Film Independent featured animator Javier Barboza, cinematographers Gemma Doll-Grossman, Phillip Jackson, Garland McLaurin, Lidia Nikonova, Michael Tanji and Akina Van de Velde, directors Hannah Bang, Jaime Castañeda, Logan Jackson and San-San Onglatco, editors Calvin Chin, Marcus Heleker, Christopher Ma, Ziyang “Lucia” Wang and Skylar Zhang, executives T’Essence Minnitee, Eboni Robinson and Danni Xin, producers Sarah Al-Qatou, CA Barrow, Ebony Elaine Hardin, Trent Nakamura, Jera Wang and Rui Xu, writers Danielle Ellen, Henry Alexander Kelly, Justin Omori and Tumelo Tladi, and writer-director Jesus Celaya as filmmakers in the 2022 edition of Project Involve, a free nine-month program for creatives from diverse backgrounds.
The non-profit arts organization behind the Spirit Awards also today named Barboza as its fourth annual LAIKA Animation Fellow, who will receive a grant to enable the production of a stop motion animated short.
Project Involve offers participants the opportunity to create short films, attend masterclasses and industry networking events, and meet one-on-one with film industry mentors. Alumni of the program, currently in its 29th year, include Lulu Wang (The farewell), Linda Yvette Chávez, Marvin Lemus and Aaliyah Williams (gentified), Effie T. Brown (Dear Whites), Jon M. Chu (In the heights) and Justin Simien (Dear Whites).
This year, Panavision will provide an outstanding cinematographer from the program with a camera rental package worth $60,000 to be used on a future project produced in the United States. , the sixth annual Participant Scholarship and the 11th annual Sony Pictures Entertainment Scholarship. Each provides essential support for the Project Involve program and includes an unrestricted cash grant of $10,000 for one selected filmmaker participating in the program.
“Project Involve continues to be at the forefront of building year after year a community of extremely talented and inclusive visual storytellers within the industry,” said Associate Director Francisco Velasquez. “We are thrilled to welcome the 2022 Project Involve Fellows to this community and look forward to seeing what we will create together.”
Film Independent also seeks to support upcoming filmmakers from diverse backgrounds through Filmmaker Labs (directing, documentary, episodic, producing and screenwriting); its accelerated financial market and fiscal sponsorship, as well as additional grants and awards, which provide more than $1 million annually to visual storytellers.
More information about the organization can be found here.