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Jamal Green who grew up in Bury St Edmunds joins this year's BAFTA Breakthrough cohort alongside EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis





A film and game composer who grew up in Suffolk is celebrating after joining this year's BAFTA Breakthrough cohort.

Jamal Green, who grew up and went to school in Bury St Edmunds, will join the likes of Strictly Come Dancing and EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis to receive specialist support and opportunities from the organisation.

The 24-year-old has a number of credits including making the music for major Japanese game company, Konami Digital Entertainment's flagship release Skelattack in 2020. But more recently, he created the soundtrack to video game TOEM which won Best Debut in the 18th British Academy Games Awards hosted by BAFTA.

Film and game composer Jamal Green has been selected for BAFTA Breakthrough 2022/23. Picture: BAFTA/Sophia Spring
Film and game composer Jamal Green has been selected for BAFTA Breakthrough 2022/23. Picture: BAFTA/Sophia Spring

Jamal now lives in Welwyn Garden City with his girlfriend, but he said when growing up he never thought these opportunities would be open to him in Suffolk.

He said: "It feels pretty incredible because that was never really anything I considered could happen.

All of the BAFTA Breakthrough cohort. Picture: BAFTA/Sophia Spring
All of the BAFTA Breakthrough cohort. Picture: BAFTA/Sophia Spring

"I think when you're growing up in a town like Bury where there was always a feeling of 'well I won't get selected because I'm too far away or I haven't had any real training'. You kind of feel like you're standing in a shadow. No one knows who you are or how will they reach you.

"But getting selected is awesome. These are all people I've never met before. This is more than I ever imagined could happen."

Jamal lived in Bury St Edmunds and attended West Suffolk College. Picture: BAFTA/Sophia Spring
Jamal lived in Bury St Edmunds and attended West Suffolk College. Picture: BAFTA/Sophia Spring

The BAFTA Breakthrough, supported by Netflix, is designed to showcase and support the next generation of creative talent in British film, games and television who've had a breakthrough year in the industry.

Jamal explained the year-long scheme will help him get connected with those in his profession, as well as expanding his skillsets like media training. The scheme will also help him make contact with an industry professional either someone who he admires or someone who can help him in his career.

"Already this has started to connect with things I'm already doing," he said.

The scheme is designed to showcase and support the next generation of creative talent. Picture: AycePhotography
The scheme is designed to showcase and support the next generation of creative talent. Picture: AycePhotography

"People who were at least a little bit interested in hiring me before are maybe now feel more confident to make that decision to go ahead with me because I've got the name BAFTA behind me.

"Early in your career in anything you're the only one backing you so any organisation or individual to do that is a really powerful thing and to have potentially the biggest organisation that relates to films, games and TV in the UK behind me is absolutely massive.

"Really the sky is the limit for where I can go as a result of this.

Jamal worked on BAFTA award-winning game TOEM. Picture: AycePhotography
Jamal worked on BAFTA award-winning game TOEM. Picture: AycePhotography

Jamal fostered a love of film and game composing when he was in Year 7 at St Louis Middle School and that talent was encouraged when he went to West Suffolk College.

He creates film and game scores by using digital software on the computer and uses a mix of programmed and real instruments.

To those who wish to also breakthrough into the industry he said: "Find a way to just start writing music with whatever you have or even if you have a guitar or a piano – you can start there and you have to start there.

"I see too many people hoping for perfection too early and you just can't achieve it. You have to work up to that.

To those interested in composing Jamal says start writing. Picture: AycePhotography
To those interested in composing Jamal says start writing. Picture: AycePhotography

"The music I write now is far from what I want to write in the future. I want to write way beyond what I can do now. But young me would be so proud of where I've got to.

"I had to write a bunch of terrible stuff to get here and think they only way you can get there is by writing as much as possible and releasing music and learn how to communicate with clients."