Lena Waithe Hillman Grad Productions Mentorship Lab

Lena Waithe’s production company, Hillman Grad Productions, has announced The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab — and invites applicants to apply now.

The lab offers “opportunities for marginalized storytellers to connect, grow, and accelerate their careers in television and film,” according to a release.

Hillman Grad, best known for films like Queen and Slim and awards-season contender The 40-Year-Old Version.

The company, known for the fictitious historically Black college from A Different World, places a strong emphasis on discovering and guiding a new generation of filmmakers to careers in the industry.

The 2021 Class will be the first to go through the official Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, a tuition-free, 10-month annual program that will grant 25 fellows “the unique opportunity to enhance their creative skillset through personalized instruction from industry professionals.”

The program includes tracks in television writing, screen acting, and executive development.

“Mentorship has always been important to me. The hope is to populate the industry with people that otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. Our focus will be on craft, how to navigate the industry, and how to build community. We’re looking forward to meeting the next generation of storytellers!”

The lab will also include “a robust slate of workshops, educational resources, professional development, and networking opportunities for a cohort of diverse writers, actors, and aspiring creative executives.”

Applications open now through Jan. 20, 2021. Finalists will be notified by the end of January or early February, and the lab will begin in mid-February.

To submit an application to The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab please visit: https://www.hillmangrad.com/mentorship-labs

The idea for the lab has been incubating for a long time. Rishi Rajani,  president of Hillman Grad Productions, talked it over with MovieMaker back in January. The entire conversation is worth a listen if you’d like to hear how he rose from the mailroom to a film executive in a few short but intense years.