Issa Rae, Columbia Ink Production Pact to Promote Diverse Writers

Photographed by Austin Hargrave

The deal will function as part mentorship program, under which selected participants will work with Rae and the studio to develop and write features based on their original ideas.

Issa Rae's ColorCreative has signed a multiyear production pact with Columbia Pictures to promote emerging, diverse writers.

The deal will function as part mentorship program, part studio diversity initiative, under which selected participants will work with Rae and the studio to develop and write features based on their original ideas. Participants will be announced in the spring of 2019.

The Sony label's vp production Bryan Smiley shepherded the deal and will oversee production and development with ColorCreative. Sara Rastogi, vp production, and COO Deniese Davis will oversee for ColorCreative.

"Working with Bryan Smiley and Columbia Pictures to further the mission ColorCreative set out to achieve four years ago in creating access for underrepresented writers, has been a dream come true,” said Rae. “All of the projects we are working on are fresh and promising and we can't wait to continue the work. We hope to set a precedent and inspire the industry at large to invest in undiscovered talent, original IP, and fresh stories and perspectives.”   

Added Columbia head Sanford Panitch: “Issa is a force of nature, and a magnet for talented people. We couldn’t be more excited to join her in her mission to pave the way for fresh and authentic voices.”

Rae, the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated multihyphenate behind HBO's Insecure, launched ColorCreative in 2015. Recently, the shingle set up a musical romance, Love in America, at Universal.