20 – 22 June | Genesis Cinema, Mile End


Three days of carefully curated talks, workshops and events designed to offer every insight, top tip and wise word to anyone hoping to make a career in feature films. Whether you’re crossing over from shorts to features, television to film, debut to slate, or particularly in that transition between first to second feature and beyond, Mind The Gap is here to Help. EEFF’s panels, interviews, workshops and networking events will provide the roadmap that every filmmaker needs to avoid the pitfalls on the route to success.

Too many first time feature filmmakers never make a second film – lets change that!

Sessions include: Distribution | Crowdfunding | Get paid to make films | Setting up your own production company | Finding an agent | International festival strategy and more. For full schedule, see below.

Sessions with: BFI, Sara Putt Associates, London Film Academy, Four Corners, We Are Colony, Our Screen, Metrodome, Curzon Home Cinema, Crowd Scene, Story Campus, BBC Films, Creative England, Microwave … and many more.


What can you get from Mind the Gap?

“It is clear in my mind that our journey to get our second, now funded, feature film into production began with our experience at Mind the Gap 2015. The opportunity to listen to, and meet, other filmmakers from different parts of the production process was invaluable. Filmmaking can sometimes feel a lonely process, but it shouldn’t be, and the Mind the Gap initiative helped both myself and [director] Yousaf tremendously by bringing together all the resources that we needed to understand where we belong within the industry.”  – Michael Taylor, producer GIANTLANDS. Mind the Gap alumnus, 2015

“Mind the Gap was an informative and inspiring week for us as we were about to embark on our first feature. We went without knowing exactly how we would fund our film and came away with a brilliant solution thanks to a session at the festival. The range of speakers was excellent and provided real food for thought, whilst the networking opportunities gave rise to meaningful and productive collaborations”. – Ewan Thomas, director THIS IS NOT HAPPENING. Mind the Gap alumnus, 2014

Thanks to Mind The Gap, I applied for the Women in Film and Television Mentorship and can proudly say I’ve been selected for next year’s scheme. Mind The Gap kick-started my career again in a new direction and gave me the confidence to take action. Thanks to all involved. – Paulette Caletti, dir. THE CAKE MAKER. Mind the Gap alumnus, 2014

OK and how much does it cost?…

3 day pass: £150
1 day pass: £60

Bursaries are available for London Borough of Tower Hamlets residents. For more information and to apply, please email [email protected].

Although you can come down for one day at a time, we highly recommend that you attend all three days to get the benefit of the full programme.

Mind the Gap passes

That’s reasonable. Any perks?

Oh yes. 3 day pass-holders gain free entry to our Opening Night Gala screening. All pass-holders get free tea, coffee and wifi throughout the day at Genesis, discounts to EEFF live film and music events. And many more lovely benefits to follow.

Who is this course for?

Our central aim is to collectively unpick the reasons why it can be so difficult for first time feature filmmakers (narrative or documentary) to move into their second project. We’ve teamed up with industry icons and leading organisations to share their knowledge and offer their support and services. It’s also a great opportunity to share your successes and frustrations with a like-minded peer group.

Who can attend?

Anyone at any stage of their career – the sessions are designed to give you insight to the internal workings of the film industry and allow pause for thought, planning, re-evaluating, expert and peer feedback and more.

For full schedule, see below.




Monday 20 June | Genesis Cinema, Mile End | 9:30am – 6:00pm


This first day of the programme is designed to encourage filmmakers to stop, breathe and look at how far they’ve come – something we don’t take time to do often enough. These sessions will enable you to look at where you’ve been, what you’ve learned and will help to prepare you for the next steps in your career.


10am – 10:30am
Key experts across varying strands of the film industry debate ‘the gap’. What can we, as an industry, do to support filmmakers heading for a career transition? What do filmmakers really need to know, even before they pick up a camera, to avoid falling off the edge? And why, in the 21st Century, is there still such a lack of diversity in the sector?

