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2018 Mentees

Alex Sunderland

Series Producer

Alex has over 15 years of experience working in television as a Series Producer and a self-shooting Producer/Director in factual programming.

She has gained access to sensitive, complex subjects and told difficult and challenging stories with passion and honesty. Her programmes have been filmed across the UK and internationally, involving at times, hospital trauma units and embedding herself within various police forces. Alex has brought humour, warmth and emotion to challenging content, often with vulnerable contributors.

As a Series Producer, she has combined her experience as a Producer and a

visual Director with her technical knowledge, positive attitude and ability to film with empathy, sensitivity and ambition. Working with varied broadcasters, production companies and running large production teams, Alex has recently delivered the RTS award winning BBC2 series Our Dancing Town, and Channel 4 returnable documentary series 24 Hours in A& E.

Dare Aiyegbayo


Since completing a Screenwriting MA at the London College of Printing Dare has written for both Channel 5 and BBC continuing drama series including Eastenders and Waterloo Road. She has also written an award winning short, several unproduced features and been commissioned to develop original television drama series. Dare has worked in development for a number of UK film companies including the award winning Vertigo Films and as a freelancer for Creative England and the BBC.

Dare also served as a member of the film committee for the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, as visiting tutor and development advisor at Bournemouth University and as a resident tutor and development advisor at the privately funded Central Film School in London.

In addition to developing TV and film projects Dare is currently Writer in Residence for Papatango Theatre Company where she is writing her first play. She is represented by Georgina Ruffhead at David Highham Associates.

Emma Bodger

Transmedia Producer

Emma loves creating visceral, truthful, emotional, edgy story worlds.  She is passionate about narratives that surprise, delight, engage and question..

She is a transmedia storyteller working internationally across many different platforms: film and TV, radio, games, print, web, comics and mobile. She has worked across all these platforms as a Producer, Director, Executive Producer, Storyliner, Script Editor, Writer/Showrunner and sometimes all of the above! One of her most innovative projects was a feature film shot on a mobile phone.

Emma is a champion for diversity and giving a voice to the unheard, bringing new and vibrant stories to screens both big and small. In terms of Film and TV, she is well versed in all formats from 16mm to 4K. She confesses to being a bit of a geek who can’t resist experimenting with second screen experiences and 360′ storytelling for a truly immersive audience experience.

Felicity Jackson


Felicity Jackson, born and raised in North London, started performing from a young age. At eighteen years old she chose acting as her favoured art and gained a place at The Court Theatre Training Company, where she gained a BA (Hons) in Acting.

After graduating, Felicity, inspired by her fellow thespians, founded Surviving Actors Ltd; an annual industry convention held in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and New York aimed at jobbing actors looking to develop, sustain and create opportunities within their career. Within a year of setting up Surviving Actors, Felicity founded Casting Days Ltd; running actors workshops, seminars and the UK contact for StarNow casting professionals.

Felicity is most well known for her appearance in Series 7 of BBC’s The Apprentice, where she beat 72,000 people to reach the final 16 candidates. She continued to excel above the other candidates and was eventually ‘fired’ in week four.

Harriet Kendall

Crowd Costume Supervisor

I work in the Costume Department of the Film and TV industry, in a number of roles, as Wardrobe Mistress, Crowd Supervisor and Assistant Designer.

Over the last 14 years I have worked on big budget films, including “Les Misérables”, “Cinderella”, “Hugo”, “Snow White and the Huntsmen”, “Dark Shadows”, “300”, “Pan” and “Sherlock Holmes”. I have also worked on successful TV series,  including“Dracula”, “Wallander”, “SS-GB” and “The Crown”.

After studying Costume Design at Edinburgh College of Art and Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University, I started my career at “Angels” as a Senior Costumier. I worked with historical clothing for 6 years, for Theatre, TV and Film costume designers.

Recently I was Crowd Supervisor on the Film “Goodbye Christoper Robin” and I am currently working for 4 time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood on the second Fantastic Beasts as Chief Ladies Fitter.

