We’ve been asking for a seat at the table, and today ViacomCBS officially pulled out some chairs! The company announced their Entertainment and Youth Group will develop 50 films from first time BIPOC and women directors.
ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth (E&Y) Group today announced the First Time Directors program with a slew of high-profile executive producer deals with Angela Bassett, Idris Elba, Salma Hayek, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria and Courtney B. Vance and their respective production companies. The deal calls for 50 films across Paramount Network, MTV, Comedy Central and the E&Y portfolio for first time BIPOC filmmakers and women directors to tell diverse stories through the lens of diverse storytellers.
Through its extensive global reach, the E&Y Group is doubling down on its commitment to provide opportunities for the next generation of women and BIPOC filmmakers by partnering with the biggest stars of today to find the biggest stars of tomorrow both in front of and behind the camera.
The films made through the program will be produced through production companies including Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance’s Bassett Vance Productions, Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures, Salma Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ Purple Pebble Pictures, John Leguizamo’s Rebel Productions and Eva Longoria’s UnbelieEVAble Entertainment.
These A-listers will work closely with E&Y’s President of Content and Chief Creative Officer Nina L. Diaz and her team to identify the directors, match them with inclusive projects and mentor them through the filmmaking process to help bring their stories to a global audience.
These projects fall under ViacomCBS E&Y Group’s recently launched original movies and limited series division, led by Meghan Hooper White, Executive Vice President and Head of Original Movies and Limited Series. As previously announced, with a focus on maximizing IP and familiar franchises while also creating new IP that speaks to our audience , this new unit will leverage ViacomCBS’ global scale, producing films with partners across the house including CBS, Channel 5, Network 10 and ViacomCBS rebranded streaming service Paramount+ through each brand’s respective filter.
Definitely exciting news. Don’t know about y’all but we are texting all our director friends who haven’t done features and letting them know it’s time to make it do what it do!