Rideback Rise, the nonprofit content accelerator announced last summer by Rideback producer Dan Lin to help level the playing field for BIPOC creators, has revealed its inaugural cohort.
Six Fellows will each receive a $50,000 grant, while 10 Residents will each receive $10,000 in funding to develop their own film and television projects, which they will own and be free to set up or sell anywhere. The Fellows also have access to an Intellectual Property Fund to help them obtain rights to material as well as a Visuals Fund to help them create high-quality presentations and sizzle reels to pitch their projects. Rise is supported by a growing mix of private and institutional donors, led by the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation.
During the yearlong program, Rise seeks to foster a community among the inaugural cohort of Fellows and Rise, encouraging them to learn about and provide feedback on one another’s projects. They also will attend networking events and other Rise programming and receive guidance from industry executives and creatives, starting with Lin, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law creator Jessica Gao and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse co-writer and co-director Phil Lord and Kemp Powers, who all spoke at the cohort’s kickoff event last Saturday at Rideback Ranch.
“We are tremendously excited to have identified this inspiring and diverse group of talented writers and filmmakers, and we’re committed to not only supporting the development of tehir projects but also to driving successful outcomes as these series and features enter the studio and streamer marketplace,” Rideback Rise head of content Tracey Bing said in a statement. “Our ultimate objective at Rise is to get these projects made, to normalize more stories about people of color onscreen and to reshape public opinion wherever possible, using the immense power of popular entertainment.”
The six 2023 Rideback Rise Fellows are:
Akil Rashad Anderson, a staff writer on MGM+’s Beacon 23
Tasha Henderson, an executive story editor on ABC’s Home Economics and co-producer on Amazon Freevee’s Blessed and Highly Favored
Gabriela Garcia Medina, whose short film Little Con Lili was shown on Max and is being adapted as a feature at Mandalay Pictures
Miguel Orteta and Tran Ma, whose combined credits in visual effects, creature and character design, software look development, modeling and texturing include Thor, Night at the Museum, Godzilla 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Alice in Wonderland
Julia Prescott, a writer for The Simpsons and Nickelodeon’s upcoming Rock, Paper, Scissors
The ten 2023 Rideback Rise Residents are:
Writer-comedian Biniam Bizuneh (FX’s Dave, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Writer Nate Burke (The CW’s Riverdale)
Writer-director-producer Marissa Diaz (Netflix’s Orgasm Inc: The Story of Onetaste)
Writer Crystal Ferreiro (Disney +’s Diary of Future President)
Writer-director Victor Gabriel (Netflix and 40 Acres and a Mule’s The Incredible Heist of Hallelujah Jones)