Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Indeed have announced the 10 filmmakers selected for season two of Rising Voices, their initiative to support the work of filmmakers of color.
Established last February, the program provides resources for BIPOC filmmakers across the United States to create a short film that will premiere at the Tribeca Festival, planned for June 8-19 in New York City.
“Indeed’s Rising Voices not only levels the playing field for BIPOC creators in Hollywood by creating opportunities for individuals to be seen, heard and represented, but also empowers the next generation of storytellers, providing access to funding, on-site skill, career development and mentorship,” Waithe said in a statement. “Our continued mission at Hillman Grad Productions is to ensure that program mentees are truly set up for success as they continue to grow within their individual careers.”
The ten selected filmmaker teams for the 2022 edition of Rising Voices are Cara Lawson, Gbenga Komolafe, Georgia Fu, Jalmer Caceres, Justin Floyd, Leon Cheo, Shanrica Evans, Tara Motamedi, Travis Wood and Urvashi Pathania.
The finalists were selected from 900 applicants based on their submitted screenplays. They will be awarded a $10,000 writing and direction fee to create their short film, a $100,000 production budget, a line production crew from Hillman Grad and 271 Films and an additional budget for COVID safety protocols to ensure the safety of their crews. The filmmakers will also receive mentorship from filmmakers and industry veterans through Ventureland, including Calmatic, Destin Daniel Cretton, Justin Chon, Melina Matsoukas and Rayka Zehtabchi.
Indeed has tripled its investment in the partnership, pledging $3 million dollars to be split between Rising Voices Season Two and a new program called The Lab. Developed by Indeed and Hillman Grad, this 12-month non-exclusive residency will feature three filmmakers from the first season of the program: Chinese-American filmmaker Johnson Cheng, Haitian filmmaker Stacy Pascal Gaspard and Dominican-born filmmaker Gabriela Ortega. Indeed will provide a $2 million production budget to these filmmakers, who will work with Hillman Grad to develop ideas and new content for Indeed. Participating filmmakers with receive a $100,000 stipend for participation in the program.
“Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs. Season one of Rising Voices proved our belief that talent is universal but opportunity is not,” stated Indeed CEO Chris Hyams. “With season two, we are thrilled to bring 10 brilliant new voices to the story of the power of jobs to change lives.”
Added LaFawn Davis, Indeed’s SVP of environmental, social & governance: “We are excited about the selection of 10 more BIPOC filmmakers who will have the opportunity to share their stories through Indeed’s Rising Voices S2. Partnering with Hillman Grad, 271 Films and Tribeca to showcase their talent will give these filmmakers a leg up in a very competitive industry where opportunities like these are hard to come by.”