The Chimaera Project announced yesterday the launch of SUPPORT.HER, a new mentorship program to offer female filmmakers (cis, trans, and non-binary inclusive) from a variety of disciplines in the film industry guidance and career assistance. The first cycle of mentorships will begin virtually this fall. The plan is to expand and develop in-person mentorships, scholarships, and job shadowing in future cycles.
Founders of The Chimaera Project, Shana Betz, Cheryl Bookout, and America Young, said, “This mentorship program is the latest extension and growth of our organization, which has been dedicated to empowering women and non-binary artists and assist their career progress in a real way by being a true guiding force as they navigate their way through the challenges our industry can present.”
The brainchild of one of The Chimaera Project’s newest ambassadors, actor, and producer Casey McKinnon (The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)), SUPPORT.HER launches with an inaugural group of six mentors spanning a number of disciplines in film and television. Including writer Maurissa Tancharoen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), composer Bear McCreary (Outlander), and director Alexis Ostrander (Supergirl). Plus writer Marc Bernardin (Star Trek: Picard) and Passionflix founder and director Tosca Musk (Gabriel’s Inferno). Also, visual effects lead compositor Joe Censoplano (Eternals).
Each mentor will provide at least a one-hour session of career consultation. Plus advice based on their experience in the industry. Some mentors offer as many as three sessions. All candidates submitting applications in the field of directing will receive an invitation to attend an exclusive visual directing workshop with Alexis Ostrander. The Chimaera Project will process candidate submissions. They will select individuals for a virtual interview. In order to prioritize diversity and equitable inclusion, SUPPORT.HER will ensure a diverse group of representatives will filter submissions, conduct interviews, and contribute to the final decisions.
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Star Trek: Picard writer Marc Bernardin is offering his mentorship opportunity specifically to women of color. Bernardin said, “I have been lucky to have had the benefit of people taking time out of their busy lives to help advise and guide me on my path to being a working TV writer. As such, I feel a responsibility to help pay that forward. And as hard as it was for me to break in, I’m positive that it’s even harder for women of color.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-showrunner Maurissa Tancharoen‘s mentorship targets filmmakers from AAPI and POC communities. She adds, “As an Asian-American writer/producer/performer, I’ve seen progress pertaining to representation over the years. But as always, there is still so much work to do. An organization that supports and amplifies diverse talented women is an invaluable resource for the changes we need to make in film and television.”
The Chimaera Project’s Casey McKinnon and also America Young share, “As filmmakers, we deeply understand the value of spending even one-hour consulting with someone you admire in your chosen field – someone who has achieved a level of success you yourself are working toward. Learning from the mistakes of others and getting the support you need to propel you to the next level is priceless.” They added, “At the end of the day, we want these filmmakers to know that they aren’t an afterthought in the industry, they are the reason we wake up in the morning. Their voices matter and we recognize they have a unique vision that deserves to be seen.”
Applications for SUPPORT.HER are now open at chimaeraproject.org/supporther/. They invite all women (cis, trans, and non-binary inclusive) to apply. The submission fee is $15.00. The deadline for submissions is July 31st, 2021. For more info on The Chimaera Project, also go to chimaeraproject.org.
The Chimaera Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women and also non-binary filmmakers to fearlessly create, inspire and lead. Founded in 2013 by filmmakers Shana Betz, America Young, and also Cheryl Bookout. The organization supports film and also TV professionals through their finishing fund initiative. It also provides an outlet to feature burgeoning talent, holds workshops on a wide variety of topics. And also hosts panels highlighting careers in front of and behind the camera.
Are you also a supporter of The Chimaera Project and female filmmakers? Are you interested in participating in their SUPPORT.HER mentorship program? Let us know in the comments below or also on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.