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PhoneShop's Javone Prince among those on BAFTA Elevate list

REPRESENTATION: Javone Prince is one of this year's BAFTA Elevate participants

THE BRITISH Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has revealed the names of the 18 writers it will be supporting for the next 12 months through BAFTA Elevate.

The bespoke programme aims to advance individuals from underrepresented groups – women, those from a black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) group, disabled people, or those from a lower socio-economic background – to the next stage of their career within the film and TV industries.

The participants, who include a BAFTA winner and nominees, were welcomed at a reception on Wednesday evening (June 27), attended by leading film and television executives.

Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, said: “I am delighted that BAFTA continues to play a vital role in addressing underrepresentation within our industry. By championing these screenwriters, BAFTA is showcasing incredible British talent and providing them with the tools to progress and sustain successful careers in film and television, and providing a bridge between those who want to hire and those wanting to be hired.”

Among those who have been awarded a place on the programme is PhoneShop actor Javone Prince. Prince was also a writer on the show and is currently working on a new film directed by Danny Boyle. Grace Ofori-Attah, a consultant addiction psychiatrist, who has co-written five episodes of Idris Elba’s debut Sky One comedy series In The Long Run, also makes the list; as does radio dramatist Janice Okoh, who is adapting Maya Angelou’s biography The Heart of a Woman for BBC Radio 4.

The complete list of BAFTA Elevate 2018/19 writers programme participants is below:

* Bisha Ali
* Clare McQuillan
* Dominique Moloney
* Emma Reeves
* Faryal Velmi
* Grace Ofori-Attah
* Janice Okoh
* Javone Prince
* Karissa Hamilton-Bannis
* Lisa Hammond & Rachael Spence
* Rachel De-Lahay
* Sarah Farinha
* Sian Harries
* Smita Bhide
* Suhayla El-Bushra
* Tahsin Guner
* Tyrell Williams

Detailed biographies about any of the writers who are taking part in the programme can be found on the BAFTA website

The group of 18 talented writers was chosen by a panel of industry experts from almost 200 applicants. Each writer has an impressive portfolio of work and on-screen credits which have garnered awards, the respect of the industry and critical acclaim. Over the next 12 months the programme’s participants will benefit from networking opportunities, introductions, mentoring, tailored panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops to help them achieve their career goals and further success.

The Elevate Programme is one of BAFTA’s key initiatives. It aims to help shape an inclusive and diverse workforce within the UK film and television industries.

The first Elevate programme for female directors was launched in 2017. Following its success, BAFTA invited screenwriters facing career obstacles, based on their background or circumstances to apply to take part in the scheme.

Mariayah Kaderbhai, film programme manager at BAFTA, said: “Last year’s Elevate initiative recognised the achievements and talents of 15 phenomenal directors. Elevate provided a platform for them so that the film and television industries, here in the UK and internationally, were made aware of their work. This year we hope to do the same with these incredibly talented writers, and showcase the breadth and diversity that British screenwriting has to offer.”

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