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BAFTA announces 2020 Jury members for BAFTA Breakthrough

19 October 2020

UK and US Juries announced with Fiona Shaw, Paapa Essiedu, Amma Asante and Edward Enninful among those selecting this year's BAFTA Breakthrough participants

Today, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announces the UK and US Jury members for this year’s BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, supported by Netflix. The leading figures from across film, games and television industries have come together virtually to select this year’s talented recipients.

BAFTA Breakthrough, launched in May 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 known as Breakthrough Brits, the initiative has been running in the UK since 2013 and in China since 2019, but this year marks the first time the initiative is recognising talent globally across the UK, US, India and China.

This year, BAFTA Breakthrough has selected talent through cross-industry juries of leading industry professionals in both the UK and US. These global juries took place over the space of a week with industry leaders contributing from across the globe. The initiative will continue to use digital communications in the coming months to enhance cross-cultural networking across the globe. The successful Breakthrough applicants will then receive one-to-one mentoring and career guidance, full voting membership, access to BAFTA events and networking opportunities, both in the UK and internationally.

This year’s participants from both the UK and US will be announced on Monday 16th November and all global Breakthrough participants will be celebrated and showcased together in 2021. More details about applications opening in India and China will be announced later this year.

2020 BAFTA Breakthrough Juror, Fiona Shaw, said, “It has been a real privilege to sit virtually on the BAFTA Breakthrough jury this year, alongside so many revered industry leaders. I have been blown away by the incredible work being produced. During these unprecedented times, it feels more important than ever to recognise, support and spotlight the incredible wealth of creative talent emerging across the film, television and games industries. These emerging talents are our future and they all have something huge to offer.”

Ade Rawcliffe, 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough Jury Chair, said, “The Breakthrough initiative showcases the enormous wealth of diverse talent breaking into the industry. It is so exciting that this year, with the support of Netflix, the initiative has gone global and BAFTA will be showcasing even more talent. It has been an honour to chair this year’s UK jury, alongside some incredible industry peers. We have been so impressed by the amazing breadth of work we’ve seen and feel excited by the future of the industry, especially after such a challenging year. BAFTA and Netflix play such an important role in nurturing and celebrating the next generation of creative talent, which is more vital now than ever.”

BAFTA Breakthrough, previously known as Breakthrough Brits, has championed over 130 talented newcomers, 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, many becoming BAFTA winners and nominees.

Supporters of the initiative in recent years include actors Olivia Colman, Tilda Swinton, Zawe Ashton, actor-producer Brad Pitt, directors Tom Harper, Barry Jenkins and Asif Kapadia, game designers Brenda Romero and Tim Schafer, actor-writers Sharon Horgan and Amy Schumer.

Netflix is the official supporting partner for BAFTA Breakthrough, in the UK, USA 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. BAFTA will work with local cultural bodies in each territory to provide bespoke support within each region’s unique landscape.

Full list of 2020 UK Jurors:

Ade Rawcliffe - Chair | Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV
Alison Owen - Producer (Saving Mr Banks)
Amma Asante - Filmmaker, screenwriter (A Way Of Life)
Clare Stewart - Festival Director
Dan Grabiner - UK Head of Unscripted at Amazon Studios
Edward Enninful - Editor-In-Chief, British Vogue
Fiona Shaw - Actor (Killing Eve)
Garry Napper - Game Director, Supermassive Games Ltd
Jim Jagger - Director of Animation, Rockstar Games
Jodie Azhar - Games Developer
Kate Townsend - Director, Original Documentary at Netflix
Melissa Johns - Actor (Coronation Street)
Nicole Taylor - Screenwriter (Three Girls)
Rami Ismail - Games Developer (Ridiculous Fishing)
Sara Putt - Craft Agent, Founder of Sara Putt Associates

Full list of 2020 US Jurors:

Bao Nguyen - Director (Be Water)
Cary Fukunaga - Director (Sin Nombre)
John Romero - Games Developer (Empire of Sin)
Kathryn Busby - Co-Chair | Chair of BAFTA LA and Executive Vice President, Development & Programming, Sony Television/TriStar Television
Laura Bailey - Games Performer (The Last of Us)
Louise Chater - Entertainment Strategist
Maria Ishak - Co-Chair | Chair of BAFTA New York and Senior Vice President, North America Sales, all3media
Mary Ramos - Music Supervisor (Django Unchained)
Nicole Stott - Producer (Boys State)
Paapa Essiedu - Actor (I May Destroy You)
Patrick Connolly - Senior Vice President, Programming and Marketing, AMC Networks

Additional quotes from Jurors

Jim Jagger, 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough UK Juror, said, “It’s truly an honour to be involved with the BAFTA Breakthrough initiative. Spanning film, games and TV, BAFTA Breakthrough is a unique window into the future of British entertainment and an incredible opportunity for everyone involved."

Edward Enninful, 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough UK Juror, said: “Following our Breakthrough networking event last year, we’re excited to continue to expand the relationship between BAFTA, Netflix and Vogue, as we are also passionate about supporting new talent. We need an industry that is reflective of the world, one that is inclusive and diverse. Initiatives such as this where people from all backgrounds can be supported by the likes of BAFTA and Netflix are vital for providing equal opportunity. It has been amazing to see such a diverse range of talent coming through and we look forward to celebrating them here at Vogue.”

2020 BAFTA Breakthrough USA Juror, Paapa Essiedu said, "It's been a privilege to serve on the Breakthrough USA Jury in its first year. When first breaking into the industry you always feel like there are doors that you don’t have keys to; but being named a Breakthrough in 2018 gave me the endorsement to believe in myself. You may wonder how this program can impact those selected and I’ll tell you, it can be really transformative.”

"As Jury Co-Chairs, we were honored to serve alongside such an impressive diverse group of leaders in their crafts in our first year of Breakthrough USA. The talent and work we saw from those just making their mark in the industry was truly inspiring," said Breakthrough USA Jury Co-Chairs Kathryn Busby and Maria Ishak. "In what has been an extraordinary year, the support BAFTA and Netflix can provide to the next generation of talent is now more vital than ever and we couldn't be more excited to be expanding the program to the United States.”

Photography is available on 

Headshots and biographies: HERE

A virtual press junket with the 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough recipients will take place in early November. To request accreditation for this, please contact:

Izzy Baker | [email protected] | +447876222779

For press requests and any other enquiries, please contact:


Sophie Dudhill / BAFTA

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Izzy Baker / WDW Entertainment                     Frankie Mendola / WDW Entertainment

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Caroline Stegner / Rogers & Cowan

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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


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