BFI NETWORK @FLARE Mentorships 2018 in partnership with BAFTA

Applications are now open. Register and apply through our online form.

Credit: © 2016

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

Selected filmmakers will receive:

  • A minimum of four one-to-one meetings with your mentor, a senior figure in the UK film industry.
  • Roundtable with senior industry figures exploring the current global market environment for relevant films.
  • Access to a bespoke programme of industry talks and events during BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (21 March-1 April 2018).
  • Delegate pass and access to the viewing library for BFI Flare and BFI London Film Festival, and ticket to BFI Flare Opening Night film and party on Wednesday 21 March 2018.
  • Access to monthly BFI Flare-branded screenings at BFI Southbank.

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 which has screened in the official selection or been selected for one of BAFTA’s qualifying film festivals, including 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 LGBTQ+ filmmakers in the UK and in the global marketplace.

To start the mentorship off at the festival, there will be a collective gathering at a roundtable session at BFI Flare 2018 with senior figures in the film industry. This will be a Q&A exploring industry facts about LGBTQ+ content in UK film and in the global marketplace, and a discussion of the participants’ projects.

Selected filmmakers will be then paired with a mentor and meetings will be facilitated throughout 2018. Further meetings may also occur at the discretion of mentor/mentee. At the end of 2018 all mentees and mentors will have an exit interview, which will inform an article on the current global landscape for LGBTQ+ filmmaking. The article will be published on the BFI website.

Key dates

19 February 2018 Application deadline
26-28 February 2018 Interviews (date TBC)
2 March 2018 Notification of success
21 March-1 April 2018* BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
*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.
23 March 2018 BFI Flare roundtable (date TBC)
April-November 2018 Mentor meetings
October 2018 BFI London Film Festival
December 2018 Exit interviews

How to apply

Please fill out our online application form. You will need to register an account. Once you are signed in please select the ‘BAFTA Mentoring — BFI NETWORK @ Flare’ application form. In the form you will be asked to:


  • Upload an online link to your qualifying short film (see above criteria).
  • Discuss what you see as the three major challenges for LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+-identified filmmakers who may or may not be working on projects with LGBTQ+ content. If you have any questions about the mentorship programme, please send an email to our team at

Meet last year’s mentees

2017 BFI Flare mentees (from left to right): Gillian Callan, Harry Lighton, Georgia Oakley, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Savannah James-Bayly, Jake Graf

2017 BFI Flare mentees (from left to right): Gillian Callan, Harry Lighton, Georgia Oakley, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Savannah James-Bayly, Jake Graf

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

Amrou Al-Kadhi — Russell T Davies (writer and creator, Queer As Folk, Cucumber, Banana, Tofu)
Gillian Callan — Sara Hardy and Blue Ryan (prolific documentary filmmakers, founders of Gold Star Productions)
Jake Graf — Bharat Nalluri (Director, Tsunami, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day)
Savannah James-Bayly — Mike Goodridge (former CEO of Protagonist Pictures)
Harry Lighton — Tom Harper (Director, War & Peace, Peaky Blinders, Cubs)
Georgia Oakley — Desiree Akhavan (critically acclaimed writer-director, Appropriate Behaviour)

One mentee said:

“The BFI Flare mentorship means total cinematic immersion; watching that many queer films in ten days would have been enough for me. But meeting so many supportive, generous filmmakers along the way, not to mention the awesome festival staff, has made this one of the most enjoyable experiences of my career. I can only compare the feeling to being on set, constantly buzzing, alert, learning, surrounded by incredible teammates.”

With another saying about the programme during the festival:

“The general sense of empowerment, motivation and activism that the films, filmmakers and community inspired has spurred me on enormously. My lasting memory of the mentorship will be being made to feel like such a part of the fabric of Flare. Everyone made an effort to come speak to me, and having five other mentees to share the experience with was terrific.”

Read more about last year’s filmmakers’ experiences throughout the festival.

We look forward to receiving your applications!

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