Indeed, Lena Waithe, Hillman Grad, and 271 Films Select 10 Filmmakers for ‘Rising Voices’ Season 3 – BIPOC Filmmakers To Offer Perspective on Future of Work

Indeed, Lena Waithe, Hillman Grad, and 271 Films Select 10 Filmmakers for ‘Rising Voices’ Season 3 – BIPOC Filmmakers To Offer Perspective on Future of Work

Date: January 13, 2023
Tags: #indeed

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Indeed, the world’s number one job site, actor Lena Waithe and her company Hillman Grad, and 271 Films announced ten filmmakers participating in season three of Indeed’s Rising Voices. Rising Voices was created to uncover, invest in and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) filmmakers across the US to tell diverse stories around the meaning of work, and the idea that jobs create opportunities and better lives for all. Each filmmaker will premiere their short film at the Tribeca Festival in June 2023 around the theme, Future of Work.

“We are thrilled to continue this special partnership with Indeed to support diverse filmmakers”

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The 10 selected filmmakers include:

  • Ana Verde
  • Candace Ho
  • Hannah Bang
  • Jackie! Zhou
  • James Rogers III
  • Joey Xuetong Zhao
  • Justin Kim WooSŏk
  • Larry Owens
  • Maria Alvarez
  • Miguel Angel Caballero

“We are thrilled to continue this special partnership with Indeed to support diverse filmmakers,” said Lena Waithe, Hillman Grad Founder and Rishi Rajani, Hillman Grad CEO. “This year marks season three of Rising Voices, and we are blown away by the amazing talent featured in this class and we can’t wait to see the intentional stories they will bring to the screen. We look forward to working with these amazing filmmakers and providing them with everything they need to succeed.”

The Future of Work theme for Rising Voices for Season 3 comes as we are experiencing a watershed moment in jobs and workplace experiences. Today, employees hold more power than ever before and have shifted the conversation around workplace flexibility norms, personal wellbeing and mental health, and have placed increased demands for accountability around company values. With the world of work rapidly changing, Rising Voices is an opportunity to elevate the voices of those not often heard who are living through the changes of today and who envision the workplace of tomorrow.

“Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs. Together with our incredible partners, Lena Waithe, Hillman Grad Productions and 271 Films, Rising Voices makes it possible to not only open doors for BIPOC filmmakers, but creates a window for all of us to see the world of work through a different lens,” said Chris Hyams, Indeed CEO. “We believe talent is universal, but opportunity is not. With Season 3, we look forward to seeing new stories that offer that new lens to reimagine the future of work.”

Indeed’s investment in Rising Voices helps provide filmmakers with a production budget of up to $100,000 to create a short film. As part of the Rising Voices initiative, filmmakers also receive mentoring and guidance from veteran filmmakers, including: Lena Waithe, Destin Daniel Cretton, Diego Velasco, Anthony Hemingway, Tiff Johnson and Naima Ramos Chapman. The filmmakers will also be compensated $5,000 for writing their original script and $5,000 for directing. This season, Indeed, Hillman Grad Productions and 271 Films are hosting a Filmmaker Bootcamp in Los Angeles, where filmmakers will get the opportunity to meet Indeed CEO Chris Hyams, Hillman Grad CEO Rishi Rajani, 271 Films founders, Constanza and Doménica Castro, along with mentors who will help refine program scripts.

“It’s such an honor to hit the three-year milestone of the Rising Voices initiative as we once again open the doors to opportunity for underrepresented BIPOC creatives,” said LaFawn Davis, SVP, Environmental, Social & Governance at Indeed. “The filmmakers not only get to bring their vision to life on screen, but they receive mentorship and the ability to make new connections and inspire others. With the workforce completely transforming over the last few years, we look forward to seeing what the future of work looks like through the eyes of these very talented and creative filmmakers.”

Rising Voices along with participating filmmakers have been receiving worldwide recognition from prominent film festivals including: Tribeca, Sundance, Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, AFI Fest, Pan African Film and the 45th Asian American Film Festival, among others. In addition, filmmakers who have completed the Rising Voices program have gone on to direct episodes of “The Chi” on Showtime, “Chicago Fire” on NBC, become Netflix staff writers, directed commercial TV work for Jeep and Oakley, and have been nominated for NAACP Image Awards. Additionally, more than 1,000 jobs have been created throughout the process.

About Indeed

More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world (Comscore, Total Visits, September 2022) and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs in more than 60 countries and 28 languages. Over 3 million employers use Indeed to find and hire new employees. More than 300 million unique visitors each month search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies on Indeed, and Indeed delivers 2.5X more hires than other branded job sites combined (Among BreezyHR clients, Sources of Hire Report 2021, U.S.). For more information, visit

About Hillman Grad

Hillman Grad was founded by actor, producer and Emmy®-winning writer Lena Waithe and CEO Rishi Rajani to empower and provide industry access to underrepresented artists and amplify the stories of diverse, historically marginalized communities across all industries.

Hillman Grad, the company’s development and production arm, is home to the producers behind award-winning films like The Forty-Year-Old Version and Queen & Slim, and most recently, they released the Netflix drama Beauty, written by Waithe. Hillman Grad has upcoming projects set at Netflix, BET, Disney, Amazon, Universal, Showtime, HBO/HBO Max, and Focus Features, including A.V. Rockwell’s feature debut A Thousand And One, starring Teyana Taylor, which is set for a March 2023 release; the Disney Studios high school basketball movie Chang Can Dunk for Disney+; and Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary, directed by James Adolphus. For television, they recently signed a multi-year exclusive overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group. Prior to the WBTVG deal, they executive produced “The Chi” for Showtime, BET’s hit series “Twenties,” and “Twenties the After Show,” hosted by B. Scott, for BET+.

The company has expanded to include Hillman Grad Records, a label in partnership with Def Jam Recordings; a multi-project development deal with Audible, under which the first project release was Kym, an original, scripted comedy series inspired by the life of Emmy-nominated actress/comedian Kym Whitley; and a partnership with independent book publishing company Zando. As one of Zando’s first founding publishing partners, Hillman Grad will acquire and publish four to six books over a three-year period, including memoirs, young adult titles, and literary fiction.

Hillman Grad also has two groundbreaking, inclusivity-focused initiatives under its umbrella: The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, offering opportunities for marginalized storytellers to connect, grow, and accelerate their careers in television and film through personalized instruction from industry professionals in writing, screen acting, and executive development; and the Rising Voices Initiative in partnership with Indeed, which allowed ten BIPOC filmmakers to create short films with a production budget of $100,000 each, currently in its third season.

About 271 Films

271 Films, founded by Constanza and Doménica Castro, develops and produces original stories with a focus on stories from underrepresented storytellers and communities across film, TV, music videos and commercials. Alongside Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions, the company co-runs the Indeed Rising Voices mentorship program that is in its third season to empower the next generation of BIPOC filmmakers. 271 Films brings stories that push boundaries, provoke, inspire, and entertain a global audience.

Posted by: Angelina Luspo

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