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BAFTA Announces Breakthrough Brits of 2017

25 October 2017
Event: Breakthrough Brits Launch Date: Wednesday 25 October 2017Venue: Burberry, Regent Street, London-Area: Group ShotsBAFTA/Jamie Simonds

20 standout talents in film, games and television revealed in partnership with Burberry

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the UK’s most promising future stars of film, games and television at an event hosted by Maya Jama this evening at the global Burberry flagship, 121 Regent Street. The 20 new BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, will be supported by BAFTA over the next 12 months as they progress their careers.

The talented newcomers were selected by a jury of industry experts after a UK-wide open call for applications and nominations. Actor and Breakthrough Brits juror Will Poulter said: “I jumped at the chance to be part of the Breakthrough Brits Jury because what I love most about BAFTA as an organisation is that it isn’t just commending people for reaching a certain height in their career. They are also doing so much work to nurture talent and provide people with the opportunity to get to that level.”

At the event, actors Jenna Coleman, Joe Dempsie, Suranne Jones and Vicky McClure revealed that the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits in 2017 are:

  • Adam Vian and Thomas Vian - Game Directors
  • Anna Hollinrake - Games Artist
  • Charlie Cooper and Daisy Cooper  - Writers/Actors
  • Chloë Thomson –  Cinematographer
  • Daniel Fountain - Game Designer
  • Francis Lee - Writer/Director
  • Henry Hoffman - Creative Director (Games)
  • Hope Dickson Leach - Writer/Director
  • Jessie Buckley - Actress
  • Josh O'Connor - Actor
  • Kit Fraser - Cinematographer
  • Lydia Hampson - Producer
  • Mahalia Belo - Director
  • Molly Windsor - Actress
  • Olivia Wood - Games Writer & Editor
  • Sarah Quintrell - Writer
  • Segun Akinola - Composer
  • Susan Wokoma  - Actress

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, identifies the very best emerging talent in film, games and television. As it reaches its fifth year, I am so proud of what the initiative has achieved and the talented people it is has honoured.  Over the next year the Breakthrough Brits will be supported by BAFTA and mentored by some of the industry’s most established professionals. This year's Breakthrough Brits truly represent the diverse range of talents that make up our industries. We’re thrilled to be recognising these individuals this evening.”

BAFTA and Burberry share a vision of celebrating British talent and giving them the tools to develop their skills at the start of their careers, wherever they are in the world. The annual Breakthrough Brits initiative, which was launched in partnership with Burberry in 2013, celebrates and supports the UK’s future stars of film, television and games. Honourees receive one-to-one mentoring, an international travel bursary, guidance sessions and networking opportunities, as well as free access to BAFTA events, for 12 months.

BAFTA-nominated actress and 2016 Breakthrough Brit Ruth Madeley (Don’t Take My Baby) said: "Being part of BAFTA's Breakthrough Brits has been an incredible experience. The initiative has enabled me to meet so many new contacts and learn from my fellow Breakthrough Brits. I feel that my career is still only just taking off and, with BAFTA's help, I am excited to see what the future holds."

Since the launch of the initiative in 2013, previous Breakthrough Brits have gone on to be recognised at BAFTA’s awards ceremonies, including four BAFTA winners: Games producer Daniel Gray and game designer Rex Crowle (as part of the development teams for Monument Valley and Tearaway respectively), screenwriter Dominic Mitchell (In The Flesh) and producer Marc Williamson (The Last Chance School). Games sound designer and 2015 Breakthrough Brit Jessica Saunders also worked on the BAFTA-winning Batman: Arkham Knight (British Game in 2016).

Writer Vinay Patel, who was named a Breakthrough Brit in 2016, received two BAFTA nominations for Murdered by My Father earlier this year. In addition, actor Tom Holland, who was named a Breakthrough Brit in 2013, received the EE Rising Star Award at this year’s British Academy Film Awards.

Figures who have given support to Breakthrough Brits in the past year include: screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame); actor-writer Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer, Trainwreck); director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight); actor David Oyelowo (A United Kingdom, Selma); editor Dody Dorn (Memento, Terminator 2); Ian Livingstone CBE, co-founder of Games Workshop; producer Jeremy Kleiner (The Big Short, 12 Years a Slave); Ukie CEO Jo Twist; actress Julie Walters (Billy Elliot, Educating Rita); actress Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City); screenwriter Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl, The Heart of Me); producer Marc Samuelson (Arlington Road, Wilde); actor Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Imitation Game); actor-writer Meera Syal (The Kumars at No. 42); game designer Mike Bithell (Thomas was Alone, Monstermind); producer Rebecca O’Brien (I, Daniel Blake, The Wind That Shakes the Barley); games writer Rob Yescombe (The Division, Alien: Isolation); director Robert Eggers (The Witch); actor-writers, Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Pulling); cinematographer Sharone Meir (Whiplash, Coach Carter); journalist Stacey Dooley (Stacey Dooley Investigates); game designer Tim Schafer (Broken Age, Psychonauts); and cinematographer Urszula Pontikos (Marcella, Humans).

This year’s initiative is also supported by The Langham London and Audi UK.

For more information about BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, go to:

Notes to Editors:

Biographies of the Breakthrough Brits are available here.

A full list of the Breakthrough Brits jurors in 2017 is available here.

Portraiture of all Breakthrough Brits is available through Camera Press:

Images from the night will be available through Shutterstock: 

For further information, please contact:
Kerry McGlone at freuds
T: (0) 20 3003 6648
E: [email protected]


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit

About Burberry

Founded in 1856, Burberry is a global luxury brand with a distinctive British identity and a heritage of innovation, craftsmanship and design. The Burberry business comprises five divisions: mens, womens, childrens, accessories and beauty. Burberry is headquartered in London and listed on the London Stock Exchange (BRBY.L). Burberry is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Visit for further information.