Warner Bros. Announces Incubator for ‘Underrepresented Talent’
LOS ANGELES — Having had its feet held to the fire during the recent Oscar season over a lack of diversity, Hollywood is scrambling to cast more actors of color, support films that tell stories from nonwhite perspectives and hire directors who are not white men. The latest effort came on Thursday, with Warner Bros. saying it would start an incubator “to provide access and voice to new and underrepresented talent.”
Five aspiring filmmakers will be chosen by midsummer for a nine-month fellowship that will pair participants with Warner executives as mentors and result in short films. Greg Silverman, Warner’s president of creative development and worldwide production, announced the initiative, which is new for the studio’s movie division. (Its TV unit has offered a similar program for more than a decade.)
The selected participants will develop a script, work with Warner Bros.’ production department to prepare a shooting schedule and budget, shoot the film on the studio’s lot and then participate in editing and postproduction. Warner will pay $100,000 in production costs and cover a salary for the filmmakers. The finished films will be shown on the lot to talent agents and producers.
“There are so many bright, creative individuals at the threshold, who just need access to bring their vision and voice to a bigger audience,” Mr. Silverman said in a statement. “By providing that access, as well as a professional network and funding for a short film, Warner Bros. will play a small part in developing” fresh voices.