Two Irish candidates join the initative, and they are attending Galway Film Fleadh this week.

Guiding Lights, the UK mentoring scheme run by arts agency Lighthouse and industry training body Skillset, is extending its remit to Ireland through a partnership with the Irish Film Board and FÁS Screen Training Ireland.

This year, two Irish candidates will join ten UK-based prospects to be mentored over nine months.

Further marking the programme’s new Irish dimension, the participants are this week attending the Galway Film Fleadh (July 5-10), to take part in special events and masterclasses.

The new mentees are based across the UK and Ireland and come from a range of cultural and creative backgrounds including TV, theatre, poetry, documentaries and experimental filmmaking.

Dan Simmons, Skillset’s Head of Film (acting), said: “Our aim is to identify and nurture the most talented new voices who will keep the UK at the forefront of the global film industry both critically and commercially, and help them develop long term careers…it is extremely encouraging to see the scheme expanding to an international arena for the first time, which will inject a valuable new perspective.”

Honor Harger [pictured], Director of Lighthouse added: “Lighthouse is thrilled to welcome these twelve exceptional filmmakers to the Guiding Lights fold. The selection process was more competitive than ever this year and we received hundreds of outstanding applications. We know these twelve filmmakers have brilliant futures ahead of them, and are looking forward to watching them evolve into the stars we know they’ll become.”

This year’s mentors are yet to be announced.

Guiding Lights alumni include Laura Hastings Smith, producer of Steve McQueen’s Hunger, BAFTA winners and nominees and a number of ScreenInternational’s Stars of Tomorrow. Between them, they have produced over 25 features.

Previous mentors include Sam Mendes, Barbara Broccoli, Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha, John Hillcoat, Alison Owen and Alex Garland.

This year’s 12 mentees

Chris Andrews
Emma Passmore
Ursula Rani Sarma
Mark Robertson

Michael Berliner
Cat Cooper
Innis Moore

Oonagh Kearney
Mustapha Kseibati
Michael Lavelle
Amy Neil
Eva Weber