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HomeCommunityFilm Independent Partners with State Department on New Mentorship Program

Film Independent Partners with State Department on New Mentorship Program


Film Independent has partnered with the U.S. Department of State to launch a new international film exchange program called Global Media Makers. Global Media Makers is an innovative mentoring initiative that will connect visual storytellers from around the world with leading U.S. entertainment professionals through specially tailored mentorships, workshops and master classes.

Program mentors include Effie Brown (Dear White People, Project Greenlight, EVP of production and development at Lee Daniels Entertainment); Kirby Dick (The Invisible War, The Hunting Ground, This Film Is Not Yet Rated); Jay Duplass (Transparent, The Puffy Chair, Cyrus); Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere, Selma); Rodrigo Garcia (Mother and Child, In Treatment, Carnivale); Matthew Greenfield, EVP production Fox Searchlight; Kelly Kulchak, head of current programming, DreamWorks Animation TV; Alix Madigan-Yorkin, head of creative affairs, Broad Green Pictures; Jeremy Podeswa (Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire); Alan Poul (The Newsroom, Six Feet Under, Swingtown); Mary Sweeney (The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive); Robin Swicord (Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Nancy Utley, president, Fox Searchlight.

Mentors will work closely with Film Independent’s senior director of education Maria Raquel Bozzi and director of artist development Jennifer Kushner to build a curriculum that reflects best filmmaking practices in their areas of expertise. Mentors will advise Global Media Makers Fellows with the development of their projects and help them expand their professional networks with other media makers in the U.S.

“We are honored and thrilled to be working with the State Department on this important new initiative,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. “We live at a time when the cultivation of strong, independent voices that can communicate across cultural boundaries has never been more important. This cross-cultural program allows us to serve talented filmmakers from around the world.”

For the first year of this program, 12 film, television and new media makers will be selected from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey.  Global Media Makers Fellows will receive in-depth filmmaker education, business training and professional networking opportunities. Participants will travel to Los Angeles to work on projects with a team of American mentors and receive state-of-the-art training and industry access to support conceptual development of compelling independent content for distribution in their home countries and foster creative cross-pollination between filmmakers from around the globe.

Selected filmmakers will be recognized as Film Independent Fellows, and will receive career-long networking, support and eligibility to apply for Film Independent grants.

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