The ICO unveils eight participants and mentors for scheme.


The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) has unveiled the eight participants and mentors on its inaugural Women’s Leadership scheme, aimed at boosting the number of women working in the exhibition sector.

Mentors comprise Amanda Neville CBE, chief executive of the BFI, Amanda Berry OBE – chief executive of Bafta, Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas, Liz Leyshon, manager of Strode Theatre, Ginger Corbett, pr specialist, and Dorothy Wilson MBE, chief executive and artistic director of Mac Birmingham.

The eight-month programme, funded through the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund, via BFI National Lottery funding, will involve one-to-one coaching, work shadow placements, monthly skills development workshops and mentoring.

According to the latest Skillset Skills Survey, women occupy just 4% of top cinema jobs.

Catherine Des Forges, director of the ICO, said: “The demand for places on this scheme shows that this is not an isolated situation. The lack of representation of women in top cinema jobs is a huge issue”. 

Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the BFI added: “We delude ourselves if we think we can achieve a vibrant film culture and prosperous film industry if only half of the talent, skills and creative flair of human kind is marshalled”.  

The participants taking part in the programme:

· Gali Gold –  film curator, Barbican

· Holly Tarquini –  executive director, Bath Film Festival

· Caroline Hennigan –  programme director, Broadway Nottingham

· Sally Griffith –  director of cinema and Film Hub Wales, Chapter Arts Centre

· Holly Daniel –  industry and talent development manager, Edinburgh International Film/ Festival Centre for the Moving Image 

· Nicola Kettlewood –  head of education and learning, Centre for the Moving Image Edinburgh

· Alison Strauss – arts development officer (Film and Media) and director of Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, Falkirk Community Trust

· Susan Picken –  head of QFT and Film Hub Northern Ireland, Queen’s Film Theatre