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Lena Waithe kicks off third year of the “AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program” as lead mentor

AT&T is helping aspiring filmmakers reach their dreams one mentor at a time!

Getty Images for AT&T Filmmaker

AT&T is helping aspiring filmmakers reach their dreams one mentor at a time! On Thursday, Nov. 7, the company celebrated the third year of the AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program at the NeueHouse in Hollywood, California.

The AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program was initially launched in 2017. Its mission is to discover new talent, develop them and then empower these up-and-coming stars to build on their work and grow a fanbase. These stars, who are from underrepresented communities, would then have the chance to potentially have their work featured on digital platforms like DIRECTV and AT&T TV NOW.

This year’s lead mentor was the one and only Lena Waithe, who kicked off the occasion by discussing her long journey to success. The producer and writer also touched on why she’s so determined to be a mentor for the underrepresented. If you’re familiar with Waithe, you know she means this to the core, as she’s always been very vocal about coaching numbers of young women on her own, who aspire to write and produce in TV/film like she does.

The mentees at this year’s event were short film directors Jessica Mendez Siqueiros (Adeline, the Great), Alison-Eve Hammersley (Fragile.com), Malakai (Postmarked), Cierra Glaudé (Spilt Milk), and Vishnu Vallabhaneni (1/30), and the short films’ writers Jasmine Johnson (Adeline, the Great), Brittany Menjivar (Fragile.com), Angela Wong Carbone (Postmarked), Mechi Parada Lakatos (Spilt Milk), and Malik Aziz (1/30).

All of these talents represent a vast range of marginalized identities in the industry that include LGBTQ+, women, communities of color, and more. Moreover, their work was deemed phenomenal by Waithe and her team, who handpicked them all, because they were chosen after 2,300 scripts were submitted!

Their films debuted on the AT&T Hello Lab YouTube channel on November 8, 2019, and will also premiere on DIRECTV and AT&T TV NOW on December 10, 2019.

Past mentors of this incredible initiative include Common, Octavia Spencer, Cary Fukanaga, Desiree Akhavan, Taika Waititi, and Rick Famuyiwa. For more information on the AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program, click here and congrats to the 2019 mentees!

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