Lena Waithe To Hand Pick 5 Up-And-Coming Directors To Create Short Films

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Lena Waithe at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Los Angeles, in partnership with longstanding LGBTQ ally, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Ketel One Family-Made Vodka)

Lena Waithe To Hand Pick 5 Up-And-Coming Directors To Create Short Films

The filmmaker is creating opportunities for others.

Published May 1, 2019

Written by Moriba Cummings

Lena Waithe has been a vocal advocate of providing opportunities for other creators in Hollywood, walking the walk by recruiting fresh talent behind the scenes of her recent successes, including the likes of Showtime's The Chi and BET's Boomerang.

Now, the Emmy award-winning writer-producer is expanding these efforts as it has been announced that she is collaborating with AT&T as the Lead Program Mentor for the 2019 edition of their Hello Lab Filmmaker Mentorship Program. The initiative, which began in 2017, was created to help filmmakers from underrepresented communities work on their craft and to provide them with major platforms to showcase their work.

Waithe, for the 2019 program, will personally select five screenwriters whose pieces will be financed and produced by AT&T. The famed filmmaker will also pair each writer with an up-and-coming director who will help bring their vision to life. This vibrancy in the projects will be reflected in the diversity used through including women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Each mentee will be fully supported throughout the program and will be given full access to the entire process, which will see them talk with casting directors and high-level executives who can further assist in their work.

"What I consider activism, and what I consider my craft, are one and the same. Telling Black stories, telling queer stories, working with up-and-coming talent — that's my way of dismantling the homogony of Hollywood," Waithe said of the program. "And mentorship is essential for underrepresented creatives. Their stories are necessary for our culture and our collective growth. I'm proud to have a hand in ushering in a new generation of storytellers through this program. AT&T is walking the walk, and that in itself is special for a global brand with a massive audience."

For more information about AT&T's Hello Lab Film Mentorship Program, visit their website.

(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Ketel One Family-Made Vodka)


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