With the global uprisings in protest of systemic racism and in support of Black Lives Matter, now more than ever there is the need for more tangible actions to be taken in response to racial inequality in the film industry. We are looking at how we can better serve Black writers by offering mentorship that can pave the way to future opportunities for paid work in the media, so we will be offering the 2020 Critics Mentorship exclusively to Black applicants.
For the last two years, freelance journalist, critic, Times Up campaigner and screenwriter Kate Muir has acted as a lead mentor for our aspiring critics. For consistency we would once again like to involve Kate however feel it is vital we have a Black writer equally as involved in a lead mentorship role and journalist, commentator and founder of The British Blacklist, Akua Gyamfi has agreed to come on board in this role. Kate and Akua will work alongside the BFI’s PR and editorial teams and the Festival’s media partners, who will each take on individual mentees.
While press coverage often focuses on more established talent, once again the Festival will present a strong selection of works by a wide range of filmmakers, and there is an opportunity to highlight emerging talent through interviews and features, raising the critical discourse around these films, as well as the profile of these filmmakers, and their association with the Festival.
With an awareness that there are several other journalism trainee courses held at international film festivals, many of which are very successful, we are keen that this scheme plays to the strengths of the LFF and should distinguish itself through the Festival’s unique relationships with media partners and access to a world-class selection of films.
The discourse around diversity in film criticism, and wider film culture, is a topical and evolving conversation, with articles and public panel events, which we aim to take further.
Participating Media Partners:
Evening Standard, Time Out, Sight & Sound, Empire, Little White Lies, Screen International.