Atlanta Launches Production Assistant Training Program

Keisha Lance Bottoms
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The City of Atlanta and Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment have launched the Set South Production Assistant Training Program, a partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta, and The Georgia Film Academy (GFA),  with guidance from Bloomberg Associates, a pro-bono municipal consulting firm founded by Mike Bloomberg.

The free, full-time training program, set to benefit underserved Atlanta residents, is currently accepting applications for its inaugural class, which will start on October 4 at Junction 2800, a multipurpose community center, located in Southwest Atlanta.

“The City of Atlanta is dedicated to nurturing diverse, homegrown talent for a thriving film and television industry. Atlanta is host to some of the largest productions in the world and this program will give our residents more opportunities to participate,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a statement.

Disney is an inaugural lead supporter of the Set South PA Program. Additional national and local sponsors are slated to be announced in coming weeks.

The Set South PA Program connects unemployed, and/or underemployed Atlantans to careers in the highly competitive film industry. The first class will hold 15 students and there are plans to expand and continue the program with two cohorts each year with up to 25 students each.

Atlanta is home to approximately 100 productions each year, which have included Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and “Captain America: Civil War,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Netflix’ “Stranger Things” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” These productions account for 92,000 jobs across the State of Georgia, the vast majority of which are concentrated in Fulton County.

Through four weeks of training, the Set South PA Program, with curriculum and instruction from The Georgia Film Academy, will deliver set etiquette, standard practices, mock set experiences and much more. The program is tuition-free for participants, and requires no previous production experience. Upon completion, AMOFE and The GFA will support students as they seek employment by providing alumni resources, mentorship and job placement. Productions that receive permits from the City of Atlanta will be encouraged to hire Set South graduates on their productions.

“We’ve seen the demand for qualified production crew year after year, and we’re proud to develop this program to serve our residents and help diversify this booming industry,” said Cardellia Hunter and Phillana Williams, co-directors of AMOFE. in a statement. “Continuing our mission to ensure that all Georgians have affordable education and access to entertainment industry jobs, The Georgia Film Academy is excited to partner with the City of Atlanta on this new workforce training program,” said Jeffrey Stepakoff, Executive Director of The Georgia Film Academy.

Qualified students must be an Atlanta resident 21 or older, be underemployed or unemployed and have a valid driver’s license. More details are available at http://www.setsouthatl.com.