MiFILM Launches Branded Lab for BIPOC and Differently-Abled Directors to Increase Representation in the Spotmaking Arena
Okema T. Moore
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Minorities in Film (MiFILM) has set the lineup of five Fellows who’ve been chosen to advance in its 2021 Branded Lab which will begin on February 1. The Lab is in partnership with ad shops Johannes Leonardo, Even/Odd, Mustache and 72andSunny. Additional programming support has been provided by PRETTYBIRD, Free The Work, The Association for Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), Bindery and Exposure Labs’ Jeff Orlowski. This Branded Lab milestone is a major move for the MiFILM Collective on its mission to increase representation for Differently-Abled/BIPOC Directors. 

The selected Fellows are: writer/director Luis Santos (Bronx), director Abraham Felix (New Orleans), photographer and director Brandon Haynes (Brooklyn), writer/director Alaa Zabara (Virginia), and actress, producer and director Okema T. Moore (Brooklyn) 

Each Fellow will receive one-on-one mentorship from directors Ryan Booth, Amandla Baraka, Luz Gipson, Bianca Poletti, and Harvey Burrell for the full duration of the month-long lab. 

“The Branded Lab was created to demystify the process of working in the commercial industry, specifically for underrepresented filmmakers,” said Brittany Franklin, founder of MiFILM. “We’re excited to help amplify the Lab Fellows’ unique and distinguished voices.”

The Branded Lab is just part of the MiFILM Collective’s recent initiatives and accomplishments, which include:

  • A recent community partnership with The Gotham (formerly IFP), where MiFILM will work to curate events and panels. 
  • And securing sponsorship from Frame.io, The Moment Shop, Final Draft, and WriterDuet, giving exclusive perks to their community of underrepresented filmmakers. 

“Everyone of our partners have gone above-and beyond to truly invest in diverse talent and storytelling. This is more than just a trend for them.” said Ian Q. Grant MiFILM co-founder who joined the Collective in January 2020. 

MiFILM’s community liaison Ronald Hinton will work directly with the Fellows throughout the month, “As an actor/producer myself, I know that programs like these can only catapult participant success. Being able to liaise between our community and these agencies is a game changer.”


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