IndieWire’s Sundance partner Adobe has big news for rising filmmakers: Today, January 16, Adobe and the Adobe Foundation announced the inaugural Adobe Film & TV Fund, aimed to support underrepresented creatives within the film industry.
Adobe has committed $6 million in grants, contributions, and Adobe Creative Cloud product donations to help creators and filmmakers find career opportunities in the film and TV industry. The initiative seeks to address the inequity in funding, career, and training opportunities across multiple communities in the industry with grants, contributions, and fellowships. The fund marks an ongoing collaboration between Adobe, the Adobe Foundation, and a slew of global organizations, including Easterseals, Gold House, The Latinx House, NAACP, Sundance Institute, and Yuvaa, to support representation in film and TV.
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The fund will focus on providing fellowships and apprenticeships that offer direct, hands-on industry access through mentorships and networking with production houses, studios, and distributors to support filmmaking. The grants and contributions will also enable organizations to directly support creators in their communities with funding for short and feature films.
“Diversity in front of and behind the camera is key to unlocking more diverse and more inclusive storytelling across TV and film,” Stacy Martinet, VP of marketing strategy and communications at Adobe and a member of the Adobe Foundation board, said. “Through our new Film & TV Fund, Adobe is looking to leverage its leadership position in the creative industry to unlock new opportunities for underrepresented creators.”
The Adobe Film & TV Fund deepens the long-standing collaboration between Adobe and the Sundance Institute. Since 2015, Adobe has been proud to work alongside Sundance through the Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellowship — a year-round artist development program inspiring creativity and supporting emerging filmmakers ages 18 to 25. Adobe additionally founded the Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship in 2020, a year-round program designed to foster community and offer support to female artists who are creating bold new work in film and media.
Adobe Foundation has also bolstered work in this area, most recently through the establishment of The Inclusion List with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and support of the USC School of Dramatic Arts MFA Acting Program, to directly aid the production of short films for underrepresented students. IndieWire’s Adobe partnership at Sundance kicks off this week for the 40th annual festival.
The first Adobe Film & TV Fund fellowship program will begin with the NAACP and is specifically designed to increase diverse representation in the post-production industry. The 14-week fellowship program will focus on education and training, career growth, and workplace experience and will include access to Adobe Creative Cloud to further set up emerging creators with the necessary tools they need, as well as training, industry mentorships, masterclass lectures, workplace rotations, and more.
Applications for the NAACP fellowship will open on January 18 for four fellows, with the program starting in May of this year.
“Equity matters, and it is incumbent upon those of us who sit in positions of power and authority to help identify solutions to advance diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the lens,” Kyle Bowser, senior vice president of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, said. “It’s an honor to work with a like-minded partner in Adobe, who shows up at the table with ideas and resources that make a tangible impact.”
IndieWire is proud to partner with Adobe for two panel discussions at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The first, taking place this week on Saturday, January 20, is titled IndieWire: Creative Collaborations in Filmmaking, presented by Adobe.
IndieWire’s Executive Editor of Crafts & Special Projects, Chris O’Falt, will moderate a discussion with Duplass Brothers Productions president Mel Eslyn and producer/director/actor Mark Duplass. The conversation will focus on the longtime partnerships behind the production company with projects such as HBO’s “Room 104,” “Somebody Somewhere,” Hulu’s “Sasquatch,” and the new release “Penelope,” which is premiering at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.
The second discussion is New Voices in Film: Sundance x Adobe Fellows Spotlight, also moderated by IndieWire’s Chris O’Falt. Speakers Gerardo Coello, Gabriela Ortega, Iliana Sosa, and Sean Wang will discuss their latest projects, creative processes, and their unique stories shaping the future of film.
Coello is a 2018 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellow director/screenwriter whose short film “Viaje de Negocios” debuts at Sundance this year.
Ortega, one of the 2023 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellows, is the producer and actor behind the short film “Border Hopper.”
Sosa, a 2020 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellow, directed the episodic debut “God Save Texas: La Frontera.”
Wang, a 2020 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellow, wrote and produced the feature “Dìdi,” which premieres in the U.S. Dramatic Competition program. RSVP for these two panel conversations here.
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