• Applications are now closed

Do you want be a film critic or journalist? Are you writing film reviews for blogs or social media but have not been able to break through to more established publications or platforms? Apply now to the BFI London Film Festival 2021 Critics Mentorship Programme for your chance to be mentored by industry media professionals and have your work published by LFF media partners and the BFI.

We are looking at how we can better serve writers from underrepresented communities by offering mentorship that can pave the way to future opportunities for paid work in the media. There’s a lack of diversity in film criticism that is damaging to film culture. This is exacerbated by a lack of opportunities for emerging critics to gain experience and have meaningful engagement with publications. Now in its fourth year, the BFI LFF Critics Mentorship programme gives meaningful experience and opportunity to a range of talented emerging film writers.

In taking steps to change this, as we did in 2020, this year we will be offering the 2021 Critics Mentorship to 8 applicants, with guaranteed spaces for the following:

  • 4 spaces will be offered exclusively to Black applicants
  • 2 spaces will be offered exclusively to applicants who have a disability, impairment, learning difference or long term condition
  • 2 remaining spaces will be eligible to all applicants

About the mentorship programme

The December 2020 issue of Sight & Sound, which contains a feature by one of the 2020 mentees, Chrystel Oloukoï
© Cover photograph © Misan Harriman

Successful applicants will be invited to experience the BFI London Film Festival as an accredited press delegate plus participate in an induction day, where they will meet the BFI LFF teams, their mentors and be taken through the mentorship programme.

Journalist, commentator and founder of The British Blacklist, Akua Gyamfi, alongside two prominent writer/editors, will be overall mentors to each of the participants who will also individually be paired with a mentor from each media partner who will support them to produce up to three pieces of film journalism (reviews, interviews, articles) for publication on their websites and bfi.org.uk

The mentorship will be intensive for six days during the festival, with full access to press screenings and events, writing reviews and features plus additional interview opportunities and an array of networking opportunities.

Mentees will be paid the London living wage (£10.85 per hour) for work produced during the LFF and will have full press accreditation for the 12-day duration of the LFF (6 to 17 October) and will be encouraged to and pitch editorial ideas to bfi.org.uk

By the end of the programme, participants will have improved their film journalism skills and understanding of the industry and will have gained professional work experience, new work for their portfolio, industry contacts and a document of confirmation of having completed the placement.

About you

  • Applicants must be 18 and over with the right to work in the UK
  • To be eligible you will have not had any written work published in/on a national print publication/platform before.
  • An interest in film with good writing skills
  • The ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with BFI colleagues, partners and stakeholders