It can be said that Ava DuVernay is only doing what the Creator ordained her to do. After showing a sneak peek at her new CW show, Naomi, and speaking out in support of Naomi Osaka—DuVernay’s Array has announced a partnership with Google to create a new $500,000 feature film grant for rising creatives from historically underrepresented communities.
According to Variety, the endowment is referred to as The Array + Google Feature Film Grant, and will provide $500,000 as funds to allow the recipient to produce their first full-length feature. The initiative speaks to ongoing efforts in the Black community and Hollywood, with direct involvement from Array and Google, to help amplify marginalized voices and thereby build toward a more equitable and inclusive artistic community.
With a film advisory committee behind choosing the recipient, companies such as UrbanWorld, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, IllumiNative, Film Independent, and Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival will have their hands full as we’re happily in the midst of a creative renaissance.
“Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” said DuVernay, who founded the Array film collective a decade ago in 2011. “I’m pleased to partner with Google and Array’s grant advisory committee to identify an emerging writer/director to bring their vision to the screen. Inclusive storytelling is at the heart of Array’s mission and we’re proud to also provide access to Array Crew in order to further ensure that the set of the grantee’s film reflects the full array of the world around us.”
Elle Roth-Brunet, Google Assistant’s Entertainment Partnerships lead, is helping to produce the project added, “We’re honored to help Array showcase talented creatives from underrepresented communities and to add volume to more diverse voices. The Array x Google Feature Film Grant is intrinsically aligned with Google Assistant’s commitment to speak with a diverse set of voices, and connect with more people to help in their everyday lives.”
The partnership between Google and Array comes after recently connecting with The Black List. In that case, the former helped the Franklin Leonard-founded company to launch a storytelling fellowship, which also provides financial and creative support to underrepresented writers, as a means to develop their first film or TV script.