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As the attention of our Year 13 students turns towards the next phase of their lives away from Blue Coat, aspiring film director Maddie is looking forward to embarking on her university degree, having successfully secured a BAFTA mentor.

We caught up with Maddie to gain an insight into this exciting scheme and to find out more about her involvement in the film industry.

What is a BAFTA mentor? How did you manage to secure one?

The BAFTA mentor scheme is a scheme through which the film production company pair young filmmakers with an experienced industry professional. I was fortunate enough to hear about this programme while taking part in a scheme run by the National Film and Television School and completed the application detailing my current experience and my plans for both the near and distant future.

What support will your new mentor be providing?

It runs for 3 months across the summer and during this time I will meet with my mentor a number of times and they will provide support and advice for upcoming projects. As they are an industry professional they will help me to develop my filmmaking skills and, depending on whether they have a project running, there is potential for me to take part in work experience on set.

Are you able to reveal who your mentor is?

I wish I was able to but I shall not find out until May.

How did you become interested in film studies?

From a young age I took part in musical theatre and gained a love for drama and performance. I feel that this musical background is what sparked my interest in music videos and from there I began developing my own ideas. In this form of film the story is told within a concentrated period of time with minimal dialogue meaning every second of the film must be utilised, it is this challenge that I thoroughly enjoy.

What aspect attracted you? Acting? Directing? Producing? Script writing?

Directing is the aspect I enjoy the most as I love watching my ideas come to life and being able to be actively involved in all of the elements during the process. I also enjoy editing as it helps to develop my problem solving skills and I am able to watch the whole film come together.

How did you get involved with the sector? Are you involved with any organisations?

After deciding to pursue film production as a career I have taken part in several courses run by the British Film Institute. I spent 12 weeks working at FACT Cinema to produce a short film about finding acceptance in society titled ELLE. From there I took part in a 2 week residential course at the NFTS where I worked as an editor on a short comedy called The Narrator, which has since won a number of awards in film festivals across the country.

Do you get involved with the School Show?

Yes, I was one of the directors. I found this experience eye-opening and very enjoyable as I was able to discover the differences between directing for film and for theatre. I loved taking part in this opportunity because I was also able to learn in great detail about set design and lighting meaning I now have a better overall knowledge of the skills of various departments which will assist my directing in the future.

What are your career ambitions?

As well as working with the BFI, I have also been working on my own independent projects so I hope to submit these to film festivals in the coming months. In the future I hope to work full time as a film director and be able to portray my ideas and stories on the big screen.


We would like to congratulate Maddie on this remarkable achievement and wish her every success for the future.

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