Lena Waithe, Cynthia Erivo Attend Indeed’s Rising Voices Premiere for BIPOC Filmmakers


( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Independent Filmmakers Shine at Tribeca Film Festival

ENSPIRE Contributor: Megan Grosfeld

Photo Credit: Getty Images – Arturo Holmes

This week, Indeed, the world’s number one job site, in partnership with Emmy-winner Lena Waithe and her company, Hillman Grad Productions celebrated Season Two of the Rising Voices filmmaker initiative at Tribeca Festival in NYC. The festival hosted the world premiere of the 10 Rising Voices Season Two short films created by BIPOC filmmakers about the power and impact a job can have on someone’s life.

Lena Waithe was in attendance, Hillman Grad Productions President of Film/ TV Rishi Rajani, actress Cynthia Erivo, filmmaker, Stacy Pascal Gaspard, Ventureland, and PRETTYBIRD. Joining them for the premiere were all 10 filmmakers and program mentors Calmatic, Destin Daniel Cretton, Justin Chon, Rayka Zehtabchi, and Melina Matsoukas. 

Inspired by the belief that talent is universal, but opportunity is not, Rising Voices was created to uncover, invest in and share stories created by BIPOC filmmakers. Indeed’s goal with the Rising Voices initiative, is to expand the creation of sustainable job opportunities for talented underrepresented creatives and through their partnership with Lena Waithe and Hillman Grad Productions, they have been able to accomplish that with over 1,000 jobs created through the program since its inception. 

Indeed and Variety also hosted a panel discussion moderated by Clayton Davis, Senior Award Editor at Variety. At the panel, Clayton held a thought-provoking conversation with all 10 Rising Voices Season Two filmmakers.

About Indeed’s Rising Voices Season Two

Each filmmaker was awarded a $10,000 writing fee, received a $100,000 production budget, a dedicated line production crew through Hillman Grad and 271 Films, and had access to an additional $25,000 COVID budget to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. In the coming weeks, Indeed will select the filmmaker who profoundly showcased the power and meaning of work in their film, and they will receive an additional $100,000 to create new work for Indeed as a non-exclusive filmmaker in-residence. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 15: (L-R) Chris Hyams, Rishi Rajani, Lena Waithe and LaFawn Jones speak onstage during Indeed’s Presentation of Rising Voices Season Two on June 15, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for 2022 Tribeca Festival)

To learn more about the filmmakers, click on their complete bios here.

To learn more about Rising Voices Season Two and the films click here.

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