Vimeo, Dolby Partner With 'Blindspotting' Director, Ghetto Film School on Filmmaking Lab

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The Emerge! Filmmaking Lab will provide funding and mentorship to three young creatives.

Vimeo and the Dolby Institute are joining forces with the Ghetto Film School and Blindspotting director Carlos Lopez Estrada's Little Ugly on a new initiative that is meant to highlight the work of aspiring filmmakers.

The Emerge! Filmmaking Lab will spotlight three up-and-coming creators and provide resources for each to produce their own short film, which will later be reviewed by a jury of industry professionals.

Candidates will apply through Ghetto Film School’s Roster Program, a postgraduate program that provides networking opportunities for individuals looking to break into the film industry. Three chosen finalists will be granted a production stipend, courtesy of Dolby, and a complementary yearlong Vimeo PRO, while Little Ugly will provide postproduction services and one-on-one mentoring for Estrada and producer Kimberly Stuckwisch.

The grand prize winner will be rewarded with a trip to Los Angeles, where they will have the opportunity to meet agents, managers and other industry professionals.

“Being a young filmmaker myself, I fully understand how crucial it is to have a solid support system in place during the first few years of your professional journey as a director,” says Estrada. “A small push in the early stages of a career can make all the difference. Our three partners, Ghetto Film School, Vimeo and Dolby, have been invaluable collaborators throughout my professional life as a filmmaker and I am thrilled to offer an opportunity for other directors to work closely with these incredible organizations.”  

“In launching this program, we are creating a production vehicle for innovative storytellers ages 18-34 looking to kickstart their careers," says Ghetto Film School's chief strategy and partnership officer Sharese Bullock-Bailey. "Leveraging the resources and skill sets of GFS, Little Ugly, Vimeo and other supporters will provide a pathway toward success for our inclusive and elite community of independent artists.” 

Added Vimeo's Derick Rhodes, “Vimeo is always looking for ways to honor great storytelling, to celebrate diverse voices, and to highlight the next generation of creators. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with GFS and Little Ugly, and to offer this exciting opportunity to the talent of tomorrow." 

Open call will close May 6 and three finalists will be selected later that month. The application can be found here.