30 Mentors for 30 Filmmakers

To mark One World Media’s 30th Anniversary we’re thrilled to be matching 30 emerging filmmakers and journalists with 30 career mentors from across the media industry.

There is no shortage of original and creative media ideas from new talent who are actively seeking out underreported stories or exploring new angles on familiar topics.

But it can be difficult when you’re early in your career to make that first leap, to get the break that will set you on your path to make these stories a reality.

So for our 30th Anniversary, we are matching 30 career mentors that fit the passions and direction of each of our 30 grantees.

We spoke to some of these mentors and grantees about their experience working together, and how the partnership has helped support and advise the grantees through this pivotal stage in their career…



“Mentoring Hazel was fun and interesting. It involved sharing ideas on how to prepare for her shoot in Ethiopia, and how to visually approach the stories of the young women who want to become domestic workers in the Gulf.

Hazel set off on her project with knowledge, a plan, and an awareness of the importance of being open to realities on the ground. I hope I helped her to explore her own feelings about the story, why she wants to tell it, and how she can tell it visually.”

Christine Garabedian, Mentor & Award Winning Filmmaker


“My mentor Christine was the first person I have ever discussed the project with who understood intuitively, and perfectly why, I wanted to approach it in the way that I did. Christine helped me develop it, interrogate it, and she encouraged me to trust myself and to trust what I was feeling about the stories. She completely understood the sensitivity of the story and why I wanted to approach it carefully, and without a big crew, and I felt so encouraged by her sensitivity and excitement about the film.

I loved connecting with Christine in terms of the references and inspiration we both shared, learning about her own approach and her own films, and at times we shared and encouraged each other as almost peers which I felt very privileged to be able to do. I hope we stay connected for years to come.”

– Hazel Falck, Production Fund Grantee




“What has impressed me most about Mei Leng is her ability to adapt when things don’t pan out as she expected. Access for the Sri Lankan story she had originally pitched fell down, so she found another story looking at the impact of global warming and urbanisation on some of the poorest families in Sri Lanka.

In terms of how I’ve helped her so far, that’s largely centred on thinking about how to tell her story, encouraging her to think about the safety and logistical needs for her deployment and to properly understand the factual framework that underpins her story  – the journalism.”

Karen Wightman, Mentor & Deputy Editor of Panorama


“The highlight [of the Production Fund] was meeting my mentor. She’s been an invaluable source of advice, support and inspiration.

Karen has pushed me to take my documentary filmmaking to a new level. She’s not only helped me with my One World Media project, she’s advised me on other aspects of the industry from pitching to taster tapes and interviews. She’s been a brilliant mentor and has really inspired me.”

Mei Leng Yew, Production Fund Grantee




“I was most impressed with Aran’s passion for Esta’s story and his storytelling instincts, which appeared to me to be extremely astute. The nature of the film meant that some aspects of the story could not be known until getting on the ground but he demonstrated a systematic and thoughtful approach to his preparation that will serve him well as he takes his next steps in the industry.

I was able to help Aran in two main areas: Talking through his story at length to refocus his mind on what it was he wanted his short to say, and helping him come up with better understanding of the TV industry and how to navigate it.”

– Jamie Welham, Mentor & Producer/Director


“Jamie has been a brilliant aid to helping me on my journey. He’s always there to bounce ideas off and give me pearls of wisdom every now and then. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor to be paired up with. Over numerous cups of tea over the year he has assisted in my own development and has been a fantastic adviser.

As he has filmed a lot abroad in some very challenging countries he was a wealth of knowledge about best practise, tips that were so useful when I was shooting my film. All in all, having a brilliant mentor through the whole timeline of my project has been second to none and I feel very grateful for everything.”

 Aran McCarthy, Production Fund Grantee




“Filmmaking is a collaborative process and mentoring is too. I’ve shared my knowledge and experience with Larissa and worked closely with her on her documentary but I’ve also learned a lot from her, not least about Brazil. It has been an excellent experience mentoring Larissa, such a dedicated, determined and passionate filmmaker.

The work we did together over the year was engaging and mutually fulfilling – and it’s not over yet. I urge others to get involved and share their professional experiences and knowledge with the talented OWM grantees.”

Ingrid Falck, Mentor & Executive Producer of Global Documentaries


“[My mentor] was wonderful!! We went through all the stages of documentary production and I learned a lot about the process.

Ingrid Falck is a wonderful professional and a very good mentor. We have a meeting once a month and she always gives me a task to do and to bring to the next meeting. I have the freedom to talk with her when I need and I have her support to go through this big challenge. Ingrid’s mentoring has been very important for my professional life.”

– Larissa Romer Karl, Production Fund Grantee



Those of us who have been lucky enough to have strong mentors in our careers, can see how they played a part at important junctures in our development.

This is why our Production Fund not only provides a grant for early-career filmmakers and journalists to produce stories from developing countries, it also has mentoring at the centre of the programme.

Aspiring filmmakers and journalists are given the advice, encouragement and connections from leading professionals that have an intimate knowledge of the media industry.

As our newest selection of Production Fund grantees begin to embark on their projects, we look forward to seeing how these partnerships continue to develop and cultivate brave and innovative storytelling.


Gemma Bradshaw – Director One World Media