Leading job site Indeed, Emmy winner Lena Waithe (Master of None, Twenties) and her company Hillman Grad Productions have today named Cara Lawson, Gbenga Komolafe, Georgia Fu, Jalmer Caceres, Justin Floyd, Leon Cheo, Shanrica Evans, Tara Motamedi, Travis Wood and Urvashi Pathania as the 10 filmmakers selected for the second edition of their Rising Voices program.
Indeed: Rising Voices was created to uncover, invest in and share stories created by BIPOC filmmakers across the U.S. Executives from Hillman Grad Productions, Indeed and Ventureland selected participants’ screenplays from a pool of 900 submissions. Each will be given a production budget of $100,000 to create a short film of less than 15 minutes in length, which will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in June. Their journey with Rising Voices will see them receive access to a crew through Hillman Grad and 271 Films, and a $10,000 writing and directing fee, as well as mentorship from Waithe and other filmmakers including Calmatic, Destin Daniel Cretton, Justin Chon, Melina Matsoukas and Rayka Zehtabchi.
Indeed has tripled the investment put into the first cycle of Rising Voices for the latest edition, bringing $3M to that program, as well as a new Production and Development Lab for filmmakers from Rising Voices 1 including Johnson Cheng, Stacy Pascal Gaspard and Gabriela Ortega.
“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, career development and mentorship,” said Waithe. “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.”
“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,” added Indeed CEO Chris Hyams. “With Season Two, we are thrilled to bring 10 brilliant new voices to the story of the power of jobs to change lives.”
The first season of Rising Voices resulted in the creation of more than 650 jobs, with finalists’ films debuting in June of last year. More information on the program can be found here.
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