In the next step of the expanded partnership announced last summer, award-winning nonprofit Made In Her Image and film-industry leader Panavision are launching a new educational, mentorship, and networking program that seeks to address gender and racial disparities within the motion-picture industry. The Catalyst Cohort by Made In Her Image and Panavision is a free three-month programme the organisations have jointly developed to educate, empower, and elevate the next generation of women and non-binary professionals of colour behind the camera. The program will begin with its first cohort of 25 mentees in April.
According to the 2020 Celluloid Report, “By role, women accounted for 18% of directors, 17% of writers, 21% of executive producers, 30% of producers, 22% of editors, and 6% of cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing films. … The takeaway from this report is that despite the countless panels, repeated calls for voluntary programs, and promises of change, the percentages of women have remained relatively stable in the majority of the roles considered.”
The Catalyst Cohort by Made In Her Image and Panavision is designed for emerging young filmmakers (ages 16-25) who share a passion for the creative and technical craft of bringing moving images to life onscreen. From April through June, the cohort of selected mentees will gather virtually for a series of three classes taught by instructors from Panavision, its post-production company Light Iron, and its gels, diffusion, and filters manufacturer LEE Filters. The curriculum will offer mentees an engaging look at modern motion-picture technology and workflows balanced with a discussion of how artists can leverage those tools to realise their creative vision. Each class will be followed by a mentorship session led by a range of industry professionals who work on set and in post and reflect the mentees’ dedication to knowledge and advocacy within their respective fields.
“Panavision’s commitment to elevating untold stories is what excited me about this partnership,” shares Made In Her Image director and filmmaker Malakai. “The Catalyst Cohort is about being non-conforming and elevating our way of thinking through mentorship and how we interact with the educational system at large when it comes to filmmaking. Providing mentorship and access is the only way.”
Mentees in the Catalyst Cohort will benefit from access to a diverse community of peers, experienced representatives from Panavision, Light Iron, and LEE Filters, and motion-picture professionals working in a variety of careers related to cinematography, production, and post production. Participants will also have early access to additional grant opportunities presented by Made In Her Image and Panavision. At the end of the course, all mentees will receive a certificate of completion reflective of the curriculum.
“Panavision, Light Iron, and LEE Filters are excited to build on our partnership with Made In Her Image through the launch of the Catalyst Cohort program,” says Panavision president and CEO Kim Snyder. “Our organisations share a commitment to increasing and amplifying the voices of those who are underrepresented in the motion-picture industry. With the Catalyst Cohort by Made In Her Image and Panavision, we hope to foster opportunity and equity for up-and-coming women and non-binary filmmakers of colour by equipping them with tools, knowledge, and a network that will help them succeed as they embark on their careers behind the camera.”
In June 2020, Made In Her Image launched into a solution-driven partnership with Panavision, Light Iron, and LEE Filters, with the Panavision Group companies pledging to grant more than $100,000 in services and equipment to support Made In Her Image’s mission of empowering the next generation of black and brown girls in film and media. In July 2020, the organizations hosted a roundtable discussion about women of colour behind the camera featuring top industry cinematographers such as Kira Kelly ASC and Cybel Martin, and began a social media campaign to highlight industry professionals of colour and their work.
Applicants can learn more about the Catalyst Cohort program and apply to be among the first group of mentees by visiting www.madeinherimage.org/thecatalystcohort. The application deadline for the first cohort is March 16, 2021.