Twenty-seven new television pilots developed by creators of color have been funded through Seed&Spark’s “Keep it Colorful” crowdfunding effort, Variety has learned exclusively.
The pilots run the gamut of genres, including comedy, drama, sci-fi and animation, and many of them center on themes involving women and LGBTQ individuals.
“We are showing the industry there is a very solid and viable pipeline of talent and projects from creators of color even if they are not yet represented by agencies or don’t have deals with studios,” said Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark. “We are going beyond the notion of ‘inclusion’ to just change the entertainment industry to reflect the world in which we actually live by getting work made and seen.”
There were approximately 50 content creators of color who entered the crowdfunding rally during “Keep it Colorful.” The 27 that met their financial goal will move forward into production. Twelve of these pilots reached an additional goal that qualified them for grants and mentorship.
Two of the pilots have been selected for additional grants and deals, with the remaining 10 finalists having the opportunity to work with entertainment industry mentors, including Erika Alexander, Gabourey Sidibe, Steven Rogers, Mary Ann Marino, Jennifer Levine, Rashonda Joplin, Paul and Tammy Garnes and Brian Dukes.
“Pink,” an hourlong drama about a group of 10-year-old African-American girls living in the inner city, received a $10,000 grant from Color Farm Media and a development deal, while “Black Girl Training,” a drama about a 21-year-old African-American woman who lives in the Midwest, received a $15,000 grant from Black& Sexy TV and a development and production deal.
The month-long crowdfunding effort on the online platform had approximately 50 creators of color enter. To be considered for production deals and these additional grants, pilot crowdfunding campaigns had to launch on Seed&Spark on Sept. 4 and end Oct. 4 of this year. They needed to hit their crowdfunding goal during that month and gather a minimum of 500 campaign followers. If the campaign met that criteria, they then had 10 days to post a 30-second video pitch about how the additional grant money and production partnership would be used. The suppliers of the grants used their discretion to select the two winners.
Seed&Spark is an online platform that emphasizes inclusion across all of its crowdfunding projects and streaming content. It offers crowdfunding for both independent television creators and filmmakers. It is also a subscription service for streaming content. The company was founded in 2012 and to date more than $16 million has been raised for more than 1100 television shows and movies. Seed&Spark also holds more than 125 education events each year to help content creators across the country get their projects produced and distributed.