Duke of Cambridge announces bursary for emerging creatives at BAFTA

The Duke of Cambridge stepped out on a solo engagement to BAFTA yesterday, after his wife, Catherine, visited Shout on Wednesday.

Prince William visited the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to learn how the newly refurbished building will help to increase the support to British entertainment.

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The Duke of Cambridge heard how BAFTA have been supporting young people in the industry. (Kensington Royal)

During the visit in Picadilly, BAFTA unveiled their plans for the new Prince William Bursary, which is aimed at talented individuals who, due to financial reasons, would otherwise not be able to pursue careers in the screen industries.

BAFTA also announced two other programmes: BAFTA Elevate and Connect. Elevate is an established year-long programme of support and activity, will open this year to producers working in film and television who are disabled, from minority ethnic backgrounds and from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. Meanwhile, Connect is a new, discounted tier of membership that will provide an opportunity to build a professional network and access BAFTA’s membership benefits at an earlier career stage.

These initiatives and grants are informed by ongoing research which points to the importance of financial support, guidance and peer to peer networking in early career stages.

HRH saw the redevelopments of the BAFTA building. (Kensington Royal)

The visit saw the Duke meet Harry, who has received support through BAFTA’s Young Game Designers (YGD) programme, where he showed the father of three his carbon capturing game called ‘Net Carbon’, which was unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow last year.

Taking the controls, HRH revealed that his eldest son Prince George ‘in particular’ loves computer games, but he noted how he and Kate – much like parents up and down the country – are trying to ‘regulate screen time’ at home for George.

William added: “I like this for school, it is a great way to teach the kids.”

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The Duke discussed the importance of mentoring support with BAFTA mentors Suranne Jones, a BAFTA winning actor, and presenter Annie Price, winner of BAFTA Breakthrough 2018, and their mentees Lily Blunsom-Washbrook and Roxanne McKenzie.

Suranne Jones said: “If you want to find your footing in the arts, BAFTA’s unique approach of harnessing the industry to support emerging talent can be invaluable. As young as eight, I dreamed of becoming an actor, but I didn’t begin my professional career until the age of 16.

“A lot of young people in creative fields who don’t have family connections in the industry don’t know where to turn for help or advice and I resonate with their stories in that sense.

William spoke to BAFTA mentors and their mentees. (Kensington Royal)

“Behind the scenes and beyond the awards, there is a lot of good work being done to level the playing field for creatives from all walks of life and I’m delighted to play my part in my role as a BAFTA mentor.”

The Duke of Cambridge said: “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.”

He continued: “The redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly has created fantastic new learning spaces to ensure that future generations can receive the support they need to thrive.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last attended the British Academy Film Awards in February 2020. However, last year’s ceremony went virtual due to the pandemic. The 2022 ceremony will take place on 13 March at the Royal Albert Hall.

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