Mentors revealed for 2020 ‘BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew’ support programme

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and BFI have today announced the six industry mentors who will provide a year-long mentorship to the BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew 2020 mentees.

Now in its sixth year, BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew is a partnership between BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, BAFTA and BFI NETWORK, which discovers, develops and funds new and emerging filmmakers through National Lottery funding. The year-long programme brings together and supports a group of emerging LGBTIQ+ filmmakers from the UK by providing mentoring from a senior industry figure, alongside a bespoke programme of events designed to strengthen professional networks and support progression, and access to BAFTA’s year-round events programme.

The BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew mentees for 2020 and their industry mentors are:

  • Cheri Darbon (producer) – mentored by Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo (Top Boy, National Treasure) 
  • Jason Bradbury (director) – mentored by Oliver Hermanus (Moffie, Beauty)
  • Laura Kirwan-Ashman (writer/director) – mentored by Kate Herron (Sex Education, Loki)
  • Rosanagh Griffiths (writer/director/producer) – mentored by Julia Oh (American Honey, Nasty Baby, Film4 Senior Commissioning Executive)
  • Tom Chetwode-Barton (writer/director) – mentored by João Pedro Rodrigues (The Ornithologist, To Die Like a Man)
  • Zhang & Knight (writers/directors) – mentored by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, We Are Who We Are)

The mentoring relationships form part of the wider BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew programme of events and networking opportunities for emerging talent to connect with one another and the wider industry. Alongside their mentoring, this year’s mentees have enjoyed an online programme of masterclasses and discussions with filmmakers including Levan Akin (And Then We Danced), Isabel Sandoval (Lingua Franca) and Patricia Vidal Delgado (La leyenda negra) whose films were selected to screen at BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival in March. The mentorship was launched by BFI Flare in 2015, BAFTA have been partnering on this mentorship programme since 2016.

This year’s BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew mentees will also feature at the BFI London Film Festival, with roundtable events exploring LGBTIQ+ focused work, with speakers including Iain Canning (Ammonite) and Aleem Khan (After Love).

Jason Bradbury, director and BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew 2020 mentee, said: “To say this year has not gone as planned is an understatement, but being selected for the mentorship and getting to know my fellow mentees has been a dream. I feel especially lucky to have been paired with Oliver Hermanus as my mentor. I have always found his films profoundly moving and his bold approach to filmmaking incredibly inspiring. I am excited about what I will learn from our journey together as I move toward making my debut feature.”

This year’s BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew mentees join a growing alumni of filmmakers supported by the programme over the last six years, who are breaking new ground in LGBTIQ+ representation on screen.

Previous BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew mentees have gone on to work on award-winning, major productions including producers Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (Blue Story) and Lindsey Dryden (Trans in America), writer Kayleigh Llewellyn (In My Skin, Killing Eve) and Amrou Al Kadhi (Little America: The Son, Life as a Unicorn) and directors Georgi Banks-Davies (I Hate Suzie) and Dionne Edwards (Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle).

Katie Campbell, Head of New Talent at BAFTA, said: “We are delighted to be offering this year’s brilliantly talented cohort of BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew creatives such a prestigious list of industry experts for them to learn from over the coming year. The mentor relationship is so important to the creative and professional development of their careers. We have been working with BFI Flare and BFI Network to nurture LGBTIQ+ creatives for five years now and each year I am so excited to see what our fantastic mentees go onto achieve.”

Michael Blyth, Senior Programmer, BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, said: “It is so important that we find the perfect industry professional to serve as mentor for each of our BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew mentees, and this year sees a raft of truly exciting pairings. The opportunity to spend dedicated time with such established figures is an invaluable part of each mentees journey, and it is always fascinating to see what will emerge from these relationships.”

Jessica Loveland, Head of BFI NETWORK, added: “We have seen over the years that a bespoke mentor/mentee pairing can be truly transformational in the career of an emerging filmmaker. With the vital support of National Lottery funds we are thrilled to be able to offer the BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew mentees precisely this sort of defining experience with such an inspiring group of mentors. We are excited to see how the mentoring relationships inform and focus their work and creative practice for the future”


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