Netflix and IllumiNative, a woman-led non-profit organization, announced the launch of the IllumiNative Producers Program, a year-long training program for Indigenous producers.

The inaugural program begins in April 2022 and will support a cohort of seven early and mid-career producers. The selected fellows will develop a current project, attend monthly workshops and have access to network-building opportunities with their cohort as well as mentors and leaders in the industry. Fellows will also receive a $25,000 stipend to support their work, and creative feedback and mentorship as they develop their project.

First on the slate of programming for the fellows is a digital intensive where the producers will attend an introductory session with Netflix executives as well as roundtable discussions with Indigenous creatives working in the industry. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend meetings with major studios, as well as workshops with influential writers, directors, producers and casting agents.

Following the intensive, fellows will attend monthly virtual training sessions featuring different guest speakers focused on different themes including project development, financing, distribution and marketing. 

The IllumiNative partnership is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries.

“We’re so excited to announce our partnership with Netflix in launching the IllumiNative Producers Program to ensure Indigenous creatives are empowered and uplifted in an authentic and powerful way,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and executive director of IllumiNative. “It is our hope to equip Indigenous creatives with resources and tools to advance their careers in the entertainment industry. The producers program is a direct and crucial investment in Indigenous producers and our community. By supporting the next generation of Native producers, we can increase Native representation and support authentic stories that showcase the talent and skill of Native storytellers.” 

“IllumiNative does tremendous work advocating for Indigenous representation in the entertainment industry,” said Stephanie Shih, Netflix’s manager of external affairs. “Together we want to create more opportunities behind the camera that can bring authentic portrayals of communities that are underrepresented on screen. We are honored to partner with them on a program that will help create more opportunities for Indigenous decision-makers in the industry.”

To learn more about the IllumiNative Producers Program and apply, visit illuminatives.org/the-future-is-indigenous.