In an effort to strengthen the representation of MENA and South Asian talent in the entertainment industry, the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition (MAAC) launched a global online database on Tuesday.
The database will connect emerging and established talent from these regions to film productions, studios, hiring managers and casting starting today and can be accessed at maacdatabase.com.
“As an organization, we are constantly asked for actors, writers, producers, composers and even crew from specific Middle Eastern North African (MENA) and South Asian countries who speak specific languages. Hollywood knows that audiences are demanding authenticity, and for far too long we’ve been erased from our own stories with the excuse that we were hard to find. So, we have solved that problem with the help of technology,” says MAAC founder and president Azita Ghanizada.
The new digital platform will also be a partner resource included within The Academy’s new Inclusion and Standards policy for the Oscars.
“The MAAC database will provide global access to authentic voices and serve as a powerful resource to support meeting diversity and inclusion standards that are emerging in the industry, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Representation and Inclusion Standards, of which the database will be an acknowledged resource,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shared in a statement.
Sponsors and supporters for the database include the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, BoomGen Studios, Todd Phillips, Steve Levinson, and Dave Goetch.
“I am grateful to Azita Ghanizada and the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition for the work that they are doing in shining a light on the bias that exists toward Middle Eastern creatives both in front of and behind the camera. I look forward to being part of the solution,” Phillips said of the new platform.
“The MAAC database is an absolutely indispensable resource for anyone looking to tap into the deep well of MENASA talent that exists in Hollywood,” added BoomGen Studios in a statement.