A.R. Rahman headlines BAFTA’s new India Breakthrough

A.R. Rahman headlines BAFTA’s new India Breakthrough

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), headquartered in London, has opened applications for the first-ever BAFTA Breakthrough India, which will showcase and support emerging Indian stars of film, games, and television in 2020-21, supported by Netflix. The initiative marks BAFTA’s first steps into India to promote the next generation of creative talent globally, alongside the UK, US and China.

Oscar-winning Indian musician A.R. Rahman has been named the Ambassador for BAFTA Breakthrough India 2020-21, who will take charge of supporting collaboration between the two nations and showcasing the incredible talent India has to offer across different regions on a global scale.

Rahman said: “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.”

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 programme.

Winners will receive:

  • A year-long programme of support from BAFTA

  • Connections to the British creative industries

  • Opportunities to share their expertise with their British peers and learn from British practitioners

  • Promotion as talents to watch for the future in India and in the UK

  • Access to opportunities and support in both the UK and in India

An expert Jury will select the winners and BAFTA will announce the winners in Spring 2021.

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be opening Breakthrough applications in India for the first time.

“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.”

To be eligible, applicants must be over 18 years of age at the time of submission, primary residents of India for at least two years, and conversationally fluent in English. With the aim to encourage cross-cultural dialogue in film, games, and television, the programme is looking for candidates who would be willing to collaborate and share their expertise with UK practitioners and/or produce content for UK audiences.

Applicants will also require a recommendation from a relevant regional film, games, or television industry organisation, alongside a leading professional credit on a piece of work that has been:

  • theatrically released in India;

  • or broadcast on a television channel or OTT [over-the-top] platform in India

  • or released in India and is playable by these audiences

*Applications are free and now open to eligible candidates via the online application form, which can be found here.

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