Seven Columbia Filmmakers Selected for Illustrious BAFTA Programs

Angeline Dimambro
December 08, 2022

The British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) recently announced the cohorts of its various 2022 programs and several Columbia filmmakers have been selected to join the academy’s prestigious ranks.

Five Columbia filmmakers have been announced as the newest members of the BAFTA Newcomers Program. They are: alumni Fernando González Ortiz ’22, Felix van Kann ’22, Cheryl Wang ’22, Christina Wood ’20, and directing student Camille Hamadé. This four-year new talent initiative recognizes and supports international filmmakers who have recently moved to Los Angeles or New York to further their development and career. They will be joining the eight Columbia filmmakers who were added to the program in 2021. Since the program’s launch in 2007, the initiative has recognized the long and fruitful legacy of UK talents moving to the US to develop their knowledge, skills, and network of peers. In an effort to further pursue BAFTA's mission to promote cultural exchange and strengthen global collaboration, the program recently expanded to include international filmmakers. As part of the Newcomer Program, members receive access to exclusive screenings, Q&As with the leading filmmakers of today, and networking opportunities.

Alumna Ellie Foumbi '17 was chosen as one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough USA participants. Supported by Netflix, BAFTA Breakthrough identifies the most exciting new talent coming up in the film, games, and television industries and gives them access to unique career development and networking opportunities. By giving these talented individuals key support at their critical ‘breakthrough’ career moment, this BAFTA initiative seeks to help artists build on their success and ensure their continued development in their chosen field.  “As a BAFTA Breakthrough, I hope to continue to expand my community of fellow filmmakers, while networking with other industry professionals who may provide key support and guidance as I tackle my next project,” said Foumbi. 

Foumbi’s Breakthrough Project is her award-winning debut feature, Our Father, the Devil (2022), an ethical and psychological thriller about an African immigrant living in a small town in the south of France whose life is upended by the arrival of a charismatic priest with whom she’s convinced she shares a heavy past in her homeland. The film dissects the emotional complexities of trauma, power, guilt, catharsis, and the devils hiding within us all. The film, which marks Foumbi’s directorial debut, previously won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and the Narrative Features Jury Award at the 2022 New Orleans Film Festival, and previously screened at the 2022 Hamptons International Film Festival.

Also among this year’s BAFTA selections is alumnus Kevin Haefelin '22, who was named a 2022 BAFTA Connect Member. The new program is a US and UK North America initiative that supports BAFTA’s ongoing mission to strengthen support for future creative leaders in the film, games, and television industries. Aimed at creatives and professionals at emerging and mid-level stages of their careers, BAFTA Connect will provide a wide range of support and development opportunities, alongside many of the benefits available to BAFTA members.

Read more about BAFTA’s roster of programming here.