Q. WHAT IS THE ENTRY PROCEDURE?
To apply for Breakthrough UK 2023, please submit a completed online application form, along with your CV, showreel and any required supporting materials by 12pm on Thursday 22 June.
Q. WHO CAN ENTER?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and who satisfies the applicant experience criteria set out below may apply. We ask that you be available for Breakthrough UK announcement activity in Autumn 2023.
Q. I’M NOT BRITISH, CAN I APPLY?
Yes, as long as you have primarily resided in the UK for at least two years and are working in the UK screen industries.
Q. I’m currently living in the UK with Refugee Status but have been here less than 2 years. Can I apply?
Breakthrough UK is open to those living in the UK for less than two years recognised with Refugee Status under UK law. Successful applicants would need be based in the UK for the duration of the programme (October 2023-October 2024)
Q. WHAT ARE THE ENTRY CRITERIA?
We are looking for candidates working in film, games or television who, at the time of application:
- Are aged 18 or over
- Are working in the UK
- Have been primarily residing in the UK for a minimum of 2 years
We welcome applications from all craft areas and particularly practitioners from under-represented groups in the industry, in any role, who have faced barriers to their progression.
In film and TV, candidates must also:
Have a professional credit on a piece of work that has been
- Released theatrically or on a streaming service in the UK
- Broadcast on a UK television channel or released on a streaming service
between 1 June 2022 and 1 September 2023, or is reasonably expected to at the time of application.
Films without a UK theatrical release or SVOD may qualify if they have screened in the Official Selection at a minimum of one international or British film festival between 1 June 2022 and 1 Sept 2023. Eligible festivals are listed below for ease and are based on eligibility for our Outstanding Debut Award.
BRITISH Belfast Film Festival/ Edinburgh International Film Festival/ Glasgow Film Festival/ BFI London Film Festival/ Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Doc/Fest)/ Leeds International Film Festival/ Open City Documentary Festival/ Oska Bright Film Festival
INTERNATIONAL Berlin International Film Festival/ Busan International Film Festival/ Cannes Film Festival/ Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival/ International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam/ Locarno Film Festival/ International Film Festival Rotterdam/ San Sebastián International Film Festival/ Sundance Film Festival/ South by Southwest (SXSW)
Please note that a completed version of your work will need to be available to us by early August for the assessment process.
- Writers, producers, performers and directors working in scripted are eligible if they have completed at least one, but no more than two, projects on which they had a lead or impactful role.
- Practitioners from any other craft area (including producers, directors, series producers, multi-camera and gallery directors, and development producers working in factual and non-scripted) are eligible if they have completed at least one project on which they had a lead or impactful role.
In games, candidates must also:
- Have a professional credit on a piece of work that has been, or was due to have been, published or released in the UK between 01 June 2022 and 01 September 2023, or is reasonably expected to at the time of application.
- Have completed at least one project on which they had a lead or impactful role.
Q. IS THERE AN UPPER OR LOWER AGE LIMIT?
The Initiative is open to candidates aged 18 or over. There is no upper age limit.
Q. DO I HAVE TO PAY?
It is free to apply, be considered and take part in the Breakthrough initiative!
Q. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ‘IMPACTFUL ROLE’?
We recognise the team nature of working in craft and technical areas of games, film and television, and are looking for those individuals who have taken on a key role within a team that has had a significant impact on the outcome of the project. This may not necessarily be the most senior or leading member of the team but someone who has been integral to the project and who has impressed their colleagues with their talent and passion.
Q. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ‘UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS’?
We recognise that applicants from under-represented groups may not have had the same access to opportunity as others to take on lead roles. We therefore accept applications from candidates from under-represented groups, in any discipline, who have taken on a lead or impactful role. We refer to under-represented groups as identified in the BFI Diversity Standards.
Q. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THEATRICAL RELEASE?
As with BAFTA’s Film Awards, films must be exhibited publicly to a paying audience on at least ten commercial screens in the UK for at least seven days in aggregate (not including festival screenings). Your work must have been, or will be released between 01 June 2022 and 01 September 2023, or is reasonably expected to at time of application.
Q. WHAT ABOUT SHORT FILMS?
We expect applicants to Breakthrough UK to be working in feature films, and your breakthrough credit should be as part of a feature. However, we would welcome you to include any short films you have worked on as part of your full body of work to date.
