Do you want to 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 2020 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.

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 mentorships 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 six black applicants.

There is 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 third year, the LFF Critics Mentorship programme gives meaningful experience and opportunity to a range of talented emerging film writers.

About the mentorship programme

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.

Kate Muir, film critic, journalist and screenwriter, and Akua Gyamfi, journalist, commentator and founder of The British Blacklist, will be overall mentors to each of the participants, who will also individually be paired with a mentor from each media partner to 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 four 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.

As many premieres at the LFF will be virtual this year, mentees will be home based and with access to mentors via phone and video calls.

Mentees will be paid the London Living Wage for work produced during the LFF and will have full press accreditation for the 12 day duration of the LFF (7-18 October) and will be encouraged to 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.

While we are looking for a group of black mentees, we welcome intersectionality across gender, sexuality, age, disability, geographical location and socioeconomic circumstances across all applications.

Further details about the post can be obtained by searching the BFI Jobs and Opportunities site.

The closing date for applications is Monday 24 August 2020.

Virtual interviews will be held the week commencing 31 August 2020.

Originally published: 11 August 2020