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BAFTA announces UK and US jury members for BAFTA Breakthrough 2021

26 October 2021

Link to BAFTA Jury images: HERE

Global juries announced with Afua Hirsch, Niamh Algar, Tim Renkow, Rutina Welsey, Bruce Miller and Colin Trevorrow among those determining this year’s BAFTA breakthrough participants,

London, 26 October 2021: 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.

This year, talent will be selected through a panel of cross-industry juries across both the UK and US. The global juries took place virtually with leading figures across the film, games and television industries collaborating and contributing from across the globe. Please find a breakdown below of this year’s Jurors, including previous BAFTA Breakthrough participants; Niamh Algar, Jodie Azhar, Vanessa Whyte and Tim Renkow.

Full list of 2021 UK Jurors:

Ade Rawcliffe – Jury Chair | Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV 
Afua Hirsch – Journalist/Cultural Commentator
Alisa Pomeroy – Senior Commissioning Editor, Factual (Channel 4)
Clare Stewart – Creative Consultant and Festival Director
David P Davis - Executive Producer (Bad Wolf)
Fiona Lamptey – Director of UK Features (Netflix)
Jodie Azhar – CEO and Games Director (Teazelcat Games)
Julia Godzinskaya – Film Producer (Rooks Nest Entertainment, The Witch)
Kharmel Cochrane – Casting Director (Saint Maud)
Molly Emma Rowe – Costume Designer (The Informer)
Peter Hoar – TV Director (It’s A Sin)
Siobhan Reddy – Studio Director (Media Molecule)
Tim Renkow – Writer/Performer (Jerk)
Vanessa Whyte – DOP (Ted Lasso)

Full list of 2021 US Jurors

Niamh Algar Actor (Raised By Wolves)
Laura Berwick - Manager/Producer (Berwick & Kovacik)
Leon Brazil - Art & Animation Director
Ellen Kuras - Director/Cinematographer (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Maria Ishak - Jury Co-Chair | (Head of Content & Coproductions, Asacha Media Group)
Siddhartha Khosla - Composer (This Is Us)
Bruce Miller - Creator/Showrunner (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Karl Stewart - Jury Co-Chair (CEO and Co-founder of Thunder Child)
Colin Trevorrow - Director (Jurassic World: Dominion)
Rutina Wesley - Actor (Queen Sugar)

BAFTA Breakthrough, launched globally in May 2020, is BAFTA’s flagship new talent initiative that identifies and supports the next generation of creative talent in film, games and television. The initiative, previously known as Breakthrough Brits, has been running in the UK since 2013 and in the US and India since the global expansion last year. As the main supporting partner for the third year on BAFTA Breakthrough, Netflix continues to provide 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. The initiative will continue to use digital communications in the coming months to enhance cross-cultural networking across the globe.

BAFTA works closely alongside local cultural bodies in each region to ensure they advise and deliver the necessary support. The successful Breakthrough applicants will receive one-to-one mentoring and career guidance, full membership, access to BAFTA events and screenings for 12 months, as well as networking events, both in the UK and internationally.

Ade Rawcliffe, 2021 BAFTA Breakthrough Jury Chair, said: “BAFTA Breakthrough highlights the incredible breadth of diverse talent entering the creative industries. Now in its second year as a global initiative partnering, we have been treated to nurturing a wealth of incredible work. On a personal note, I was thrilled to once again chair such a distinguished and insightful group of Jurors. We were so impressed with the variety of work we have seen and it only furthers our excitement for the future of these industries. The partnership of BAFTA and Netflix through the Breakthrough initiative is such an important one, especially in helping to champion and guide the upcoming talent and it has been my pleasure to be involved in the project once more.”

2021 BAFTA Breakthrough UK Juror, Afua Hirsch, said, “It has been incredibly exciting to join this year’s BAFTA Breakthrough jury. I have loved exploring the work of this year’s shortlisted recipients spanning film, TV and games – they are an incredibly talented group with unique voices and I look forward to their stories being brought to a wider audience. It’s vital that new talent is championed and BAFTA Breakthrough provides invaluable support for those at a critical point in their career progression.”

