In an effort to educate young, minority students with skills related to filmmaking, Warner Bros. has decided to team up with two non-profit organizations and the Los Angeles Unified School District to create new film programs for students in South L.A.
Warner Bros. social impact platform, WB Good, is working with Young Storytellers and Ghetto Film School to make this a broader reality. According to Variety, the program has already gone through a 10-week trial period in 16 middle and high schools in Los Angeles. The program is already approved for next school year — and in this past school year, more than 30 teachers and 1,500 students participated in the courses.
The two classes that are currently available are story lab and first cut. Story lab teaches students more about core storytelling while first cut’s initiative is to get students to shoot a short film from start to finish.
Warner Bros. has also allowed usage of DC superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman in student’s short films.
In an NPR report, the program’s Executive Director, Rafael Agustin says that these kids will help change the entertainment industry. By putting cameras in the hands of these minority students, it sets the groundwork for a #OscarsSoWhite to never happen again as it did in 2016 when Hollywood’s lack of diversity was so heavily protested by fans and people in the industry.
“The answer to #OscarsSoWhite truly is developing communities of color at an earlier age,” Agustin told NPR.
The program is already expanding into the college realm as well. Chapman University in California gave 10 scholarships to the Youth Cinema Project non-profit for students pursuing filmmaking as a career.