If you still haven’t heard about it,  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is now in India! It announced its Breakthrough Initiative’ which will identify, celebrate, and support up to five talents working in film, games, or TV in India. But hold on, let’s get to know more about it, shall we? 

What is BAFTA?

BAFTA apart from its award ceremonies provides a space of knowledge and has been taking up initiatives in the art sphere since 1947. They are world-renowned for giving unique access to extraordinary talent worldwide in the form of workshops, lecture series, mentoring, scholarships, and more in the field of films, gaming, and television. They recognise and celebrate talent in the mentioned spheres, thus, promoting practitioners from the field. 

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has been the President of BAFTA since February 2010. BAFTA has a history with the royal family of England for a long time. As mentioned by the official website “all but one of BAFTA’s presidents in its history have been members of the Royal Family.”

BAFTA does not depend on the Government financially. It has announced that its funds are a result of membership subscriptions, donations from various parties, and partnerships.


India’s creative space

India’s creative arch in most cases revolves around the Bollywood or “Hindi cinema” industry. At least that is what a very typical conversation around Indian talent looks like in an international sphere. The creativity and identification of talent are limited through this. If you are a regional Indian movie/art enthusiast, I can only imagine how much you would be boiling right now. The quantum of art pieces created in different dialects, patterns, genres, sizes, and more is sometimes unimaginable. We do acknowledge the fact that there has not been a very effective and equal ground being provided to these mediums. However, OTT platforms or the increasing number of quality movie fests or in fact for that matter social media too has garnered quite a response from movie buffs for these pieces. They are not only acknowledging these works but also there has been an active appreciation of the same. However, the lack of having a repository is time and again felt. Maybe it is the lack of institutional base or an effective team or the sheer quantity, we can not pin it down to one single aspect as of now. The system and the hierarchy are way much more complicated. 

What is “Breakthrough India”?

‘Breakthrough Initiative’, a programme by BAFTA will be identifying, celebrating, and supporting up to five talents working in film, games, or TV in India. According to a press statement, BAFTA Breakthrough India will help facilitate the development of relationships between British talent and India’s homegrown creatives. One of the supporters for the same is Netflix. 

“Some of the best practitioners in the world work in Indian film, games, and television, and practitioners from around the world have much to learn from them,” Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and New Talent, BAFTA, said in a statement.

BAFTA aims to go beyond the generic and mainstream art bodies and explore talent that has real creative potential and can be a promising legacy in the various platforms mentioned. The Breakthrough initiative has been running in the UK since 2013. It was launched in China in 2019. 

The programme has supported individuals like Tom Holland, Letitia Wright, Jessie Buckley, and more. This initiative will act as a cultural bridge of knowledge, talent, and expertise between the UK and India. 

 A. R. Rahman on November 30 was announced as the ambassador of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts ‘Breakthrough India Initiative 2020-21.’ 

Rahman said he was very happy to be working with BAFTA to discover the amazing talent that India has to offer in film, games, and television.

Applications for the Bafta Breakthrough in India close on 25 January 2021. Full details can be found on the Bafta website

So if you are an artist reading this, do not wait! This is the right moment, take that chance, and submit your applications!

By Team

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