Huge thanks for today, what a lovely audience and such a smoothly run event, hats off to you and the team for making it such a great festival.
– Fiona Nielson,
Producer ’24 Hour Party People’


10:40am – 11:30am 
Participants will get a chance to introduce themselves and their projects and discuss their greatest challenges and aspirations. This is also your opportunity to share your skills and your project needs: find that producer, VFX supervisor or editor!

Defining Roles with London Film Academy

12pm – 1:30pm
Participants will get a chance for some essential one-to-one time with a series of experts to discuss and identify their core strengths in an industry where many filmmakers find themselves doing everything. These short mentoring sessions coordinated by the London Film Academy, will help you outline how crews change as your career progresses – particularly in the jump from first to second film, and how and where to position yourself most strongly within them.

When making movies is mind over matter with Peter Hawke

2:15 – 2:55pm
In this interactive session with Peter Hawke from Redesign Your Life, we will offer participants insights to the particular issues which affect filmmakers in transition. Understanding the issues of confidence and clarity which affect ‘creatives in business’ this session will empower you to make decisions which will change your direction and focus.

Followed by an afternoon of 30 minute drop-in clinics.

Keynote Interview: Ross Clarke

3:05pm – 3:45pm
Director Ross Clarke (dir. DERMAPHORIA: East End Opening Night 2014) shares his experience of moving from first to second feature including how he raised financing, working as a writer and director, sourcing talent, shooting in the USA and everything no-one tells you before you find yourself at the helm of a £2m feature in New Orleans.

FINDING YOUR VOICE with Four Corners and Nick Cohen

4pm – 4:45pm
Lyn Turner (Four Corners’ Technical Director) and Nick Cohen (features film director) discuss what it takes to develop your own unique film voice. Using clips, discussion, personal experience and more, Nick and Lyn will talk through some of the possibilities, perils and potential pitfalls associated with developing faith in your vision.


4:55pm – 5:30pm
Meet a selection of Mind the Gap alumni whose films have gone on to find success on the festival circuit, win awards and secure distribution. And more importantly, hear how they did it!


By the end of the day, participants will know more clearly who they are today as filmmakers. They will recognise their strengths and their opportunities, and will be able to redefine themselves accordingly as they move forward onto bigger projects.



Tuesday 21 June | Genesis Cinema, Mile End | 9:30am – 6:00pm


Leading on from Day 1, our programme shifts into future thinking. We know where you’ve been, but where are you going? How do you get there and who on earth is going to pay for it? We’ll take you through some key steps on the journey…

I absorbed a mammoth amount of useful information at the Industry Programme last week, and do feel as a result that I know what I’m doing, which isn’t always the case. My focus is honed – thank you! – Isobel, MTG 2013


10:30am – 11:15am
The process of financing a feature film can often prove as creative as the writing of it. Working as a producer and fundraiser for film, TV and the visual arts, Kate Wilson is an expert in precisely this kind of imaginative thinking. Start the day opening your mind to the often unseen opportunities to fund your film.

It was an honor to be a part of the festival. Even from far away and through a staticky Skype connection , I could sense the vigor in the room, and the amazing atmosphere you created for filmmakers. You should be enormously proud. – Nick Gonda, Producer TREE OF LIFE


11:30am – 12:20pm
Distribution channels have diversified enormously with the advent of digital, but what is the right channel for you? What do audiences really want to see and how do filmmakers find their audiences successfully? With representatives from Metrodome, WeAreColony, OurScreen and Trinity.


12:30pm – 1:45pm
Film festivals are often the first opportunities for your early films to find their audience, their champions and potentially distribution. Learn how to optimise your festival game with Katie McCullough of Festival Formula. Including a workshop with some working examples – selected from participant projects.


2:30PM – 3:20PM
A lively session on creating a winning crowd funding campaign with CrowdScene Show: the podcast about successful crowdfunding campaigns and the people who make them happen.

