Lena Waite’s production company has launched a 10-month mentorship lab to help budding writers, actors and film executives.
Hillman Grad Productions‘s tuition-free, 10-month program grants fellows the “unique opportunity to enhance their creative skillset through personalized instruction from industry professionals, creating additional pathways to bring more people from diverse backgrounds into the entertainment industry.”
And who better to lead the charge than Emmy award-winning scribe Waithe?
Waithe nabbed the Emmy for outstanding comedy writing in 2017 for an episode of “Master of None” titled “Thanksgiving.”
“Mentorship has always been important to me. The hope is to populate the industry with people that otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. Our focus will be on craft, how to navigate the industry and how to build community. We’re looking forward to meeting the next generation of storytellers,” Waithe said in a statement.
The “Queen & Slim” writer has often spoken about the lack of opportunity for Black women to advance in the film industry.
“You’re more successful when you have a team that thinks outside of the box but also a team that has friends in high places,” the multi-hyphenate told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. “Oftentimes those people aren’t people of color, or women.”
She continued: “It’s about the industry supporting Black and brown people coming up who want to be agents or managers and teaching them how to be the best in the business. Some of that comes from the hustle, but a lot of it is education.”
Applications for the mentorship program are currently open and due on Jan. 10, 2021. Finalists will be informed at the end of January and early February. The mentorship lab will begin in February.