The corporate and brand film industry Focus Award, run by trade body Evcom, will this year add a prize. Two winners will get sixth months of mentorship across two leading corporate film companies.

The Award was set up to address a lack of diversity in the industry. Mentoring this year are: Sara Cooper (Plastic Pictures), Liz Robinson (Media Zoo), Pete Stevenson (The Edge Picture Company) and Dean Beswick (Gorilla Gorilla!).

This year, the two winners will also receive a prize of £500 each thanks to generous the sponsorship of Gorilla Gorilla! and The Edge Picture Company.

As in previous years, the shortlisted candidates will each receive a mentorship conversation with one of our mentor companies where they can ask for advice as they embark on the next step in their filmmaking journey’s.

Sara Cooper, mentor from Plastic Pictures says: “I joined the TV industry 20 years ago, not knowing a soul in broadcast but by working hard, showing passion, enthusiasm and through the kindness of others I was given some incredible opportunities and roles. I was mentored by many people in the early years of my career and I think it greatly enhanced my confidence and self-belief. When I was a Researcher, I had a Series Producer at Nickelodeon UK who really believed in me and said I too would be a Series Producer before I was 30; I was offered my first SP position at 28.”

Liz Robinson, mentor from Media Zoo says: “I think in a creative industry that is as competitive and somewhat unstructured as production is, it’s so important to have those older, experienced sounding boards who can share wisdom, knowledge and open doors.
“I am a firm believer in giving young people coming through, the opportunities to learn, to make mistakes without fear and to grow. At Media Zoo, I am trying to lead our CreativeStudio with kindness, honesty, humour and ambition whilst identifying opportunities where my team can develop their skills and experience. In turn, I would like to offer this to those who are breaking into the industry.”

The FOCUS 15-18 Award also opens for entry at the same time. This award is open to Black filmmakers and filmmakers of Colour between the ages of 15-18 years old. They are asked to submit a film they have made on their phone for the chance to win work experience with a top corporate film company.

Pippa Considine

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