Writing to Scale with Story Campus

3:30pm – 4:30pm
The Story Campus session will look at micro budget feature filmmaking from the entry point of story development, with a view to creating a project to scale which will enable your career to grow. Facilitated by David Pope from Story Campus.

Getting the best performance from your Actors

4:45pm – 5:45pm
The relationship between directors and actors marks an essential collaborative partnership in the filmmaking process. Clear, precise and meaningful communication between them helps to save time on takes and is imperative to the making of a quality film. This workshop will cover: how to communicate effectively with actors in their own language, what actors expect from directors, working with actors of differing levels of experience, different approaches to acting and how you use them to help your actors, understanding vocabulary you need to get the performances you are looking for.

Well, why not. You’ve worked hard. You’ve identified potential collaborators. It’s hard to start the conversation without some WINE.We will give you wine.

By the end of the day, participants will have the tools to create a well-rounded, attractive, audience-friendly, distributable slate of work. A core goal will be to feel confident in knowing your audience and how to reach them, as well as that all important question of funding.


Wednesday 22 June | Genesis Cinema | 9:30am – 6:00pm


Whether you’re a director, producer, editor, make-up artist, lighting technician etc. life can still get in the way of art! These sessions will articulate best practices for creative practitioners and freelancers when it comes to business planning, cash flow management, social media, networking and so on.

Keynote Interview: Max Pugh

10am – 10:45am
Max Pugh is a French-British feature documentary and fiction film director who has also gained critical acclaim worldwide for his video art and installation work with the composer and filmmaker Michael Nyman. As well as writing and directing television drama and short films supported by the UK Film Council, his feature documentary The Road to Freedom Peak, made for Fox Studios and Screen Australia has secured deals with Netflix and National Geographic. His new feature documentary ‘Walk With Me‘ on Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist community is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and will be released later this year.


10:55AM – 11:40AM
Our panel will look at how to develop a long term career in filmmaking by creating a convincing and realistic slate of well-developed scripts and projects. We’ll look practically at how one project can feed in to the next, what it’s like to work with a mentor and what film funders really look for when investing long term. Speakers include representatives from BBC Films, iFeatures and Creative England.


11:50AM – 12:35PM
Possibly the most important survival skill in the filmmaker’s bible is to learn the phrase ‘portfolio career’. But what does that mean, how do you make it work, and how can you construct a successful business model that fuels your passion and pays the bills?


12:45pm – 1:30pm
This panel asks, and answers the question: how do you make a living doing what you do best – make films – and still be able to pay your rent at the end of the month? Filmmakers who have set up their own businesses will offer participants first hand insights to business planning, investment, goal setting and other vital skills needed to survive the early stages of your career. Make sure that you don’t lose sight of the end game!


2:30pm – 3:20pm
In this session, agent Sara Putt will talk participants through the steps involved in getting an agent, how to work with them to create a dynamic and engaging showreel, and what to expect as a working filmmaker.


3:30pm – 4:20pm
Women continue to struggle for representation across the film industry globally. One social barrier particularly affects women, although it applies to everyone: Family vs. Film. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This session will discuss what Raising Films have learned from our interviews, testimonials, live events and our recent survey.


4:30pm – 5:30pm
As the course nears a close, we encourage all participants to share what they’ve learned, make commitments moving forward and work our a collective game plan to change the world, making a new world in which we all win awards and make a living doing what we love. If we can dream it… we can do it! Or at least we can make good work and good friends whilst we try.


This third and final day is designed to equip participants with a to-do list for tomorrow. Too many training courses finish without specific action points for participants. Not this one! We believe that once you get momentum, use it!



Thursday 23 June | Genesis Cinema, Mile End | 7pm
Screening of AlleyCats attended by industry insiders, stars and filmmakers, followed by a Q&A and after-party.
With free access for 3-day pass-holders and discounted access for 1-day pass-holders this is a great opportunity to network with industry insiders and celebrate with us at the start of this year’s East End Film Festival!