“As we radically reimagine Hollywood, it is critically important that young people are included in our vision,” Ava DuVernay said today at the unveiling of the Evolve Entertainment Fund in Los Angeles.
“Real change happens when we take tangible action, and that means giving young women and people of color opportunities in the industry early on so they have the chance to shape its future,” the A Wrinkle on Time director and ARRAY founder added of the new partnership between the City of L.A, studios, networks and nonprofits that seeks to provide placement in the industry for those traditionally left on the outside.
“What is one thing that people can do to instigate inclusion on film set? Hire a woman,” Oscar nominee DuVernay also made a point of noting. “Films directed by women have 76% percent more inclusion across people of color and women.”
Teaming-up with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Issa Rae Productions, Dan Lin’s Rideback, ARRAY, WME, Netflix, HBO, Film Independent, CAA, UTA, Anonymous Content, Lionsgate, Charles D King’s MACRO, Oprah Winfrey Network, the Sundance Institute, Shondaland, Ryan Murphy, Innovative Artists and Warner Bros, among others, the EEF intends to raise over $5 million to fund programs up to and beyond 2020.
With emphasis on creating TV, film and digital career opportunities for people of color, women and low-income residents of the City of Angles and securing mini-grants and placement for eligible filmmakers, the newly announced EEF has already established 150 paid summer internships for students participating in the HIRE LA’s Youth program working with 9-1-1 EP Murphy’s production company, DreamWorks Animation and Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios. The hope is that the trajectory of those internships will expand to 250 by the end of the year, and up to 500 placements by 2020.
The first EEF grant recipient will be the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program is the initial EEF grant recipient with the focus of working with young women from low-income communities to work up-close with entertainment industry pros.
“We created the Evolve Entertainment Fund to give people in underserved communities a new opportunity to chase their dreams in Hollywood, whether they want to be the next award-winning director or screenwriter, or are looking to secure a future in below-the-line jobs that are the bedrock of this city’s middle class,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told the crowd gathered Monday at the newly minted Historic Filipinotown based Rideback Ranch HQ of The LEGO Movie producer Dan Lin, who serves on the EEF Advisory Board.
As a part of EEF chipping away at some of the entry point barriers that some face, Lin’s Rideback has set up a new internship to expose participants to the development of big screen and little screen content for the international market. “I came to the U.S. as an immigrant from Taiwan,” Lin told the assembled invitees on Monday morning. “I’ve seen firsthand how difficult the industry is, how hard it is for writers, filmmakers and other artists to get their films and television series made,” the producer declared. “It’s even harder for someone with no connections to get a career started. It takes the generosity of others to lend a hand and get you through the door.”
Lin also announced today that his decade old Lin Pictures would be rebranded with the Old West term Rideback, meaning to help a rider who has fallen off their horse back up. The new campus where the EFF event was held will also house Warner Animation Group’s LEGO team plus Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Lord Miller and David Ayer and Chris Long’s recently announced Cedar Park Entertainment.
DuVernay also revealed on Monday that a new HQ for the indie film focused ARRAY will be opening on Glendale Boulevard near where today’s event was held.
Here are the EEF Advisory Board participants:
Beatriz Acevedo, Founding Partner and President, mitú;
Charles D. King, Founder and CEO, MACRO
Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix
Doug Wald, Partner, Anonymous Content
Dan Lin, CEO, Rideback
Greg Foster, CEO, IMAX Entertainment
Josh Welsh, President, Film Independent
Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute
Kerstin Emhoff, Co-Founder, PRETTYBIRD
Kobe Bryant, Founder and CEO, Granity Studio
Michelle Kydd-Lee, Chief Innovation Officer, CAA
Paul Hunter, Co-Founder, PRETTYBIRD
Ryan Murphy, Screenwriter/Director/Producer, Founder, Half Foundation
Michael Sugar, Founder,Sugar23