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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Academy Launches ‘Gold’ Diversity Internship Enhancement Program

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the launch of the Gold Diversity Internship Enhancement Program in partnership with AMC Networks, Moving Picture Institute, Telsey + Company, Xperi and many more sponsers. The entertainment industry-wide internship enhancement and mentorship program is for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities. Each of the now 26 partners will sponsor up to three interns for the program, which kicked off yesterday, June 21, with a two-day orientation that included various industry speakers, studio and technology-based company tours, and visits to the Academy’s Film Archive and Margaret Herrick Library.

Previously announced partners include Annapurna Pictures, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Deluxe, The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, FotoKem, FremantleMedia, HBO, Illumination Entertainment, IMAX, Lionsgate, Overbrook Entertainment, Panavision, Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Snap Inc., Sony Pictures, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures, Univision, and Warner Bros. That's one heck of an impressive list of partners for an internship program, which offers summer-long technical workshops for students with a career interests in cinematography, production design and film editing. Student participants include those from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund (EEF), the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, West Los Angeles College, and the Los Angeles Film School among others.

“Building on the success of our inaugural year, this summer’s Academy Gold internship enhancement program has doubled in size and scope and will provide additional areas of training and study for interns interested more specifically in cinematography, production design and editing,” said Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director, Preservation and Foundation Programs. “The goal of our new Production Track workshops is to provide opportunities for our interns to choose professional goals that reflect the same variety of collaborative crew positions as our Academy members.”

108 students from across the United States will participate in Academy Gold (including 22 interns placed within the Academy). The seven-week summer program, which concludes on August 11, will offer participants networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, screenings, studio tours and educational workshops. This kind of access is literally unprecedented and unattainable by any one entity. Students also will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience shooting scenes on a soundstage, as well as spend one week on the set of an active production shadowing various departments. Upon completion of the program, all Gold interns will be paired with Academy members for an eight-month mentorship.

This young artists are going to meet representatives from various unions and guilds who will explain their role in working with filmmakers. They're going to learn to break down a script in order to understand it from multiple creative perspectives, such as the writer, the director, the actor, the cinematographer, the art director and the film editor. They're going to learn about the differences between Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production, as well as the details that go into preserving and restoring motion pictures. And then there's a focus on sound, design and cinematography in the era of VFX, and more.

Holy cow! I really hope these young filmmakers understand just how incredibly special this experience is for someone just starting out in the industry. They're never likely to get this kind of access to such expert insight ever again, let alone during the first ten years of their careers. Embrace and appreciate while you can. This will not happen anywhere else at any price. And you get it for free! Bon voyage and happy learning. Keep your eyes open and take nothing for granted. Enjoy!

For more information about the Academy Gold program use the image above as a link to the official site, or visit

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