In partnership with British Council, BAFTA’s 'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' will launch with BAFTA-nominated director Clio Barnard in July.
London, 24 June: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced 'Brits to Watch: The Screenings', a series of showcase events, in partnership with British Council, that will introduce outstanding British film talent to the US film industry. The series builds on the legacy of BAFTA’s 2011 'Brits to Watch' initiative supported by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at which BAFTA introduced 42 promising British newcomers to leading figures in the US film, television and games industries at a black-tie gala event in Los Angeles.
'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' will be hosted by BAFTA in New York and Los Angeles and will consist of up to six events, replicated in both cities, over 12 months. On each occasion, a British actor, director, writer or producer on the cusp of an international breakthrough will present a sample of recent work to an exclusive audience of film industry professionals. BAFTA will also arrange a number of follow-up meetings for the individuals to meet with key industry figures in both cities.
The series is endorsed by 'Friends of Brits to Watch: The Screenings', a high-profile group of film professionals including: actors Damian Lewis (Homeland) Tom Hiddleston (Avengers Assemble, Midnight in Paris), Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer, Brighton Rock), Simon Pegg(Star Trek, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness, Men in Black 3) and Sienna Miller (The Girl, Interview); director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and the upcoming The World’s End); screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, The Aviator); and writer, director and producer Armando Iannucci (Veep, In The Loop).
The first evening of the series, in July, will feature director Clio Barnard, one of the most talked-about filmmakers at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival with her second film The Selfish Giant, which screened in Directors’ Fortnight and was acquired by Sundance Selects. An established fine artist, Barnard burst onto the independent film scene in 2010 with her debut film, The Arbor, for which she was recognised in 2011 with a BAFTA nomination for ‘Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer’.
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: "'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' is an exciting new chapter in our 'Brits to Watch' initiative, following the gala reception in 2011 attended by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and enables us to offer US film professionals a closer acquaintance with individual British rising stars. We are in a unique position to offer unrivalled opportunities to help British talent make connections with those who have the power to shape and enhance their careers."
Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chair of the BAFTA Los Angeles Film Committee, added: "We're thrilled that Clio Barnard will feature in our very first 'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' showcase. Clio has long shown her prodigious talent as an artist filmmaker, and now, with just two features under her belt, shows extraordinary maturity as a feature filmmaker. This new series is central to BAFTA’s mission to support new talent. Film festivals provide an excellent platform for British talent, but the Academy has identified a need to present promising new voices in a less time-pressured environment to a carefully curated audience."
Harlene Freezer, Chairman of BAFTA New York, added: "Identifying new talent is an electrifying experience. And supporting that talent is extremely rewarding. BAFTA’s new initiative 'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' merges these two aims in a series highlighting the exciting new work of producers, directors, writers and actors coming from the UK. New York is the center for indie films and we are proud to introduce stellar UK talent to the New York filmmaking community."
Briony Hanson, Director of Film at British Council, said: "British Council is very happy to be supporting this series. The UK has an incredibly rich seam of new film talent coming through, and this is a great opportunity to help them connect with the wider international industry."
BAFTA’s 'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' is produced in partnership with British Council with the support of Framestore, Langham Hospitality Group, Soho House and UK Trade & Investment.
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Notes to editors
'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' is being produced as a collaboration between the BAFTA offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.
The initiative is a talent showcase, and the associated screenings are not intended as film previews for press.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, scholarships and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org, and to access the best creative minds in film, TV and games production visit www.bafta.org/guru.
About BAFTA Los Angeles
BAFTA Los Angeles serves as the bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities. Maintaining a long tradition of recognizing the finest filmmaking and television talent, BAFTA Los Angeles hosts a series of events, including the prestigious Britannia Awards, the Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties in January and September and the annual Garden Party. It provides exclusive access to screenings, Q&As with creative talent, produces seminars with leading UK film and television executives and the Heritage Archive, featuring broadcast-quality interviews with distinguished British members of the film and television industries, giving life to the preservation of the UK film industry for future generations.
A commitment to professional and community education is at the heart of the Academy’s charitable remit. BAFTA Los Angeles hosts the Student Film Awards and has an active Scholarship Program offering financial support and mentorship to UK students studying in the U.S. The Academy created The Inner City Cinema, a screening program providing free screenings of theatrical films to inner city areas not served by theatres. The success of Inner City Cinema has led to further free screening programs extended to multiple inner city parks through the Academy’s work with both the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks After Dark) and The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (Teen Summer Camps). For further information, visit http
About BAFTA New York
BAFTA New York is charged with carrying BAFTA’s mission forward in the US. This is accomplished through a vibrant community of senior level professionals based in the New York epicenter of international media production.
BAFTA New York’s annual calendar includes a diverse line-up of programs and events, with over 70 pre-release film screenings, talkbacks with talent, and panels focusing on Industry trends in television, film and multimedia. Educational Outreach is aimed at underserved youth in the NYC schools, and also includes The BAFTA New York Media Scholarship Program established to support undergraduate students pursuing media studies at public institutions located within the New York City area. The 2012-2013 grantee was Hunter College.
BAFTA New York is committed to working in tandem with those who share its commitment to supporting the quality and integrity of the moving image across all platforms. For more information, visit www.bafta.org/newyork.
About British Council
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.
We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose. For more information, please visit www.britishcouncil.org/film.