The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative is teaming up with Snap to offer funding and mentorship to a student filmmaker. A press release announced the launch of an award “that consists of $25,000 to fund a senior thesis film. The winning filmmaker will also be mentored by a panel of advisors from Snap throughout their senior year and will be able to shadow filmmakers on the set of a Snap Original production. Finally, the student will have the opportunity to pitch a short-form unscripted mobile series for the student to direct at the end of the program period,” per the release. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to “provide the winning director with an array of resources to jumpstart their career, focusing on mobile content as a building block to other forms of storytelling.”
Designed to “combat the historical inequities faced by women of color in film — less than 2% of all top-grossing films from 2007 to 2021 had a woman of color director, according to research by the Initiative” — the program will “directly work to address the gap by providing resources to a talented woman of color entering her senior year in film school.”
“The Snap Originals Annenberg Inclusion Award is a platform to launch a next-generation filmmaker by providing a suite of resources: financial, relational, and informational,” said Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder of the Inclusion Initiative. “Short-form mobile content is a powerful outlet for creative storytelling. Working closely with Snap will expose the winning director to knowledge and techniques that can support their creative interests both in the short and long-term.”
Anjuli Millan, Snap’s Head of Original Content, added, “The next wave of filmmakers has the opportunity to change the world in new ways through mobile-first storytelling, marrying their incredible passion for truth and authenticity with innovative cinematic perspectives and technology. Through Snap’s partnership with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, we couldn’t be more excited to find an inspiring student at the start of their journey and support their unique voice, talent, and vision for the future of filmmaking.”
Applications for the program will open later this month. The awardee will be announced ahead of the 2022-2023 school year.