BAFTA announces Breakthrough Brits of 2017

Six standout talents in the video game industry recognised for their work

By Haydn Taylor.Published Thursday 26th October 2017, 2:01pm GMT

The winners of BAFTA's Breakthrough Brits of 2017 were announced at an event last night in London. Now in its fifth year, Breakthrough Brits celebrates the future talent of the British entertainment industry.

The winners will receive one-to-one mentoring, an international travel bursary, guidance sessions, and networking opportunities. Previous winners include game producer Daniel Gray and game designer Rex Crowle, part of the development teams for Monument Valley and Tearaway respectively.

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"Over the next year the Breakthrough Brits will be supported by BAFTA and mentored by some of the industry's most established professionals," said Amanda Berry, OBE, chief executive of BAFTA: "This year's Breakthrough Brits truly represent the diverse range of talents that make up our industries. We're thrilled to be recognising these individuals this evening."

Among the this year's Breakthrough Brits were a number of previous BAFTA winners, including games designer Daniel Fountain who was part of the team that worked on Luminio City and won the award for Artistic Achievement in 2015 .

Fountain, who is about to launch his own studio, said: "Receiving this recognition at the start of this new adventure will be a huge boost. I am most excited for the opportunity to meet like-minded people. Community can be a catalyst for new ideas and BAFTA's community will be a great place to create relationships that will benefit everyone."

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Brothers Adam and Thomas Vian were recognised for their work as game directors, and their Nintendo Switch release Snipperclips.

Games artists Anna Hollinrake's career has taken her to Paw Print Games, Stainless Games, and Climax Studios. She was recognised as a Breakthrough Brit for her work on Lola and the Giant which was "instrumental in shaping the game's art style".

Creative director and BAFTA Cymru 2011 winner Henry Hoffman formed his own studio in 2012. He was recognised last night for his 2016 puzzle platformer, Hue.

"To be named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit is an incredible honour and a huge validation of all the work I put into Hue," he said. "I'm really looking forward to discussing the different approaches, life lessons and perspectives of such an inspiring collection of people."

Law graduate and trained barrister Olivia Wood, who opted for the games industry over the courts, was named a Breakthrough Brit for games writing and editing. Working at Failbetter Games she has written for and edited Sunless Sea, Sunless Sea: Zubmariner, Fallen London, and their forthcoming came Sunless Skies.

"I am proud that I've been recognised for an important skill that is generally 'invisible'," she said. "I am also excited about becoming more visible as a narrative editor within the games industry. I hope it'll both encourage companies to hire editors and bring others into the industry in a similar capacity."

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