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Project Greenlight is turning on the cameras again.
The filmmaking competition/docuseries is returning as an eight-episode HBO Max series, with Insecure co-creator and star Issa Rae taking over as a mentor to aspiring auteurs. The new season, which will feature a group of female filmmakers, will be the show’s fifth; it last aired in 2015 on HBO.
HBO Max has also given a series order to Sweet Life: Los Angeles from Rae and her company, Hoorae. The unscripted show will follow a group of Black friends who embrace the joy and struggles of love and family while building their careers as influencers and tastemakers in South L.A.
Miramax Television, which has produced Project Greenlight throughout its life, is also behind the new iteration. Hoorae also produces.
“At HBO Max, we are committed to providing a platform for diverse, up-and-coming talent. Issa is uniquely skilled in this space, and we are thrilled to be partnering with her and Miramax as a promising group of filmmakers is inspired and challenged with their biggest opportunity yet,” said Jennifer O’Connell, executive vp nonfiction and live-action family at HBO Max.
As with past seasons, the show will follow the winning filmmaker through the production process. The finished movie will debut on HBO Max.
“By relaunching the iconic Project Greenlight with the brilliant Issa Rae and HBO Max, we continue our efforts to mine the Miramax library and create exciting, groundbreaking new content as well as forge opportunities for a new generation of innovative voices to be heard,” said Marc Helwig, head of worldwide television for Miramax.
Previous seasons of Project Greenlight featured Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and their producing partners, Sean Bailey and Chris Moore, leading the aspiring filmmakers through a crash course in moviemaking. The most recent season sparked controversy over a conversation between producer Effie Brown and Damon about diversity behind the camera, where Damon was roundly criticized for “whitesplaining” the issue. The actor later apologized for his comments.
Rae and Hoorae’s Montrel McKay executive produce Project Greenlight with Jonathan Berry and Dave Becky of 3 Arts Entertainment; Hoorae’s Sara Rastogi is a co-EP. Miramax TV’s senior vp development Amanda Klein is overseeing the project.
Of Sweet Life, Rae said, “We’re so proud to present a grounded and fun slice of young Black L.A. life. We hope the HBO Max audience will relate to and fall in love with this group of friends as much as we have.”
Hoorae produces Sweet Life: Los Angeles with Main Event Media, an All3Media America company, and Morning Dew Pictures. Rae, McKay, Jimmy Fox, Sheri Maroufkhani, Leola Westbrook and Sun de Graaf executive produce. Rajah Ahmed and Pyongson “Sunny” Yim serve as co-exec producers, and Rastogi and Ashley Calloway are producers.
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