Ava Duvernay’s distribution, arts and advocacy collective ARRAY has partnered with Google to launch a new feature film grant benefiting emerging creatives from underrepresented communities.
The filmmaker selected for the ARRAY + Google Feature Film Grant will receive $500,000 to fund their first full-length feature film. Additionally, the project’s production will be staffed by ARRAY crew, the collective’s inclusive hiring database for below-the-line crew members.
“Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” DuVernay said, announcing the partnership. “I’m pleased to partner with Google and ARRAY’s grant advisory committee to identify an emerging writer/director to bring their vision to the screen. Inclusive storytelling is at the heart of ARRAY’s mission and we’re proud to also provide access to ARRAY Crew in order to further ensure that the set of the grantee’s film reflects the full array of the world around us.”
ARRAY Crew launched in February as a way for hiring managers to easily access below-the-line film and television professionals in underrepresented groups, including women and BIPOC individuals of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island decent. The platform currently features more than 6,000 qualified crew members across 450 departments.
“We live and breathe filmmaking at ARRAY,” Tilane Jones, ARRAY’s president, said of the new initiative. “For the past decade we have had the opportunity to amplify the work of so many stellar women and filmmakers of color, and the opportunity to partner with Google on this grant is the start of a strong partnership,”
Jones also praised the members of the grant’s advisory board, who will select the filmmaker to receive the grant: Gabrielle Glore (festival director & head of programming at Urbanworld), Francis Cullado (executive director for visual communications media at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival), Crystal Echo Hawk (IllumiNative founder and executive director), María Rauqel Bozzi (senior director of education & international initiatives at Film Independent), and Jio Mami (artistic director of the Mumbai Film Festival).
“We are so lucky to have Crystal, Gabrielle, Francis, Maria and Jio on our advisory committee and be working with every pillar of ARRAY to produce and distribute this project,” Jones added.
The initiative was developed as part of Google’s commitment to focus resources toward amplifying marginalized voices, including a recent partnership with the Black List to launch a storytelling fellowship for writers developing their first film script or TV pilot.
“We’re honored to help ARRAY showcase talented creatives from underrepresented communities and to add volume to more diverse voices,” said Elle Roth-Brunet, Google Assistant’s entertainment partnerships lead and producer on the project. “The ARRAY + Google Feature Film Grant is intrinsically aligned with Google Assistant’s commitment to speak with a diverse set of voices, and connect with more people to help in their everyday lives.”
Forbes was first to announce news of the partnership.
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