British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), which has made its first launch into India via the global expansion of its Breakthrough Initiative as part of it a jury of industry experts will select Breakthrough talents from across India to take part in the year-long mentoring and guidance program. The jury, chaired by music maestro A R Rahman, includes: actor Anupam Kher, Roy Kapur Films founder and producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, director/writer/producer Shonali Bose, director/writer/producer Mira Nair, Lakshya Digital CEO Mavendra Shukul , Netflix India VP Monika Shergill, former BAFTA Breakthrough and Games producer Charu Desodt, BAFTA Chair and TV producer Krishnendu Majumdar.
AnimationXpress had an opportunity to interact with former BAFTA Breakthrough and Games producer Charu Desodt to understand what kind of talents the jury is looking for from the bunch of entries. Desodt shared, “The game developers are of the highest calibre and have designed very distinct, authentic experiences. This makes comparisons tricky. However, games are interactive experiences and the entrants’ ability to create player engagement, or fun, is a must have. Alongside that, games that are original and build player empathy always win my vote. Beautiful visuals and music can make or break an immersive experience.”
Quite a variety of Indian games have done wonders on the Indian gaming front. From game genres, distinctive gameplay, characters and artwork, Indian origin games have started attracting users in a massive way. According to Desodt here are the trends that she has noticed in the overall gaming sector so far:
- “Firstly, games are now competing with other forms of artistic media and have generated more revenue globally than the film and music industries combined. Even so, it is a comparatively young industry that is yet to reach its potential.
- The technological landscape has transformed with platforms such as cloud and mobile gaming and the rise of online, especially esports (competition gaming). These continue to drive the market.
- Games are now for everyone, with accessibility and representation becoming a focus for studios and publishers alike. Commercially successful titles are featuring protagonists from diverse cultures e.g. Spiderman: Miles Morales and LGBTQ+ characters in titles such as The Last of Us II. Equally as important, the industry workforce itself is also becoming more diverse.
- Something I’m excited about is the convergence of the entertainment industries and an increase in the variety of games available. For example, my current game takes its inspiration from great TV shows and real life situations such as losing a loved one. The storytelling is complex and uses branching narrative to explore the shades of grey in human behaviours and choices… I am expecting it to have a very broad appeal.”
The winners of BAFTA Breakthrough will receive one-on-one mentoring, global networking opportunities, free access to BAFTA events and screenings for 12 months, and full voting BAFTA membership as part of Breakthrough. The chosen talent will also connect with and learn from some of the best in the British and Indian creative industries, gain access to opportunities beyond geographical borders, and be promoted as Breakthrough artists across India and the UK.
She added, “It is an honour and privilege to identify talent across the entertainment industries, especially with so much vibrant and innovative work happening across the Indian games industry. The quality of the entrants from games was outstanding. I’m thrilled with the final selection of honourees and excited about BAFTA giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent on the global stage.”
Lot of Indian games have stolen the limelight lately for the quality and innovation, therefore, it will be interesting to see the winners when the right time comes.