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13 November 2012

Meet the 2012-13 WFTV Mentees

Women in Film and Television (UK) is delighted to announce the launch of the latest WFTV Mentoring Scheme to support mid-career level women working in TV and film.

WFTV Chief Executive, Kate Kinninmont, said “the 2011 mentoring scheme was a stunning success for the women involved and we’re delighted to renew the process for another 20 women. All the evidence shows that this experience can really transform their careers.”

Over six months, from November 2012 to April 2013, each of the women will have six hours of mentoring contact with an experienced industry professional, combined with an intensive programme of seminars and access to training and networking opportunities.

The scheme is designed to support mid-career women. Those selected represent a variety of disciplines across film and television, including writing, directing, producing, editing, cinematography, media law, PR, distribution, scheduling and events. The women all have at least five years experience and work across fiction features, documentary, comedy, TV drama and children’s programming.  

The women participating in the scheme are:

Avon Harpley, Film/TV Drama Producer
Bridgette Williams, Film Editor
Carrie Galvau, Business and Legal Affairs Manager, BBCWW
Elizabeth Clegg, Screenwriter
Emma Lindley, TV Producer/Director
Eva Weber, Film/TV/Commercials Director
Heather Pople, Head of Scheduling, Sky Atlantic HD and Sky Arts HD
Joy Wilkinson, TV Scriptwriter
Kate Reid, Cinematographer
Laurel Parker, Producer/Director
Lindsey Dryden, Documentary Producer/Director
Michelle Coomber, TV/Film Director
Meghan Horvath, Documentary Director
Nadia Iqbal, TV/Film Editor
Natalie Samson, Head of TV/3D Consultant Producer, Vision3
Ros Attille, Series Producer
Sadie Groom, MD, Bubble & Squeak
Sharon Kersley, Head of Events, Sky
Vivien Muller-Rommel, Distribution & Exhibition Co-ordinator, BFI
Wanda Opalinska, Comedy writer/actress

You can see pictures and find out more about each mentee here.

Voiceover artist Peddy Knowles who took part in the WFTV Mentoring scheme in early 2012 said of the experience: “For the first time in twenty working years I know where I want to go, what I need to achieve my goals, and how to get there.” 
The mentees have been carefully matched with one of twenty high-profile mentors, who include: Beryl Vertue, Hartswood Films; Emma Turner, Senior Executive Producer Worldwide Drama, Fremantle; Chantal Rickards, Head of Programming/Branded Content, MEC EMEA; Sara Putt, MD Sara Putt Associates; Fiona Stourton, Creative Director, Ten Alps; Andrea Florence, CEO Aquila Films; John Gough, Head of Programme, Entertainment Masterclass; Claire Zolkwer, Commissioning Editor, Comedy Entertainment, ITV; Sallie Ryle, Communications Consultant, Mammoth Screen; Will Clarke, CEO Altitude Film Entertainment.

“The person I mentored was an outstanding professional who I felt could really benefit from the help I was able to give her,” said Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4 Television, of her experience of being a mentor on the scheme.

The scheme’s producer, Nicola Lees, commented “now in its third year, the scheme has seen previous mentees win executive level promotions, set up their own production companies, embark on directing their first feature film. I’m delighted to be working with another group of talented women from a wide range of disciplines and look forward to seeing what they can achieve – individually and collectively across the three groups – over the next few months”.

The scheme, supported by Eon Productions, Creative Skillset, BBC, and Channel 4, was launched in 2010 in response to Skillset research that showed, “women aged 35 or over are under-represented in the workforce, compared with both men of the same age and women aged under 35”, and Broadcast’s 2010 Women in TV survey, which revealed that the gender pay gap, ageism and sexism had all worsened since their first survey in 2006.