BAFTA has launched a career development bursary fund backed by Prince William along with a membership tier for emerging and mid-level creatives as the awards body settles into its redeveloped London home.
Along with the likes of Vigil star and BAFTA mentor Suranne Jones, the Duke of Cambridge attended BAFTA’s redeveloped London offices today for an event kickstarting his fund, which will support up-and-coming film, TV and games professionals who, due to financial reasons, would otherwise not be able to pursue careers in the screen industries.
Prince William, who is BAFTA President, also met with previous recipients of development bursaries to discuss barriers to progression.
Meanwhile, BAFTA has launched a discounted membership tier, Connect, for emerging and mid-level creatives, giving them an opportunity to build a professional network and providing them with additional development opportunities.
Successful applicants require less experience than full members, needing two to four credits as main team practitioners or up to five years’ experience working in films, TV or games commissioned, distributed and shown in the UK.
The moves form part of BAFTA’s attempts to boost the diversity of its membership and BAFTA’s Elevate 2022 scheme will also this year focus on producers from disabled, minority ethnic and lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
“I am hugely proud of BAFTA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that young talent from all walks of life are given every possible opportunity to build and develop successful careers in the film, games and television industries,” said Prince William.
He added that the redevelopment of BAFTA’s 195 Piccadilly home has “created fantastic new learning spaces to ensure that future generations can receive the support they need to thrive.”
Earlier this week, BAFTA announced it will not be giving out honorary prizes at its 2022 film and games awards but will do so for TV as it implements new vetting processes following last year’s Noel Clarke controversy.
Clarke was accused by 20 women of sexual misconduct shortly after receiving the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award, allegations that he denies.