BAFTA Los Angeles Expands Newcomers Program to Include International Talent

By: Jul. 24, 2018

BAFTA Los Angeles Expands Newcomers Program to Include International Talent

Today, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA LA) announced the expansion of its Newcomers Program to include international participants for the first time. Launched in 2007 to support British talents transitioning to Los Angeles, the program recognizes the fruitful legacy of international talents moving to the U.S. to further their knowledge, develop their skills, and strengthen their network of peers.

The expansion of the program to support international participants and connect them with the U.K. and U.S. communities furthers BAFTA's mission to promote cultural exchange and strengthen global collaboration.

"As BAFTA extends its helping hand globally, we are thrilled that after 10 successful years supporting British talent in Los Angeles, the Newcomers Program now expands to include international talent," said New Talent Committee Chairs, Sandro Monetti and Peter Morris. "As our industry becomes increasingly global, it is more vital than ever that emerging talent has access to an international network of peers and mentors. We hope to provide just that to these Newcomers in Los Angeles."

Each participant receives access to BAFTA membership events and curated New Talent Events aimed at supporting both career development, and the transition to living and working in the U.S. The program includes professional networking opportunities, peer matching with others who have recently moved to the U.S., curated educational programming, and access to BAFTA's wider professional development event schedule including BAFTA Briefing sessions and BAFTA Insights series.

This year's 55 participants include 19 actors, 15 directors, 9 producers, 3 screenwriters, 2 art directors, 2 executives, 2 composers, 1 cinematographer, 1 production designer, 1 agent and 1 publicist. The recipients are DIVIDED into three groups, with each group either entering their first, second or third year in the program.

Below is the full list of Newcomers:


Waseem Abbas, Actor

Sheena Bhattessa, Actor

Lucian Collier, Actor

Sasha Collington, Director

Pete Cooksley, Producer

Leo Draper, VP International Creative Advertising

Michael Driscoll, Director

Tina Gharavi, Director

Denise Hoey, Actor

10. Mark Jackson, Actor

11. Allison McGourty, Screenwriter, Producer

12. Nita Mistry, Actor

13. Rochelle Neil, Actor

14. Mark Prendergast, Actor

15. Monroe Robertson, Actor, Producer, Director

16. David Saunders, Composer

17. Sam Smith, Actor, Screenwriter

18. Hanna Stanbridge, Actor, Screenwriter

19. Sammy Sultan, Screenwriter, Director

20. Catherine Taylor, Director

21. Samuel Washington, Director, Screenwriter


22. Felicity Abbott, Production Designer - Australia

23. Asligul Armagan, Screenwriter, Director - Turkey

24. Christel Chaudet, Video Producer - France

25. Leah de Niese, Actor - Australia

26. Daniel Jansen, Segment Producer - South Africa

27. Muriel Naim, Director - Israel

28. Sarah Oh, Producer - South Korea

29. Angie Polkovich, Director, Screenwriter - Poland

30. Wan-Yi Sweeting, Creative Accounts Executive at Tongal - Hong Kong

31. Roi Vissel, Cinematographer - Israel


32. Abby Ajayi, Screenwriter

33. Sisi Cronin, Publicist

34. Nicholas Horton, Development Producer

35. Louise Houghton, TV Presenter, Journalist, Actress

36. Kitty Kaletsky, Producer

37. Sohm Kapila, Actor

38. Peter Lam, Composer

39. Adam Linzey, Director

40. Luca Malacrino, Actor

41. James McNamara, Screenwriter

42. Alicia Sadler, Filmmaker, Artist

43. Fagun Thakrar, Actor, Director, Producer

44. Iesh Thapar, Director

45. Emma Weston, Art Director


46. Andy Blackburn, Director

47. Marcus Chan, Screenwriter, Director

48. Menik Gooneratne, Actor, Screenwriter

49. Ben Gutteridge, Screenwriter, Director

50. Heather Harris, Director

51. Ruaraidh Hunter, Agent

52. James Longman, Producer

53. Alex Polunin, Producer

54. Nicola Posener, Actor

55. Emma West, Actor


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