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BAFTA announces new initiatives to improve access to creative careers as part of visit by The Duke of Cambridge

27 January 2022
Event: Scholarship & Bursary Recipients Visit BAFTA 195 PiccadillyDate: Thursday 27 January 2021Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London-Area: ReportageBAFTA/Scott Garfitt
  • BAFTA President, The Duke of Cambridge visited BAFTA to hear more about its ongoing support to develop the next generation of talent
  • BAFTA launches new career development bursary fund in the name of HRH The Duke of Cambridge
  • A new tier of BAFTA membership announced for emerging and mid-level professionals
  • BAFTA Elevate to advocate and aid the progression of producers in film and television who are disabled, from minority ethnic backgrounds and low-socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly redeveloped as a centre of creative excellence with a new dedicated learning space to enable an expansion of the arts charity’s learning and new talent development programmes

During a visit from its President, The Duke of Cambridge, BAFTA today announced plans to supercharge its support of talented individuals from under-represented groups wishing to pursue a career in the film, games and television industries. Informed by ongoing research with industry practitioners from under-represented groups on the barriers to progression in the screen industries, BAFTA unveiled plans for the new Prince William BAFTA Bursary fund which is aimed at talented individuals who, due to financial reasons, would otherwise not be able to pursue careers in the screen industries.   

To launch this next phase of BAFTA’s enhanced learning and new talent programmes and to mark the reopening of BAFTA’s newly redeveloped headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, The Duke of Cambridge today met with a group of beneficiaries of BAFTA’s initiatives.  The Duke discussed the importance of mentoring support with BAFTA mentors Suranne Jones (BAFTA winning actor and mentor) and presenter Annie Price (mentor and BAFTA Breakthrough 2018) and their mentees Lily Blunsom-Washbrook and Roxanne McKenzie. His Royal Highness also met with Prince William Scholars and career development bursary recipients to learn more about the barriers to progression and the importance of interventions that provide access to the screen industries.  He also played a game created by Young Game Designers Finalist, Harry Petch.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of BAFTA, said: “I am hugely proud of BAFTA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that young talent from all walks of life are given every possible opportunity to build and develop successful careers in the film, games and television industries. The redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly has created fantastic new learning spaces to ensure that future generations can receive the support they need to thrive.”

BAFTA also announced that BAFTA Elevate, an established year-long programme of bespoke support and activity, will open this year to producers (scripted and non-scripted) working in film and television who are disabled, from minority ethnic backgrounds and from low-socioeconomic backgrounds.

For emerging and mid-level professionals, BAFTA announced Connect, a new discounted tier of membership that will provide an opportunity to build a professional network and access BAFTA’s membership benefits at an earlier career stage.

These initiatives are informed by ongoing research which points to the importance of financial support, guidance and peer to peer networking in early career stages and across all crafts and departments in the film, games and televisions industries.

Amanda Berry OBE, BAFTA Chief Executive said: “The initiatives we are announcing today are in direct response to research identifying some of the barriers to opportunity talented people across the country face when trying to pursue careers in the screen industries. Our talent development programmes enable those from under-represented groups to access BAFTA’s extensive network of industry professionals to aid their career progression, while our bursaries and scholarships provide vital financial support for recipients who otherwise would not consider a career in film, games or television. For the first time we are introducing a new tier of membership that will open up our organisation to a wider range of creative talent, and at an earlier stage of their careers.  We are indebted to BAFTA’s President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, for his ongoing support of our work and for joining us today at 195 Piccadilly.” 

Krishnendu Majumdar, BAFTA Chair of the Academy said: “As we kick start the year of BAFTA’s 75th anniversary I'm excited for what BAFTA will be able to accomplish over the next 12 months. Not only because we are able to reopen our home at 195 Piccadilly, which has doubled in size and capacity, but because it will enable us to inspire and support more talented people and showcase the impact BAFTA’s charitable work has on so many people across the UK and globally.  I'm incredibly grateful to BAFTA President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge for his continued support of our initiatives such as Elevate, Young Game Designers and our mentorship programmes as they are vital in enabling young people and emerging talent from underrepresented groups to access the screen arts.  In the lead up to the sparkle of Awards season, what better time than now to give BAFTA’s learning and new talent programmes centre stage.”

BAFTA winning actor and mentor Suranne Jones added: “If you want to find your footing in the arts, BAFTA’s unique approach of harnessing the industry to support emerging talent can be invaluable.  As young as 8, I dreamed of becoming an actor, but I didn't begin my professional career until the age of 16. A lot of young people in creative fields who don’t have family connections in the industry don't know where to turn for help or advice and I resonate with their stories in that sense. Behind the scenes and beyond the awards, there is a lot of good work being done to level the playing field for creatives from all walks of life and I'm delighted to play my part in my role as a BAFTA mentor.”


For further information, contact:

Dingile Kasote, Press Officer

T: +44 (0)20 7292 5863

E: [email protected]


Notes to editors

Photography from the event will be made available via the Press Association.


As President of BAFTA, The Duke of Cambridge has showed long-standing support for the arts charity including its learning and new talent initiatives. A bursary fund in his name will support upcoming film, games, and television professionals, who at a pivotal stage in their careers, may not have the financial resources to confidently pursue their passion. 

The bursary fund will join a range of BAFTA initiatives for early career support. Last year, BAFTA awarded 27 scholarships in total, 12 in the UK and an additional 15 in North America as well as 14 career development bursaries funded by Paul Greengrass. In addition to financial support, our mentoring support, and apprenticeship training plays a part in how BAFTA provides year-round support for talented individuals.

BAFTA's year-round fundraising to support these learning and development initiatives is ongoing.


Connect will offer discounted membership to emerging and mid-level creatives, giving them an opportunity to build a professional network and, at a crucial stage of their careers, provide them with additional development opportunities. This selection will help to shape the future of BAFTA’s voting membership as well as potential nominees and future leaders across the film, games and television industries.

The eligibility criteria is in line with full membership, with a key difference being the level of experience required.  Successful applicants for Connect will have 2-4 credits as main team practitioners, in the industry up to a mid-level career point in film, games or television, or up to 5 years’ professional experience directly related to one or more of the following:

Films commissioned, distributed and exhibited in the UK
Games made and distributed in the UK
Television programming and content made, broadcast or streamed in the UK

For more information on Connect visit


Since 2017, BAFTA Elevate has supported directors, writers and actors from underrepresented groups to progress in film and television. This year, Elevate is seeking to support producers (scripted and non-scripted) who will be selected by a jury of industry experts. Successful applicants will receive a bespoke, year-long programme of support including networking opportunities, introductions, mentoring, tailored panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops on professional development.

Elevate has championed over 50 talented practitioners, including actors Amir El-Masry (Limbo), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard), Tommy Jessop (Line of Duty), writers Suhayla El-Bushra, Rachel De-Lahay, Tahsin Guner and directors, Christiana Ebohon-Green, Lisa Clarke and Lindy Heymann. Previous Elevate alumni have gone on to flourish within their respective disciplines, some becoming BAFTA winners and nominees. With thanks to partners of BAFTA Elevate in 2022.

The redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly will enable BAFTA to dramatically increase this support. It has been funded by the film, games and television industries, individual philanthropists, trusts and foundations and public funding – see the full list of supporters here and thanks to our Official Suppliers. The redevelopment has doubled the building’s capacity, installed state-of-the-art technology throughout and created an entire floor devoted to BAFTA’s learning and new talent programmes.


BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - 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 more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).