Top 5 Lessons for Emerging Filmmakers from Industry Experts

In an industry where you could be forgiven for feeling as though you are working alone – fighting a constant up hill battle for funding, access, commissions, time and publicity – a good mentor can be an invaluable resource for any filmmaker.

Few new filmmakers would turn down the opportunity to discuss their project with a seasoned pro – whether it’s to glean some advice for overcoming production hiccups, for help dissecting a particularly challenging story line, or simply for a firm nudge out the door to get started!

For this reason, quality mentoring sits at the heart of the One World Media Production Fund. We spoke to a number of the mentors that we have matched with our Production Fund grantees, and asked them to share their top piece of advice for emerging filmmakers…



Think big, but make sure to understand the journalistic effort required to underpin the idea.
– Karen Wightman, Mentor & Deputy Editor of Panorama



Have a micro personal business plan so you know how you will find the time and space to be a filmmaker.
– Christo Hird, Mentor & Founder of Dartmouth Films



Seek out the emotions that are at the heart of every good narrative and embrace reality as it unfolds before you.
Christine Garabedian, Mentor & Award Winning Filmmaker



Making your film is one thing – one very big and very challenging and very demanding thing! – but don’t forget about the business of getting it seen. Try and think about your audience from early on, about who you want to see it and where it might be shown, and then build that into your thinking and planning all along.
Ingrid Falck, Mentor & Executive Producer of Global Documentaries



Try and build a resilient mindset because you will suffer knock-backs and gaps in employment, particularly at the beginning of your career. It can be a frustrating industry because there’s no straightforward path to take. You have to keep going, remain positive and keep taking small daily/weekly steps towards where you want to get to and it will happen.

Secondly, cultivate relationships with people further up the ladder in roles that you aspire to do one day. Having mentors/champions is invaluable in such an informal and sometimes risk-averse industry – these are the people that will give you your breaks and push you along the ladder. Instinctively most people want to help and nurture talent so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
– Jamie Welham, Mentor & Producer/Director



To celebrate One World Media’s 30th Anniversary, this week we have been showcasing some of our brilliant mentors as part of our commitment to match 30 mentors with 30 Production Fund grantees.

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