Íde O’Rourke

Post Production Supervisor

Íde is an Associate Producer on HBO’s Game of Thrones, overseeing Editorial and Post Production. Having worked her way up the Post Production ranks from season 1 of the show, Game of Thrones has seen Íde working in Belfast, London, Spain, Croatia and Los Angeles, from the early stages of pre-production through production, to the final delivery.

With over ten years of experience in Post Production, Íde cut her teeth working in a busy Dublin facility specialising in commercials, documentary and magazine programming and moved through bookings, VT, and then as an assistant editor.

Prior to moving into Production and Post, Íde’s first job in TV was as an assistant on the corporate side in Ireland’s TV3, which also included the scripting and editing of the bygone Teletext.

Ita O’Brien

Movement & Intimacy Director

I have always loved dance and communicating story through the body. After a dance career in musical theatre, I became an actor, training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, then gained my MA in Movement Studies at Central School of Speech & Drama. I teach movement in some of London’s top drama schools; movement direct in theatre, TV, and film; and have devised my own work. I am currently working to establish best practice in the industry for actors, directors, and producers when working with intimacy and scenes with sexual content, including the regular use of intimacy directors in film and TV.

Jo Tracy

Drama Development

Jo’s love of a good story has led to her working with fiction / drama writers for over 25 years. Having started off in the editorial department of Virago Press, she is currently working as a freelance project developer for film and TV companies, specialising in adaptations.

In between, Jo has been a script editor at the BBC, Head of Development for Sony & Canal+ backed The Bridge, as well as Norma Heyman’s Pagoda; she has worked with independent production companies, studios, broadcasters and film funding bodies; on all genres, at all budget levels, on projects at every stage of development. She also had two daughters.

As well as working with established writers Jo loves to nurture new talent, so has created and delivered writing master classes to students, and moving-image workshops to the industry. Alongside this she’s been a judge on numerous new-writing schemes, and has championed new voices.

Laura Scrivano


Laura is a drama and comedy director who works across film, TV and commercials. Her short films have screened at festivals internationally including BFI Flare, Sundance, Oberhausen, Cyprus Film Days and Cinema des Antipodes at Festival de Cannes.

Actors she has directed include Jessica Hecht (Breaking Bad), Daniel Henshall (Turn, OKJA, Snowtown), Susan Prior (Animal Kingdom), Sarah Snook (The Dressmaker, Black Mirror) and Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper, The 4400).

Laura directed the viral hit The Language of Love, showcased at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in partnership with YouTube and screened by The Ellen Degeneres Show, PBS, The Huffington Post, Stephen Fry, Buzzfeed and The Guardian. She was awarded the European Union Film Award for her short The Orchard and nominated for best director and best screenplay at the St Kilda Film Festival for Ricochet.  Her recent work includes a one-shot music promo for Imelda May and Salute The Lionesses for Channel 4 / The FA.

She is currently developing projects for both film and TV.

Lennie Varvarides

Creative Producer

Lennie Varvarides is a first generation Cypriot born in London to immigrant parents and brought up in the rag trade. Lennie studied fine art at UAL and Writing for Performance at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating, Lennie began producing fringe theatre and after meeting so many talented actors, decided to set up a Management company called MSFT MANAGEMENT. In 2013 Lennie set up DYSPLA, a production company dedicated to producing the work of Dyslexic Storymakers. The biggest project to date is the DYSPLA INTERNATIONAL MOVING IMAGE FESTIVAL which will launch next year.

Lisa Douglas

Entertainment Producer, ITV

Lisa is the Entertainment Producer on ITV’s award-winning daytime show This Morning.

Having graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication, Lisa began work at Granada Television, Manchester working in their Entertainment Department. After two years working across a variety of genres, Lisa returned to Glasgow most notably working on the BAFTA winning Gutted documentary. Yet it was her passion for all things showbiz that saw her to move to London to work on shows such as Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Parkinson, Al Murray’s Happy Hour and The Paul O’Grady Show.