2021 BAFTA Breakthrough US Juror, Niamh Algar, said, “It is such an honour to have been asked to join the Breakthrough jury for 2021 after being a BAFTA Breakthrough recipient myself in 2019. I love how the initiative celebrates a wealth of talent from diverse backgrounds, both in front and behind the camera. This year’s shortlisted recipients are immensely talented. They’ve blown us all away.”

Maria Ishak, Jury Co-Chair of BAFTA Breakthrough said: “It has been a pleasure serving another year as co-chair for BAFTA Breakthrough's US Jury with such a diverse group of industry leaders who continue to grow in their respective fields. We loved exploring the work of the shortlist and were impressed by the standard of applications. BAFTA Breakthrough provides essential support to emerging talent and I can’t wait to see what this year’s selected participants will accomplish."

Matthew Wiseman, CEO of BAFTA Los Angeles added: “I am proud of the impact BAFTA Breakthrough USA has had so far, and we are excited to continue nurturing creative talents for this second year. The support of Netflix has been essential to creating a global programme and we are thrilled to continue working with them to champion new talent. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to support emerging artists by providing valuable resources, and opportunities to network and collaborate.”

Colin Trevorrow continues the sentiment saying: “Initiatives such as BAFTA Breakthrough are very important for up-and-coming talent in an industry that can seem impossible to break into. Giving creatives the resources to learn and flourish is invaluable to building careers that last.”

Since its launch in 2013, BAFTA Breakthrough has championed over 160 talented newcomers, including performers Bukky Bakray, Paapa Essiedu, Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Josh O’Connor, Abubakar Salim and Lauren Ridloff, games creatives Chella Ramanan, Segun Akinola, Gemma Langford, and directors Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht, Rose Glass, Stella Corradi and Destiny Ekaragha, amongst many others. 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 who have taken one-to-one meetings to offer development and career advice to participants include actors Olivia Colman, Tilda Swinton, Zawe Ashton, actor-producer Brad Pitt, directors Tom Harper, Barry Jenkins and Asif Kapadia, game designers and developers Brenda Romero, Hideo Kojima, Tim Schafer, actor-writers Sharon Horgan, Amy Schumer and writer-director Amma Asante.

This year’s global participants from both the UK and US will be announced on Wednesday 8 December, with the 2021 and 2022 cohort of participants being celebrated and showcased together in 2022. BAFTA Breakthrough India reopened for applications earlier this month.

For more information about BAFTA Breakthrough, please visit here.


Link to BAFTA Jury images: HERE


A virtual press junket with the 2021 BAFTA Breakthrough recipients will take place on Tuesday 30 November for games, and Wednesday 1 December for film and TV.

To request accreditation for these, please contact: 

Izzy Baker | [email protected] | +447876222779 

Frankie Mendola | [email protected] | +447904456840


To RSVP for the US virtual press junket, please contact:

Susan Engel | [email protected]

Samantha Downey | [email protected]




Notes to Editors

Breakthrough Selection Process

As part of the selection process before reaching Jury stage, applicants are assessed by sector specialists across film, games and television who represent BAFTA’s committees and wider industry network.  In 2021, these industry practitioners included:

In Film

Julie La’Bassiere (awards and PR/marketing consultant), Nainita Desai (composer), Lindsey Drydon (producer), Clare Stewart (creative consultant and festival director), William Oldroyd (director and producer).

 In Games

Jodie Azhar (CEO and game director at Teazelcat Games), Jack Attridge (creative director and Co-Founder at Flavourworks), Liz Mercuri (senior account manager GTPR / PlayStation).


Charlotte Black (Channel 4 director of creative talent networks), Mandy Chang (global head of documentaries, Freemantle), David P Davies (executive producer, Bad Wolf), Sara Putt (deputy chair of BAFTA and chair of the BAFTA television committee) and Daniel Lawrence Taylor (performer and writer).


For press requests and any other enquiries, please contact: 


Dingile Kasote / BAFTA 

E: [email protected] 



Izzy Baker / WDW Entertainment                            Frankie Mendola / WDW Entertainment 

E: [email protected]                            E: [email protected] 



Susan Engel / Rogers & Cowan                        Samantha Downey / Rogers & Cowan

E: [email protected]   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


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