The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today published a research report, commissioned in partnership with Creative Skillset and the British Film Institute (BFI), that examines the career success factors of film, television and games practitioners from under-represented groups. BAFTA is using the findings to inform several initiatives, which are now open for applications (see them below).
The research, which is the first of its kind, involved interviews with professionals from under-represented groups, as well as interviews and focus groups with employers, heads of departments and talent agents. The resultant report, entitled “Succeeding in the film, television and games industries: Career progression and the keys to sustained employment for individuals from under-represented groups” is available here.
The study found that a number of factors play a part in enabling professionals from under-represented groups to sustain their career, regardless of their role. These include:
— Ongoing learning and skills development;
— Building relationships with potential champions and collaborators;
— Developing strategies to overcome negative experiences.
The research confirmed that company structures, recruitment practices and mind-sets do create additional barriers, but the good news is that employers acknowledged the role that they and the wider industry can play in removing such obstacles. The report concludes by setting out current and planned activity from BAFTA, Creative Skillset and the BFI to support a more diverse workforce over the long term.
Based on the findings, BAFTA is developing new initiatives, practices and policies, and enhancing existing ones, to address the points highlighted. In December, BAFTA announced that it is adding the BFI Diversity Standards to the eligibility criteria for the Outstanding British Film and Outstanding debut by a British Writer, Director of Producer categories of the Film Awards in 2019. The Standards can be applied to on-screen representation, project leadership and industry access, as well as audience development.
Other initiatives from BAFTA include:
— BAFTA Elevate – A new bespoke program that aims to elevate individuals from under-represented groups to the next stage of their career. In 2017 BAFTA Elevate will support a group of female directors seeking to progress in high-end television and feature films. The program will include networking, introductions, mentoring, and expert workshops focused on personal development. BAFTA Elevate is delivered in association with Pia Pressure, a production company that champions female filmmakers. Applications are open now until Monday, March 13 at www.bafta.org/supporting-talent/bafta-elevate.
— BFI NETWORK X BAFTA Crew – BAFTA is working with the BFI to enhance the BAFTA Crew professional network and masterclass program by connecting emerging below-the-line talent from around the UK with writers, directors and producers on the way to making their first feature films. BAFTA Crew involves live and online masterclasses and networking sessions with BAFTA winners and nominees, and actively encourages participation from individuals from under-represented groups. Applications for BFI NETWORK X BAFTA Crew, and for BAFTA Crew Games, open tomorrow (Wednesday, February 8) and close on Wednesday, March 22, at http://guru.bafta.org/opportunities/baftacrew.
— Guru Labs at Guru Live – Aspiring film, TV and games talent with up to one years’ professional experience will have the chance to receive a day of bespoke one-to-one meetings and small gatherings with top industry speakers at BAFTA’s Guru Live event for career starters in May. Guru Live, an extension of BAFTA Guru (www.bafta.org/guru), BAFTA’s online resource, will run from Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7 at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly in London, and will feature masterclasses, panels and keynote talks by professionals including many who are from a group under-represented in their field. Applications for Guru Lab tickets, at a subsidized price of £40, are open now until Wednesday March 1 at http://bit.ly/GuruLabs. Bursaries are available to support travel expenses for applicants in financial hardship.
— BFI NETWORK@FLARE Mentorships in partnership with BAFTA – For a second year, BAFTA will support delivery and provide mentors for BFI NETWORK@FLARE, the LGBT Mentorship Program, which aims to offer emerging Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender-identified filmmakers the opportunity to develop industry knowledge, professional connections, and a deeper understanding of the landscape for LGBT film. The program is structured around a professional relationship with a senior figure from the industry and engagement in a year of BFI Flare and BFI London Film Festival screenings, and a wide range of filmmaker-focused and social events and talks. Applications are open now at http://bit.ly/FlareMentorships17 and close on Sunday February 19.
Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “We welcome the findings of this research which, in examining the factors that help individuals from under-represented groups succeed, also puts into sharp focus some of the issues that can create a barrier to success. Alongside our partners we are working to reduce and remove those barriers. BAFTA events and initiatives offer support for progression through all stages of an individual’s career. We encourage anyone with a talent and passion for film, television or games to apply to take part.”