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Another new diversity initiative aimed at helping historically excluded filmmakers make a short film is launching with an eclectic and acclaimed group of mentors attached.
Creator+, a new digital-first content studio and streaming platform, has partnered with The Kennedy/Marshall Company for Flip the Script, a program that will fund, market and distribute six short films from up-and-coming BIPOC creators every year. Frank Marshall and his head of production development Ashley Jay Sandberg will serve as advisors, while filmmaker Lulu Wang, Pose star Mj Rodriguez, NBA star Blake Griffin (who has a production banner, Mortal Media), Insecure actor and activist Kendrick Sampson, showrunner Elle Johnson (Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker), NAACP Hollywood Bureau senior vice president Kyle Bowers and social media executive Kudzi Chikumbu will serve as mentors on the advisory board.
Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 22 from U.S. residents who submit a short film script that relates to the theme “the power of community.” Creator+ will select six filmmakers, acquiring their scripts and giving them up to $25,000 to cover production and marketing costs for their shorts and help them with development, production and festival strategy. The Flip the Script advisory board is looking for purpose-driven projects that champion intersectionality and prioritize hiring a diverse crew; to that latter end, the initiative has partnered with Staff Me Up. The Flip the Script advisory board also will offer one of the six finalists the opportunity to develop a feature with Creator+.
“At Creator+, the best course of action we can take to shift culture and address bias against historically excluded communities is investing funds into projects that support and uplift these people to tell their own stories,” Creator+ head of diversity and impact development and production Ben O’Keefe (who formerly worked on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign and the Amazon documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy) said in a statement. “Our mission is to support the next generation of storytellers and industry leaders to create a more inclusive and equitable entertainment industry.”
Creator+ was founded earlier this year by former YouTube global head of creator partnerships Benjamin Grubbs and former Crackle general manager Jonathan Shambroom.
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