Grantee News

Film Independent Project Involve – March update

March 26, 2024

Golden Globe Foundation


It’s been a busy time for the 2024 Project Involve Fellows since being formally introduced at the First Look Screening on January 11! The two-day orientation swiftly followed on January 12 and 13 at Film Independent’s HQ. This year’s theme for the shorts the Fellows will be creating is ‘The Bonds That Bind Us’ and we’re so excited to see the stories that will develop around this! The writers have pitched their loglines, turned them into treatments and are now on the third draft of their greenlit projects.

We have a fantastic slate of Mentors dedicated to our Project Involve Fellows this year by each track. We’re thrilled to welcome back Resident Mentor for the creative executive track Aaron Edmonds (2017 Project Involve), who has played a key role in the development of many important projects, including the docuseries, The 1619 Project. We also welcome back Story Resident Mentor Ruth Atkinson, a long-time Project Involve Mentor who is a story editor and consultant on many award-winning films, and Resident Mentor for the editing track, Alex O’Flinn (The Underground Railroad), who is an editor, writer and director.

Codie Oliver (2016 Project Involve) and Tommy Oliver are our producing track Resident Mentors. Codie and Tommy are the creators of Black Love, a docuseries that premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network as the most-viewed unscripted series debut in the network’s history. Carmen Cabana is the cinematography track Resident Mentor. She has worked on film and television projects such as Ms. MarvelNarcos and Nocturne.

The animation track Resident Mentor Joe Aguilar (Puss in Boots) is an Emmy award-winning producer who served as a senior executive at DreamWorks before his current role at LAIKA. The writing track Resident Mentor Tze Chun is a 2008 Project Involve and 2010 Fast Track alum who wrote and directed Children of Invention and Cold Comes the Night, and wrote and executive produced Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. The directing track Resident Mentor is 2006 Producing Lab Fellow Maryam Keshavarz (The Persian Version). We’re so grateful to all of our Mentors for their time and dedication to our Project Involve Fellows!

The Fellows have participated in several masterclasses and discussions over the past two months, including Short Form Storytelling with Ruth Atkinson (Fall Back Down), Development Feedback with Ellen Shanman (Voltron), Personal Perspective in Storytelling with Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari) and an Animation Masterclass with Kirsten Lepore (Bottle). The Fellows also attended a Project Involve Alumni Panel featuring 2021 Fellows Corey Dashaun and Stephanie Osuna-Hernandez, 2022 Fellows Phillip Jackson, Xin Li, and Danni Xin and 2023 Fellow Randi Atkins, who shared their experiences with the program and tips on how to make the most of the experience.

The Fellows have also had many opportunities to connect outside of the program, including a fun-filled Super Bowl party that we hosted at our HQ. They had a wonderful time attending our Directors Close-Up series at the Directors Guild of America celebrating the art and craft of directing, with conversations focused on directors, writers and creators nominated at the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Fellows also joined the 2024 Spirit Awards Viewing Party on February 25 at our HQ to cheer on Project Involve Fellows Jomo Fray (2017) who was nominated for All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt and Tze Chun (2008) who was nominated for I’m a Virgo.


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