Excerpts of IFP press release:
IFP AND MAYOR’S OFFICE OF FILM, THEATRE AND BROADCASTING ANNOUNCE CULMINATION OF INAUGURAL “MADE IN NY” MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
New York, NY (April 29, 2010) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting announce the conclusion of the inaugural year of its “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.
“Mentorship is absolutely vital to building a successful career – nowhere more so than in the frequently word-of-mouth driven entertainment industry,” says IFP’s Executive Director Joana Vicente. “Without mentor support and a strong professional network, it’s incredibly difficult to break in, find work and advance. We’re proud to provide a program in which such mentorship and support is available for talented below-the-line artists.”
As part of the program, IFP placed fellows on productions ranging from jobs on indie features to large-scale television productions, totally 450 days of work. Fifty-three percent of the cycle’s participants have already received promotions to higher positions across several departments.
IFP will be accepting applications in May 2010 for the program’s second cycle, which will run from July 2010 to March 2011. The 2010-2011 program will specifically serve crew working in the below-the-line areas of Camera, Editing, Production Design, Production Management, and Sound.