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LFF Critics Mentorship Programme 2021 – supported by the Liberation Initiatives (2021)

Critics Mentorship 0m 2021

Critics Mentorship Programme 2021 - 8 emerging film critics, with a particular emphasis this year on Black/African/Caribbean/Black British writers and those identifying as having a disability, will undertake an intense mentoring experience during the first few days of LFF (6-11 October) with lead mentors Akua Gyamfi and Terri White.

We are looking at how we can better serve writers from underrepresented communities by offering mentorship that can pave the way to future opportunities for paid work in the media. There’s a lack of diversity in film criticism that is damaging to film culture. This is exacerbated by a lack of opportunities for emerging critics to gain experience and have meaningful engagement with publications. Now in its fourth year, the BFI LFF Critics Mentorship programme gives meaningful experience and opportunity to a range of talented emerging film writers. This year, we will be offering the 2021 Critics Mentorship to eight applicants with guaranteed spaces for the following:

• 4 spaces will be offered to Black applicants • 2 spaces will offered to applicants who have a disability, impairment, learning difference or long term condition

Successful applicants will be invited to experience the BFI London Film Festival as an accredited press delegate. They will participate in an Induction Day, where they will meet the BFI LFF teams, their mentors and be taken through the mentorship programme. Journalist, commentator and founder of The British Blacklist, Akua Gyamfi and journalist, former Empire Magazine editor-in-chief and author Terri White will be overall mentors to the participants. And each participant will also be paired with a mentor from each media partner, who will support them to produce pieces of film journalism (reviews, interviews, articles) for publication on their websites and bfi.org.uk

Terri and Akua will work alongside the BFI’s PR and editorial teams to give the mentees firsthand knowledge, access and tangible experience they will need to take the next steps towards a career in film journalism. While press coverage often focuses on more established talent, as always the Festival will present a strong selection of works by a wide range of filmmakers, and there is an opportunity to highlight emerging talent through interviews and features, raising the critical discourse around these films, as well as the profile of these filmmakers and their association with the Festival. With an awareness that there are several other journalism trainee courses held at international film festivals, we are keen that this scheme plays to the strengths of the LFF and should distinguish itself through the Festival’s unique relationships with media partners and access to a world-class selection of films.
The discourse around diversity in film criticism, and wider film culture, is a topical and evolving conversation. And it’s one that, through articles and other activities, we aim to take further.

Participating Media Partners Evening Standard, Time Out, Sight & Sound, Empire, Little White Lies, Screen International, The Face, BBC Radio London, BFI.org.uk

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