Mentoring for Women Producers
The EWA Network’s Producers’ Mentoring Scheme is a career enhancement programme for female independent audiovisual producers. Launched in 2018, the scheme enables participants to to upgrade their core professional skills and competencies in areas such as financing, negotiating, management and business development. It is aimed at female producers established in Europe, with at least five years of proven experience in audiovisual production, who are motivated to take the next step in their producing careers, enhance their skills and knowledge, and cement their position in the European screen industries.
The Mentoring Scheme is an exclusive programme specifically aimed at women producers who have already made their mark at a national level and who now wish to take the next step to a wider European/international dimension.
Mentoring has revealed itself to be one of the strongest tools to help women to grow within closed business environments. Women do not need “more” training, on average they are already well trained, and often better trained than male producers, but in industries where networking and personal links are very strong, mentoring is a clear tool to enhance women's social capital and improve their business skills to have better access to the market. That is why EWA Network launched its first mentoring programme in 2018.
We are proud to have launched the 5th edition in 2023 with the partnership of Thessaloniki's Co-production Market and Transilvania International Film Festival in Cluj, Romania. The MEdia partner associated is Cineuropa.
What is Mentoring?
Business mentoring is a one-to-one relationship focused on the needs of the mentee to develop/reinforce specific competences, skills, and a problem-solving attitude, with a capable mentor available, willing and able to provide advice on those issues. The experience and competences of the mentor is carefully matched to the specific needs of the mentee.
Mentoring is not training. Training schemes have general objectives, well-structured activities and group dynamics. Mentoring is a tailor-made activity based on the relationship between mentor and mentee. It is a space where the mentee can ask questions that would be difficult to raise in a training group.
EWA’s Producers’ Mentoring Scheme allows mentees to upgrade the core skills and competences. Mentors do not deliver solutions to mentee:, the purpose of mentoring is not to focus on a specific project/activity, but to support the mentee in her professional growth and to take her next career step to a direction she identifies herself during the mentoring process.
With the partnership of
Who is involved in the programme?
EWA Network draws on a pool of experienced women producers who have a successful track record: winning top international prizes and leading by example with the best practices of European film and TV production. EWA Network mentors have a successful business background and this gives them an invaluable understanding of what it is to succeed as a producer. You can glance at their bios here.
In addition, several consultants will bring their expertise to the online seminars and the on-site meetings that kick off and close the programme.
Les Films d'Ici
AGITPROP / Balkan Documentary Center
Graffiti Doc/ Tag Film
Number 9 Films
Hi Film Productions
Electric Sheep GmbH /
Black Sheep Film Productions
Germany & Israel
Film House Baš Čelik
SNEžANA van Houwelingen
This and That
Tutor of the programme
Graziella Bildesheim has over 30 years of widespread experience in the European audiovisual sector. She has initiated and directed numerous international vocational training initiatives among which the well-known pan-European MAIA Workshops aimed at supporting emerging producers wishing to enter the international market. She has also devised a series of unique workshops focusing on different aspects of the industry that she presently holds in partnership with Anica Academy in Italy. Bildesheim also lectures at a number of film schools and labs in Italy and abroad. She is currently working as a free-lance consultant with both directors and producers in the creative and financial development of their audiovisual projects.
Bildesheim is a senior expert working for MEDIA, Eurimages and several regional Funds in Italy. She served on the evaluation Commission for the national Film Fund from 2014 to 2019. She has served as a juror on numerous international competitions and festivals and has contributed to the creation of several training and industry activities in cooperation with private and public institutions.
She is a member of the David di Donatello Italian Film Academy and of the European Film Academy, having also served on its Board from 2018 to 2023.
The call to the 2023 edition is closed.
How does the programme work?
The 2023-2024 programme will run for 8 months and will consist of two on-site group meetings in the context of European Film markets, in addition to the monthly meetings the assigned mentor. Moreover, there will be two additional seminars with experts, follow-up online group meetings and two unofficial mid-term gatherings in Berlin and Cannes.
The cycle will start with a three day introductory meeting of mentees and mentors in Thessaloniki, Greece, hosted by the AGORA co-production market in the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in November 2023. The meeting includes a masterclass on business development, which will be led by y a renowned expert attached to the programme. The group will also have time to explore the networking possibilities in the market.
A second group gathering will close the cycle in Cluj, Romania, hosted by Transilvania International Film Festival in June 2024. This gathering will also take place over three days.
Throughout the year, further informal gatherings will be organized for participants attending the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlinale to multiply the networking possibilities.
In addition, participants - mentees and mentors - will have two mandatory online meetingss. The purpose of these sessions is to link updated know-how from the expert sessions to the specific exchanges between mentors and mentees, and to strengthen the capacity of all participants to adapt to new business practices, such as alternative financing models, digital distribution strategies and issues related to green shooting..
Furthermore, throughout the mentoring program, the EWA team will find other opportunities for the mentees to participate in other EWA programming and networking in 2024.
Mentors and mentees will work online at their own pace. Each mentor will be available for four hours per month. Halfway through the programme, we will ask for feedback to make sure the match is working.
A maximum number of 6 mentees will be selected in this edition.
Who can apply?
- Women producers established in Europe (larger Europe, 46 Council of Europe countries) having a proven experience of at least five years in film production department and having produced (delegate and executive producer are accepted) at least one long feature film (fiction or documentary) already distributed (theatrically, TV, or wide festival trajectory)
- Who are motivated to grow professionally, acquire new skills (financial, managerial, negotiation) and evolve in a European environment and/or have a business growing plan
- Who are fluent in English
How to apply
To apply to EWA’s mentoring scheme for emerging producers, please send us following documents through the following application form
- CV in English
- Copy of a valid ID
- Proof of your experience as a producer. Provide evidence of the production of at least one feature film (fiction or documentary) already distributed (theatrically, TV, or wide festival trajectory) with links to films or shows.
- Motivation videopitch of maximum 3 minutes explaining why you wish to take part of a mentoring programme and which skills and competences you wish to develop/improve;
- Description of the projects on which you are currently working (maximum 3.000 characters);
- Where you see yourself/ your company in the next 5 years..
The fee to enroll in the 5th EWA Network’s Mentoring Programme for Emerging Women Producers is €1000.
The mentees will be selected on the basis of their motivation and professional growth potential, with particular interest in including filmmakers from countries with limited access to this kind of scheme.
After the selection committee has revised the applications, selected candidates will have an in-depth interview and the successful applicants will be notified by mid September. The match-making with the senior producers will be made after the mentee-to-be has confirmed her enrollment in the programme.
Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to write to us at email@example.com (some delay in replying might be expected in holiday season)
Please note that due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the programme might be changed by force majeure to adapt its agenda. The on-site gatherings might be partially or completely held online, in case of emergency and so may be the group meetings.
Meet the past participants!
Participants and mentors of the 2022-2023 edition in Trieste
Participants of the first edition, Trieste 2018
Participants of the second edition, in Thessaloniki, 2019
Participants of the 2020 online edition
Participants of the 2021 online edition
EWA Network's mentoring programme was supported by Creative Europe Media