Guiding Lights
Guiding Lights


First launched in 2006, Guiding Lights is Europe’s most prestigious film mentoring scheme. Majority funded by Creative Skillset, the programme supports upcoming filmmakers and professionals through high-level mentoring, complemented by a range of training and networking activities.

Each mentee is matched with a leading film industry professional who provides advice and guidance over a 9-month period. Previous mentors include Danny Boyle, Barbara Broccoli, Sam Mendes, Alison Owen, Alex Garland, Nira Park, Johanna Hogg, Paul Greengrass, Abi Morgan and Kenneth Branagh.

Alongside the one-to-one mentoring, a number of training events take place. Further access to industry professionals is facilitated by an online networking facility.

In addition to the directors, writers and producers supported through Guiding Lights, this year we are also partnering with Film Hub South East – part of the BFI Film Audience Network – to support the participation of three exhibition professionals from the South East.

Underscoring Guiding Lights’ commitment to promoting diversity within the film industry, the new mentees hail from across the UK and beyond, and bring a range of different perspectives on the world. Their professional backgrounds include work in TV, theatre, documentary, comedy, radio and commercials.

We’ll soon be launching the next round of Guiding Lights early in the New Year. To hear as soon as applications are open please sign up to our newsletter.

The 15 selected participants for 14/15 are:


- Michael Pearce – mentor: James Marsh (Man On Wire, Shadow Dancer)
- Elizabeth Stopford – mentor: Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Marley)
- Rachel Tunnard – mentor: Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Southcliffe)
- Jack Weatherley – mentor: TBC


- Joy Wilkinson – mentor: Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet, Thor)
- Line Langebek – mentor: Frank Cottrell Boyce (24 Hour Party People, The Railway Man)
- George Kane – mentor: Dan Mazer (Borat, Bruno)


- Paul Fischer – mentor: Alison Owen (The Other Boleyn Girl, Saving Mr Banks)
- Elhum Shakerifar – mentor: Kate Ogborn (The Spirit of ’45, The Deep Blue Sea)
- Alex Thiele – mentor: Julie Baines (Triangle, Creep)
- Emily Morgan – mentor: Ed Guiney (The Guard, Shadow Dancer)


- Rebecca Marshall – mentor: Iain Christie (Film Scholar & Europa Cinemas)
- Jonathan Hyde – mentor: Helen Dewitt (BFI Head of Cinemas)
- David Parker – mentor: Mark Dobson (Chief Executive, Tyneside Cinema)

Please click the links below to find more information about Guiding Lights mentor/mentee matches for other years.

Guiding Lights is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Fund.



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