BFINETWORK @FLARE Mentorships 2017

Applications for the BFINETWORK @FLARE Mentorships in partnership with BAFTA are now closed.

Credit: © 2016

Are you an LGBT-identified filmmaker who wants to keep developing your career in film? After two very successful years, this mentorship programme will again offer five emerging LGBT-identified filmmakers based in the UK the opportunity to develop industry knowledge, professional connections, their passion for cinema and an overview of LGBT features entering the marketplace. Successful filmmakers will receive:

  • a minimum of four one-to-one meetings with your mentor, a senior figure in the UK film industry.
  • roundtable with all mentors and mentees on Friday 17 March 2017 (TBC) exploring the current global market environment for LGBT films.
  • access to a bespoke programme of industry talks and events during BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (16-26 March 2017).
  • delegate pass and access to the viewing library for BFI Flare and BFI London Film Festival.
  • access to monthly BFI Flare-branded screenings at BFI Southbank.
  • a ticket to BFI Flare Opening Night film and party on Thursday 16 March 2017.
  • access to relevant BAFTA Learning and Talent events.

The Festival will also promote your work by publishing a news story with filmmaker profiles for the BFI Flare website and social networks and offering you the option to have your short film available on the password-protected BFI Flare industry viewing portal.

Eligibility criteria

  • You will have written, produced or directed a short film that has screened in the official selection at one of BAFTA’s qualifying film festivals (PDF), or in BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival.
  • You will be developing a feature film project.
  • You will be a UK resident.


Although the mentorship will be based in London, this is a UK-wide programme. There is some bursary support available to offset travel costs for participants living outside of Greater London.

Programme details

You will be assigned a mentor who is a senior figure in the film industry working in production or sales and distribution. You will have at least four formal meetings with your mentor and will be given support on how to get the most out of the experience. Rather than being a project development scheme, the programme strengthens professional networks and offers a space for discussion and better understanding of opportunities and challenges for LGBT filmmakers in the UK and in the global marketplace.

The first of these meetings will be a collective gathering of all mentors and mentees at a roundtable session at BFI Flare 2017. This will be a Q&A exploring industry facts about LGBT content in UK film and in the global marketplace, and a discussion of the participants’ projects. Please note that attendance at the Festival is a key part of this programme’s content so please do speak to us about any time conflicts.

Three additional meetings will be facilitated throughout 2017. Other meetings may also occur at the discretion of the mentor/mentee. At the end of 2017 all mentees and mentors will have an exit interview, which will inform an article on the current global landscape for LGBT filmmaking. The article will be published on the BFI website.

Key dates

19 February 2017 Application deadline
27 February — 1 March 2017 Interviews (TBC)
3 March 2017 Notification of success
16-26 March 2017 BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
17 March 2017 First mentor meeting, BFI Flare roundtable (TBC)
April-October 2017 Second, third and fourth mentor meetings
October 2017 BFI London Film Festival
November-December 2017 Exit interviews

How to apply

Please fill out our online application form, which will ask you to:

  • upload an online link to your qualifying short film (see above criteria).
  • discuss what you see as the three major challenges for LGBT films and filmmakers (you may deliver this as written text or a to-camera address).
  • tell us which filmmaker you admire and why (you may deliver this as written text or a to-camera address).

This programme is designed to help develop LGBT-identified filmmakers who may or may not be working on projects with LGBT content.

If you have any questions about the mentorship programme, please email us at or call us on 020 7815 1305.

Meet last year’s mentees

2016 BFI Flare Mentees (from left to right): Dionne Edwards, Eimhear O’Neill, Siri Rodnes, Kayleigh Llewellyn, Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, Dean Loxton

2016 BFI Flare Mentees (from left to right): Dionne Edwards, Eimhear O’Neill, Siri Rodnes, Kayleigh Llewellyn, Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, Dean Loxton

Find out more about last year’s filmmaker mentees. Last year’s mentee-mentor partnerships were as follows:

  • Dionne Edwards → Desiree Akhavan (critically acclaimed writer-director, Appropriate Behaviour)
  • Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor → Ben Roberts (Director of the BFI Film Fund)
  • Kayleigh Llewellyn → Abi Morgan (BAFTA and Emmy-winning writer, The Iron Lady, Suffragette, Shame)
  • Dean Loxton → Iain Canning (Oscar-winning producer, The King’s Speech, Lion, Shame)
  • Eimhear O’Neill → Beadie Finzi (Foundation Director at BRITDOC, and documentary filmmaker, Unknown White Male, The Possibilities Are Endless, Only When I Dance)
  • Siri Rodnes → Andrew Macdonald (BAFTA-winning producer, Ex Machina, 28 Days Later, Trainspotting)

One of the mentees said: “I’ve had the most wonderful experience. The relationship I’ve developed with my mentor is the biggest milestone of my career to date. 

The connections I’ve made within the filmmaking community in the UK have also been invaluable.” While another said about the BFI Flare festival experience: “the structured nature of the mentorship was most fruitful as it enabled everyone to repeatedly meet and encouraged friendship and communication. Access to the filmmakers as well as the team was incredibly rewarding. I was delighted and proud at how much attention and recognition was given to the Flare meentees by the team and filmmakers”.





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