Film Independent has unveiled the three filmmakers who will participate in its inaugural Imaginar Producers Residency, first announced in November.
“The Imaginar Producers Residency is an innovative and holistic program that provides Latinx producers tailored support with the goal to help achieve long-term sustainability,” Film Independent director of artist development Angela C. Lee said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to launch this program with these three immensely talented artists.”
The program, made possible by Disney’s Searchlight Pictures and in collaboration with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, will provide each fellow with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, professional coaching from Renee Freedman & Co. and financial and business coaching from The Jill James, as well as support from Disney and Searchlight executives on how to make the leap from independent producing to packaging projects for studios.
“Our goal with this initiative is to build community and to support and nurture the next wave of filmmaking talent,” Disney director of creative talent pathways, representation and inclusion strategies Mahin Ibrahim and Searchlight vice president of production Richard Ruiz said in a joint statement. “We are very grateful for the opportunity to help advance the work of these three immensely inspiring producers, especially in a time when it’s important to continue bringing fresh and innovative filmmakers to the forefront.”
The three inaugural Imaginar Producers Residency participants are:
Maria Altamirano, a Peruvian American producer who has participated in Film Independent and Gotham/Rotterdam’s labs. Her credits include Alexis Gambis’ Sundance-winning Son of Monarchs as well as Raven Jackson’s All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, which premiered at Sundance this January. An alumna of NYU’s MBA/MFA program, where she won the Media Services Award for excellence in creative producing, the former Paramount market research manager also was a co-producer on HBO’s Los Espookys.
Nicolas Blanco, a queer filmmaker from Bogota, Colombia, is a Los Angeles resident and AFI alum who has produced and directed both narrative and documentary films, focusing on underrepresented voices and stories.
Gia Rigoli is a Mexican American producer who completed her first feature, Rock Steady Row, at age 20. The film won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for narrative film at Slamdance. The Los Angeles resident graduated from Chapman with a BFA in creative producing, where her senior thesis film was a finalist for a Student Academy Award.
“Our goal is to provide the three Latinx Fellows with the necessary tools and resources to take their projects to the next level,” NALIP executive director Diana Luna said in a statement. “We are excited to see the outcomes of this collaboration and the success of our Fellows as a result of our joint effort.”
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