Script Lab Mentors
Meet the industry experts supporting our writer development programme

Ivana Mackinnon and Kate O’Hara join the Northern Exposure: Short Film Script Lab as industry mentors.

We’re excited to announce that Ivana Mackinnon and Kate O’Hara are joining the 2020 edition of our Short Film Script Lab as industry mentors. Ivana and Kate will work alongside Film Hub North’s BFI NETWORK Talent Executives in delivering the writer development programme – a six-month course of online learning sessions where 10 creatives from various disciplines will learn the mechanics of screen storytelling and develop a short film script from scratch.

Ivana and Kate have a wealth of experience in developing and supporting emerging filmmakers, and will bring valuable industry insights to the Lab. With track records combining development and production roles, they’re perfectly placed to advise writers from a practical, storytelling perspective, as well as providing professional development guidance to prepare participants for working in the industry. Ivana and Kate are ideal partners to support our team in nurturing the next wave of Northern talent and we can’t wait to get started.

Ivana has served as Producer on Tom Harper’s debut feature The Scouting Book for Boys, Michael Pearce’s Beast - which won the BAFTA for Best Debut Film in 2019 - as well as Kibwe Tavares’ hugely ambitious 2013 short, Jonah. On joining the Script Lab, she said: “I’m really looking forward to working with BFI NETWORK to support the development of exciting new northern voices.”

Kate has served as iFeatures Executive at Creative England and was responsible for overseeing the UK’s leading low budget feature development lab whose slate includes Apostasy, Lady Macbeth, God's Own Country and The Levelling. She said: “I’m excited to be working on BFI NETWORK’s Northern Exposure Script Lab programme, helping the team discover and develop new, up-and-coming voices in film.”

Applications for the Northern Exposure: Short Film Script Lab are now closed - we'll be notifying applicants on the week commencing 11 May. For more information on our newly announced industry mentors, see Ivana and Kate’s full bios below.

Ivana Mackinnon

Ivana Mackinnon is Producer at Stray Bear Productions. Her most recent feature, Beast won the BAFTA for Best Debut Film 2019, was nominated for the BAFTA for Best British Film, and received 11 BIFA nominations. Beast was released internationally in 2018, after premiering at Toronto in the acclaimed Platform strand.

Between 2003 and 2011, Ivana ran development for Celador Films and then Cloud Eight Pictures, working across films as diverse as Slumdog Millionaire and The Descent, before moving into producing with The Scouting Book for Boys and The Descent 2. The Scouting Book for Boys, which was the debut for Tom Harper, Jack Thorne and Holliday Grainger, gave Ivana a passion for working with emerging talent and finding voices she was passionate about. In 2011, Ivana left Cloud Eight and set up Stray Bear Productions where she produced Kibwe Tavares' Jonah, a hugely ambitious live action/VFX short which premiered at Sundance 2013 and has won multiple international awards.

Kate O'Hara

Kate is Head of Development at Duck Soup Films. She heads up their diverse slate of TV and Film projects, working with some of the most exciting talent in the UK. She is developing projects for various broadcasters, including BBC, BBC Films, Channel 4 and Film 4.

Previous to this, Kate was the iFeatures Executive at Creative England. Kate took overall responsibility for the design and running of iFeatures, including managing the submission, development and production process. Kate also fed into the development of the projects, working alongside writers, directors and producers to shape the films that came out of the lab, including the award-winning Apostasy, Lady Macbeth, God's Own Country and The Levelling. Kate also works as a freelance script editor across Film and TV projects and is currently working on the BBC Writers Room Northern Voices scheme.