Ask anyone who has ever tried and they will attest to two facts about a career in moviemaking: First, that making movies for a living can be a rewarding experience of the utmost gratification but, secondly, the struggle of actually getting a job in the movie business can be a long and arduous process. Moviemakers looking to jump right into making their own movies rarely have the opportunity to do so and those looking to make a movie with any hint of social consciousness better have a romantic comedy sitting on the back burner.

Four lucky students and graduates, however, have been given the chance of a lifetime and a leg up in their careers thanks to Cinereach, a nonprofit media organization created by moviemakers and philanthropists two years ago with the goal of aiding movies of social relevance. With the 2009 Reach Film Fellowship Program, the organization is awarding a $5,000 grant to each newly appointed Fellow and pairing them with mentors and advisors who are renowned in their various moviemaking fields.

The program not only allows the four moviemakers to participate in workshops led by industry insiders, but also gives them the chance to work alongside their mentors, from scripts and treatments to completion. Of the lucky four, Brendon McQueen, Jules Monteyne, Dena Greenbaum and Danielle Russell, who were chosen because of the socially relevant and innovative work they had done in previous movie projects, one will also have the chance of winning an additional $5,000 and having his or her movie screened at Cinereach’s 2009 Reach Out celebration in the spring.

But according to Cinereach founder, Philipp Engelhorn, this program is not a competition. “As young filmmakers, we understand how difficult the transition can be from student to professional in the film industry,” he says. “Our mission is to connect talented young people with resources and access to industry leaders to create films addressing tough issues. We are excited to see the four films develop over the next six months.”

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