Bristol's BAFTA Breakthrough Brit
Bristol Media Member Ellen Husain chosen as ‘BAFTA Breakthrough Brit’
“I’m so incredibly pleased to be named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit – it’s a very exciting initiative, and so brilliant to have the backing of a hugely respected organisation like BAFTA.”
The announcements were made at a glitzy reception in London last week, hosted by Burberry, but Ellen still doesn’t know who nominated her. “It was brilliant to be contacted by BAFTA, but they said the nomination process was confidential. ” she says.
While the Breakthrough Brits jury look at the applicant’s whole career, Ellen’s ‘breakthrough project’ was her work as a first-time Producer on BBC1 series, The Hunt - narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The Hunt is a 7-part blue-chip British Academy Award (TV BAFTA)-nominated wildlife series, and 2 x Craft BAFTA winner. Ellen produced the Episode ‘The Hunt – Nowhere to Hide’, as well as the never previously filmed orca –humpback whale hunt for Ep1 – ‘The Hardest Challenge’, and DVD extra ‘Orca - On the Hunt’. Tracking down and filming the killer whale hunt was a task that spanned nearly 3 years and involved collaborating with world-leading researchers to generate new science.
A freelance wildlife film-maker specialising in underwater as well as terrestrial content, Ellen has a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in marine biology and is a professional scuba diver. Her previous projects include a Director role on BBC1’s Emmy-nominated ‘Ocean Giants’ (2011), narrated by Stephen Fry, and Assistant Producer roles on BBC1’s ‘Life Story’ (2013) – also narrated by David Attenborough, and Cinematography Emmy-winning ‘South Pacific’, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (2009).
Ellen says “At a time when people are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world, my aim is to use film to inspire people to connect with and value the world's wildlife, and wild places.” “I hope Breakthrough Brits will play a fundamental role in helping me realise those goals, and ultimately make good things happen!”
She admits it’s not always easy. With only a year instead of the normal two years to film 53 minutes of her 60’ show, and some deep personal tragedies meaning many months without a full team, she says filming The Hunt was pretty intense. “But it’s so lovely when that work is recognised – and especially when its by BAFTA”
In fact, she is keen to spread the BAFTA love: “The more I’ve learnt about Breakthrough Brits, the more excited I am about it. There are so many possibilities.” “I’d definitely encourage anyone at the right point in their career to apply – in an industry not that known for nurturing careers, BAFTA really are doing something really special here.”
Ellen lives in Leigh Woods, Bristol.