( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Indeed Teams Up with Actress Lena Waithe to Highlight BIPOC Filmmakers
ENSPIRE Contributor: Sophia Kang
On Thursday, February 24, the job listings company Indeed announced its finalists for the second season of Rising Voices, an initiative that “aims to discover, invest in, and amplify stories created by BIPOC filmmakers and storytellers.” Lena Waithe, her company Hillman Grad Productions, and 271 Films will partner with Indeed and invest $3 million in mentorship and production crews for ten BIPOC filmmakers across the U.S.. Each filmmaker will produce a short film about the meaning of work to be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in June.
Indeed, Waithe, and Hillman Grad Productions launched Rising Voices last February because they saw BIPOC-led projects in the film industry go consistently undervalued.
“Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs. Season one of Rising Voices proved our belief that talent is universal but opportunity is not,” Indeed CEO Chris Hyams said. “With season two, we are thrilled to bring 10 brilliant new voices to the story of the power of jobs to change lives.”
The 10 finalists are:
- Cara Lawson
- Gbenga Komolafe
- Georgia Fu
- Jalmer Caceres
- Justin Floyd
- Leon Cheo
- Shanrica Evans
- Tara Motamedi
- Travis Wood
- Urvashi Pathania
“Indeed’s Rising Voices not only levels the playing field for BIPOC creators in Hollywood by creating opportunities for individuals to be seen, heard, and represented, but also empowers the next generation of storytellers, providing access to funding, on-site skill and career development, and mentorship,” Waithe said. “Our continued mission at Hillman Grad Productions is to ensure that program mentees are truly set up for success as they continue to grow within their individual careers.”
For season two of Rising Voices, Indeed has tripled its investment from $1 million to $3 million, all of which will go toward funding finalists’ short films and the Production and Development Lab, a 12-month residency mentorship program for three filmmakers from season one to create content for Indeed. The three filmmakers-in-residence will also be awarded $100,000 each to pursue independent projects.
“We are excited about the selection of 10 more BIPOC filmmakers who will share their stories through Indeed’s Rising Voices,” LaFawn Davis, Senior Vice President of Environmental, Social & Governance, said. “Partnering with Hillman Grad, 271 Films, and Tribeca to showcase their talent will give these filmmakers a leg up in a very competitive industry where opportunities like these are hard to come by.”
Read more about Indeed’s Rising Voices initiative here.
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