Meet the Mentors

Two winners will be selected of the FOCUS Award 2024. Each winner will receive six months of mentorship, three with one company, and three with another.

Find out more about our four mentors below:

Dean Beswick (Gorilla Gorilla!)

Dean Beswick (Gorilla Gorilla!)

“I see mentoring as a very powerful conversation, enabling new entrants to benefit from the experience, insights and connections of those already in the industry but also allowing experienced industry people to reconnect with the challenges of starting a career to gain a better understanding of the needs, ideas and outlook of the next generation of talent.” 

Gorilla Gorilla! is a London-based independent video production and animation studio helping brands tell powerful stories of change. Our team are a passionate troop of producers, filmmakers, animators, communication pros and brand specialists.

Working in the UK and globally, we make brand documentaries, animated explainers, campaign films, and social shorts about life, work, the future, and our communities.

Smart and supportive by design, curious by nature and bold by choice, we unleash authenticity to bring your messages to life.
























Pete Stevenson (The Edge Picture Company)

Pete Stevenson (The Edge Picture Company)

“At The Edge, we believe that mentoring young, upcoming filmmakers is not only important for the industry’s growth but also worthwhile and satisfying in itself. Supporting emerging talent contributes to the diversity and innovation of the EVCOM community and helps build a dynamic creative landscape.

A prime example of this commitment is our experience with Aileen, our 2023 mentee.

Aileen exemplified the energy of young filmmakers we’re dedicated to nurturing. During her time with us, she brought fresh perspectives and a hunger for learning, which invigorated our team here. Aileen’s journey is a testament to the impact mentorship can have on shaping the future of the film industry, and we’re proud to have played a part.”

We’re storytellers with purpose – and we never stand still. We embrace the latest ideas, technology, techniques, and delivery methods to make your project special, whatever the budget.

Based in London, Doha, Durban, Vancouver, and Paris, we’ve been working all over the world since 1991, delivering some truly special moments for all kinds of clients: governments, businesses, charities… the works.

We think we’re pretty good at what we do – and we’ve got the recognition to back that up. As well as racking up over 700 international awards to date, we’re incredibly proud to have been named New York Festivals TV & Film Awards’ Production Company of the Year Worldwide for 16 of the last 17 years, with last year as part of our parent company Zinc Media Group.













Sara Cooper (Plastic Pictures)

Sara Cooper (Plastic Pictures)

“Sometimes all you need is someone to believe in you to accomplish what you thought you never could. I believe a successful mentor-mentee relationship is built on trust and effort and I’m enthusiastic to help! I want you to grow and reach your full potential. I will listen to your dreams, your opinions, and be honest with my feedback. I will use my experience and knowledge to help. I’ll be there to champion you because my personal purpose is to help shape ideas and that includes shaping careers too!”

Sara Cooper (Creative Co-Founder) sets the stage for creativity to thrive at Plastic Pictures by unlocking energy, imagination and purpose throughout her team. As a former publicist, Sara uses her years of PR and Marketing nous to help shape ideas and brand loyalty for clients.

For over sixteen years she’s been crafting strategic campaigns and audio-visual content for the world’s largest corporations and biggest brands; winning an impressive list of awards and most recently EVCOM’s Agency of the Year.

Sara is an advocate for human-centered and compassionate leadership. She has built a positive and harmonious workspace at Plastic Pictures, where everyone is listened to and empowered to reach their full potential.

Plastic Pictures is an agency of ideas shapers and production professionals.

Through our lens, we bring into focus concepts that grab the attention of audiences, change perceptions, and inspire action for the most mission-led companies and purposeful brands in the world.

We are creative thinkers and executional doers who love to co-create and collectively shape content for audiences who have high expectations of the companies they work for and the brands they choose to follow.






Liz Robinson (Media Zoo)

Liz Robinson (Media Zoo)

“I joined the TV industry 20 years ago, not knowing a soul in broadcast but by working hard, showing passion, enthusiasm and through the kindness of others I was given some incredible opportunities and roles. I was mentored by many people in the early years of my career and I think it greatly enhanced my confidence and self-belief. When I was a Researcher, I had a Series Producer at Nickelodeon UK who really believed in me and said I too would be a Series Producer before I was 30; I was offered my first SP position at 28.

I think in a creative industry that is as competitive and somewhat unstructured as production is, it’s so important to have those older, experienced sounding boards who can share wisdom, knowledge and open doors.

I am a firm believer in giving young people coming through, the opportunities to learn, to make mistakes without fear and to grow. At Media Zoo, I am trying to lead our CreativeStudio with kindness, honesty, humour and ambition whilst identifying opportunities where my team can develop their skills and experience. In turn, I would like to offer this to those who are breaking into the industry.”

Liz is an award-winning Producer and Director with 20 years production experience across primetime broadcast documentaries, above the line commercial content and live TV and events. Over her career, Liz has worked for all the major TV broadcasters as well as leading on commercial work for L’Oreal, Costa Coffee, Barclays and British Vogue. Now leading the Creative Studio at Media Zoo, Liz is driving forward a fresh direction at the agency navigating clients into the brave new waters of ambitious, audience first, branded long form content.

Media Zoo are a unique and eclectic team with diverse skills and perspectives inspiring positive change. We unleash powerful reactions through our exceptional storytelling, award-winning films, pioneering content & digital campaigns.

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