Carmen Slijpen – Exhibitor

Guiding Lights Case Study – Mentored by Mark Cosgrove

Q. What were your reasons for applying to Guiding Lights?

“With a background in film projection and programming, in 2011 I signed up for the Cultural Cinema Exhibition course offered by the Independent Cinema Office (ICO). This proved to be a decisive moment in my career, as the course initiated a desire to build an independent cinema in Lewes, where I live. The project is now fully funded, greenlit and run as a charity, which owns a site and building with permission to create a three-screen cinema/education space/editing suite/restaurant and café. The space is set to open in February 2017.”

Q: What have you learnt on the scheme so far, and what have been the highlights?

“Taking part in Guiding Lights has given me a better understanding of the wider context of what it takes to get a film into production, including how to get a script focussed, what producers are looking for and how the director pulls it all together.

The other participants have been very supportive, providing feedback on ideas, and sharing both their contacts and their experiences on previous projects. Being in close contact with scriptwriters, directors and producers has also given me ideas about how to engage with these professions in the future.

Two training sessions around the role of programming have been particularly useful; Alison Gardner from Glasgow Film Theatre gave a clear insight into the responsibilities of her job as cinema director, and Sarah Harvey ran a useful session on PR.

I have also been presented with opportunities to collaborate with individuals beyond the scheme. A meeting with a former Guiding Lights mentee opened up a potential interesting partnership, whilst my mentor and I have discussed collaboration around distribution, fees and programming."



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