The South Asian Participants of BAFTA Breakthrough 2021

BAFTA has unveiled its UK and US Breakthrough participants for 2021. We present the participants from South Asian backgrounds.

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"they will benefit from support at a critical point"

BAFTA has unveiled the UK and US Breakthrough participants for 2021.

The 36 participants are must-watch creatives from film, gaming and television.

They were selected by a cross-industry global jury composed of leading industry professionals, including Afua Hirsch, Niamh Algar and Tim Renkow alongside Breakthrough Jury Chairs Ade Rawcliffe, Maria Ishak and Karl Stewart.

The 36 participants will receive professional development and global networking opportunities from BAFTA, with the support of Netflix.

Netflix supports BAFTA Breakthrough in the UK, US and India, providing integral support in the global expansion.

BAFTA and Netflix share a joint vision to celebrate and provide opportunities for emerging talent across the world, bringing together international communities across global networks, in order to develop and support stories and voices from different cultures.

Among the 36 participants are several creatives from a South Asian background.

Ellora Torchia

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Ellora Torchia was born in the UK to an Italian father and an Indian-South African mother.

She initially trained as a boxer before moving into entertainment.

Her first main role was in the TV series The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Ellora has gone on to star in the likes of Channel 4’s Indian Summers and Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands.

On the film front, some of Ellora’s work includes the French film Les Cowboys and Ali & Ava.

Rajita Shah

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Film producer Rajita Shah has produced a number of short films including the 2009 movies Jubilee and Ladoo.

She also directed Ladoo, which tells the story of a young deaf boy named Suni, who delivers ladoos for a shop his father works for before he goes to school.

One day, he decides to steal money and his journey takes viewers into the world of cricket, fairy tales, first love and gives the audience a glimpse of a society bound by class, money and greed.

Her last project was the 2020 film, Love Sarah.

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA,said:

“Congratulations to each and every one of our Breakthrough recipients, both in the US and UK.

“These 36 individuals, as chosen by our industry juries, have demonstrated extraordinary creativity in film, games, and television.

“As part of this initiative, I am absolutely delighted that they will benefit from support at a critical point in their careers, peer-to-peer networking opportunities and industry meetings.

“As a global arts charity, it was a key, and exciting, move for BAFTA in 2020 to bring US talent into the Breakthrough initiative.

“With the help of Netflix, we are delighted to be a part of these talented individuals’ next steps.”

Matthew Wiseman, Executive Director and Head of BAFTA North America said:

“We are especially proud of our US participants and are happy to welcome them to our BAFTA community here in America, as well as providing opportunities to connect them with Breakthrough participants in the UK and India.

“Throughout the program, we will endeavour to help participants identify and overcome barriers to progression as well as providing them with opportunities to network and be coached by some of the best in the business.

“There is no doubt that this group consists of innovators eager to build on their current success.”

Tendo Nagendra, Vice President, Netflix Film said:

“At Netflix, we recognise the importance of supporting the most innovative, and creative minds of the future and this year’s BAFTA Breakthrough cohort is exceptional.

“Many congratulations to the 36 recipients – we are incredibly proud to play a part in the next phase of your career.”

The full list of BAFTA Breakthrough 2021 participants includes:

UK (24)

  • Aaron Reid, Cinematographer – Stephen
  • Aisha Bywaters, Casting Director – We Are Lady Parts
  • Alex Kanaris-Sotiriou, Creative Director/Lead Developer – Röki
  • Ana Naomi De Sousa, Director – Naseem, Fight with Grace
  • Ashley Francis-Roy, Director – Damilola: The Boy Next Door
  • Chad Orororo, Sound Editor/Mixer – Pele
  • David Proud, Director/Writer – Coronation Street
  • Elle Osili-Wood, Presenter – Special Characters
  • Ellora Torchia, Performer – In the Earth
  • Gemma Hurley, Writer – Host
  • George Robinson, Performer – Sex Education
  • Georgi Banks-Davies, Director – I Hate Suzie
  • Heather Basten, Casting Director – The Origin
  • Helen Jones, Producer – Censor
  • Joanna Haslam, Design Director – Family Feud
  • Jo Jackson, Sound Editor/Mixer – Radioactive
  • Kirsty Gillmore, Production Voice Director – Destruction AllStars
  • Laure De Mey, Programmer – Assemble With Care DLC
  • Lydia West, Performer – It’s A Sin
  • Lyttanya Shannon, Director – Subnormal: A British Scandal
  • Mdhamiri Á Nkemi, Editor – Life in a Day
  • PC Williams, Costume Designer – We Are Lady Parts
  • Prano Bailey-Bond, Director/Writer – Censor
  • Rajita Shah, Producer – Love Sarah

US (12)

  • Anna Franqueso-Solano, Cinematographer – The Farewell
  • Bao Nguyen, Director, Documentary – Be Water
  • Cheyenne Ford, Production Designer – Shiva Baby
  • Dominique Nieves – Writer/Director – Our Lady Lupe
  • Ember Lab: Joshua Grier. Mike Grier, Hunter Schmidt, Games – Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Hikari, Writer/Director – 37 Seconds
  • Orlando Perez Rosso, Composer – Allen V, Farrow
  • Sarah Lampert, Writer – Ginny & Georgia
  • Siqi Song, Animator – All In A Day’s Work
  • Stephanie Economou, Composer – Jupiter’s Legacy

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”