Lisa has longstanding relationships with talent, publicists and journalists across the entertainment industry. A highly creative individual with drive and tenacity, she excels at negotiating, problem solving and organisation.

Earlier this year, Lisa flew to both L.A and Miami to produce two exclusive interviews with Jamie Dornan and Dwayne Johnson for This Morning.

Lucy Wilson

Impact Producer

Lucy’s passion for film began as a crew member on two feature films for the Children’s Film Unit. During school and university holidays she worked as a runner for various production companies. After graduating with a film degree, Lucy’s roles ranged from stand in actor to production assistant on the feature remake of Alfie. She also cast extras for The Da Vinci Code.

After two years working in the BBC Children’s Press Office, Lucy travelled to Tanzania where she set up a charitable project that allowed children from Moshi to enjoy dance workshops and film screenings.

Lucy then worked in advertising before joining ITV, co-developing the channel’s flagship fundraiser, Text Santa. She spent four years managing all charity involvement, liaising with editorial teams and producing appeal films. The initiative raise over £32 million for 26 UK and International charities. Lucy is currently the UK Impact Producer on the documentary, Unrest.

Meneka Das


Meneka was born in India and moved to London, where she trained as an actor and has worked with directors such as David Yates, Mike Leigh, Tim Supple and Bryan Singer.

Her passion for stories with strong female voices especially those that reflect her culture inspired her to turn to writing and directing to help bring them to the screen.

She studied at the NFTS and writing with Emmy award-winning writer Jan Hartman.

After two shorts she wrote and directed her feature ‘Little Box of Sweets’. ‘An impressive directorial debut…” Derek Elley, Variety. “A promising first feature…appealing echoes  of Jean Renoir’s The River…” Tom Dawson C4

Meneka was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Emerging Talent at The South Asian Int. Film Festival, New York.

Her second script feature won the Bafta Rocliffe Writing forum and selected for Tribeca All Access. Meneka is developing a 10min short, as proof of concept for the feature.

Her current award winning short ‘La Lune Folle’ screens before Three billboards outside Ebbing at the Bath Film Festival 2017!

Nicola Quilter

Film Producer/Director/Writer

Nicola is a Writer, Director and Producer, a Euroscript board member and the founder of Rocket Room Films. She started acting when she was a child and has spent the last 10 years working to realise her aspirations as a filmmaker.

She was born in England, grew up in Australia and returned to London 15 years ago. She was a resident character on Home and Away, appearing in shows for Channel 7, Channel 9, SBS, Film Australia and Southern Star. Nicola toured Australia with Sydney Theatre Company’s award winning production of The Crucible, the revival of Hair and Ireland with The Lost Ones. She’s also worked for the BBC in Radio and TV.

Nicola has made 18 short films. Most recently she produced and directed Prawn for the Arri Alexa/Directors UK challenge and is working on her feature debut.

Patricia Lalla

Film Editor/Music Mixer

Patricia freelances through her company Wolfskill Ltd cutting music based promos and reels, mostly for the BBC. She is moving into video editing long form music work – she recently cut a few scenes on the feature film doc Lost in Vagueness about the alternative Glastonbury scene. Her first complete long form video editing piece is a television documentary about Puccini, airing December 2017 on Sky Arts.

Patricia’s understanding of narrative and subject is grounded in her eclectic background – she has produced a couple of BBC Radio 4 documentaries, has an MA in Screenwriting, and sneaks inside Westminter to direct live coverage of parliamentary select committees.

As part of her evolution into long form music work Patricia is developing into a non-traditional film editor, a hybrid – a film editor combined with a music mixer, working on the picture and narrative cut whilst additonally crafting the music mix at the edit points, thereby creating an equal marriage between music and moving image.

