Whilst there wasn’t much to celebrate for the film and television industry during the global lockdown caused by the Covid pandemic, one huge positive was that it provided a launch-pad for the International Cinema Lighting Society (ICLS).

Founded by leading gaffers Michael Bauman, Rafael Sanchez and Martin Smith in 2020 as a networking forum for people working in the lighting industry, the ICLS has blossomed into a vibrant, international platform for hundreds of cinematic lighting professionals in more than 40 countries worldwide providing a supportive, technical, diverse and inclusive knowledge- sharing community.

From the outset, a major aim of the ICLS was to help provide mentorship and create more formal pathways for people to get into the business. To date the route into the world of film lighting has remained pretty informal, focused around the development of personal relationships rather than formal qualifications, but the ICLS plans to develop a more structured, accredited entry-route into the profession, and details will be released in due course. Promoting diversity, particularly getting more women into the world of gaffing, is another ambition.

The ICLS already has several hundred full and associate members, with an observer category launching soon. To qualify for full membership, you need a track record; namely, being a gaffer, rigging gaffer or desk op/console programmer for eight years with a string of credits to show for it. The associate membership is open to less experienced gaffers and lighting technicians, plus related professions, such as post-house colourists or experts in projection.


For more information, please visit www.iclsociety.com.