ScreenSkills, an industry-led skills body for film, TV, VFX, animation and games, will fund mentoring for more than 250 people from groups under-represented in screen industries.
The organization is contributing £130,375 (US$180,279) in funding to set up 10 partnerships with other screen-related bodies to provide mentoring opportunities, as part of the ScreenSkills Mentoring Programme. The program is also supported by the National Lottery funds as part of the British Film Institute’s Future Film Skills Strategy.
Three of the new initiatives will support nearly 60 deaf and disabled mentees. These initiatives are Beacon Film’s Future Vision; TripleC DANC’s mentoring programme for deaf, disabled and neurodivergent writers and directors; and Media Trust & ScreenSkills Reframing Disability Mentoring Programme in partnership with BBC 50:50. All of the mentors in the Media Trust program will also be disabled.
Another new initiative is the Bristol-based Wildscreen Emerging Talent program. Recruiting from Wales, the program’s goal is to increase diversity in wildlife film and natural history, supporting emerging talent who have missed out on in-person opportunities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will prioritize people in roles in areas with skill shortages.
Also starting up are the Glasgow Film Theatre New Talent Mentoring Schemes in Scotland, which are aimed at emerging writers, directors and producers from under-represented backgrounds. They’ll have a particular focus on producers, because Scotland currently lacks early to mid-level producers.
Funding to Creative Access will also support 50 mentees in animation, film, games, TV and VFX over six months. The program also works with young people from under-represented groups in the creative industries. The mentees will receive training and employment opportunities in line with their interests and aspirations.
The new funding will also support The Rise – Women in Broadcast mentoring program, which supports more women working across broadcast media and the technology sector, in particular within engineering and technical roles.
Also included in the funding are NextGen Prospects v2.0 will receive funding to focus on women outside of London and the South East, along with minority ethnic candidates, in games, VFX and animation, and the Navi Games Mentorship Programme, which targets early stage and experienced game industry professionals.
“We know that mentoring can help build confidence and establish networks which provide invaluable support, particularly for many people from groups currently under-represented in the screen industries,” said ScreenSkills mentoring programme manager Jane Saunders in a release.
“It is great to be working with like-minded partners who are committed, as we are, to making mentoring a really useful part of professional career development.”
Each of the included programs will look to meet at least two diversity targets, with at least half coming from outside of London and the South East, and that collectively the partners will strive to meet ScreenSkills inclusion targets to include LGBTQ candidates and mentees from a socio-economic disadvantage.
The programs will run in 2021-22 alongside ScreenSkills’ own mentoring matching program and 10 other previously funded programs including Bectu Cymru Mentoring 4 Screen Project, FilmMakers25 Mentoring Programme in Bradord, ScreenSkills ENGAGE in association with ThinkBIGGER! for deaf and disabled talent, and the Screen Northants Academy Mentoring Programme.