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BAFTA caps off the first year of its expanded Learning, Inclusion, and Talent programs in North America by announcing the BAFTA-Yugo Short Film Commissioning Grant recipient.

19 December 2022

Over 200 individuals in North America now directly supported by BAFTA through mentorship, student programs, financial aid, and professional career development.

Los Angeles, December 19, 2022: BAFTA is pleased to announce the BAFTA-Yugo Short Film Commissioning Grant of $12,000 USD will be awarded to third year BAFTA Newcomer and Italian writer-producer Federica Belletti for her film “Arya.” The commissioning grant, which supports a short film project about the wellbeing of 15 to 25-year-olds on screen, caps off a year focused on BAFTA’s expanding Learning, Inclusion and Talent programs in North America.

“We are committed to doing all we can to help remove the barriers that talented people from all walks of life face when entering and developing a career in our industry. From grassroots programs in local schools, to international student competitions, it is vital we create opportunities to inspire new voices and help shape the future of our industry,” said BAFTA’s Matthew Wiseman, Executive Director and Head of North America. “Initiatives like the BAFTA-Yugo Commissioning Grant are important to our mission as an arts organization, and we are so delighted to be able to conclude a productive year by providing financial support to this important project.”

In 2022, BAFTA partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District to host a 10-week virtual internship program, further solidifying BAFTA’s commitment to offering talented individuals with a clear pathway to careers in the entertainment industry. Additionally, BAFTA welcomed 15 Los Angeles residents to its inaugural Vance Byrd Mentorship Program – a four-year program that supports talented, underserved students across Los Angeles as they transition from high school to college. This year alone, BAFTA also dispersed $117k in financial aid through scholarships in the US.

The Yugo BAFTA Student Awards in July celebrated the next generation of talented filmmakers and creatives from around the globe and recognized films in categories including Animation, Documentary and Live Action, and the newly introduced Games and Immersive categories, As one of BAFTA’s most international  initiatives, the 2022 winners were selected from a record-breaking 715 submissions by students from film schools in 36 countries.

This year marks the fourth BAFTA-Yugo Short Film Commissioning Grant highlighting short film projects about mental health and student wellbeing. Belletti’s winning film was selected by the BAFTA-Yugo Grant Jury, comprised of Global Brand and Marketing Director at Yugo Abby Bentley, filmmakers and founders of 271 Films Constanza and Doménica Castro, producer and co-founder of LatinX in Animation Bryan Dimas, producer and BAFTA member Marianne Gray, VP of Acquisitions and Development at Film Mode Entertainment and BAFTA member Lydia Ianni, 2020 commissioning grant recipient Mishal Mahmud, actor and BAFTA member John Pirkis, director Rachel Raimist, actor Danny Ramirez, and TV writer and creator Taneka Stotts. 

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For further information:

Caroline Stegner at Rogers & Cowan PMK

E [email protected]



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).