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20 November 2017

2018 WFTV Mentoring Scheme Participants Announced!

Women in Film and Television is delighted to announce the 20 women who have been selected to join the WFTV Mentoring Scheme. The scheme, which aims to support mid-career level women working in TV and film, starts in February 2018 and is supported by EON Productions, Pinewood Studios, BBC, Channel 4, Avid, Lionsgate, Twickenham Studios and W.

WFTV Chief Executive, Kate Kinninmont, said “Since 2011 we have helped 140 women to progress their careers and we’re delighted to offer support to another 20 women. All the feedback shows that taking part in this intensive experience really does transform careers.”

The WFTV Mentoring Scheme, now entering its eighth year, is a groundbreaking annual scheme aimed at women who are facing a significant career challenge. Issues typically include: redundancy; returning from a career break; dealing with a new promotion or transitioning to a different discipline.

The scheme runs for six months, during which time 20 participants receive six hours of mentoring contact with an experienced industry figure alongside an intensive programme of exclusive peer-to-peer seminars, WFTV member events and wider industry networking opportunities. Those selected this year come from a range of disciplines, including costume, art department, casting, camera, editing, post-production and work in film, television and transmedia.

“By constantly putting myself outside of my comfort zone I discovered that I was capable of more than I ever realised,” said Kerry Skinner, a Film Producer/Director on the 2017 scheme. “I am undoubtedly in a much better place than where I started and have found a great support network.”

“The scheme helped me to acknowledge the barriers to success but to just get on and do it anyway,“ said Rebecca Manley, a Writer/Actor on the 2017 scheme. “The scheme requires commitment and honesty and the payoff is huge. To be part of a group of hugely talented and experienced women is so inspiring and galvanising. I feel like a completely different person to the one who applied for the scheme, and that person has a much better chance of doing the sort of work I want to do.”

The 2018 mentees will be carefully matched with one of 20 handpicked high-profile mentors. Past mentors have included: Hilary Davis, Co-MD Bankside Films; Julie Parmenter, MD Molinare; Sarah Gavron, Director; Sara Putt, MD Sara Putt Associates; Will Clarke, CEO Altitude Film Entertainment; Pat Younge, MD, Sugar Films.

The scheme’s producer, Nicola Lees, said: “I’m looking forward to working with this new group of mentees and I’m really excited to see what they will achieve over these six months and beyond.”

The scheme was launched in 2011 in response to a 2009 Creative Skillset census that revealed that 4950 women lost their jobs in TV since the start of the recession, (compared to just 650 men). Not only were the numbers of women declining in the industry, it was noted there was a steep drop in the number of women staying in the industry after the age of 35, and those who remained often struggled to progress to a more senior level. “Our goal was to create an industry culture that supports and respects women throughout their careers so that they remain in the industry into their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond” adds Lees.

Since the scheme’s inception, 140 women have benefited from the intensive programme of mentoring and peer-to-peer support. With the help of the scheme, mentees have gone on to secure promotions, set up their own production companies, and work together on a range of productions.

The full list of 2018 Mentees is as follows:

Alex Sunderland – Series Producer
Dare Aiyegbayo – Writer
Emma Bodger – Transmedia Producer
Felicity Jackson – Casting Manager
Harriet Kendall – Crowd Costume Supervisor
Ide O’Rourke – Post Production Supervisor
Ita O’Brien – Movement & Intimacy Director
Jo Tracy – Drama Development
Laura Scrivano – Director
Lennie Varvarides  – Creative Producer
Lisa Douglas – Entertainment Producer, ITV
Lucy Wilson – Impact Producer
Meneka Das – Writer/Director
Nicola Quilter – Film Producer/Director/Writer
Patricia Lalla – Film Editor/Music Mixer
Rehana Rose – Director
Sarah Bick – Art Director & Set Decorator
Tania Freimuth – DoP
Valeria Bullo – Production Executive
Vicki Thomson – Casting Director

More details on the individual mentees can be found here:

Interested in being a Mentor?
Potential mentors (male and female) can express their interest in taking part by emailing: