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ESD Hosts Fourth Multi-Cultural Creativity Virtual Summit to Encourage Broader Diversity and Inclusion Within NYS Entertainment Industry

Co-hosted with the Motion Picture Association and Ghetto Film School, Forum Enables Diverse Content Creators to Connect with Entertainment Industry Leaders for Career Advice and Guidance

Empire State Development (ESD) held the fourth New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit, an all-virtual interactive workshop that guides content creators of diverse backgrounds to better understand and advance their careers within the film and television industry. Hosted by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in partnership with Ghetto Film School, the summit – which included more than five hundred participants – is another example of New York State’s commitment to promote the inclusion of diverse voices in the entertainment industry. 

“New York’s film and television industry is an important part of the statewide economy, and will be a critical component as we continue to support economic development and job growth following the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler. “Like our resiliency in the face of COVID-19, diversity is a core strength and competitive advantage for New York. As we rebuild our economy, programs such as the Multicultural Creativity Summit, with partners MPA and Ghetto Film School, ensure inclusivity is prioritized and all individuals have equal access to opportunities within their industries.”  

The Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development works closely with studios, non-profit organizations and film festival curators to promote New York State’s talent and help expand pathways for aspiring filmmakers, writers and producers. The interactive workshop featured panel discussions that provided advice and guidance for diverse content creators looking to advance their careers in the film and television industry.

Speakers at the event included: Brett King, Vice President, Creative Programming, Diversity & Inclusion, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Emerlynn Lampitoc, Vice President of Inclusion - Talent & Content for Film, TV and Streaming, NBCUniversal; Yvette Urbina, Vice President, Enterprise Inclusion, WarnerMedia; Tendo Nagenda, Vice President, Original Film, Netflix; Hopi Noel Morton, Founder, HOPIWORKS; The Gilded Age Writer and Co-Executive Producer Sonja Warfield, The Gilded Age Executive Producer David Crockett; and others. Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, this is the first virtual Multicultural Creativity Summit. The past three events were held in-person in May 2017 (HBO Theatre); October 2018 (HBO Theatre), and December 2019 (SkySquare Conference Center at Viacom) – all in New York City.

“The Motion Picture Association and our member studios are committed to building a diverse and inclusive pipeline for people working in our industry,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “America’s story cannot be told without reflecting everyone in it, and we are all working to make roads into the industry open to all people. We are proud to once again co-host this summit and help build a path that enables all creators to tell their stories.”

“Ghetto Film School is continually inspired by our partnership with the Motion Picture Association and Empire State Development,” said Sharese Bullock-Bailey, Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer at the Ghetto Film School. “The Multicultural Summit is an event our team looks forward to and it truly inspires us to continue working toward our shared mission of showcasing diverse voices. We are creating an unmatched virtual platform for young creatives to find direct support when it comes to navigating both their careers and the ever-changing production environment.”

The summit is part of a larger statewide initiative to increase diversity and inclusion and create equal opportunities in the film and television industry, which includes the first-in-the-nation Empire State Entertainment Diversity Job Training Development Grant Program. Launching soon, the program will provide financial assistance in the form of grants for job creation and training programs that support efforts to recruit, hire, promote, retain, develop and train a diverse and inclusive workforce for the motion picture and television production and post-production industries in New York State.

The Multicultural Creativity Summit builds on Governor Cuomo's legacy of expanding opportunity, increasing diversity, promoting inclusion and standing up for all minority groups across New York. New York State continues to lead the nation in the fight for social justice and embracing diversity by passing legislation to ensure LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, welcoming our immigrant community, launching a women's equality agenda and fighting workplace discrimination.

About the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development

The New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV), a division of Empire State Development, offers film, television and commercial productions and post-production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York State. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers. For more information on filming in New York State or the Film Production and Post-Production Tax Credit Programs, please visit https://esd.ny.gov/industries/tv-and-film.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

About the Motion Picture Association

The Motion Picture Association, Inc. (MPA) serves as the global voice and advocate of the motion picture, home video, and television industries. It works in every corner of the globe to advance the creative industry, protect its members’ content across all screens, defend the creative and artistic freedoms of storytellers, and support innovative distribution models that bring an expansion of viewing choices to audiences around the world.

Its member studios are: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Netflix, Inc.; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Charles Rivkin is Chairman and CEO.



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