Submissions open for BFI LFF 2023 Critics Mentorship Programme – 6 spaces available

We’re looking for six emerging film critics to take part in our sixth annual LFF Critics Mentorship Programme.

Are you writing film reviews for blogs or social media but have not been able to break through to more established publications or platforms?

Apply now to the award-winning BFI London Film Festival 2023 Critics Mentorship Programme for your chance to be mentored by industry media professionals and have your work published by LFF media partners and the BFI.

We continue to look 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. As in previous years, we will be offering the 2023 Critics Mentorship to 6 mentees from underrepresented voices in film criticism.

For this year applicants should self-identify from the following underrepresented groups:

  • Black, MENA (Middle East and North African), South Asian, South East Asian or East Asian background, including mixed ethnicity applicants
  • D/deaf and disabled applicants, including those who are neurodivergent or have a long term health condition

The BFI welcomes intersectionality across a number of areas. These include, gender, sexuality, age, religion, geographical location (nations and regions) and socioeconomic circumstances.

About the Mentorship Programme

Successful applicants will be invited to experience the 67th BFI London Film Festival (4 to 15 October 2023) as an accredited press delegate plus participate in an induction day in early September, where they will meet the BFI LFF teams, their lead mentors, fellow mentees as well as their paired mentors to be taken through the mentorship programme.

Lead mentors have previously included author, filmmaker and ex chief film critic for The Times, Kate Muir; journalist, commentator and founder of The British Blacklist, Akua Gyamfi; journalist, Empire Magazine ex editor-in-chief and author Terri White; and Empire Magazine contributing editor/columnist and Fade to Black podcast co-host Amon Warmann. In addition each of the participants will also individually be paired with a mentor from each LFF media partner who will support them to produce up to three pieces of film journalism (reviews, interviews, articles) for publication on their websites and

Micheal Ward with 2022 mentee critics and mentors Akua Gyamfi & Amon Warmann

The mentorship programme will be intensive, running for four full days from 4 to 7 October 2023, with full access to press screenings and events, writing reviews and features plus additional interview opportunities and an array of networking opportunities.

Mentees will be paid the London Living Wage for work produced during the LFF, will have full press accreditation for the 12 day duration of the LFF (4 to 15 October), and will be encouraged to pitch editorial ideas to Mentees from outside London will be eligible for accommodation and travel to participate in the programme.

By the end of the programme, participants will have improved their film journalism skills and understanding of the industry and will have gained professional work experience, new work for their portfolio, industry contacts and a document of confirmation of having completed the placement.

The LFF Critics Mentorship Programme won the 2022 Big Screen Award for best diversity and inclusion initiative.

About You

  • Applicants must be 18 and over with the right to work in the UK.
  • To be eligible you will have not had any written work published in/on a national print publication/platform before.
  • An interest in film with excellent writing skills.
  • The ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with BFI colleagues, partners and stakeholders.
  • You will self-identify from one or more of the underrepresented groups as detailed above.

Due to the demands of the programme and the availability of Lead Mentors, applicants must be able to commit to the full schedule of activity, in particular being available full time from 4 to 7 October 2023. Please do not apply if you are unavailable on these specific dates.

The closing date for applications is Monday 31 st July 2023. Interviews will be held on 10 & 11 August 2023

BFI LFF 2023 Media Partners include: Evening Standard, Time Out, Sight & Sound, Empire, Screen International, Little White Lies, BBC Radio London, The Face.

Further details about the BFI London Film Festival 2023 Critics Mentorship Programme can be obtained by visiting BFI Jobs and Opportunities.


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