This year marks the 28th iteration of Project Involve. The free nine-month program is for writers, directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, animators, programmers and entertainment executives from diverse backgrounds. During the program, participants meet one-on-one with film industry mentors, create short films, attend master workshops taught by top film professionals and industry networking events.
“Having triumphantly navigated this past year, the Project Involve team is prepared, very pleased and extremely excited to welcome the 2021 Project Involve Fellows into the Film Independent family” said Francisco Velasquez, Associate Director, Project Involve.
Project Involve alumni include Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Linda Yvette Chávez, Marvin Lemus and Aaliyah Williams (Gentefied), Effie T. Brown (Dear White People), Jon M. Chu (In the Heights) and Justin Simien (Dear White People).
Past Project Involve Mentors include Janicza Bravo, Ava DuVernay, Catherine Hardwicke, Alma Har’el, Barry Jenkins, Mako Kamitsuna, Spike Jonze, Charles D. King, Christopher Nolan, Veena Sud, Christine Vachon, Forest Whitaker and Bradford Young, ASC.
This year’s Project Involve Fellows by track are:
B. Rubén Mendoza
Ino Yang Popper
José Andrés Solórzano
Robin Takao D’Oench
Tian Jiao Zi “Selinda” Zhou
Van B. Nguyen
Film Independent also announced continued support of the program through donor-named fellowships. The Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television Fellowship (LMU SFTV) is presented to one of the school’s alumni. This year’s LMU SFTV Fellow is Emily Auday. The LAIKA Animation Fellowship provides a production grant to produce a stop-motion animated short film in Project Involve. This year’s LAIKA Animation Fellow is Yoo Lee.
The donor-named fellowships for the 2021 Project Involve program to be awarded at a later date are: the Participant Fellowship and the 10th annual Sony Pictures Entertainment Fellowship. Each Fellowship provides essential program support to Project Involve and includes a $10,000 unrestricted cash grant for a selected filmmaker participating in the program. In addition, for the third year, the Panavision Fellowship will provide an outstanding cinematographer in the program with a camera rental package valued at $60,000 for use on a future project produced in the US.