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BAFTA and Burberry Honor 17 Breakthrough Brits

Tom Holland ("The Impossible"), filmmaker Rowan Athale and scribe Dominic Mitchell (TV's "In the Flesh") were among the 17 names picked for the British Academy's inaugural honor.
Tom Holland in "The Impossible"

LONDON ­– The 17 names chosen for the inaugural British Academy of Film and Television Arts Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, rocked at a party at the fashion label's flagship store in central London on Oct. 21.

Actor Tom Holland, who appeared in The Impossible alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, was among the 17 names picked as BAFTA's inaugural Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry. The newcomers were handpicked by a jury for BAFTA and Burberry as names "who are making a name for themselves within film, television or games."

BAFTA chairman John Willis thanked everyone for coming and said that part of the British Academy's rmission is to nurture and produce future talent to keep the U.K. industry able to continue taking on Hollywood.

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Introducing BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry to a crowd that included the great and the good from the senior ranks of the industry, Willis pointed out that Holland was just two years old when Berry took up the reins 15 years ago. Berry said the 17 individuals, who will benefit from BAFTA's mentoring program, were an ideal indication of the academy's ambition to create a fresh generation of talent in front of and behind the camera.

The chosen few also included writer-director Rowan Athale, whose debut feature, Wasteland, played at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and TV writer Dominic Mitchell, who wrote In the Flesh for the BBC.

The jury included Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) and Shane Meadows, and was chaired by Willis.

The gang of 17 kicked back -- amid Burberry scarves, coats, dresses and tailoring -- sipping champagne and enjoying high-end canapes to celebrate after a day of networking sessions and talks from industry figures at BAFTA's headquarters.

Industry heavyweights attending included Warner Bros.' Josh Berger, Ealing Studios' Barnaby Thompson, producer Duncan Kenworthy and scribe Jeremy Brock.

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