Now in its eighth year, the IBF Rocket x BAFTA The mentorship program is a partnership between BAFTA, IBF Rocket: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival and IBF NETWORK. The program brings together a group of emerging actors LGBTQIA+ Filmmakers will benefit from the mentorship of a film industry personality, as well as a bespoke program of events designed to strengthen professional networks and support their progress towards their first projects in film and television.
Following this year’s call for applications, which saw a record number of applicants producing exciting, thought-provoking and original work that is changing the face of LGBTQIA+ storytelling in the UK and beyond, we’re thrilled to announce the six new filmmakers taking part in this year’s program.
They join a growing number of former filmmakers supported by the program over the past eight years, who are breaking new ground in LGBTQIA+ representation on screen.
Mentors will be announced later in the year.
Jason Barker (writer/director)
Jason is a writer/director from the southwest. His autobiographical documentary feature, A Deal with the Universe, was supported by the IBF and projected to IBF Flare in 2018. His last short film, the IBF NETWORK-funded The Piss Witch, premiering at this year’s Festival.
In 2019, Jason co-wrote and starred in Chopsticks, a play for BBC Radio 4. He is currently working on his first narrative feature, Mister Uterus, with IBFDelaval Films and Tigerlily Productions.
Emily Everdee (producer)
Emily is a freelance producer from Doncaster in South Yorkshire, now based in Buckinghamshire. His short films include 2020 BIFA-nominated Mandem (Dir. John Ogunmuyiwa) which screened at IBF London Film Festival and IBF To burst, BAFTA– in selection The Call Center (Dir. Louisa Connolly-Burnham) and the award-winning animation Listen To Me Sing (Dir. Isabel Garrett).
Through her company Everdee Media, Emily is developing a range of feature films and TV projects focused on supporting female, queer and neurodiverse talent, as well as filmmakers from different fields of UK. She aims to create captivating, audience-oriented works from distinctive and authentic voices across a range of genres.
Graduated from NFTS MY in production, Emily is a former BAFTA and Warner Bros. Scholar, a movie & TV Charity JBA recipient, and a EIF Talent Lab graduate. Her feature with writer/director Cassiah Joski-Jethi was shortlisted for Film London’s 2021 Production Finance Market “New Talent Strand”.
afshan d’souza lodhi (writer)
afshan was born in Dubai and forged in Manchester. She is a writer and poet, and her work has been performed and translated into many languages around the world. afshan is currently LabFellow for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University and will present his solo show, How To Eat Mangoes, in Washington CC in 2022.
In 2021, Afshan was Sky Writes Writer-in-Residence for Rotherham, a partnership between Sky Studios and New Writing North. Her debut collection of poetry, ‘re:desire, (Burning Eye Books) was shortlisted for the 2021 Jhalak Prize. She is currently on the Royal Exchange and WarnerMedia Writer Exchange Scheme, and serves on the boards Manchester Literature Festival and Pie Radio. She is currently in development on a TV series for Sky Studios with co-writer Guleraana Mir.
Tianna Johnson (writer/producer)
Tianna is a screenwriter from North West London. She is passionate about writing stories with British Caribbean women as leaders and injecting British Caribbean culture into fantastical concepts. In 2018, she was selected for a writers’ residency at the Curve Theater and began volunteering with Midsummer Films as a script reader, later taking on a role as a freelance script reader for BBC Movie. In 2021, his pilot script Obeah topped the Brit List and is currently in development with Erik Barmack and Wild Sheep Content.
Sean Lìonadh (writer/director)
Sean is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Glasgow, Scotland. His short film, Time for Love, has been viewed more than 16 million times online, won a Royal Television Society award and sparked heated discussions about modern intolerance. His short film Silence premiered at the Torino Film Festival 2020 and won the Capri Hollywood Best European Short Film Award 2020. His latest short film, the IBF NETWORK-funded by Too Rough, screened at Flickerfest and SXSWand will have his UK first to IBF To burst.
Sean published his first collection of poetry in 2019 and is currently working on his first feature, Nostophobia, with Short Circuit/Screen Scotland.
Samantha O’Rourke (writer/director)
Samantha is a Northern writer/director based in North Wales. Recent screen projects include the short film Jelly (Ffilm Cymru/BBC Wales/Mad as Birds) and the original comedy-drama Mincemeat for the Channel 4 series On the Edge. Sam was a Writer on Attachment for Liverpool’s Everyman Playhouse and is part of the artist-led project Future Forms at the Donmar Warehouse. Other theater credits include Theatr Clwyd, Volcano Theatre, Boundless Theater and Dirty Protest.
She is currently developing her first feature film supported by Ffilm Cymru and a comedy drama series for Channel 4 Drama. His play Our Town Needs a Nandos will premiere in the summer of 2022 at the Everyman Playhouse in Liverpool.
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Originally posted: March 16, 2022