Guiding Lights 2014 film mentoring programme open to applications

First launched in 2006, Guiding Lights is the UK film industry’s leading mentoring programme.  Applications are now open for Guiding Lights 2014, which will select a group of talented writers, directors and producers to take part in a sixth edition of the scheme, set to launch in July 2014. This year, the scheme is also open to exhibition professionals working in the South East of England.

Successful applicants will benefit from 9 months of one-to-one mentor support from an established film industry professional. Previous Guiding Lights mentors include Danny Boyle, Barbara Broccoli, Sam Mendes, Clio Barnard, Julian Fellowes, Sandra Hebron, Tim Bevan, Joanna Hogg, Paul Greengrass, Nira Park, Alex Garland, Abi Morgan, Kenneth Branagh and many others.

Alongside the one-to-one mentoring, participants will benefit from a number of industry training and networking events. Further access to high-level filmmakers and business professionals will be provided through an online facility.

Guiding Lights is run by Lighthouse, and supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI, and through the Skills Investment Fund.

Eligibility:  Writers are eligible to apply if you meet all three requirements below:

1) You have a writing credit on at least 2 pieces of eligible work, as defined below:

A produced short film which satisfies at least one of the following:

  • has been officially selected by a festival programmer for a festival on our approved list (see Appendix 2); or
  • has had a theatrical release; or
  • has been picked up for broadcast on television or online distribution; or
  • has a third party sales agency agreement in place.


A long-form fictional work which has been optioned, commissioned or produced such as:

  • a feature-length screenplay; or
  • a TV drama (minimum length 30mins); or
  • a published novel; or
  • a professionally produced play for theatre (minimum length 30mins); or
  • a radio drama (minimum length 30mins).

2) You have written at least 1 feature-length script which you can send us for assessment (this does not need to have been produced or optioned);

3) have at least 1 other feature-length script in development (this can be at synopsis, treatment or script stage).

What to submit:

All disciplines are required to complete the Application Form in order to be eligible for consideration. Within the form, you will be required to answer the following questions:

1. What qualities make you stand out in your specific discipline?
2. What challenges do you currently face in your career and how would the Guiding Lights scheme help you to overcome them?
3. What strategies have you used in the past to overcome any professional or personal obstacles?
4. What do you hope to gain from a mentor and how do you think they will help you to achieve your full potential?
5. How will you help make the mentoring partnership work?
6. Please choose a favourite film and explain why it inspires you.

As well as completing the online Application Form you will be required to provide the following supporting documents:

1. a CV including filmography and/or past and current projects;
2. 1 feature-length screenplay;
3. the synopsis of another feature-length project you are developing (no longer than one page);
4. a letter of recommendation from a professional referee who has known you for at least 12 months and who has knowledge of your work as a screenwriter. The letter should detail who they are, how they know you, and why you would be suitable for Guiding Lights.

How to apply: For writers, there are three stages in the application process:

1. Complete the online Eligibility Questionnaire
2. Complete the online Application Form
3. Complete the online Equality Monitoring Form

In order to access the online Application Form you will first need to complete the Eligibility Questionnaire and provide information to demonstrate that you are eligible to apply. Once you pass the Eligibility Questionnaire you will be sent a link to access the Application Form. After completing the Application Form, you will be sent a link to the Equality Monitoring Form.

To start the application process please click here.

Deadline:  31 March 2014 at 5pm

Source:  BBC Writersroom

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