As a young woman in the entertainment industry, I’ve found myself having the most brilliant experiences with mentors who have experience in the worlds that I am passionate about. When I heard about Indeed’s Rising Voices Mentorship program, I couldn’t have been more excited to hear about the participants of the program, their stories, and the films that they’ve created. On Tuesday, Tribeca festival hosted a brilliantly insightful panel with four young women, mentors and filmmakers alike.
Indeed Rising Voices is an inspiring program from both Hillman Grad, a production company founded by Lena Waithe, and Indeed, the world’s number one job site, that, “aims to discover, invest in and share stories created by BIPOC filmmakers & storytellers around the power and meaning of work.” The program gives opportunities to those who have stories to share, and in turn is helping to create the next generation of filmmakers by giving them the tools to create work that inspires.
Moderated by Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright of Hillman Grad Foundation, the panel included 4 young women who discussed the importance of mentorship and creating connections.
The panel included Rayka Zehtabchi, an Oscar-winning Iranian-American director based in Los Angeles, Stacy Pascal Gaspard, who is passionate about sharing her Afrolatin-Caribbean culture and her passion for dance on the big screen, and Constanza and Doménica Castro, sister filmmakers from Mexico City and founders of 271 Films, a creative production company based in Los Angeles.
Rayka Zehtabchi’s Oscar-winning short, Period. End of Sentence tells the story of group of village women in Northern India who start a sanitary pad-making business, and in doing so they begin efforts to de stigmatize periods. The film is incredible and Zehtabchi talked about her journey to getting to the point of it’s creation, along with winning the academy award. She talked about being at a place where she felt like she was launched into everything that was happening and finding mentors and people around her with similar experiences helped to ground her. Stacy Pascal Gaspard told her story of winning Indeed’s competition, and entering it just a week before the deadline and then having the opportunity to have people around her help get the film to be exactly what she envisioned. Her film was the story of her caribbean grandmother, and she talked about how proud she would be of her to see her granddaughter presenting this film at Tribeca.
Hear more about Indeed’s Rising Voices and all of the amazing panelists here!