Suhayla El-Bushra - Writer

Mentored by Christopher Hampton

Why did you apply to Guiding Lights?

“I applied to Guiding Lights because I felt I’d hit a brick wall in terms of my career. I’d had some success writing for TV and local theatre, but was finding the film industry quite tough to crack. Screenwriting is such a solitary experience; you do most of your work on spec, at home, by yourself and you don’t have access to other people within the industry. I wanted a mentor who could offer useful advice and feedback on my writing, but I also wanted the chance to meet directors and producers who could help me get my work off the ground.”

What have you gained from being on the scheme?

“Being on the scheme has given me a lot more confidence in my writing. I used to shyly offer my scripts to people with what was almost an apology and I don’t do that anymore! People seem to read my stuff a lot quicker as a result. Like most writers I just want to see my work produced. Thanks to Guiding Lights this now feels achievable.

Obviously meeting my mentor Christopher Hampton and talking to him about writing has been a massive highlight, but there have been lots of others. Going to the Edinburgh Film Festival with the other Guiding Lights mentees was great fun and it’s been really refreshing to spend time with so many other people from the industry."



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