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Netflix and IllumiNative launch program supporting Indigenous creators: How to apply

An image of the Netflix logo — a red N in a black box — on a screen
Netflix has partnered with IllumiNative for a new program.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Netflix has partnered with IllumiNative to launch a new fellowship supporting Indigenous creators.

Announced Tuesday, the IllumiNative Producers Program will give seven early- and mid-career Indigenous producers the opportunity to develop a film or TV project while attending monthly training workshops and networking events. Each fellow will also receive a $25,000 grant to fund their art, as well as creative feedback and mentorship throughout the development process.

To qualify for the fellowship, which starts in April, applicants must identify as Native, commit to the entirety of the program and be attached as a producer to at least one current project with rights to the intellectual property they intend to adapt.

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“We’re so excited to announce our partnership with Netflix in launching the IllumiNative Producers Program to ensure Indigenous creatives are empowered and uplifted in an authentic and powerful way,” said IllumiNative founder Crystal Echo Hawk in a statement.

“It is our hope to equip Indigenous creatives with resources and tools to advance their careers in the entertainment industry. The producers program is a direct and crucial investment in Indigenous producers and our community. By supporting the next generation of Native producers, we can increase Native representation and support authentic stories that showcase the talent and skill of Native storytellers.”

In addition to participating in workshops led by writers, directors, producers and casting agents, members of the IllumiNative Producers Program will have the chance to meet with major studios, Netflix executives and Indigenous creatives working in Hollywood.

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Monthly virtual training sessions will also provide fellows with knowledge and resources in various disciplines, such as project development, financing, distribution and marketing. The online lessons will feature different guest speakers who are experts in their respective fields.

According to IllumiNative, a racial and social justice organization advocating for increased visibility and opportunities for Indigenous communities, the 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report found that fewer than 0.6% of people working in film and TV were Native. The IllumiNative Producers Program seeks to change that.

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“IllumiNative does tremendous work advocating for Indigenous representation in the entertainment industry. Together we want to create more opportunities behind the camera that can bring authentic portrayals of communities that are underrepresented on screen,” said Stephanie Shih, manager of external affairs at Netflix.

“We are honored to partner with them on a program that will help create more opportunities for Indigenous decision-makers in the industry.”

Applications for the IllumiNative fellowship are due Feb. 21. Find more information about the program here.


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