The Launch of Rising Voices. Empowering underrepresented directors within the film industry

February 18, 2021

On February 16, Indeed launched Rising Voices, a new initiative in partnership with Lena Waithe and Hillman Grad Productions.

Rising Voices is a program that will bring new voices to the meaning of work story through mentorship and opportunity. In this episode of Here to Help, Chris speaks to Rishi Rajani, President of Hillman Grad Productions, about the initiative, which aims to uncover and invest in filmmakers from the Black, Indigenous and People of Color community.

- Hello everyone. I am Chris Hyams the CEO of Indeed. And welcome to the next installment of Here to Help. This is our look at how Indeed has been navigating the global impact of COVID-19. Today is February 11th. We are on day 345 of global work from home. At Indeed, our mission is to help people get jobs. And this is what gets us out of bed in the morning. It's what keeps us up at night. And every day in that work we see the power that one job can have on a person, on their family and on their community. And this month, while we're celebrating Black History Month we are very proud today to announce Rising Voices which is a new initiative in partnership with Lena Waithe and Hillman Grad Productions. Lena is one of the most powerful voices in the film industry. And Hillman Grad is committed to creating opportunity for underrepresented filmmakers and Rising Voices will invest in and empower the next generation of black indigenous and people of color filmmakers and will bring new voices to this story of the meaning of work. So today I am delighted to be joined by Rishi Rajani who is the President of Hillman Grad Productions which he co-founded with Lena Waithe. Rishi, thank you so much for joining me today.

- Thank you so much for having me. That day 345 hit me hard. I didn't know that that was exactly where we were at.

- Yeah, it's it's sobering. We're coming up on on lapping this one here and we'll have some opportunity to talk about this last year and what it's meant, but we always start these conversations with just a check-in. So tell us how are you doing today?

- Yeah, you know, I think like I would say that today I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about things. And also one of the things that I think I've been feeling a lot during the pandemic, as we navigate the difficulties of shooting film and TV shows during COVID and feeling like, disconnected from colleagues 'cause we're out of the office and not feeling like we're able to do all the things I wanted to do, I have also, I think been feeling a certain sense of gratitude because I'm in a place where I get to keep making content I really believe in. It feels like there's a real energy and drive for the sorts of material that Lena and I are really pushing. And the fact that that has only ramped up I think over the last year, 345 days is really great. And also knowing that this pandemic has been really tough on a lot of people. And so to be sort of in the privileged position of getting to make art and getting to support storytellers, I do feel like we're very grateful for it. And in fact this morning said that, most of the country could get vaccinated by the end of April which is incredibly exciting 'cause it feels like we're the light at the end of the tunnel. So yes, those are the things I'm feeling today.

- Fantastic, well, we're going to spend a good chunk of time talking about this new initiative we're doing together, but I'd love to set the stage a little bit for the folks who might not be as familiar with with Hillman Grad and with you, your yourself. Tell us a little bit about your journey into the entertainment industry and how you started working with Lena Waithe.

