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BAFTA announces the Breakthrough Brits of 2018


- Nineteen breakthrough talents have been named as the UK’s most promising stars in film, games and television

BAFTA announces the Breakthrough Brits of 2018
Some of the 2018 Breakthrough Brits: (l-r) game developer Jay Armstrong, writer-director Lucy Cohen, writer-director Daniel Kokotajlo, co-founder and COO Lottie Bevan, and director Michael Pearce (© BAFTA/Phil Fisk)

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced 2018’s Breakthrough Brits, comprising the UK’s most promising future stars of film, games and television.

Breakthrough Brits is BAFTA's flagship initiative that identifies and supports the next generation of British creative talent. Selected by a jury of industry experts after a UK-wide open call for nominations and applications, the 2018 Breakthrough Brits will be supported by BAFTA over the next 12 months as they progress their careers. 

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This year’s honourees will be celebrated at a reception attended by leading figures in the creative industries on Wednesday 7 November, at BAFTA.

To qualify as a film director, you must have made one feature-length film that has been distributed either in cinemas or on VoD, or broadcast on television. 

Director Lucy Cohen, who made the documentary Kingdom of Us [+see also:
film profile
, said of being honoured, “It has come at a great time, as it helps keep the momentum going for my next project. I am at the development stage with my first narrative fiction now, and there is a lot for me to learn about this new world, so it’s a great scheme in terms of guidance and people to talk to.” 

Michael Pearce, who made Beast [+see also:
film review
interview: Michael Pearce
film profile
, stated, “It takes so long – decades, even – to break in, and so it’s great to get recognition from BAFTA. They create a platform for you in terms of support and mentoring, and for that to come just as you’ve made a piece of work and are looking to make what I’ve been told is the hardest film, the second film, is just fantastic.”

Daniel Kokotajlo, who made Apostasy [+see also:
film review
film profile
, explained that although there is no cash prize, they “do offer a little bursary as well, in case you want to meet a mentor”. 

Documentarian Ellena Wood said, “I would quite like to meet some cinematographers because I’ve been shooting my own documentaries, and to get tips on how to improve would be so helpful.”

Since the launch of the initiative in 2013, previous Breakthrough Brits have gone on to be recognised at BAFTA’s awards ceremonies, including 2018 BAFTA winners Molly Windsor (Best Leading Actress for Three Girls), Daisy May Cooper (Best Female Performance for This Country) and Tom Davis (Best Comedy Entertainment Programme for Murder in Successville). 2016 Breakthrough Brit honouree Florence Pugh was nominated for the 2018 EE Rising Star Award.

Here is the full list of BAFTA Breakthrough Brits in 2018:

Adrienne Law – games producer
Annie Price
– presenter
Chris Walley
– actor
Daniel Kokotajlo – writer-director
Daniel Lawrence Taylor
– actor-writer
Ellena Wood
– director
Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
– producer
Harry Nesbitt
– artist and game developer
Jay Armstrong
– game developer
Jessica Barden
 – actress
John Campbell and Katie Goode – technical director and creative director
Lucy Cohen – writer-director
Luisa Omielan – comedian
Lottie Bevan – co-founder and COO
Michael Pearce – director
Paapa Essiedu – actor
Ria Zmitrowicz – actress
Vanessa Whyte – cinematographer

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