Talk about heavy lifting: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science quietly started looking earlier this month for someone to help boost diversity in Hollywood and foster “underrepresented talent” around the world—plus, raise money.
In a posting on Linked In, the Academy said it was creating a new position, called “Director, Talent Development and Inclusion.” The requirements are stiff. Candidates need eight-to-ten years’ experience in the diversity business, along with some background as a fund-raiser, and good entertainment industry contacts.
As for the mission, it could seem downright daunting. Job One is to “drive awareness of inclusion and outreach to all areas of film entertainment in an effort to raise capital to fund key education initiatives” around a talent diversity and intern program. But there’s more. The new director is expected to work with the film business at large, to “develop a comprehensive fund raising campaign to support the recruitment, education, networking and outreach efforts to enhance diversity inclusion within the film industry.”
The listing calls for someone who can help the Academy with member engagement, community building, and audience appreciation, all with an eye toward “the recruitment and retention of top talent within the industry.”
That means talking with independent film companies, major studios, guilds, suppliers, technology providers and industry organizations about “financial and non-financial support” for the Academy’s diversity initiatives.
In reality, according to the Academy, the focus of the new director will be mostly on that Job One, the internship program. The idea is to get companies and organizations to sponsor two interns apiece for a hoped-for total of 50, beginning in the spring of 2017. The interns, drawn from colleges and universities, will then be helped to “graduate” into mentorship and fellowship programs overseen by the Academy’s rapidly developing talent development apparatus.
This is all in keeping with a philosophy described by Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs during a talk at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. Boone Isaacs said she wanted the Academy not so much to reflect the industry as to change it, by bringing the group’s fervor for racial and gender inclusion to their companies and productions.
The new Director, Talent Development and Inclusion, will have a “reporting relationship dotted line,” to the Head of Human Resources, with a direct report to Randy Haberkamp, the Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs. The “dotted line” has something to do with an expectation that a new Head of Human Resources at the Academy, when hired, will be communicating about diversity with human resources departments at Hollywood studios.
No phone calls please. Letters and resumes are accepted by email. There was no mention of salary, but, given the size of the job, it must be considerable.