- Totally. So I guess to take it right back from the beginning, I was born in London, England. My parents were actually both born in Africa and my family sort of in generationally is of the demographic of South Asians Indians that went India to East Africa, to the UK and eventually to the US, so have family all over the world. But, I never really knew that I wanted to get into the film and TV space. I wasn't one of those people that was like, you know movie obsessed growing up and being like, I always knew I wanted to be a producer. I think it was something that I sort of fell into because of a love of storytelling, the way like I was definitely the kid that, you know skipped recess and hung out in the library and read books. And that was sort of like my own version of escapism. But I ended up going to NYU for school, but I was actually helping to becoming an investment banker because for some reason I had this 30 year plan when I was 18 years old, that I'm going to go to Wall Street, I'm going to go make a crazy amount of money and then I'm going to be able to finance arts and art of all kinds, which is a really ridiculous thing for an 18 year old kid to say who didn't know anything about the finance system or how much I would dislike the investment banking world. And so very quickly realized that that was not actually what I wanted to do and was sort of trying to figure out my next path. And I think like there was part of me that was like, Oh do I go into the publishing industry? Do I go into the film industry? I mean people told me there was a lot more opportunity to tell more stories in a not dying industry. So I think the film industry is sort of the thing that I sort of get fixated on. I think I also might think my world opened up a little bit when I moved to New York and felt like I was exposed to a lot more different kinds of people a lot more perspectives. And it was like a sort of really exciting time in my life in terms of being able to explore what I wanted to do. So I ended up working a bunch of weird odd jobs in New York to try and break in the film industry. I was a receptionist slash intern for Morgan Spurlock's company. This is after supersize me. I answered a Craigslist ad to go work for an Off-Broadway show and help them sell the film "He Writes the Show" which I don't know is that a job that you hire a 19 year old kid to do but you know, was able to began there and sat backstage calling agents and managers trying to pitch them on this off-Broadway show. Spoiler alert, I did not succeed in that endeavor. But it was also like a really good sort of like moment for me to realize, Oh, like this is the system, there're agents, there're managers you need to be somewhat legitimate to get a call back from any of these people. And so, you know, continuing my foray into strange and eccentric things, I picked up a real estate license and started to sling apartments on the weekend to continue to make money as I was venturing down the Hollywood path. But eventually all of these sort of odds and ends jobs resulted in me getting an internship with 20th Century Fox which was really, really important as it was I think my first I'd say like, you know foray into the studio space and getting a little bit of a quote unquote legitimacy as I was making my way into the Hollywood ecosystem. In that particular arena 20th Century Fox was book to film adaptation. And so I worked with them when they optioned the rights you know, in generally when they're optioning rights, it's prepublication before Gone Girl for the Martian, got to see a lot of those films, and again you see kind of the really cool bidding wars and how studios get excited about things and understanding how the system of producers works. And to me, I was like, Oh, wow this is what I want to do. And also be able to find a space though. So specifically for it, with my love of reading and narrative and books and too old to have that connective tissue to the film business was really, really cool. And so, you know, specifically a division was a book scouting division which meant that they weren't actually involved in the production of the films and TV shows. And so I was sort of like a bit naive about how that all worked and I was like, great. Now when do we get to go make it? And they're like, Oh, we don't go make it. You know, the producers go make it. I was like, well, I want to go do that job. I want to go make the movies. And so they were incredible. There was a guy named Drew Reed and Chris Goldberg and Sandra Bauman that ran that department. And they were like, if you want to be a producer you've got to go to LA. And so that was my next step. And they were incredible in that. That first job for me was, I kind of feel like in so many ways I owe everything that I have in the business now to to those group of people believing me. And they set me up with interviews at all the big talent agencies and Hollywood. They set me up with general meetings with a lot of executives that I still work with to this day. And so it was really cool. And that was like when I came to LA and it was pre Uber and Lyft and so I literally, I rode the bus around to these interviews and I was in a suit and everyone made fun of me because no one, I guess, wears suits in Hollywood. But I got my first job in the mail room at UTA. And mail room was a crazy place to start. I wasn't in there for an extraordinary long period of time but it was my grad school, you know in a way for the film business. I ended up working for a woman named Dana specter and I became her assistant. And it was great because again it was that connective tissue. She was a book to film and a book to TV agent. And so I was able to go in and leverage everything I had learned from Fox, build it, get on her desk pretty quickly. And, you know, it did all manner of assistant things and rolling calls and scheduling and ending up in the extremely unfortunate position of thinking I lost my bosses cat, but, you know, made it through. And there was a moment there where I was like, well, do I be a book agent? I love working with authors, I love helping them get their work out and produced and adapted. And there's still something about producing for me that I really wanted to aspire towards. And so I left, I moved with her to a company called Paradigm. I left Paradigm and went to a new company called Studio Eight, that was started by Jeff Robinah. Who's a former chairman of Warner brothers. I was with them for four years and really it was able to cut my teeth as an executive. It was where I got the bump up to go work on the feature side for a while. And then right at the end of my time there, there was a woman named Katherine Pope who was head of the television division. And she had really, you know I think seen something in me and seen something in my taste. And when she left to go start Charter Cables television division, you know, she told Jeff that I should take over the TV project she was leaving behind, which was incredible but also a throwing me into a world I had no idea about. I was like, Oh my God what's a show runner. Like, how do you staff up a room? Like how do you pitch, you know, TV ideas? And what I realized is that I think for the stories that I was pursuing that may have felt a little more niche for big budget Hollywood blockbusters, your TV was a really exciting place. I mean, the first project that I sold was a story about a gay Lucia Door on the border of Mexico and the US over the magical realism and incredibly compelling characters and which would have never really flown as a film at Studio Eight at the time. And so I was always sort of progressing. I think I was really also developing my taste and my sense of place in it. I think Hollywood can be a world where you can sometimes get caught up in the bullshit and feel especially as sort of like a young brown kid coming in that there was a desire to like, sort of integrate into this, older, white guy, corporate culture. And I think there are times where I got really frustrated with sorts of artists that I wanted to advocate for for sort of movies that I thought were important because I guess a lot of people that were at the top of the studios at the time didn't think they were as important as I did. And so, you know, I met Lena when we actually, I had optioned and it was part of optioning a graphic novel at Studio Eight it was called Black, is basically set in a world which only black people have super powers which was a really, really cool project at the time. And Lena had just won her Emmy and we'd sent it to her for consideration and she loved it. And she came on board and developed that a take and that ultimately didn't end up moving forward but it was a really good sort of first connection point. I was like, you know, at the time I had 'cause I had seen her in, obviously in Master of None, I read her work for a long time, was very like Oh my God, this woman is incredible. I did not anticipate at that moment that we would become a producing partners, but you know, as I was sort of figuring out my next step in the business and what I wanted to do and what I wanted to accomplish I was sort of shying away, I think from going back into the studio system. And there was really the opportunity to interview for the position at Hillman Grad came across my desk a few months later and Lena's manager at the time. Andrew Coles called me and said, you know Lena's trying to start a production company, are you interested in joining her there? I was like, of course where do I sign up? And so Lena and I went and had breakfast and at a little mill coffee in Silver Lake and I don't think I've ever prepped for an interview quite so hard. I came in with, you know, I actually had pulled out like a Manila folder and it was like putting pieces of paper all across this table. And I was like, you know, here are the artists that I think you should be working with. Here are the pieces of intellectual property that are worth picking up, here would be my plan for year one. And I think she probably thought I was a crazy person but I think liked the ambition and like the spirit and like the hustle and Lena is a very decisive person. And so literally by that night she was like, you're right. You're the person. And it was really cool 'cause I think in that first conversation we really landed on this theme and mantra, protest art. And it was something that she and I both connected with and resonated with deeply which is that if we have a platform and an opportunity to put content on the world then you know, we need to have the responsibility of putting out content that we really believe in, in content that pushes the culture forward in some way, shape or form. And it doesn't mean for us that we're trying to make, in your face on the nose, medicine, like, you know, afterschool specials. It's more, I think for us that we can make content that's incredibly entertaining that also happens to present a point of view or perspective or a character that doesn't normally get the time on screen. And that's become a sort of fundamental philosophy for us all across Hillman Grad. One of the other things that Lena said that I love so much during that meeting was, she was one I always knew I was going to win an Emmy which is amazing. 'Cause it's so Lena and so great. But too, she said, you know, I didn't necessarily think I was going to win an Emmy this early in my career. And so you want to be earning that award every single day by bringing other people up with me. So I think for us it's not just the content that we're putting onto the screen, it's also who's in front of the camera, who's behind the camera and who's in the writers room because that also at the time and even now it's still a fight to make that in any way, shape or form inclusive. And for us, it's not even, it's not just racial diversity it's not just sexual diversity, is geographic diversity, it's financial diversity it's diversity of disabilities, it's age diversity. It's really anyone who hasn't been given a space. Like that's what Hillman Grad is and we want to create that space. And so, you know, I've been with Lena now for a little over two and a half years which also feels like way longer than it is. And we've been able to make a lot of really incredible stuff. But what I most appreciate about it is, you look at Boomerang or Twenties or Queen and Slim or the 40 Year Old Version, or even The Shy which is going into its fourth season and was just started shooting again this week. It's that consistency of perspective, that consistency of protest art, being able to have brown characters where it's not all about them being brown, we're characters where they're not struggling with their sexuality instead of hopes and dreams of making it an artist and filmmakers and have crushes and love lives ambitions like that's what we want to do. And that's what we resonate with. And I think when we look for material, it's always like is this a perspective and point of view that we haven't seen before but it's also one that we're going to feel really proud of putting on the screen. Is it one that we feel that we can spend the next three to five years of our life fighting for every single day? And those are really the tenants of what we do. And I think obviously I know what we're going to get to the Rising Voices program but I think that's part of the reason that we're sitting and having this conversation right now 'cause we have a similar philosophy about that. And so we're just super excited about this as kind of the next step and really creating access points for artists.

- That's great. Well that is a perfect, I think lead into what it is that we're talking about today. So I want to just give a little background to folks about what it is that we're launching today. And I'll just super briefly from the Indeed side for us, I mentioned upfront that we see through our mission and through our work of helping people get jobs the power that a job can have in a person's life and how much change it can bring to that person and to their family and to their community. We also see very clearly that talent is universal but opportunity is not, and there are huge bias and barriers in the hiring process and the film industry is not only no different in some cases it's even harder where so much of being able to be successful there requires knowing someone and getting a hand up. The story that you just told about yourself was full. Obviously you came in from the outside, but the number of names that you dropped along the way of people who were there, that helped you and provided that mentorship and provided that support. So we wanted to do something where we could bring new voices, underrepresented voices to telling the story of the meaning of work. And when we first met up with you to sort of pitch this idea you had a fully formed idea already of something you and Lena had been wanting to do. So why don't you just tell a little bit of the story of what Rising Voices is and what it means to you in Hillman Grad?

- Totally. Well, as you can imagine, our inbox and in specifically Lena's DMs get flooded with people asking her, how do I become a director? Like I want to direct? This is what I want to do. And Lena is amazing, and that she probably answers you know, more of those DMs than she needs to or should. But, it's just incredibly difficult to break in as a director in the film and television space. And I say even more than you writing or acting in some ways because you'd have something to show, you need to have a sample of your work and have something that you've directed for anyone to take you seriously. And so it's honestly been like kind of a struggle for Lena and I, because to be able to make something to make something worthwhile you also need access to resources and money. And even like sort of like the technical know-how of what production looks like and who you need to hire and then even when you have the money and you have sort of like the access to just like the bare minimum resources, there's still I think without guidance and mentorship, you might end up hiring the wrong person or paying too much for a permit or really kind of not being able to get the most out of your final product. And so one of the things that Lena and I have been really excited to do, and this is why we I think it was so serendipitous and amazing that you came down to this opportunity is that we really desperately wanted to start some version of a directorial mentorship program where we actually get to take people who, you know whoever range of experiences, some people who maybe have directed a short before, some people who have maybe just like really it's been, a one person camera team as they take footage of their own life and give them the opportunity in this space to actually create something that could get them recognized in the Hollywood space and actually get them into the system as someone worth, you know, potentially giving more to and giving an episode of television to or giving their first feature film to. And Lena and I have, you know, we love short films because we've hired so many people off of short films. We on Boomerang Season One, five of our directors out of the six were all coming off of short films. Were all given their first episode of TV direct. We're making a feature film with this incredibly talented young woman Avi Rockwell over the summer. And the reason we're doing that is 'cause we saw her short film Feathers which was stunning and beautiful. And I think actually played at Tribeca and Sundance and a few other places which attracted our attention. So short film is a really good, I think calling card for a young director in the business to be taken seriously. And for the most part, the unfortunate aspect of it is I think the people that have the money access resources to make short films are generally in fairly privileged positions and have access points to the business. And so they're not really the people that need, you know a place like Hillman Grad, and a place like Indeed to support them. So what this program is, is it's actually creating that access point. And so what we're going to do is we're going to do an open call to filmmakers over the United States, give them the opportunity to submit a 10 page script of a short film that they are dying to shoot. And we're going to read all those and we're going to, through kind of looking at sort of the originality of the piece like the resonant themes of it, the specificity of the work, the quality of the any kind of directing sample they're able to share and we're going to select 10 of those filmmakers and we're going to give them the chance to make a movie, which is huge. And so not only are we, it's not like we're giving them the cash and saying come back with a product, it's we're actually going to be mentoring them through the process. 'Cause that's also incredibly important to us because I think a lot of sort of the programs that I guess Lena and I's critique of diversity programs in Hollywood is a lot of the times they just, you know give someone a stipend for a year, give someone mentorship for a year and don't really provide a platform a launching pad for them. And so what I think we're going to be doing with this program is one, be guiding filmmakers along the way and helping them avoid the pitfalls of making your first project. And then also giving them an opportunity to either go on and become one of the filmmaker in residences for Indeed, or introduce them to sort of talent managers and agents and you know a dream scenario would be to hire some of these directors in some of our shows, or to do a first feature with one of them to make sure that they're actually getting into the business in a very real way. And so, I mean, the fact that, you know, Indeed and Chris that you've been so sort of like generous in both like the scope of the access and the resources and a hundred thousand dollars per movie is not a bad short film budget in any way, shape or form. I think it's exciting 'cause I think in the combination of sort of the reach that you have and the resources that you're giving plus kind of I think our approach to mentorship and the work that we've been doing, the creative space I think increased incredibly great partnership for us to will to actually launch careers in a very real and tangible way.

