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Bafta has launched a career development bursary and a discounted membership tier for emerging and mid-career creatives.

Bafta president the Duke of Cambridge has lent his name to the bursary that supports people from under-represented groups to break into TV, film and games.

It joins 14 established career development bursaries funded by director Paul Greengrass and a further 27 scholarships – 12 in the UK and 15 in the US.

The Connect membership is aimed at individuals ‘actively building their careers and networks’ in TV, film and games. Examples include writers, directors and producers ‘for hire’ who might have worked on blocks of a series or in a writers’ room, as well as individuals who have recently completed their first commission.

It is also open to craft and technical, editorial, production and post-production roles with at least two broadcast or film credits in the past two years.

The three-year membership costs £120 for people within 60 miles of Bafta’s HQ in London’s Piccadilly or £80 for those living further away, with reduced fees available for disabled people. Members transfer to the regular Bafta membership after the three years elapses.

Full Bafta membership currently costs £495, reducing to £330 for those in the nations and regions.

Meanwhile, the Bafta Elevate scheme will this year target producers working in both scripted and unscripted from minority ethnic and/or low socio-economic backgrounds.

Each of these will receive a bespoke, year-long programme of support including networking opportunities, introductions, mentoring, tailored panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops on professional development.

Graduates of the scheme have included directors Christiana Ebohon-Green, Lisa Clarke and Lindy Heymann and writers Suhayla El-Bushra, Rachel De-Lahay, Tahsin Guner.

Bafta unveiled the initiatives as it opened its redeveloped HQ, which has been configured as a ‘centre of creative excellence’ with a dedicated learning space to house its new talent development programmes.

Chief executive Amanda Barry said: “The initiatives are in direct response to research identifying some of the barriers to opportunity talented people across the country face when trying to pursue careers in the screen industries.

“Our talent development programmes enable those from under-represented groups to access BAFTA’s extensive network of industry professionals to aid their career progression, while our bursaries and scholarships provide vital financial support for recipients who otherwise would not consider a career in film, games or television.”

 

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