The traditional autumn get-together of the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme - usually taking place in Brussels during the UNIC Cinema Days - marks the mid-point of each edition and aims to provide an opportunity for participants to share their initial experiences, do’s and dont’s and explore different topics of interest together. This year, the meeting took place online and represented the first gathering of mentors and mentees of the current edition following its launch in June. As is tradition, the meeting was moderated by Monica Chadha, Independent Director.
For an uplifting start, we always kick-off our meetings with an inspirational speaker. This session was no exception and we were extremely honored to welcome Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute and a pioneer of promoting gender equality in our sector. Anna shared her path to leadership, the challenges she had overcome and her secrets to success.
Following on from this, each mentoring pair explained how they approached the programme and how their mentoring journey had been so far. While the pandemic had made it more challenging to organise face-to-face meetings, it was extremely inspiring to hear how rewarding the individual mentoring sessions had been for both mentors and mentees in these challenging times.
We co-created the agenda for the meeting with our mentees to make sure that it best responded to their current needs. Therefore, the open debate that followed addressed mentees’ topics of interest, which were shared in advance. The discussion focused on personal branding, leadership and values, leading and motivating teams in times of uncertainty and so much more, with mentors around the table sharing their own experiences and advice.
Get-togethers like this constantly remind us how fortunate we have been throughout the past 3 years to work with such an inspiring and dedicated community of mentors and mentees, a community that is growing every year. You can meet some of them in the first video of the “What inspires you” series, which was launched last week!
In addition, to celebrate and keep our community connected, in September 2020 we also launched our UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Programme Newsletter which is sent out monthly and includes interviews with current and past participants, reading recommendations, useful information and more.
For participants of the fourth edition, the next six months of the programme will certainly be busy, but hopefully just as inspiring and rewarding as they get closer to their mentoring goals. On our side, to complement their individual mentoring meetings, we have activities in store ranging from a “switch mentors” month to group conference calls. We will also continue to closely monitor and facilitate their journey.
And, until we will all convene in person at CineEurope 2021 in Barcelona to celebrate the programme and make up for the past year, we will have a Virtual Happy Hour with our community of mentors and mentees in December.