There’s an incredible group of young, diverse filmmakers waiting for their moment to shine, we just need to give them a shot. That’s the message of “Give New Voices a Voice”, the new campaign developed by Toronto agency FUSE Create for Reel Start, a non-profit organization that empowers kids to change their world through film.
Filmmaker Evan Goldberg (The Boys, Superbad, The Disaster Artist) and Educator Adrienne Slover created Reel Start in 2016 to address the lack of diversity in the film industry. The program is run out of select high schools in Toronto, Canada and Los Angeles and provides industry mentorship and a [10-week] course in which they develop and produce short films alongside A-list volunteers.
The organization’s long-term goal is for kids from all backgrounds to know there’s a place for them in the film industry. “Our students have grown up only a few miles from studios and production houses, yet a career in film and television can feel a universe away,” says co-founder Evan Goldberg. “We want to change that by equipping them with the skillset, experience, and creative spark that will open their world to the hundreds of jobs and careers that exist right in their backyard. Careers that are in need of their valuable and diverse perspectives.”
The awareness campaign, comprised of a series of online videos, spotlights Reel Start students and alumni passionately talking about their films, and their dreams. What they don’t realize however, is that no one can hear them. “These kids have powerful stories to tell,” says FUSE Create Creative Director Patrice Pollack. “We want viewers to realize that we need to hear their voices, and to feel frustrated that we can’t.”
There has been considerable star power behind the campaign’s launch: film and TV personalities including Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, Don Cheadle, Mindy Kaling, and cast members from the smash hit The Boys have all posted the videos on their social media feeds using the hashtag #ReelStartVoices, creating a groundswell of instant awareness. The content itself drives to Reel Start’s Charity GoFundMe page to raise funds for the organization as they expand their remote learning capabilities to keep the program going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign was directed by Tamir Moscovici of Toronto production company Feels Like Home, which was recently launched by Executive Producer Marni Luftspring. Vishan Butt was the director of photography and the spots were edited by Paul Proulx at Rooster Post Production. Fort York VFX, Alter Ego’s Wade Odlum and Pirate rounded out the production partners, even bringing Reel Start students into the fold, giving them on-set roles and mentorship during production and post-production.
The students and their stories are highlighted on Reel Start’s website, which FUSE Create designed with the new campaign. To view the full campaign or learn more about the program, visit reelstart.org.