Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Guiding Lights

This week sees some of the UK’s next generation of filmmaking talent teamed with members of the industry’s elite as this year’s Guiding Lights mentoring matches are announced.

Run by Brighton-based Lighthouse, Guiding Lights is part of A Bigger Future, the UK film skills strategy, a joint project set up by Skillset and the UK Film Council. Established members of the industry, including Guiding Lights sponsor Optimum Releasing, and a range of illustrious filmmaker mentors, have been brought together to support the scheme.

Over the year each mentee will develop a one-on-one relationship with their carefully chosen mentor and take part in networking events and masterclasses at venues across the country including the London and Edinburgh Film Festivals.

Guiding Lights puts the full weight of the established industry behind each mentee’s developing talent. Tim Bevan of Working Title Films, chairman of the Guiding Lights steering committee, said:
“Guiding Lights is a great mechanism for bringing new blood into British film as well as being a vital opportunity for those at the top of their game to channel what they’ve learned back into the industry.”

Guiding Lights 08/09 will build on the success of the pilot scheme. Janine Marmot, Director of Film at Skillset said:
“On the back of a truly successful Guiding Lights programme, Skillset is delighted to be supporting this programme once again – which gives participants a unique insight into the film industry with the support of key, dedicated industry mentors with an enormous amount of experience. It is no surprise that this programme attracts exceptional practitioners and exceptional candidates.”

The first Guiding Lights instalment is already proving to have been an enormous boost to the mentees involved. Laura Hastings Smith, a previous producer mentee said:

“The input I have received from my mentor, Graham Broadbent, as a result of being accepted onto 'Guiding Lights' has proved invaluable throughout the process of making [feature film] 'Hunger', which was premiered at Cannes 2008 to great acclaim.”

This year’s 25 successful candidates have been through a rigorous selection process and interest in this year’s scheme has been overwhelming, with a 60% increase in applications of a very high standard.

Sarah Flint, Chief Executive of Lighthouse said:
“We’re enormously excited about this year’s mentees. They have so much talent and so much potential and we know that they will make the most of this fantastic opportunity to accelerate their careers.”

This year’s mentor/mentee matches are:

Jenny Walker – Paul Webster
Yaw Basoah – Alison Owen
Alex Boden - tbc
Christine Hartland – Damian Jones

Asitha Ameresekere – Anand Tucker
Nicola Mills – Roger Michell
Rachel Tillotson – David Yates
Rebecca Johnson – Paul Greengrass
Samantha Harrie – Kevin Macdonald
Susan Jacobson – Gillies MacKinnon
Faye Gilbert - tbc
Robert McKillop - tbc

Faye – Remi Adafarasin
David Raedeker – Barry Ackroyd
Stephanie Hardt – Oliver Stapleton
Urszula Pontikos – Seamus McGarvey

Business Categories
Stephen Spence (Business Affairs) – Andrew Hildebrand
Katheryn Needham (Sales) – Alison Thompson
Alice Stilgoe (Exhibiton) – tbc

Joseph Hepworth – Frank Cottrell Boyce
Catherine Skinner – tbc
Isabel Anderton - tbc
Rupert Raby - tbc
Keri Collins - tbc
Nicholas Horwood -tbc

Watch upcoming issue of film & festivals magazines as we report on the how the filmmakers develop with a series of exclusive diary reports from the filmmakers themselves.