BFI Film Academy Alumni Programme in partnership with BAFTA
By Simon Brasse

Hey, its James (not his real name) thanks so much for calling, I'm really excited to talk to you. And so starts my first conversation with 17 year old James who's contacted me via Bafta's mentoring programme which it runs as part of a partnership with the BFI Film Academy.

We chat about his hopes and dreams and very quickly I realise that I'm getting as much out of this as James is.

We discuss my first job as a runner and I tell him about The Knowledge Online (a free resource that lists all the people working in the UK Film and television industry complete with their contact details.) I'm not surprised he's never heard about it.

He tells me his college is teaching him how to use Adobe Premiere, I tell him Avid is the drama editors tool of choice. He wants to cut Hollywood action blockbusters one day. I think we're going to get along.

Over the course of a few weeks we exchange emails and have a few Skype chats. Bafta are willing to fund his travel to meet me but at this point it doesn't seem necessary.

He's downloaded the free trial version of Avid and sent over his first edits. We discuss his rhythm and timing and I suggest it's time to get him into a cutting room.

Unfortunately I'm not assembling at the moment so I reach out to my network of editor colleagues and find someone willing to take him on for a couple of days.

I look forward to hearing his report.

The Bafta mentoring program is accessed through its partnership with the BFI Film Academy. Candidates are selected by BFI’s training organisations and BAFTA provides the industry experts to mentor the young people. If your organisation is not connected to the BFI Film Academy yet, make enquiries with your teacher and see if they can make the necessary arrangements to become part of the program. Being a mentee on this Bafta program is a great way for people without industry connections to talk to people who can help with career advice. It's an extremely positive experience for all involved and I recommend anyone who's interested in being a mentor or mentee, to get involved.

More information can be found here:

For information about other ways that BAFTA is supporting up-and-coming talent, visit: