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Industry Leaders back the launch of WFTV’s 2020 Mentoring Scheme in Association with Screenskills

Today, Women in Film and TV (UK) launched its 2020 mentoring scheme in association with ScreenSkills, which has set new industry standards for its uniquely effective approach to training. This year, the scheme has attracted many of the country’s leading TV & film experts to mentor the candidates, including Jay Hunt, Creative Director, Europe, Worldwide Video, Apple; Lorraine Heggessey, Chair, Grierson Trust; Tamara Howe, Managing Director Vice TV EMEA; David Glover, founder72 films; Jocelyn Jee Esien, writer and actor; and Danny Cohen, President, Access Entertainment.

In an intensely competitive process, just twenty women have been selected from hundreds of applicants for this mid-career scheme and they have come from every conceivable area of the industry from composing to directing, producing, script editing and development. The scheme is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Avid, the BBC, Channel4, EON Productions, Lionsgate, Panalux & Panavision, Twickenham Studios and UKTV.

Heading up the scheme is WFTV’s mentoring producer Tracy Forsyth, who is also a Creative Mentor at Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund, an executive coach and ex- BBC exec.

Tracy says:

“The scheme empowers these talented women with the belief, confidence and skills to achieve their career goals and provides them with clarity of direction, focus and a life-long network of contacts. It is incredibly rewarding to guide these 20 women on that journey”.

Jane Saunders, ScreenSkills Mentoring Manager added:

“We are delighted to be supporting Women in Film & TV and welcoming their existing, well-respected programme to our ScreenSkills Mentoring Network. We are looking forward to reaching more mentees from a diversity of backgrounds and supporting them as they broaden their skills, increase their networks and further develop their careers”.

WFTV Chair Liz Tucker added:

“And we only have to look at the career paths of previous mentees to know our scheme really works. Over 108 women have now taken part in the scheme and previous mentees have landed jobs at Amazon, the BBC and Channel 4. Our scheme genuinely changes lives and careers”.

The full list of mentees is as follows:

Alice Ramsey, BBC Writers room Development Producer

Bruna Capozzoli, TV Online Media producer

Cat Marshall, Production Supervisor, WARP Films (Sheffield)

Claire Bachelor, Composer TV Kate Bennetts, Investment Director

Emma Yap, Scripted Development Executive TV

Gilberte Phanor, Graphics Editor/news producer Sky

Helen O Donnell, Head of Development BBC Studios Talentworks

Janice Okoh, Scriptwriter

Jemma Parish, Senior AP, TravelMan (Warwick)

Jenny Stimpson, TV Documentary Producer

Kate Bennetts, Investment Director

Mel Bezalel, Director of Development RDF

Rebecca Brown, Commercial Manager, Specialist Factual

Ruchika Tagore, Development Executive

Ruth Mayer, TV documentary Producer/Director

Samantha Fray, Programme Manager, Beyond Bronte

Serena Lloyd-Smith, Diversity & Inclusion – Networks Specialist

Sian Whomes, Head of Talent – Sony Pictures

(Suga) Vathana Suganya Suppiah, Film Editor / Commercials Editor

Zoe McGivern, Head of Development / Series Producer

The full list of mentors is as follows:

Addie Orfila – Former Head of Production, Serial Drama & Founder Addie Orfila Training

Ade Rawcliffe – Head of Diversity for ITV Commissioning and WFTV Board Member

Catherine Catton – Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, BBC

Danny Cohen – President Access Entertainment

David Glover – Founder 72 Films

Harriet Pennington Legh – Agent, Troika Talent

Hilary Rosen – Deputy Head of Commissioning, UKTV

Jay Hunt – Chief Creative Officer, Apple

Jocelyn Jee Esien – Writer and actor

Laura Lankester – Creative Director, Lookout Point

Lindsay Bradbury – Commissioning Editor, Daytime, BBC

Loran Dunn – Film Producer, Delaval Films

Lorraine Heggessey – Chair, Grierson Trust

Norma Wisnevitz – Chief Operating Officer, True North

Rachel Job – SVP Unscripted Content, ALL3Media

Sam Hoyle – Executive Producer, Netflix

Sam Jukes Adams – Executive Coach & TV Production Consultant

Sumi Connock – Creative Director of Formats, BBC Studios

Tamara Howe – Managing Director Vice TV EMEA

Zeb Achonu – Film Editor and WFTV Board Member

About the Scheme:

This is the tenth year of the Scheme, which aims to support mid-career level women working in TV and film. It is a ground breaking annual programme aimed at women who are facing a significant career challenge. Issues typically include: breaking through to the next level; dealing with a new promotion or moving sideways into a different discipline.

The Scheme runs for six months, during which time the 20 participants receive six hours of mentoring contact with an experienced industry figure alongside an intensive programme of exclusive peer-to-peer training and seminars, WFTV member events and wider industry networking opportunities.

About Women in Film and TV (UK)

Women in Film & TV (UK) is the leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK and part of an international network of over 13,000 women. Members of the organisation come from a broad range of professions spanning the entire creative media industry.

WFTV hosts a variety of events throughout the year, presents a prestigious awards ceremony every December (The WFTV Awards supported by headline sponsor Sky), collaborates with industry bodies on research projects, and lobbies for women’s interests.

About ScreenSkills

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based creative industries – animation, games, television including children’s and high-end, VFX and immersive technology. It works across the whole of the country to build an inclusive workforce with the skills needed for continued success, now and in the future.

Why was the WFTV Mentoring Scheme set up?

The WFTV Mentoring Scheme was launched in 2011 in response to a 2009 Creative Skillset census that revealed that 4,950 women had 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.

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