Guiding Lights 9 Mentees
Guiding Lights 9 Mentees


13 July 2018

The ninth edition of Guiding Lights has already resulted in recognition and successes for our participants.

Emily Kyriakides, Executive Director at Lighthouse, introducing guests to Guiding Lights 9
Emily Kyriakides, Executive Director at Lighthouse, introducing guests to Guiding Lights 9

Two first feature films have been completed: Lucy Cohen’s Kingdom of Us, which was nominated for a BAFTA, and A Deal With the Universe, produced by Loran Dunn and premiered at BFI Flare 2018. A third first feature, directed by Nicky Lianos, is in pre-production. Other outcomes include a new mentor/mentee partnership on a Greenham Common project, a ‘Star of Tomorrow’ selection, and producer Dominique Unsworth’s appointment as a ministerial SME Apprenticeship Ambassador.

The scheme matches each participant with a leader in British cinema for a nine month mentorship. Mentors this year include directors John Crowley, Andrew Haigh, Roger Michell, Paul Andrew Williams, Sean Foley and Bart Layton and producers Alison Owen, Andrew Eaton, Elizabeth Karlsen and Tim Bevan.

Since launching in 2006, Guiding Lights has worked with many film industry luminaries, and often welcomes back mentors from previous rounds. Elizabeth Karlsen (Made in Dagenham, Carol), who first mentored for the scheme in 2010, explains why she has returned this year:

“Guiding Lights is an invaluable scheme, which addresses the increasing demands for talent in our over proliferating, content driven industry. It is a pleasure for me to feel that I am able to contribute in some way to the scheme by sharing the knowledge and experience I have been lucky enough to build over the course of my career to people entering the industry.”

Reflecting on the game-changing outcomes for her this year, producer Loran Dunn said:

“I applied to Guiding Lights because I felt excluded from the inner financial circles of the industry – I didn’t have any connections to sales agents, financiers or funding possibilities outside of the public funders. Within the first month of being accepted onto the scheme, I was encouraged and supported to pitch my projects at Galway Film Fleadh Marketplace (something I would never have done alone). While there I raised a significant amount of finance for my first feature, A Deal With The Universe, and secured a sales deal with Altitude.”

New to Guiding Lights this round, mentor John Crowley and his mentee Sarah McCarthy recount their experience of working together so far:

John Crowley: “It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to engage with a wonderful young director in Sarah McCarthy. Being able to talk around all the difficulties, the highs and the lows of realising a film project from inception through completion has yielded a rich dialogue."

Sarah McCarthy: “Three weeks before he started shooting a $47 million feature film John Crowley took the time to read my treatment, watch the documentary my feature is based on and discuss my development process in detail. He was candid about the issues he was facing going into making a film with his biggest budget yet and incredibly generous with his time and insight. He made feature filmmaking seem like a completely achievable dream and that kind of inspiration is invaluable.”

The Guiding Lights 9 mentor/mentee pairings are:

John Crowley
(Boy A, Brooklyn) with Sarah McCarthy
Roger Michell
(Notting Hill, Enduring Love) with Sean Spencer
Andrew Haigh
(45 Years, Lean On Pete) with Lucy Cohen
Bart Layton
(The Imposter, American Animals) with Meloni Poole
Sean Foley
(Mindhorn) with Nicky Lianos

Alison Owen
(Suffragette, Jane Eyre) with Catryn Ramasut
Andrew Eaton
(24 Hour Party People, The Crown) with Emilie Jouffroy & Kamilla Kristiane Hødol (Elation Pictures)
Tim Bevan
(Darkest Hour, Atonement) with Dominique Unsworth
Elizabeth Karlsen
(Made in Dagenham, Carol) with Loran Dunn

Paul Andrew Williams
(London to Brighton, Unfinished Song) with John Hickman
Mentor to be announced / Demian Fox
Mentor to be announced / Harry Macqueen

Meloni Poole and Bart Layton

Paul Andrew Williams and John Hickman

Find out more about Guiding Lights.

Guiding Lights 9 is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds, and by Screen Training Ireland part of Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board to support one Irish participant on the scheme.



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