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During the yearlong program, seven Indigenous producers at the beginning or middle of their careers will each receive a $25,000 stipend and attend monthly workshops and networking events to develop a project. The program will kick off in April 2022 with a digital intensive that includes an introductory session with Netflix executives, roundtable talks with Indigenous industry creatives, studio meetings and workshops with writers, directors, producers and casting agents. The curriculum for the monthly virtual training sessions will include project development, financing, distribution and marketing, with guest speakers who also will mentor the cohort.
“It is our hope to equip Indigenous creatives with resources and tools to advance their careers in the entertainment industry,” IllumiNative founder and executive director Crystal Echo Hawk said in a statement. “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.”
The program is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, a five-year, $100 million investment in internal initiatives and outside organizations to create more behind-the-camera opportunities in television and film for people from historically excluded backgrounds.
“IllumiNative does tremendous work advocating for Indigenous representation in the entertainment industry. Together, we want to create more opportunities behind the camera that can bring authentic portrayals of communities that are underrepresented onscreen,” Netflix manager of external affairs Stephanie Shih said in a statement. “We are honored to partner with them on a program that will help create more opportunities for Indigenous decision-makers in the industry.”
Applications are open now to early and mid-career Indigenous producers who are attached to at least one current project with rights to the intellectual property they are seeking to adapt. The deadline is Feb. 21.
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