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BAFTA Names Writers From Under-represented Groups for BAFTA Elevate 2018

28 June 2018
Event: BAFTA Elevate Launch Date: Wednesday 27 June 2018Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London-Area: Group ShotBAFTA/Jamie Simonds

The bespoke initiative will support 18 experienced writers to progress onto the next stage of their careers

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has revealed the names of the 18 writers it will be supporting for the next 12 months through BAFTA Elevate, a bespoke programme that aims to elevate individuals from under-represented groups to the next stage of their career. The participants, who include a BAFTA winner and nominees, were welcomed at a reception on Wednesday evening (27 June), attended by leading film and television executives.

The BAFTA Elevate 2018/19 writers programme participants are:

  • Bisha Ali
  • Clare McQuillan
  • Dominique Moloney
  • Emma Reeves
  • Faryal Velmi
  • Grace Ofori-Attah
  • ​Janice Okoh
  • Javone Prince
  • Karissa Hamilton-Bannis
  • Lisa Hammond & Rachael Spence
  • Rachel De-Lahay
  • Sarah Farinha 
  • Sian Harries
  • Smita Bhide
  • Suhayla El-Bushra
  • Tahsin Guner
  • Tyrell Williams

Detailed biographies of the writers are available here.

The Elevate Programme is a key BAFTA initiative helping to shape an inclusive and diverse workforce within the UK film and television industries. Following the success of the inaugural Elevate programme for female directors in 2017, this year BAFTA invited applications from talented screenwriters who are facing career obstacles, based on their background or circumstances and are therefore under-represented in their field. The areas of under-representation considered include disability, gender, race and people from lower socio-economic groups.

This carefully selected group of 18 writers was chosen by a panel of industry experts from almost 200 applicants. Each has an impressive portfolio of work and on-screen credits which have garnered awards, the respect of the industry and critical acclaim. Over the next 12 months they will benefit from networking opportunities, introductions, mentoring, tailored panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops to help them achieve their career goals.

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “I am delighted that BAFTA continues to play a vital role in addressing under-representation within our industry. By championing these screenwriters, BAFTA is showcasing incredible British talent and providing them with the tools to progress and sustain successful careers in film and television, and providing a bridge between those who want to hire and those wanting to be hired.”

Mariayah Kaderbhai, Film Programme Manager at BAFTA, said “Last year’s Elevate initiative recognised the achievements and talents of 15 phenomenal directors. Elevate provided a platform for them so that the film and television industries, here in the UK and internationally, were made aware of their work. This year we hope to do the same with these incredibly talented writers, and showcase the breadth and diversity that British screenwriting has to offer.”

Notes to Editors:

BAFTA Elevate was informed by the findings of a research report, commissioned by BAFTA in partnership with Creative Skillset and the BFI, that examined the career success factors of film, games and television practitioners from under-represented groups. To read the report, published in February 2017, visit

In 2017, the first year of the initiative, BAFTA supported 15 experienced female directors who have since secured additional directing credits on feature films and television shows in the UK and US.  For details of the 2017 participants visit:

For further information please contact:

Lisa Richards at BAFTA
T: +44 (0)20 7292 5863
E: [email protected]

Niyi Akeju at BAFTA
T: +44 (0)20 7292 5865
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