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Ava DuVernay’s Array and Google Set $500,000 Feature Film Grant

Grant money will be eligible for underrepresented creators to fund their first movies

Ava DuVernay’s Array and Google are partnering to award $500,000 in grant money to help an underrepresented artist or creator in making their debut feature film.

The half a million dollar Array + Google Feature Film Grant is meant to build a more equitable and inclusive artistic community of diverse storytellers and hopes to amplify the work of women and people of color. The partnership was brokered by UTA Marketing.

The recipient of the grant and a mentorship opportunity will be selected by people within the indie film community, including Gabrielle Glore (Urbanworld, festival director & head of programming), Francis Cullado (Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, executive director for visual communications media), Crystal Echo Hawk (IllumiNative, founder and executive director), María Rauqel Bozzi (senior director of education & international initiatives at Film Independent) and Jio MAMI (artistic director, Mumbai Film Festival).   

“Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” Array founder Ava DuVernay said in a statement. “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.”

“We live and breathe filmmaking at Array. For the past decade we have had the opportunity to amplify the work of so many stellar women and filmmakers of color, and the opportunity to partner with Google on this grant is the start of a strong partnership,” Array president Tilane Jones said in a statement. “We are so lucky to have Crystal, Gabrielle, Francis, Maria and Jio on our advisory committee and be working with every pillar of Array to produce and distribute this project.”

“We’re honored to help Array showcase talented creatives from underrepresented communities and to add volume to more diverse voices,” Elle Roth-Brunet, Google Assistant’s Entertainment Partnerships lead and producer on the project. “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.”

Array’s database for helping hiring managers identify underrepresented groups for below the line work, will help power the search for the grant winner. The platform currently has over 6,000 qualified members and more than 300 productions across 450 departments.

Google also recently partnered with The Black List to launch a storytelling fellowship that provides financial and creative support to writers from underrepresented communities, as a means to develop their first feature film script or TV pilot.