Filmmaker Shonali Bose is one of the jury members of British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Breakthrough India, a talent initiative. She says the year-long talent initiative aims at opening doors for talents across cinema, television and gaming.
“BAFTA Breakthrough coming to India is a huge thing for our young talents because so far BAFTA has done that new talent initiative only in China, the UK and the USA. We have finalised 10 candidates as our breakthrough talents, who are going to get global attention and networking, which is very important for these talents to expand their professional horizon at this stage of their career. These talents will get access to interaction and mentorship from experts of their field internationally,” Sonali informed.
The panel is chaired by AR Rahman and includes prominent names like Mira Nair, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Mavendra Shukul, Monika Shergill, Charu Desodt, and Krishnendu Majumdar.
Elaborating on the process of choosing the best talents, the filmmaker said, “It was quite an interesting process for the jury members to choose the best talent and our parameters were high, the process was rigorous. In fact, we ended up choosing 10 talents instead of 5. All these applicants are talented and deserve the breakthrough now.”
Known for her films like “Amu”, “Margarita With A Straw”, and “The Sky Is Pink”, Shonali has travelled with her films to international platforms such as Toronto International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, and Berlin Film Festival among others.
Asked if BAFTA Breakthrough India would help these talents – especially actors and writers – to find recognition at international film festivals, Shonali replied, “If you are talking about BAFTA Awards that is a different thing. How many times do we get to see an Indian film made by an Indian film director and actors competing for major awards like Golden Globes, Oscars, or BAFTA awards and winning? It is still very hard. It is difficult and very rare.”
“Our films travel to the international film festivals and get recognition at the world stage, though is not new. But these talented people will get access to international mentors for their career guidance. Surely that is a big opportunity for them,” she summed up.
Shonali shared a pic of all the jury members with a caption saying, “I was honored to be one amongst this illustrious jury to select the inaugural BAFTA Breakthrough Talent from India. We (as a country) are truly fortunate to be chosen by BAFTA for this program. The only others, apart from the UK, currently are the US, China and Hong Kong. What was thrilling was to see the explosion of really incredible and diverse talent – many unknown to us. The honorees will be announced early May. We had a blast as a jury and the discussion itself was rich, insightful and enlightening. Go BAFTA’s!”