Project Involve (PI) is the most extensive artist development program of Film Independent (FI), a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles and designed to support as well as nurture independent cinema. PI offers 9 months of intensive free mentorship, education and career development for about 25-30 emerging filmmakers the majority of whom belong to minorities, such as women, African Americans and LGBTQ groups. Generally, women are represented by 43% and LGBTQ by 17% of the group. The Program focuses on film writing, directing and producing.
PI began as a mentorship one-on-one program for emerging minority filmmakers. Each fellow is paired with an active industry professional who offers invaluable guidance, such as advice to the participants regarding their future projects and career choices, as well as “shadowing” opportunities – things that “film schools don’t teach”. The caliber of the program is gaged by the names of some past mentors:
Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station, Dope); Ava DuVernay (Selma); Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight); Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines); Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12); Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler, The Bourne Legacy); Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse, Fantastic Four); Reed Morano, ASC (Meadowland, Vinyl); Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants); Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street); Justin Simien (Dear White People); Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry) and Bradford Young, ASC (A Most Violent Year, Selma).
PI also offers workshops and networking opportunities through the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent Forum, a 3-day annual event that brings together approximately 80 industry professionals, and monthly events with guest speakers.
PI culminates in the production of 6 short films, with which the participant filmmakers can practice all that they have learned. The projects are shot in a three-day shoot. A large portion of the short film needs is supported by the program. Post production, production assistant/intern services, insurance and a basic budget of $5,000 are all provided by the Program. The final films have various opportunities of exposure including at the Los Angeles Film festival, Latino Public Broadcasting, Online Film Festival and through industry networking events.
The films are showcased at the end of the program, and then distributed via Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) through a partnership deal.
Visit their website: https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/project-involve/