Oscar and Grammy-winning Indian composer AR Rahman has been roped in as ambassador of the BAFTA Breakthrough initiative in India. "I am happy to be working with BAFTA to discover some of the amazing talent that India has to offer in film, games and television," Rahman said.
"This is a unique opportunity for promising artistes to be supported by a world-renowned organisation, to not only make connections with other talented creatives across the world but to be mentored by BAFTA-winners and nominees. I am looking forward to seeing the brilliant talent chosen from India to be showcased on a global stage," he added.
The initiative marks BAFTA's first steps into India. The talent hunt initiative will enable the Academy to identify and nurture up to five talents working in film, games, or television in India. The exercise, known as BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, is part of the Academy's year-round effort to support new talent, operating alongside their Awards ceremonies.
"I am also incredibly grateful for the invaluable support of our brilliant ambassador AR Rahman, an industry leader in his creative work and someone who shares our passion for identifying and nurturing new talent. He is well positioned to support the initiative, with his broad spectrum of work drawing recognition across Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu films, which will help BAFTA to appeal to a wide section of the industry," said Amanda Berry, Chief Executive of BAFTA.
On Monday, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) shared that the applications are now open for BAFTA Breakthrough India, supported by Netflix.
As part of the initiative in India, a jury of British and Indian industry experts will select five talents from across India to take part in the year-long mentoring and guidance program. The chosen talent will also connect with and learn from the British and Indian creative industries, and will be promoted as BAFTA Breakthrough artistes globally.
BAFTA Breakthrough has been running in the UK since 2013 and in China since 2019, but this year marks the first time the initiative is recognising talent from India. The jurors for Breakthrough India are still to be announced.