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OPEN DOORS - Reflect On The Past, Move Toward The Future: Power of Diversity Master Workshop Celebrates 15 Years of Cultivating Producers

Posted By Sasheen R. Artis, Monday, June 10, 2019

This program gives you the chance to learn in a close-knit setting from some of the brightest minds in this industry, and they all show up with a genuine desire to see you succeed.  (Hadjii Hand, Class of 2012)

This notion of creating a supportive community within an often contentious industry was born when veteran TV producer George Sunga launched the PGA Power of Diversity Master Workshop in 2005. Sunga understood the importance of connecting diverse producers to industry leaders and championed diverse content long before it was de rigueur. Now we see how important—and lucrative—authentic voices can be to our industry. This year we celebrate 15 years of helping producers prepare their projects for the marketplace through master classes and mentorship.

Mentoring in the workshop is a fantastic way not just to help others but also to hone our skills and remind us how far we’ve come. And sometimes, there’s cake. (Lisa Kors, Class of 2012; Mentor, 2013-19)

Mentors have always been a vital component of the workshop—from offering tips to strengthening a pitch to providing an introduction to an agency rep.

I am now a client of an astounding literary management firm, Epicenter LA. Currently I’m developing a TV project for Gary Lucchesi of Lakeshore Entertainment, who was our Workshop opening night speaker. (John Lowe, Class of 2018)

I’ve produced two feature films and two award-winning documentaries. Through my involvement with the Diversity Workshop, I was connected with DreamWorks Animation.  I am currently head of the Advanced Creative Technology group. (Christina Lee Storm, Class of 2008; Mentor, 2007-2018; Chair, 2014-2017)

We’re very proud to welcome the Class of 2019:

  • Nathan Bennett with the feature The Camp Beauty Queen

  • Samantha Culp with the docuseries The Futurists

  • Gabriela Gonzalez and Maria “Candy” Ibarra with the TV Comedy Mentiritas (Little White Lies)

  • Zimran Jacob with the TV drama The Queen & The Goddess

  • Tricia Lee with the feature Mother-Daughter

  • Monice Mitchell Sims with the rom-com Sacked

  • Sade Oyinade and Deshawn Plair with the feature Better Than I Know Myself

  • Diana Romero with the TV drama SOLD

  • Widad Shafakoj with the documentary Caesar (Tsar)

  • Justine Wentzell with the TV comedy Identity Crisis of a Banana

  • Delbert Whetter and Jevon Whetter with the feature Flash Before the Bang

We look forward to the future and to building an industry that truly represents our global audience.   

As a Black Muslim, I understand the power of media in shaping people’s thoughts. I produce film and TV content that highlights socially disadvantaged narratives, because everyone deserves to see themselves as being the hero. (Rashad Mubarak, Class of 2018)  ′

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