Directors UK Inspire: A Mentoring and Career Development programme

Directors UK

Directors UK

Directors UK Member


Directors UK is delighted to announce the continuation of Inspire,  the year-round mentoring programme for Full and Associate members,  which aims to encourage directors across all genres to seek structured  support to enhance their career opportunities.

As  part of our on-going action to widen opportunities for the broadest  range of talent – including those traditionally unable to access  networks – Directors UK is keen to accommodate and support this  important area.

Often  the best mentoring partnerships thrive when the mentee is just one or  two steps away from the mentor in terms of their respective career  paths. Reaching out to someone who is best placed to advise and support  you is important.

The 2020 deadlines

  • January 10 2020
  • April 3 2020

This  is a fantastic opportunity for directors who are seeking regular  support, and to build a fruitful relationship that could lead to further  career opportunities.

Here’s how Directors UK member Deva Palmier has found the scheme:

“I’m incredibly grateful to Directors UK for selecting me for the Inspire scheme and to William McGregor for taking me on as a mentee. William has just had a cinema release for his first feature film Gwen, and I’m about to shoot my first feature film, Finding Clive which  is being produced by Revolution Films. A couple of weeks ago, we had  our first mentoring meet up in Wolf Studios in Cardiff where William  showed me round a fantastic set he’d been shooting on and we discussed  how to approach the year. We’ve decided to tackle our mentoring  relationship in a different way. We both have things we want to achieve  and we’re going to support each other. Every month we’ll link up either  by email, phone or have a face to face meeting to help each other attain  our goals. I love this idea because it feels so sustainable and I can’t  wait to see what we’ve both accomplished by the end of the year!”

How to apply

All applicants must provide a personal statement (one side of A4) including the following:

1. A named mentor. This  can be either someone you know and have had initial discussions with,  or a proposed name who you think is best suited to your objectives. We  may consider 1-2 additional names, but we encourage you to focus your  application on the one individual you would like to partner with — and  how they would be suited to helping you. The most productive mentoring  partnerships succeed when the mentee is just one or two steps away from  the mentor in terms of their respective career paths – so please bear  this in mind when naming your desired mentor. If your application is  accepted, you must have consent from your proposed mentor.

2. Please outline your key objectives and outcomes for  this experience and how you will go about achieving these — you can see  some examples of successful mentoring below. Please tell us how this  experience will help develop your career. This is a competitive  programme and we will rely on clear objectives and outcomes related to  your proposed mentor to make a decision on your application.

3. Please also provide an up to date CV.

Please email all of the above to Applicants must be Full or Associate members of Directors UK.

If  shortlisted, we will then ask you for a detailed plan of action  including your estimated expenditure. Directors UK has a small budget  for each mentee, and will financially support eligible costs directly  related to your mentoring partnership for up to 12 months.

Examples of successful mentoring

  • Mentoring  partnerships that centre on continuous support, whereby you have access  to your mentor for general advice, phone calls, emails, and meetings.
  • Mentoring advice for a specific project or career goal – or a safe space for discussion outside of a project or scheme.
  • General support as a freelance director – gathering and maintaining contacts, networking.
  • Advice on changing roles or direction – up-skilling.
  • Virtual mentoring online, via Skype, is valid but please ensure that face-to-face meetings are also planned, where possible.

Training and support from Directors UK

We  are in the process of developing guidelines for both mentees and  mentors in relation to terms of reference and accepted behaviours. We  also plan to run advice sessions for both mentees and mentors, and these  guidelines will be published on our website.

Interested in becoming a mentor?

We  know that many directors may already operate as mentors and support  those coming through the industry. Being a mentor is extremely rewarding  and career enhancing as it offers a chance to pause and consider your  own decisions and experiences. If you would like to become a mentor and  be added to a pool of directors keen to offer this support please  contact us. We can add you to our list and discuss opportunities in  relation to this new programme as they arise.

Future opportunities and commitments

Whilst  the detail of the conversations between you and your mentor will always  remain confidential, we would love to be able to share your experience,  where appropriate, with other members and will ask you to commit to  some publicity and/or case studies. For a recent example of the case studies we like to publish, read this Inspire diary from Directors UK member Abdullai Adejumo.