The third annual annual Pitch NY program on Nov. 16 in Manhattan.

Growing Talent and Diversity Across New York's Film, Television and Game Development Industries

This fall has continued New York State’s commitment to the growth of new talent and diverse voices in the entertainment industry. Unprecedented partnerships, workforce development programs and training facilities are supporting inclusivity and creativity.

In a groundbreaking new partnership announced in October between New York State, Bronx Community College (BCC) and IATSE Local 52, a  Film Production Training Program will launch at BCC in winter 2019 to prepare students for careers in New York’s booming film and television sector. The 14-week program, supported by a $375,000 ESD grant, will train up to 100 students annually in union crafts such as property, carpentry and on-set electrical work. Students will gain practical work experience and learn technical skills, such as basic carpentry, tool usage and shop safety, as well as skills addressing workplace communication and behavior, career networking and employer expectations. Announced at the Second Annual Multicultural Creativity Summit on Oct. 2, the program will also assist IATSE in the diversification of its membership. BCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with students representing approximately 100 countries.

A first-of-its-kind effort in higher education, MAGIC Spell Studios held its grand opening on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology in October. The new state-of-the-art facility will creatively converge RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs in digital media, including film and animation and game design and development, together with high-tech experimental facilities—and support technology development and entrepreneurial activity for regional startups. The cutting-edge facility features include a 7,000 square-foot sound stage, a 180-seat movie theater with a projection booth, a cinema-quality audiovisual system, sound mixing and color correction rooms. Numerous labs and production facilities will also help support RIT’s designation as a NYSTAR-funded Center of Excellence digital gaming hub and  foster the next generation of entrepreneurs in digital gaming, film and animation.

Students and recent graduates from around the state met in New York City earlier this month for a one-day intensive workshop known as Pitch NY, hosted by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV), the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and NBCUniversal. During the workshop, undergraduates and recent graduates of New York schools networked with professional filmmakers, writers, directors and producers and attended panels led by industry experts on a number of topics. The participants also got the chance to pitch their creative ideas in one-on-one sessions with industry representatives.

Pitch NY, now in its third year, is focused on promoting diversity in the entertainment industry through content and increasing opportunity for content creators.