The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) has made it their mission to create a voice for the voiceless and their latest partnership with Sundance Film Festival solidifies the mission even more. The nonprofit organization, Sundance Institute, announced this past Sunday (Jan. 22) that they’ll be engaging in a two-year program working with diverse independent filmmakers and artists. During the two-year period, the 10 selected emerging screenwriters from underrepresented communities will partake in a two-day workshop to hone in on their craft and focus deeply on their creative processes, EBONY reports
Jada Pinkett-Smith announced her gratitude in being a part of the union stating, “We are honored and energized to collaborate with the Sundance Institute to cultivate stories and storytellers reflective of the world at large, and we view today as the beginning of a productive, purposeful and powerful alignment with an enduring institution.”
Executive Director, Keri Putnam, expresses her appreciation of WJSFF: “We are so grateful for the generous support of the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation. Together, we will build momentum and awareness about the need to create a film and media landscape that reflects the full richness and diversity of our culture.”
Making strides to ensure underrepresented communities are given a platform isn’t unfamiliar to either entities. Some of WJSFF’s other partnerships include groups along the likes of former president, Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), who seeks to put an end to commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, and Habitat For Humanity. The Sundance Festival hosted an event this past Saturday (Jan. 21) which highlighted “free speech, diverse voices, and the power of art to unite us and propel us forward.” The night featured leaders in the creative industry like Ava DuVernay, Common, Andra Day, and more.