Hillman Grad Productions has announced its second annual mentorship program. The media company, founded by Lena Waithe, is committed to providing a platform for BIPOC talent and creating art that redefines the status quo. For the second class of mentors, Waithe, President of TV/Film Rishi Rajani, and Chief Operating Officer Ericka Pittman will provide opportunities for marginalized creatives to connect, grow, and accelerate their careers in television and film.
“Last year’s mentorship lab was a huge success working with some of the brightest emerging talent from so many different backgrounds. Equitable representation within the TV and film space is needed to progress the industry forward and it’s our mission at Hillman Grad to help ensure that we are at the forefront of these efforts. We’re excited to kick off year two and look forward to seeing what this year’s applicants have in-store for us,” the executive team at Hillman Grad stated in a press release.
The eight-month, tuition-free program consists of workshops, educational resources, professional development, and networking opportunities. Tracks for those selected include television writing, screen acting, and executive development. Participants will also directly interact with a variety of actors, directors, casting directors, editors, union reps, and publicists. Guests to the inaugural program included Cynthia Erivo, Kendrick Sampson, and more.
The Hillman Grad Productions mentorship program was established in December 2020 and received over 4500 applications. It wrapped in November 2021 with a showcase event on the rooftop of NeueHouse Hollywood, featuring screenings of the acting mentees’ tapes and live table reads of writing mentees’ scripts cast with professional actors. 64% of inaugural mentees identified as Black/African American, 24% identified as Asian American, 12% identified as Latinx, 48% identified as female, 20% identified as non-binary, and 40% identified as LGBTQ.
Applications for the second class are open until Feb. 11 and can be found here. The finalists will be notified at the beginning of March, with The Mentorship Lab beginning on March 12.