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The Academy Launches Virtual Gold Program With 19 Industry Partners

June 18, 2020 | By

AMPAS.OscarsThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the commitments from 19 partner companies in its fourth year of Academy Gold, an entertainment industry internship enhancement and mentorship program for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.

Participating partners include AMC Networks, Bron Studios, Circle of Confusion, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, DTS (part of Xperi Corporation), FotoKem, HBO, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund, Moving Picture Institute, Panavision/Light Iron, Paradigm Talent Agency, Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Telsey + Company, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Warner Bros.

The summer program will be virtual due to the on-going global COVID-19 pandemic, and there will be an extension program in the fall for those students whose summer internships were put on hold due to the health crisis.  Each of the partners will sponsor up to three of their interns for the program, which kicked off one June 17th with a two-day orientation that includes Academy governors, members and other industry speakers, studio and agency panels, and virtual tours of the Academy’s Film Archive, Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

This summer, 74 students (including 19 interns placed within the Academy) from across the United States and abroad will participate in Academy Gold.  The eight-week program, which concludes with a graduation ceremony on August 8, offers participants networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, a variety of panel discussions on every aspect of filmmaking, and career preparation sessions.

The program also has a production track with online technical workshops and masterclasses for students interested in cinematography, costume design, production design, film editing and sound.  In the fall, once production in Los Angeles has resumed and guidelines permit, these 30 students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience shooting scenes on a soundstage and spend time on active productions shadowing various departments.

Participants include students from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Pasadena Community College, Santa Monica College, Los Angeles Film School, New York Film Academy, Exceptional Minds and the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Academy members and industry professionals will participate in panels discussing their crafts, including Stephanie Allain (producer); Victoria Alonso (EVP, Production, Marvel Studios); Annie Chang (VP, Creative Technologies, Universal Pictures); Matthew Cherry (writer-director); Jon M. Chu (director); Julie Ann Crommett (VP, Multicultural Audience Engagement, The Walt Disney Studios); Michael Goi (cinematographer); Tiffany Haddish (actor); Reginald Hudlin (producer-director); Franklin Leonard (founder and CEO, The Black List); Patrushkha Mierzwa (sound technician); Rachel Morrison (cinematographer); Daryn Okada (cinematographer); Academy President David Rubin (casting director); Kimberly Snyder (CEO, Panavision); Wynn P. Thomas (production designer); Karen Rupert Toliver (EVP, Creative, Sony Pictures Animation); Mark Ulano (sound mixer); and Mary Vogt (costume designer), among others.  Upon completion of the program, all Gold interns will be paired with an Academy member for an eight-month mentorship.

This past year, members from every branch volunteered their time and support to the program, including such mentors as Bobbi Banks, Sterling K. Brown, Bruce Cohen, Joyce Cox, Michael Goi, Jane Jenkins, Eric Roth, Taura Stinson and Virgil Williams.

For more information about the Academy Gold Program, please visit www.oscars.org/AcademyGoldProgram

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