Boateng | Producer
Breakthrough credit: Television documentary – Uprising

All the things I’ve worked on have been about something that relates to my identity and marginalised identities. So, about blackness or living in a council flat or being working class or being a woman or queerness. When I think about why I wanted to work in television, it’s because I wanted to speak to those things that I knew were issues and I hadn’t seen represented when I was growing up…

Read Joanna’s full interview here.

The full list of this year’s BAFTA Breakthroughs is as follows:
UK Breakthroughs

  • Alex Thomas | Director – Yorkshire Cop: Police, Racism and Me (TV) 
  • Alyx Jones | Dialogue Editor – Elden Ring (Games) 
  • Ambika Mod | Performer – This is Going to Hurt (TV) 
  • Chloë Fairweather | Director – Dying to Divorce (Film) 
  • Diana Olifirova | Cinematographer – Heartstopper (TV) 
  • Emily Brown | Lead Designer – Alba: a Wildlife Adventure (Games) 
  • Jack Rooke | Writer/Executive Producer – Big Boys (TV) 
  • Jamal Green | Composer – TOEM (Games) 
  • Joanna Boateng | Producer – Uprising (TV) 
  • Leon Harrop | Performer – Ralph & Katie (TV) 
  • Marley Morrison | Writer/Director – Sweetheart (Film) 
  • Morag Taylor | Principal Technical Artist – Total War: Warhammer 3 (Games) 
  • Nell Barlow | Performer – Sweetheart (Film) 
  • Nicôle Lecky | Writer/Executive Producer/Actor – MOOD (TV) 
  • Paul Sng | Director – Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché (Film) 
  • Rose Ayling-Ellis | Performer – Eastenders (TV) 
  • Runyararo Mapfumo | Director – Sex Education (TV) 
  • Sophie Cunningham | Director – Look Away (TV) 
  • Theo Williams | Director – Terms & Conditions: Deeper than Drill (TV) 
  • Zachary Soares & Luciana Nascimento | Co-Founders, Creative Director & Artistic Director – Moonglow Bay (Games) 
  • US Breakthroughs
  • Alex Pritz | Director – The Territory (Film, Documentary) 
  • Amrit Kaur | Performer – The Sex Lives of College Girls (TV) 
  • Brandon Perea | Performer – NOPE (Film) 
  • Charlotte Hornsby | Cinematographer – MASTER (Film) 
  • Clare Knight | Director – Back to the Outback (Film) 
  • Daphne Qin Wu | Cinematographer – The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster (Film) ● Ellie Foumbi | Director/Writer – Our Father, the Devil (Film) 
  • Megan Fox | Founder/Games Programmer – SkateBIRD (Games) 
  • Melissa Adeyemo | Producer – Eyimofe (Film) 
  • Rebeca Huntt | Director – Beba (Film, Documentary) 
  • Robert Ouyang Rusli | Composer – Test Pattern (Film) 
  • So Yun Um | Director – Liquor Store Dreams (Film, Documentary)

For more information about BAFTA BREAKTHROUGH 2022 go to the BAFTA website here


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