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BAFTA Los Angeles Announces the 2017-18 Newcomers Program Participants

28 July 2017
Final Final Newcomers Spotlight Slide 2017-18

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA Los Angeles) announced last night the participants of its 2017-2018 Newcomers Program.

Now in its 10th year, the program fosters new global collaborations by supporting rising UK practitioners who have recently moved to Los Angeles to further their development and career.

The Newcomers Program is a key component to BAFTA’s international activity.  The program recognizes the long and fruitful legacy of UK talents moving to the US to expand their knowledge, develop their skills, and expand their network of peers. BAFTA Los Angeles sees its Newcomers as the next wave of film, games, and television professionals who will go on to continue the tradition of successful collaborations between the US and UK industries.

“We are thrilled to be recognizing such a diverse cross-section of talent among this year’s Newcomers,” said Chantal Rickards, CEO of BAFTA Los Angeles.  “Today’s industry is built upon many years of successful, international collaborations and so BAFTA is proud to support this year’s talented group and look forward to seeing everything that they have to offer.”

A two-year initiative, this year’s group contains 31 participants, including 8 Actors, 7 Directors, 6 Producers, 3 Composers, 2 Art Directors, 2 Screenwriters, 1 Agent, 1 Executive and 1 Publicist.  These recipients are divided into two groups – one group that is entering their first year in the program, and the other entering its second. 

Below is the full list of Newcomers:


  1. Abby Ajayi, Screenwriter
  2. Sicily Cronin, Film Publicist
  3. Nicholas Horton, Development Producer
  4. Louise Houghton, TV Presenter, Journalist, Actress
  5. Kitty Kaletsky, Producer
  6. Sohm Kapila, Actress
  7. Wing Hang (Peter) Lam, Composer
  8. Adam Linzey, Writer/Director/Cinematographer
  9. Luca Malacrino, Actor
  10. James McNamara, Screenwriter
  11. James McWilliam, Composer & Orchestral Arranger
  12. Alicia Sadler, TV Producer, Shooter, Stylist
  13. Fagun Thakrar, Actress/Producer
  14. Iesh Thapar, Writer/Director
  15. Emma Weston, Student – USC, MFA in Film/TV Production, Art Direction 


  1. Carina Birrell, Actor
  2. Andy Blackburn, Director
  3. Marcus Chan, Screenwriter/Director
  4. Menik Gooneratne, Actor
  5. Ben Gutteridge, Screenwriter/Director
  6. Heather Harris, Director
  7. Guy Hepworth, Product Manager - Hulu
  8. Ruaraidh Hunter, Agent
  9. Anna Jones, Screenwriter/Director
  10. Gavin Laing, Producer
  11. James Longman, Producer
  12. Gary McMonnies, Art Director
  13. Alex Polunin, Producer
  14. Nicola Posener, Actor
  15. Emily Rice, Composer
  16. Emma West, Actor 

Full details are available online at:

This initiative bolsters BAFTA Los Angeles’ work within the Access for All campaign, a commitment to ensuring that talented individuals are offered a clear pathway to careers in the entertainment industry, uninhibited by background, demographics or personal circumstance. The campaign also includes scholarship, education and community initiatives, allowing the organization to discover, support and nurture talented professionals.

For further information:
Elyse Weissman at SLATE PR
[email protected]


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit For more, visit

Founded in 1987, BAFTA Los Angeles serves as a bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities. Its commitment to professional and community education is at the heart of all activity, including an award-winning community outreach programme, screenings, seminars, Behind Closed Doors series, Q&As, scholarships for British students studying in the US, a Newcomers Program for emerging British talents working in the US, and a Heritage Archive project that preserves in-depth interviews with the industry's leading talents for future generations. BAFTA Los Angeles celebrates and promotes excellence through its annual Britannia Awards, Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties and the Student Film Awards.

BAFTA Los Angeles is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation and relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing work.