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The New York-based female-focused media and entertainment company Refinery29 has teamed with fashion brand Kate Spade New York to launch a “Pilot Season” program that was unveiled this week. Five 60-second pilot videos by female filmmakers and starring female heroines will roll out on the Refinery29 Instagram page and website, which also offers a breakout of the Kate Spade New York summer 2019 pieces worn by actresses in each film with links to shop.
Ultimately, the two companies will team with a jury (headed up by actress, producer and activist Rosie Perez) to select one winner whose pilot will be developed as a potential series. Other jury mentors (who worked with Perez to mentor the five filmmakers) include Mad Men writer Tracy McMillan, filmmaker Ry Russ-Young and Kisha Imani Cameron, film producer and president of Completion Films.
The female creators, who began work on their projects earlier this spring, include filmmakers Anna Kerrigan, Danielle Kampf, Sarah Salovaara, Francesca Mirabella and Kylah Benes-Trapp (who partnered on one of the projects), and actress-writer-director Katie Boland.
“We’re excited to launch ‘Pilot Season’ in partnership with Refinery29 on Instagram and champion a group of diverse female storytellers and bring to our audiences the unique stories they have to tell,” said Kate Spade New York senior vp brand creative Kristen Naiman. “Branded entertainment is such an exciting medium because it allows us to see the things we have and wear contextualized in the stories we live.”
Added North American president and CCO of Refinery 29 Amy Emmerich: “With the success of our R29 Originals video division, including our award-winning Shatterbox short film series, we’re committed to setting the bar even higher when it comes to gender parity in front of and behind the camera.”
Refinery29 launched its R29 Originals division in 2015, which had had a 110 percent year-over-year revenue growth, according to the company, and has 28 projects in development and 16 in the market. The female-directed Shatterbox film series, which debuted in 2016, last month announced its third and fourth seasons in partnership with startup studio Level Forward. Chloe Sevigny, who participated in the first season, will return for season three. Other Shatterbox directors include Yara Shahidi and Kristen Stewart.
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