Rehana Rose


Rehana’s first experience of filmmaking was as a runner on a documentary about punk rock in the eighties. Rough Cut & Ready Dubbed was made by a group of school children and won the Grierson award. Rehana then trained as an audio-visual designer within the global live events industry. After building a successful career in video and animation production for large format multi-screen projection, thirteen years ago she returned to her interest in filmmaking and has since made several independent short films, attended many film courses and assisted others. Her short films, fiction and documentary, have been officially selected at festivals including (in no particular order) Tribeca, Shanghai, Palm Springs, Montreal, Raindance, Rushes, London Short Film Festival, East End Film Festival, Encounters, Iris Prize, Cambridge Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Jewish Film Festival and WOFFF. Rehana is currently working on her first feature documentary, Dead Good.

Sarah Bick

Art Director & Set Decorator

Sarah has co-produced sets, textiles, props and environments across Film, Television, and Commercials for 60+ production companies including BBC, Working Title, ITV, Studio Canal, Focus Features, and Sky. She studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon, and after graduating began designing for immersive performance, creating sets for Secret Cinema and various music festivals. After a good stint casting Supporting Artists for many film and tv projects, she now specialises in Set Decoration. She loves procuring the weird and wonderful, and collaborative world-building.

Tania Freimuth


Valeria Bullo

Production Executive

Valeria started her film career in corporate films and documentaries before moving into independent feature films, working for companies such as Revolution and Warp. She worked her way up through the ranks of production, eventually undertaking roles working on big budget studio feature films for Warner Brothers, Universal and Disney, including Inception and Mad Max: Fury Road.

In her current role at Pathe as Production Executive, which she started in 2014, Valeria helps to oversee and support each production from development through to distribution. During her time at Pathe she has worked on award-winning projects such as Pride, Selma and Suffragette.

Vicki Thomson

Casting Director

Vicki Thomson started working in casting in 2007 and setup her own company VT Casting in 2016. In the past year she has worked as UK Casting Director on The Brave (NBC), Deutschland 86 (UFA/Amazon) as well as leading the UK searches for NBC’s pilot season. Her previous credits as a Casting Director include Grantchester (ITV), Brief Encounters (ITV) and Guilt (ABC Freeform). Prior to setting up VT Casting she worked with Kelly and Victor at VHJ Casting as a Casting Associate on projects including Broadchurch (ITV), Fleabag (BBC), Humans (C4), The Royals (E!) and The Last Kingdom (BBC). Vicki began her career as a Stage Manager before moving into casting as an assistant to the late Maggie Lunn. She is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Manchester University.

Mentee testimonials

"One of the very best things that I have done for my career. It forced me to work on areas I had neglected - networking, contact building and focusing on long-term goals - and also allowed me to meet, bond and be a part of a new network with brilliant women."

Christiana Ebohon, Director, Mentee 2015

"It kicked me into 'business mode' - my knowledge of the freelancing world and industry as a whole has increased hugely and, with that, my confidence in 'selling myself' (a somewhat alien idea to me). I have recommended it to many women and will continue to do so."

Lucy Johnstone, Sound Editor, Mentee 2015

"The scheme forced me to stop, take stock and focus on what it is that tempted me into the industry in the first place... I felt less alone, regularly inspired and positively accountable. If you get the chance, you won't regret it - SIGN UP!"

Emma Smithwick, Head of Scripted Content, Mentee 2015

"Once you go through it, you can't turn back because you've made a commitment and you're accountable to the other mentees, your mentor and most of all yourself - that\u2019s very powerful."

Sofia Olins, Director, Mentee 2015

"This scheme is appropriate to ANYONE who is mid-career and needs to reconnect with themselves in some professional way. The creation of the supportive female network is inspired and definitely the best thing about the scheme - I would recommend it 100 per cent."

Anita Gupta, Set Decorator/Production Buyer, Mentee 2015

"The mentoring scheme fosters an incredibly supportive and safe environment to openly identify obstacles (both professional and personal), push boundaries, learn new skills, ask questions and take risks."

Fleur Jago, Producer, Mentee 2014

"The mentoring scheme was really magical - it unfolded in both typical and surprising ways. I learned not only so much about the industry but also about myself. It was challenging and yet so much fun!”

Meghan Horvath, Director, Mentee 2013