Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) and producer Dan Lin (It, The Lego Movie, Aladdin) have teamed with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to launch the Evolve Entertainment Fund to promote inclusion in entertainment.  According to Variety, the “fund is a public-private partnership aimed at including communities that have been historically excluded from the entertainment industry.”

Both Lin and DuVernay announced that they would be moving their organizations to the same area west of downtown Los Angeles.  Rideback Ranch, Lin’s rebranded production company “selected from a cowboy term for helping a horseback rider who’s fallen to get back on the horse” will be located in the Filipinotown District while DuVernay’s  Array Entertainment will open a new headquarters on Glendale Boulevard.

The Evolve fund is an alliance between the City of Los Angeles, industry leaders in entertainment and digital media, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. The EEF has already secured 150 paid summer internships for students participating in the Hire LA’s Youth program — partnering with leading entertainment and digital media organizations that include DreamWorks Animation, Ryan Murphy Television, Film Independent, WME, CAA, Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, and Anonymous Content. 

The goal of the program is to hit 500 paid internships by 2020.  The initiative comes on the heels of the surging Black Panther movie which has catapulted the diversity conversation into public view as a positive instead of a #OscarsSoWhite negative.  It appears that opportunities are ever growing for diverse films and filmmakers and now is the perfect time to take advantage.