Media representation for people of color and the LGBT community continues to be an area for improvement across the board. Events, such as Outfest Fusion, help to move the needle in addressing these needs for equal representation in-front-of and behind-the-camera. As a premiere sponsor, Comcast NBCUniversal is proud to help Outfest Fusion highlight films and offer seminars on filmmaking for LGBTQ people of color in the greater Los Angeles area. Spanning across seven days, the Outfest Fusion program includes short and feature film screenings, filmmaker Q&A’s, nine filmmaking workshops, and a 1-minute movie contest.
In addition to sponsoring Outfest Fusion, NBCUniversal hosted the InFusion symposium on Friday, March 3 for select participants. InFusion connected LGBTQ filmmakers of color with entertainment industry professionals on the NBCUniversal lot.
“We are grateful for our long-standing relationship with Comcast NBCUniversal,” said Christopher Racster, Executive Director at Outfest. “InFusion brings together top executives from NBCUniversal and Outfest's young filmmakers and program fellows for a day of education and mentorship, helping to provide guidance and direction for emerging LGBTQ voices and particularly the voices of LGBTQ people of color.”
InFusion allowed participating storytellers the unique opportunity to hear from writers on several NBCUniversal shows, including “Queen of the South,” “Shooter” and “Playing House.” Other activities included lunch with production and development executives from our TV networks and film studios, and an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the prop warehouse, soundstages and backlot sets of the world-famous Universal Studios. In addition to the networking opportunities at InFusion, Karen Horne, Senior Vice President of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios, gave a presentation on NBC’s Talent Infusion Programs that discover, nurture and promote onscreen and behind-the-scenes talent of diverse and inclusive backgrounds. She also discussed best practices for how emerging filmmakers can connect with industry professionals to promote their projects.
“The Outfest Fusion filmmakers are among the fresh new voices who are the next generation of storytellers. I am honored to speak to them every year about how to break into and navigate the entertainment industry,” said Horne. “We’ve been fortunate to have Outfest Fusion filmmakers as participants in our Talent Infusion Programs – many of whom have gone on to have successful careers.”
Horne also highlighted the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, the first and only film festival created by an entertainment studio that celebrates the importance of diversity in storytelling. Notable alumni include “Fresh Off The Boat” lead actor Randall Park (2010 Best Actor); “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Hasan Minhaj; Solvan “Slick” Naim (2015 Best Director/Audience Award); and Steve Caple, Jr. (2013 Audience Award Winner). A nationwide search for talent both in-front-of and behind-the-camera talent, the Short Film Festival is currently accepting drama and comedy narrative pieces until May 15.
For more information about any of NBC’s Talent Infusion Programs, including the Short Film Festival, visit our website: http://www.nbcunitips.com/.