Q. I WORK IN UX IN GAMES. CAN I APPLY?
We accept applications from candidates who work in UX and UI roles in games.
Q. I WORK IN A TEAM; HOW DO WE APPLY TOGETHER?
We welcome applications from teams (maximum of 3 people per team) who truly feel they have had their ‘breakthrough’ together. If you would like to apply as a team, please ask all members of your team to submit their own separate application forms; this is so we have all the information we need from each of you. Please flag that you are applying as part of a team in your application answer and include the name(s) of your team members.
The answers to ‘Why has this been your Breakthrough year?’ and 'How do you feel you would benefit from the Breakthrough UK programme?’ may be the same across all team members. Once all members have all submitted, we will link up the applications our end to ensure they are considered together.
Q. I AM AN AGENT WISHING TO APPLY ON MY CLIENT’S BEHALF; IS THIS POSSIBLE?
We ask that all candidates to Breakthrough UK answer the key application questions themselves and use their own details on the site. Agents may however of course administrate the application on their client’s behalf
Q. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM MY SHOWREEL?
Showreels should showcase your work and experience to date. They should include material from your lead or head of department role. All work should be clearly labelled on screen please!
Q. HOW LONG CAN MY SHOWREEL BE?
Total running time for showreels may be up to 5 minutes. Longer showreels will be accepted by our system but the Jury may choose to watch only 5 minutes of your showreel.
Q. I’M A WRITER; DO I NEED TO SUBMIT A SHOWREEL?
As a writer for the screen, we do need to see examples of your work as it appears thereon. Writers are also asked to submit a script extract of no more than 10 pages for Jury review.
Q. I WORK IN GAMES; DO I NEED TO SUBMIT A SHOWREEL?
We recognise that individuals working in certain disciplines, such as games, do not routinely have traditional showreels so we also accept:
- Gameplay videos
- Vlogs of you discussing your work
Showreels are used to give the Jury a sense of your work to date; they do not have to be flashy!
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I EXPERIENCE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WHEN UPLOADING?
Please email [email protected] and someone will assist you.
Q. WHEN DO APPLICATIONS OPEN?
We open for applications at 12pm on Thursday 11 May.
Q. WHEN DO APPLICATIONS CLOSE?
The deadline to submit an application is 12pm on Thursday 22 June.
Q. I WORK IN THE INDUSTRY. HOW DO I RECOMMEND SOMEONE ELSE?
Breakthrough UK is an open call out for talented individuals working across film, games and television. All candidates must fully complete the application form in order to be considered for the initiative.
We do not check the eligibility of recommended candidates; it is their responsibility to review the application information and decide if they would like to apply.
If you would like to suggest someone for Breakthrough UK you can provide us with their details here. Please ensure that you have their permission to share their contact details before doing so. We will then contact them to invite them to apply directly.
A recommendation, or lack thereof, will not be considered as part of the judging process and candidates suggested by their peers, but who then fail to submit a fully completed application form by the deadline, will not be eligible for consideration.
Q. I AM CURRENTLY A PARTICIPANT ON BAFTA ELEVATE, AM I ABLE TO APPLY FOR BREAKTHROUGH TOO?
No, unfortunately BAFTA Breakthrough is not open to current participants of BAFTA Elevate.
Q. I HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED AS A POTENTIAL CANDIDATE. DO BAFTA CHECK THE ELIGIBILITY OF RECOMMENDED CANDIDATES BEFORE INVITING THEM TO APPLY?
We do not check the eligibility of recommended candidates. All such candidates are informed that an industry professional has recommended them and are invited to apply directly by BAFTA. It is then the responsibility of each candidate to read all the information provided thoroughly, check their eligibility and choose to apply if they are interested in the opportunity and feel they meet the requirements.
Q. WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE BEEN SELECTED?
BAFTA will contact you in October 2023 if you have been selected as a Breakthrough. The successful candidates will be announced in November 2023.
Q. WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT REQUIRED FROM ME?
By entering the Initiative you declare that you are able to attend the Breakthrough UK announcement as required and will take part in any subsequent events and mentoring sessions if you are selected until November 2024. You also agree to be named in the media and to participate in promotional and press activities before, during and after the event, including:
- Promotional Photoshoot on 21 and 22 October 2023
- Media interviews
- Other photo opportunities
Q. HOW DO I WITHDRAW MY APPLICATION?
You may withdraw your application at any time by emailing [email protected].