BFI And BAFTA Set 2023 Recipients Of LGBTQIA+ Mentoring Scheme That Backed Aleem Khan & Georgia Oakley

EXCLUSIVE: The BFI and BAFTA have set the 2023 cohort of the BFI Flare x BAFTA mentoring scheme, which provides National Lottery funding and mentoring to six LGBTQIA+ filmmakers working towards their debuts in film and television.

The programme runs in partnership with BFI NETWORK and is in its ninth year. Alums include Aleem Khan (After Love), Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (Blue Story, Boxing Day), Georgi Banks-Davies (I Hate Suzie), Kayleigh Llewellyn (In My Skin, Killing Eve), and Georgia Oakley (Blue Jean).

This year’s programme will support writer Dylan Brady, writer/director Phoebe Brooks, writer Matilda Feyiṣayọ Ibini, writer/director Sarah Grant, writer Bethan Marlow, and writer/director/producer Shiva Raichandani.

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Alongside cash funding, the participants are matched with industry mentors and invited to attend a two-day lab of events during BFI Flare, the BFI’s LGBTQIA+ film festival. The festival runs this month from March 15-26. They will also receive access to wellbeing and career coaching as well as BAFTA’s membership platform for emerging and mid-level talent, Connect.

The BFI has said this year’s call for filmmakers saw a record number of applicants, with an increase of 54% on last year. The body said filmmakers were selected “based on the quality and potential of the exciting, challenging, and original projects they are developing.”

“This year’s programme showcases a truly exciting cohort that we’re once again delighted to be supporting in partnership with BFI Flare and BFI NETWORK,” Cassandra Neal, BAFTA New Talent, and Industry Manager, said.

“We’ve seen over the years how dedicated access to industry, wellbeing, and coaching support can be transformative for emerging filmmakers at this crucial stage in their career. I encourage the industry to take note of this year’s fantastic group and the LGBTQIA+ stories they’re ready and waiting to tell.”

Michael Blyth, BFI Flare Senior Programmer, added: “In addition to showcasing the work of countless queer filmmakers each year, BFI Flare is dedicated to supporting and nurturing the next generation of LGBTQI+ storytellers. It has been such a thrill to see the amazing things past alumni have gone on to achieve since being part of the mentorship programme, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this year’s incredibly talented cohort.”

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