Guiding Lights – the British film industry’s flagship mentoring scheme


Lighthouse and Creative Skillset are delighted to announce the latest illustrious line-up of mentors to come on board Guiding Lights – the British film industry’s flagship mentoring scheme – further cementing its reputation as the most prestigious programme of its kind in Europe.

The 2013 mentors include directors: Oliver Parker (St Trinians, An Ideal Husband), John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Joanna Hogg (Archipelago, London Project), and Lenny Abrahamson (Garage, Frank).                         

Writer mentors include Will Davies (How to Train Your Dragon, Johnny English Reborn), Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare at Goats), and Lucinda Coxon (The Crimson Petal and the White, and upcoming Crimson Peak starring Jessica Chastain).

This year’s producer mentors are: Nira Park (Shaun of the Dead, Cuban Fury), Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland, Half of a Yellow Sun), and Robyn Slovo (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Morvern Callar).

Guiding Lights patron Alison Thompson, co-president of Focus Features International (FFI), says:

During the four years that Ive been involved with Guiding Lights, first as a mentor and now as Patron, a hugely impressive line-up of professionals have generously given their time to the scheme, including Sam Mendes, Danny Boyle, Lone Scherfig, Kenneth Branagh, Paul Greengrass, Graham Broadbent, Abi Morgan, Tim Bevan, Christopher Hampton and James Marsh. The standard of the selected participants continues to rise, and were delighted to have been able to lure the same calibre of industry talent on board for 2013.”

Each mentor is paired with a selected director, writer or producer, and works with them over a nine-month period. Many mentorships continue beyond the life of the scheme, such as producer, Nicky Bentham (Moon) whose Guiding Lights mentor was Barbara Broccoli (EON Productions). The mentorship has developed into a longer-term partnership with Nicky currently producing The Silent Storm, starring Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough, with Barbara Broccoli as Executive Producer.

Nicky Bentham comments:

Barbara took a real interest in all of the projects on my slate, her support was invaluable and inspiring. I was really excited to show her the script for The Silent Storm, as I was so passionate about the material. She loved it and came on board immediately. Were now coming to the end of an incredible shoot and its been an amazing journey working together to bring it to life.

Barbara Broccoli adds:

Being Nickys mentor has been a very exciting journey for me. I think I have learned more from her than she has from me! I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Nicky and Corinna on The Silent Storm. I think that it is important to the health of the British film industry that we support new talent and encourage diversity in filmmaking 

First launched in 2006, Guiding Lights has worked with its partners to create mentorships for 99 talented filmmakers and professionals, many of whom have gone on to significant success. They feature several BAFTA winners and nominees, and a number of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow. Past Guiding Lights alumni include Sundance and SXSW selected director Eva Weber (The Solitary Life of Cranes), 2013 BAFTA ‘Best Debut’ nominee Tina Gharavi (I Am Nasrine), Laura Hastings-Smith, who went on to produce Steve McQueen’s Hunger, and Sundance and Berlin 2013 selected filmmaker Andy Heathcote (The Moo Man).

This year’s Guiding Lights participants are based in the UK and Ireland, and work across fiction, animation and documentary. They are directors: Afarin EghbalLaura SmithAndrew LangHenry Darke and Carmel Winters, writers: Andy YerlettLucy MooreMartin Wallace and Thomas Martin, and producers: Jessica LevickRob Watson and Alexa Seligman.

Guiding Lights is run by Lighthouse, and supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI, and through the Skills Investment Fund. The scheme is also part funded for a second year by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) through Screen Training Ireland, and is sponsored by STUDIOCANAL.


For further information on Guiding Lights please visit:

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