bafta breakthrough

Source: Screen International/Peter Searle

Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, Tamara Lawrance

UK producer Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor and actor Tamara Lawrance are among 34 emerging talents from the film, TV and games industry selected for the 2020 edition of Bafta Breakthrough, the British Academy’s new talent initiative.

The initiative, which has been running since 2013, expands to the US for the first time, with 23 of the selected participants hailing from the UK and 11 from the US.

Blue Story producer Gharoro-Akpojotor and Small Axe actor Lawrance are two of five participants who were previously named Screen UK and Ireland Stars of Tomorrow, in 2020 and 2018 respectively. The other three are hair and makeup designer Bethany Swan (2020) and writer-directors Rubika Shah (in 2017) and Aleem Khan (in 2015).

A global jury of professionals from multiple disciplines of the arts made the selection. Jurors included actors Paapa Essiedu and Fiona Shaw, director Amma Asante, and Edward Enniful, editor-in-chief at fashion magazine British Vogue.

Netflix is a supporting partner on the scheme.

Bafta Breakthrough 2020


  • Abigail Dankwa, multi-camera director
  • Aleem Khan, writer-director
  • Ali Tocher, game audio designer
  • Amir El-Masry, actor
  • Ben Sharrock & Irune Gurtubai, writer directors, actor
  • Bethany Swan, hair and makeup designer
  • Bim Ajadi, director
  • Bukky Bakray, actor
  • Catherine Unger, writer-artist
  • Chella Ramanan, writer-designer
  • Claire Bromley, external game producer
  • Jordan Hogg, director
  • Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, producer
  • Lea Schönfelder, lead game designer
  • Linn Waite & Kate Byers, producers
  • Rina Yang, cinematographer
  • Rubika Shah, writer-director
  • Ruka Johnson, costume designer
  • Tamara Lawrance, actor
  • Tim Renkow, writer-actor
  • Youssef Kerkour, actor


  • Aadip Desai, writer
  • Arnaldo Licea, game designer
  • Edson Oda, writer-director
  • Ekwa Msangi, writer-director
  • Fernando Reyes Medina, multiplayer designer
  • Gene Back, composer
  • Jim LeBrecht, director
  • Lauren Ridloff, actor
  • Mary Kenney, game writer
  • Nicole Newnham, director
  • Shannon DeVido, actor
  • Screen unveils the 2020 Stars of Tomorrow