Two very exciting programs of IFP are showing the diversity of our organization and commitment to filmmakers of all stripes. This past week, we announced the conclusion of the inaugural year of our “Made in NY” Mentorship Program, a career development program supporting and promoting diversity in the New York City entertainment workforce through mentorship, workshop and networking opportunities and job placement support. The “Made in NY” Mentorship Program grew out of the Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity in Film, Television and Commercial Production, commissioned to explore initiatives and opportunities that would help to diversify employment in the City’s production industry.
Drawing from a highly competitive candidate pool, fifteen below-the-line participants representing an inclusive range of race, gender, ethnicity and physical ability were selected for an eight-month fellowship specifically designed to build the professional networks of its participants to ensure long-term career growth.
Among the mentors to participate in the program were costume designer John Dunn (I’m Not There, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), cinematographer Frederick Elmes (Synecdoche New York, Blue Velvet), Production Designer Mark Friedberg (Across the Universe, Darjeeling Limited), producer Ted Hope (Adventureland, In the Bedroom), cinematographer Ellen Kuras (DP Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), cinematographer Harris Savides (Milk, Zodiac), and producer Frida Torresblanco (Pan’s Labyrinth), among many other dedicated artists and technicians. Over half of the cycle’s participants had the opportunity to directly apprentice with or shadow a mentor on set or in the production office.
This program is inspiring in that it focuses on those below-the-line film professionals and nurtures their skills in careers in a way that no other program has. We look forward to an exciting second year of the program.
In other news, this past Thursday was the opening night of Hot Docs, North America's largest film festival devoted to non-fiction film. For the first time ever, thanks to IFP's partnering with Shooting People and NYWIFT, we are able to bring a U.S. Delegation to this international festival. he delegations, each made up of established producers and broadcasters working in social, cultural and political documentary genres partake in the wealth of networking opportunities, market events and conference sessions offered. Official delegations also network with other delegates through specially-scheduled parties and receptions, and through International Co-Production Day, at which delegation members will be featured participants.
We look forward to keeping you posted about the success of all our members!