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The reality production and distribution giant — whose shows include Emmy-winning Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls as well as MasterChef, The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Below Deck — will develop a curriculum about television production tailored to participants at L.A.’s Best Buy Teen Tech Centers, which provide a space for underserved youth to develop skills in film production, digital media, audio engineering, augmented and virtual reality, 3-D design and other technologies through hands-on experience and peer and adult mentorship. The curriculum will include seminars and job-shadowing opportunities with Hollywood producers, directors, editors and writers.
In addition, Teen Tech Center alumni will be able to join Banijay Americas’ feeder program for production assistants, with the opportunity to interview for these entry-level jobs on Banijay-produced shows.
“Banijay Americas is thrilled to partner with Best Buy and its community impact hub to offer young people across Los Angeles greater access to the entertainment industry through experiential learning opportunities and hands-on training, exposure to our network of artists and industry professionals, and eventually, a point of entry for their first television jobs,” Banijay Americas executive vice president of enterprise inclusion and social responsibility Karla Pita Loor said in a statement. “Our work with Best Buy reflects our commitment to creating both content and an industry that reflects the rich diversity of our audience and our city.”
The team-up makes Banijay Americas the first studio partner in the Best Buy Foundation’s Los Angeles Community Impact Hub, its network of 12 L.A.-area Teen Tech Centers built on a $10 million commitment from the company and in partnership with the Greater LA Education Fund and the Annenberg Foundation. There are more than 50 Teen Tech Centers nationwide, with the goal to open 100 by 2025.
“Through the community impact hub, we are lifting up the next generation of youth in Los Angeles with the tools and resources to reach for the stars,” Best Buy vice president of social impact Andrea Wood said in a statement. “This partnership will help shape the future of the industry by creating a direct talent pipeline that gives young people the opportunity to discover and pursue careers in the creative economy.”
Best Buy also recently formed a partnership with The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program that includes access for mentees to the L.A. Community Impact Hub as well as a full scholarship to Loyola Marymount University for one WIE mentee, which will be presented by Jamie Lee Curtis and Janelle Monae at THR’s WIE gala this morning.
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