[News] WOC Unite and Bitch Pack Once Again Partner for #Startwith8Hollywood
Courtesy of Women of Color Unite
The groundbreaking mentorship program #Startwith8Hollywood has launched its second cycle.  After a highly successful first cycle of the revolutionary mentorship program, Women of Color Unite and The Bitch Pack are teaming up again.  The second cycle of the application process started on December 7th, 2020 for both mentors and mentees. The program is true to the mission of both organizations.  It is run by women of color, for women of color.

This cycle will include mentors from all sectors of Film and TV, including Academy Award-winning actor, Casey Affleck, Emmy Award-winning composer, Jeremy Zuckerman, Emmy Award-winning writer, director and producer, Tim McKeon, Emmy Award-nominated director and producer, Jason Perlman, Emmy Award-nominated writer and producer, Sascha Paladino, among others.

For Horror/Genre specific creators, this cycle brings the below list of mentors:

  1. Ty Leisher and Eric Brodeur of Exit 44 Entertainment
  2. Seth Hoffman, producer/writer on “The Walking Dead
  3. Kailey Marsh, creator of the Bloodlist, manager at Brillstein
  4. Beatriz Sequeira, EVP of Development & Production of Blumhouse
  5. Jeff Howard, writer of Gerald’s Game, Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil, the upcoming reboot of I Know What You Did Last Summer, writer on “The Haunting of Hill House”, co-EP of the new Resident Evil
  6. Michael Dallatorre – DP of Brightburn

Testimonial from WOCU member Charlene Bagcal:

“#StartWith8Hollywood is one of the most supportive mentorship programs offered in the film and television industry. It pairs you with relevant mentors in your field, but it also fosters nurturing relationships to help lead you on a path to success. I landed a staff writer position through one of my mentors, Showrunner/Creator Sara Gran, and as a result I finally have enough units and joined WGA West this year. I cannot speak highly enough about this incredible program.” 

In the first cycle, close to 300 Women of Color mentees took nearly 600 meetings with 75 mentors; our team aims to double these numbers this cycle.  Scheduling over a thousand meetings will be a gargantuan task, but the women coordinating the program are more than up to the challenge.

Women of Color Unite’s team of volunteers, with program director Manon de Reeper, and deputy program director Shelby Kovant at the helm, will match each mentor with 8 mentees.  Meetings will start in February 2021.  Industry professionals are encouraged to apply by clicking the image below:

Apply to be a mentor in Cycle 2 of #Startwith8Hollywood

In an industry that hides behind the myth of “meritocracy” but in reality, functions on personal introductions, the #Startwith8Hollywood initiative connects Women of Color working in the entertainment industry to well-established industry mentors. Each mentor is connected to eight mentees, and they have a one-time meeting. Together, they formulate a plan of action based on what each mentee desires and what is achievable by the mentor to create tangible progress in the mentee’s career.

The end goal: no more excuses. By fostering organic diversity, the indefensible precept “I don’t know any Women of Color who I can hire,” will never be heard again.

Testimonial from WOCU member Christina Faith:

#Startwith8Hollywood seemed different than allllll of the fellowships I had applied to in the past. As life would have it, I was connected with mentors in distribution, PR, and a VP of a major studio. My mentor Josh Spector gave me a list of distributors and taught me how to cold email them. I received over 12 offers of distribution. My mentors walked me through what to look out for and what to negotiate. #Startwith8Hollywood leveled the playing field and gave me access.  

My first feature film, LOVE YOU RIGHT: AN R&B TYPE MUSICAL, now has distribution with Byron Allen’s company Freestyle Digital Media and will be coming out on Feb 9th, 2021, due to #Startwith8Hollywood’s efforts to change Hollywood.  

If you have any questions about the #Startwith8Hollywood Mentorship Program or would like to schedule an interview with Cheryl Bedford, founder of Women of Color Unite, or Thuc Nguyen, founder of The Bitch Pack, please contact, Amy Malone, amy@gicpublicrelations.net or 1-323-972-4081. Until then, go and apply or share https://www.startwith8hollywood.com/apply-mentor/

Sarah Musnicky
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