EXCLUSIVE: LA-based Crazy Rich Asians and Marshall backer Starlight is to extend its diversity funding program Stars Collective.
After initially setting out to support 30-50 diverse, emerging filmmakers, Starlight says it has now helped a total of 50 directors. CEO Peter Luo is now expanding the program with the aim of investing in another 50 filmmakers.
The program affords directors an opportunity to develop content with the guidance of established filmmakers and supports them with funding and creative resources. Starlight claims the fund’s $50M budget could be scaled up to as much as $100M.
Among those to have been supported to date are filmmakers Sohil Vaidya, Yuxi Li, Stephan Lee, Ramez Silyan, Raed Alsemari, Phyllis Tam, Nadav Kurtz, Che Grayson, Avril Z. Speaks, Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Kevin Wilson Jr.
Said Peter Luo: “A bright spot for us during the pandemic has been the ability to spend time looking at the big picture of the entertainment industry, analyzing long term opportunities that will flourish through the disruption of today. We are commited to taking a leadership position in supporting the creators of tomorrow with a belief that content will only grow in value globally. There is so much phenoninal, but untapped, original content from talented and emerging creators around the world, who just need an opportunity or a place to incubate and ideate. This is what Stars Collective exists to provide, at growing scale.”
The company is in talks with A-list filmmakers to join the advisory commission of Stars Collective and become creative mentors for the global filmmakers.
Starlight recently partnered with Sundance Institute to launch an offshoot grant program supporting diverse filmmakers – the Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund, which taps into an initial fund provided by Starlight.
Starlight’s credits to date have included Crazy Rich Asians, Marshall, Midway, Greta and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Upcoming projects include Sony horror film Umma; a Tony Jaa action trilogy; Golden Empire, starring Donnie Yen as a multinational drug lord; and a TV series adaptation of Rebecca F. Kuang’s fantasy novel trilogy.