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Empire State Development: 3rd New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit to promote diversity & inclusion in state's entertainment industry


Wed, Dec 4th 2019 02:45 pm

Third event co-hosted with Motion Picture Association, New Partner Ghetto Film School connects diverse content creators with entertainment experts for career advice & guidance

Earlier this week, Empire State Development co-hosted the New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit, an interactive workshop that provides a roadmap for content creators of diverse backgrounds to navigate the film and television industry. The event, hosted by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development and the Motion Picture Association (MPTV), together with new partner Ghetto Film School, is the most recent of New York’s initiatives to promote the inclusion of diverse voices in the entertainment industry.

“New York state’s film and television industry is driving the statewide economy, generating billions of dollars in economic activity and more than 1 million hires to date,” ESD Acting Commissioner, President/CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said. “Under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership, today’s summit and the new film production training program at BCC will expand opportunities for the next generation of diverse filmmakers, writers, directors, producers and studio executives to gain a seat at the table and build an even stronger, more inclusive entertainment industry.”

MPTV works closely with studios, nonprofit organizations and film festival curators to promote New York’s talent and help expand pathways for aspiring filmmakers, writers and producers. The interactive workshop featured panel discussions that provided advice and guidance for diverse content creators looking to advance their careers in the film and television industry, followed by a networking session with representatives from CBS Corp., HBO, NBCUniversal, Viacom, Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment and other industry leaders.

Speakers at the event included “The Blacklist” Executive Producer Laura Benson, CBS’ upcoming drama series “Tommy” Executive Producer and Director Christine Moore, BET Networks Chief Social Impact and Communications Officer Jeanine Liburd, HBO Talent Development and Programming Manager Robert Patla, and WarnerMedia Entertainment Executive Vice President of Multicultural Marketing, Brand & Inclusion Strategy Lucinda Martinez. This is the third Multicultural Creativity Summit and the first held at the SkySquare Conference Center at Viacom in New York City. The first two events were hosted at the HBO Theater in New York City in May 2017 and October 2018.

“The future of the film and television industry depends on a wide variety of stories being told by diverse creators, on screen and behind the camera,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “The state of New York provides an incredible opportunity for people of all backgrounds to tell their stories. The Motion Picture Association is proud to co-host this summit and support inclusive storytelling in New York and throughout our industry.”

“The New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit has helped our industry to prioritize inclusive storytelling,” said Gail MacKinnon, senior executive vice president of global policy and government affairs at the Motion Picture Association. “New York state is both a home to many diverse communities and a key production hub for the film and television industry, generating 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity every year. We look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Cuomo, the Legislature, Empire State Development, and our multicultural partners in the state on events like this one that build a diverse and inclusive pipeline of creative professionals.”

“I am honored to be a part of New York state’s Multicultural Creativity Summit this year,” said Sharese Bullock-Bailey, chief strategy and partnership officer at the Ghetto Film School. “The film and entertainment industry thrives when diverse creators are given a platform to showcase their art. Every individual, organization, company and filmmaker taking part in today’s summit is playing a significant role in breaking boundaries and embracing diversity in media.”

The summit is part of a larger statewide initiative to increase diversity and inclusion and create equal opportunities in the film and television industry. At the second event in October 2018, New York announced an unprecedented partnership with Bronx Community College and IATSE Local 52 to launch a new 14-week program that will train up to 100 students for work in union trade crafts, such as property, carpentry and electric. This year, the program welcomes its first cohort of 25 students scheduled to begin classes focused on the electric craft this month, with a curriculum being developed by some of the top electricians in the film and television industry. Upon completion of the program this spring, graduates will receive a Bronx Community College/CUNY continuing education certificate in film and television production and will be officially ready for hire on production sets, soundstages and studios.

Bronx Community College Dean for Workforce and Economic Development Kenneth Adams said, “Gov. Cuomo’s support of Bronx Community College’s new film production training program will enable our students to prepare for and succeed in demanding film and television production jobs that previously were beyond their reach. Our program will create a pipeline of skilled and diverse talent for Local 52 while it opens up rewarding career opportunities for CUNY students.”

IATSE Local 52 Vice President John Ford said, “Local 52 looks forward to working with BCC on this project to provide qualified technicians to the employers in the entertainment industry. These are good jobs that provide employer sponsored health and retirement benefits.”

MPTV, a division of ESD, offers film, television and commercial productions and post-production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers. For more information on filming in New York or the film production and post-production tax credit programs, visit www.NYSFilm.com.

ESD is New York’s chief economic development agency. For more information, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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