Here’s some great news: Big Vision Empty Wallet — a company that acts as a film and media incubator — is launching their new incentive program, Kick-Start Diversity. It’s designed to support diversity in storytelling and to make it easier for the work of women, people of color and LGBT individuals to get made and be seen, which obviously is awesome.
If this applies to your own work, take note: On October 5th, submissions will open for feature films and series with diverse teams. In order to qualify for the program, the writer, director or producer must be a woman, person of color or member of the LGBTQ community. BVEW will also announce the inaugural projects, selected from private submissions held this Summer.
In Hollywood, only 6% of film directors are women and 18% are people of color and the statistics for writers and producers aren’t much better. Big Vision Empty Wallet is intent on making a difference by cultivating work from a more diverse pool of creators. Said BVEW co-founder Alex Cirillo, “It’s wonderful that the inequality in Hollywood has become a more mainstream conversation recently, but the industry needs programs like ours to incentivize companies to work with ‘minority’ filmmakers to help make it easier to get their work made and seen.”
Selected projects will receive significant discounts from vendors and service providers nationwide to create savings in all stages of production, including AbelCine, Hive Lighting, Gotham Stages, and Nice Shoes. Recipients will be granted access to an exclusive Distribution Lab, presented in both NY and LA, focusing on audience building and distribution strategies. Participating companies include Lionsgate Films, FilmRise, Seed & Spark, VHX, Zeitgeist Films, and Cinetic. In addition to the program benefits, BVEW’s production company arm Big Vision Creative will choose several projects per year that come through the Kick-Start Diversity to co-produce and/or represent for distribution. The first Kickstart Diversity project they are producing is feature film “LEZ BOMB,” written and directed by Jenna Laurenzo.
Here’s some more information:
If you submit your film or pilot in pre-production:
In addition to the nationwide discounts and co-production opportunities, we’ll provide you with a document to add to your investment materials, which will explain the access you’ll gain, the money you’ll save, and the value you’ll add, based on your participation in our program. It’s important to us that we are all seen as great investments!
During production and post-production:
Take advantage of our partnerships – you’ll receive up to a 30% discount from vendors nationwide for everything from camera rentals to sound design to deliverables, to help you stretch your budget and get your projects made.
Access to Distribution:
Participating projects will be granted access to an exclusive Distribution Lab, presented in both NY and LA, which will focus on audience building and distribution strategies. Participating companies include Zeitgeist Films, Lionsgate Films, FilmRise, Seed & Spark, Vimeo, VHX, Factory 25, Cinetic, The Film Sales Company and Candy Factory Films.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT TYPE OF PROJECTS ARE YOU SELECTING?
We are accepting feature films (narrative and documentary) and TV/digital series in any stage of production that have a team and business plan in place. Although many digital series are produced at a lower budget, we will only accept projects that are fairly compensating their cast and crew. The application form requires team bios, a rough budget and schedule, distribution and funding strategy, audience building plan, and clearly defined goals.
HOW ARE THE DIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS DEFINED?
A project qualifies when the writer, director, or producer is a woman, person of color, or member of the LGBTQ community. Forming a definition of diversity isn’t easy. For this particular program, we are defining “diversity” as Asian Pacific, Sub-Continent Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, Middle Eastern, Mixed Race and/or women and members of the LGBTQ community. If you don’t identify in any of these categories, but still feel you should qualify, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Our goal is to be an inclusive as possible and make a positive impact.
DO I NEED TO LIVE ANYWHERE SPECIFIC?
Our benefits are for projects that will be produced in the US. Co-productions are welcome, as well. You do not need to live anywhere specific, but all events surrounding the program will be in NY, LA, and at major festivals. If you are shooting your project in a location that our vendors aren’t located, please reach out to us! We’ll work our hardest to get you benefits that will help in that location.
SO, IF I’M A WHITE DUDE AM I TOTALLY EXCLUDED?
Nope. You will be rewarded for supporting diversity in storytelling and working with a diverse team. If your project has a writer, director, or producer that meets our requirements, you can receive the benefits of our program. The person who qualifies for the incentive must be the one to submit to our program.