July 19, 2022
BLACK PUBLIC MEDIA
By Leslie Fields-Cruz
'I'm In!!! ... Now What?'
Late last week, we received an announcement about an opportunity that STARZ is offering for screenwriters. The STARZ #TakeTheLead Writers’ Intensive is a collaboration between the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), New Filmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA), and STARZ. It seeks emerging and underrepresented writers who are looking to break into a career in TV writing for premium cable. Ten slots are available. The network is also currently accepting TV pilots. For details, go here. The application deadline is July 29.
Meanwhile, The Gotham’s new nonfiction development program, in partnership with HBO Documentary Films, is looking for storytellers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or persons with disabilities. It offers mentorship, resources, and grants of $50,000 to help develop nonfiction projects at an early stage. Go here for criteria and application information. The deadline to apply is July 26.
BPM welcomes notices that target our constituency because, in years past, it seems opportunities like these were not widely marketed or promoted to our audience. It’s either that, or now there are simply more networks, cable and subscription services interested in finding BIPOC talent. Of course, experience tells me that inviting Black folks to apply for these opportunities isn’t the same as hiring them for positions. I would like for these companies to also collect and widely share data that tracks their BIPOC participants AFTER they finish these programs. Where do they go? How many are hired? What’s the retention rate?
The door of opportunity has opened wider and I encourage those who may have demurred previously, to apply, apply, apply now, while the iron is hot! But I also urge the companies giving access to BIPOC talent to let us know how you’re doing. Because if there’s one thing BIPOC people know all too well, it’s that we can have all the appropriate credentials, internships, etc., but getting hired and staying employed is the tricky part.
So, if you’re in this business and are looking for Black talent, by all means continue to share your announcements with us. BPM is happy to help spread the word. Just remember, advising folks about opportunities is only the beginning.
To stay abreast of future opportunities, follow us on social media, visit our website, and subscribe to our newsletter and Weekly Dispatch.
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