BFI NETWORK @ FLARE MENTORSHIPS 2019 in partnership with BAFTA

Applications are now closed for the 2019 programme.

Are you an LGBTQ+-identified filmmaker who wants to keep developing your career in film?

After four very successful years and a growing network of alumni, this mentorship programme will again offer five-six emerging LGBTQ+ identified 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:

  • Four one-to-one meetings with a senior figure in the UK film industry.
  • Roundtable discussion exploring the current global market environment for LGBTQ+ films.
  • Access to a bespoke programme of industry talks and events during BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival (21-31 March 2019).
  • Delegate pass and access to the viewing library for BFI Flare and BFI London Film Festival, and a ticket to BFI Flare Opening Night film and party on Wednesday 21 March 2019.
  • 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 at a BAFTA qualifying 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.

About the programme

You will be assigned a mentor who is a senior figure in the film industry working in production, sales and distribution. You will have 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, this programme aims to strengthen 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.

The programme will begin at BFI Flare 2019*, where senior industry figures will meet the selected filmmakers for a roundtable exploring LGBTQ+ content in UK film and in the global marketplace, and a discussion of the participants’ projects.

Selected filmmakers will then be paired with a mentor and meetings will be facilitated throughout 2019. At the end of 2019 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.

* 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.

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 2018’s mentees

Credit: 2018 BFI Flare Mentees: Nosa Eke, Georgi Banks-Davies, Matthew Jacobs Morgan, Lindsey Dryden, Sorcha Bacon, Emily McDonald. Photo by Tim Francis

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

Sorcha Bacon — Olivier Kaempfer (BAFTA-nominated, Parkville Pictures, Exec Producer, Miseducation of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behaviour)
Georgi Banks-Davies — James Marsh (BAFTA and Oscar-winning director, The Theory of Everything, Man On Wire)
Lindsey Dryden — Mary Burke (Senior Development and Production Exec, BFI Film Fund)
Nosa Eke — Wayne Yip (director, Doctor Who, Utopia, Humans)
Matthew Jacobs Morgan — John Cameron Mitchell (writer-director, How To Talk To Girls at Parties, Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Emily McDonald — Lucy Cohen (BAFTA-nominated director, Kingdom of Us)

One mentee said:

“Not only did I learn heaps, it was also one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in my life. The team at BFI and BAFTA were so supportive and accessible, and the events were brilliant. Being able to see so many films at the festival in such a short space of time was amazing. To be constantly discussing our thoughts and tastes as filmmakers and debating about the politics of certain films that we saw was so cool. The mentorship sessions with the filmmakers were infinitely useful. It was so great to be able to pick their brains in a completely safe and candid environment. Their gems of wisdom will stay with me for a long time and be a part of my practice as a filmmaker.”

With another saying about the programme during the festival:

“Being at Flare with my fellow mentees was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my career, but also in life. Being around these filmmakers throughout the festival and being able to share the experience with them while building up a friendship and rapport over the greatly intensive and bespoke programme we were on, really brought us together. I’ll cherish the memories of BFI Flare and take everything I learned from my time there and the knowledge shared with us as I crack on with my own filmmaking this year.”

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

Deadline for applications was Monday 18 February, 5pm. Applications are now closed for the 2019 programme.

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