BAFTA announces jury for Breakthrough India 2021

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced this morning, the illustrious list of jury members for its debut BAFTA Breakthrough India initiative.

BAFTA announces jury for Breakthrough India 2021

The jury is chaired by BAFTA Breakthrough India Ambassador, AR Rahman that consists of distinguished professionals from across the film, games and television industries, who came together to select this year’s talented honourees. The initiative, supported by Netflix, had invited candidates pan India to apply for their flagship talent initiative, ‘BAFTA Breakthrough India.’

Due to an overwhelming number of quality applications from the cinema, games and television industries nationwide, the initiative have decided to recognise not five, but ten emerging Indian talents across the three industries. The ten chosen BAFTA Breakthrough India honourees will receive one-to-one mentoring and career guidance, full voting BAFTA membership and assess to BAFTA events and networking opportunities, both in the UK and globally.

Due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, the jury met virtually, bringing together a diverse mix of national and international knowledge across the movie, games and television industries.


The list of 2021 jurors include Music Mastreo AR Rahman (Jury Chair), Anupam Kher (Actor), Charu Desodt (Former BAFTA Breakthrough & Games Producer), Krishnendu Majumdar (BAFTA Chair and TV Producer), Mira Nair (Director/Writer/Producer), Monika Shergill (VP, Content, Netflix India), Shonali Bose (Director/Writer/Producer) and Siddharth Roy Kapur (Founder & Producer at Roy Kapur Films).

While speaking on the occasion, AR Rahman, Ambassador of BAFTA breakthrough India and Jury Chair, said: BAFTA is a platform where artists from around the world, including the best from India, are represented and celebrated, and it’s my honour to be a part of its Breakthrough India jury. There are many creatives in India who are looking to bring their art to the world, to showcase India’s vibrant and diverse culture, but unfortunately, they face traps both mental and external. The opportunity to discuss these blocks, to engage on issues of creativity, to make the right connections, to network and grow, would greatly benefit the plethora of talent we have in our country. Through Breakthrough, we offer artists our knowledge and connectivity, as well as opportunities that will hopefully nurture their craft and help them leave their mark on the world. India is home to incredible artists and I’m proud of us. It’s time we make our names known, it’s time we all shine.”

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive at BAFTA, pointed out: “India has one of the most fascinating creative industries and is home to so many talented film, games and television practitioners. The BAFTA Breakthrough initiative will facilitate meaningful collaborations between creative communities globally and that is the one of most exciting, extraordinary parts of the initiative. We are so excited to be supporting the next generation of talent in India and look forward to working with them and offering unique career development, networking and promotion on a global stage.”

India Foray

Breakthrough India marks BAFTA’s arrival in India, showcasing and propelling the upcoming generation of creative talent in film, games and television globally alongside selected talent from the UK and the US. BAFTA Breakthrough India, launched in November 2020, is BAFTA’s flagship, global new talent initiative that showcases and supports the next generation of creative talent in film, games and television. Previously billed as ‘Breakthrough Brits’, the initiative has been running in the UK since 2013 and in China in 2019, but this year marks the first time the initiative is recognising talent globally across the UK, the US and India.

It has championed over 165 talented newcomers in its history, including actors Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Josh O’Connor, Malachi Kirby, Ray Panthaki and Molly Windsor, reality television producer Coco Jackson, composer Segun Akinola, game producer Dan Gray, and directors Rose Glass, Stella Corradi, Destiny Ekaragha and Michael Pearce. Previous Breakthrough alumni have gone on to flourish within their respective disciplines, with over 50% going on to become BAFTA Winners and Nominees.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, BAFTA Breakthrough India juror said: “There is such depth of talent in India with an incredible diversity of life experience and very often this talent does not find an outlet to shine, without access to those who can facilitate and encourage them. The BAFTA Breakthrough India programme will give emerging talent unprecedented opportunities to connect with and learn from the very best in the world. I was proud to be part of such an intensive, well intentioned and substantive jury deliberation process, with all my fellow jurors having taken the time and effort to review each candidate so closely. The final selection was difficult because there was so much outstanding talent to choose from, but I am incredibly excited with the final list of chosen honourees, each of whom I believe has the ability to make their mark on the global stage in the years to come.”

The final list of honourees will be announced in early May 2021.