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Netflix Introduces Emerging Filmmaker Initiative (EXCLUSIVE)

Angelique Jackson Netflix has launched a new pipeline program aimed at launching the “next wave of marquee filmmakers” working in high-concept genres.The Emerging Filmmaker Initiative (EFI) gives three filmmakers the opportunity to develop, fund, produce and distribute their short films on Netflix, with a focus on stories in the sci-fi, action, horror and thriller genres.The initiative is inspired by the trajectory of rising star Stefon Bristol, who first teamed with the streamer on “See You Yesterday.” The high-impact time-travel tale went on to earn an Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay and Bristol has set his second project with Netflix, “Gordon Hemingway & The Realm of Cthulhu.” Like “See You Yesterday,” Bristol will direct the upcoming film, produced by Spike Lee. “Stefon’s short opened a lot of doors, but for many up-and-coming filmmakers, it takes years just to get that first shot.

We want to change that,” Ian Bricke, VP of independent film at Netflix, wrote in a blog post describing the program.Through the initiative, Bricke explains, the chosen filmmakers will “gain priceless access to the film studio ecosystem early in their careers” and receive hands-on experience in development, casting, production, scoring, editing and more. The filmmakers will also be paired with experienced director mentors; Ron Howard and Barry Sonnenfeld offered their guidance to this year’s filmmakers.EFI’s first class of filmmakers are Hebru Brantley (“Erax”), Ashley Eakin (“Forgive Us Our Trespasses”) and Marielle Woods (“Heart Shot”), whose short films launch globally on Netflix Feb.

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Ron Howard: Main News

Angelique Jackson Netflix has launched a new pipeline program aimed at launching the “next wave of marquee filmmakers” working in high-concept genres.The Emerging Filmmaker Initiative (EFI) gives three filmmakers the opportunity to develop, fund, produce and distribute their short films on Netflix, with a focus on stories in the sci-fi, action, horror and thriller genres.The initiative is inspired by the trajectory of rising star Stefon Bristol, who first teamed with the streamer on “See You Yesterday.” The high-impact time-travel tale went on to earn an Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay and Bristol has set his second project with Netflix, “Gordon Hemingway & The Realm of Cthulhu.” Like “See You Yesterday,” Bristol will direct the upcoming film, produced by Spike Lee. “Stefon’s short opened a lot of doors, but for many up-and-coming filmmakers, it takes years just to get that first shot.
Cynthia Littleton Business EditorImagine Entertainment has expanded the purview of Imagine Documentaries chief Justin Wilkes to overseeing new business development as chief strategy officer for the independent content powerhouse.The move for Wilkes comes as Imagine Entertainment is actively seeking an influx of capital to fund its ambitious growth plans. The company headed by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer since 1986 is looking to bring in a new financial investor that will allow Imagine to continue operating status quo with its current management team.At present, Imagine is in talks with U.K.-based Centricus Asset Management about a sale that would value the company at around $700 million.

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