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‘Nope’ Star, ‘Heartstoppers’ Cinematographer, ‘Sex Education’ Director Among BAFTA’s UK, US Breakthrough Talents



The British Academy has unveiled the latest crop of participants in the US and UK that will take part in its annual Breakthrough program, aimed at supporting emerging talent across film, TV and video games.

The 32-strong list of names — 20 from the UK and 12 from the US — includes an impressive ensemble of creatives, such as Nope breakout Brandon Perea and Sex Education director Runyararo Mapfumo, who were selected by an international jury that included Oscar-winning actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rami co-creator Ari Katcher and Swan Song and Alex Rider Actor Nyasha Hatendi.

Backed by Netflix for the last two years (the streamer’s head of UK features Fiona Lamptey is also on the jury), the BAFTA Breakthrough program first launched in the UK in 2013 before expanding to China in 2019 and the US and India in 2020. It sees each batch of participants receive tailor-made development support, from coaching to mentoring to networking opportunities. Previous Breakthroughs including the likes of Florence Pugh and Letitia Wright, while last year’s crop included It’s a Sin star Lydia West and Censor director Prano Bailey-Bond.

The full 2022/2023 list of 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)
  • Nicole 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)
  • Rebecca Hunt, Director – Baby (Film, Documentary)
  • Robert Ouyang Rusli, composer – Test Pattern (Film)
  • So Yun Um, director – Liquor Store Dreams (Film, Documentary)

“It’s fantastic to see such breadth and depth of talent represented across the film, games and television,” said BAFTA CEO Jane Millichip. “It is a core tenet of BAFTA to provide, not only starter programs, but also the networks and mentoring to accelerate the careers of those who are already on their creative journey, and we were impressed by the skill and commitment already demonstrated by this year’s cohort.”

Added Matthew Wiseman, executive director and head of BAFTA North America: “Breakthrough puts the spotlight on extraordinary people doing extraordinary things in the fields of film, games and TV, at the threshold of ‘breakthrough’ moments or career trajectories. I am very proud of the US cohort in particular, who are movers and shakers at heart, eager to build on their successes, and BAFTA will nurture them over the coming year.”

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