Film Independent + FOX HBCU Media Alliance Award Nekisa Cooper Inaugural Fellowship, Grant

It was exactly a month ago when it Fox announced what it called “a transformative new partnership” with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) designed to further the development of diverse voices across the company’s entertainment businesses.

Called the FOX/HBCU Media Alliance (FHMA), the union would bring HBCU students, faculty and alumni together with executives from Fox’s media and entertainment businesses in an effort to build a stronger pipeline for students interested in pursuing careers in the film and TV industry, and advance the careers of HBCU alumni already working in media and entertainment within Fox businesses.

As part of that partnership, FOX Audience Strategy established and funded the first-of-its-kind Fox Film Grant that will enable one FHMA member to participate in Project Involve, the year-long program of Film Independent.

A month later, it’s been announced today that producer Nekisa Cooper (Pariah) will be the first recipient of this newProject Involve Fellowship, which comes with a $10,000 production grant from FHMA that will go towards production of a feature film she’s producing (to be directed by her Pariah collaborator, Dee Rees) titled Bolo, described as a Southern crime thriller about a Memphis police detective who investigates a murder in her community, which in turn challenges her notion of home, human nature, and the difference between right and wrong.

Now in its 20th year, Project Involve (a program we’ve highlighted several times on this blog) is a 9-month program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. During the program, participants create short films, receive one-on-one film industry mentors, access to production-based master workshops taught by top film professionals, career development training, industry networking opportunities and more.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via

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