- I think this is, you know something that we found pretty early on that we shared a lot in terms of our mission and our vision and what we're trying to do and where we're coming at it is that we actually want to produce some great work to help tell the story of the meaning of work. And that our experience is that the best ideas are not our own. And so creating an opportunity for a number of different people. And so just the mechanics of the program for anyone that's listening here and might be interested. So as Rishi said, we're going to have an open call for people to submit a short screenplay. We're going to select 10 people and we're putting a million dollars. So a hundred thousand dollars budget to each of the 10 filmmakers to produce this short film. And for clarity, you know, we've talked about this we're not doing this because we think that this is, you know, a good thing to do, we're doing it 'cause we think it's actually going to produce great work and it's going to be better at telling this story of what work means. Then we could easily spend a million dollars on a TV ad and get a lot less out of it than 10 rich and distinct. And I would imagine pretty personal stories coming from a diverse set of ideas and new voices. But the other thing that we really love is that, you know how the idea shaped after we started working with you of not just doing a lot of little things but really the amount of time and effort that's going to go into producing these 10 films and the mentorship and production support that you're offering. We're creating jobs, which obviously we like not just for 10 people, but for an entire crew for people behind the camera in front of the camera and creating experience, that will be sustainable. So it's also not just a one-shot, here's a check go do something, but that we really hope. And so I guess I'd love to hear just a little bit from you what do you think success would look like from you? How would you and Lena look back on this and say, this really achieved everything that we set out to try to do here.

- Totally. And I'd also say, I super appreciate you being game when we're like more money, less filmmakers, like let's get really into the nitty-gritty of this and being gamed to work with us on that, because I think that's also like, it is really important to sort of for us to make sure that we're giving a lot of people the opportunity but also doing it incredibly intentionally and knowing that we can actually, have success in it. I think success for us is obviously creating 10 distinct beautiful pieces of art. But I think it also extends beyond that when we look at the filmmakers that come out of the program and in their careers after coming out of the program and which of those filmmakers get signed, which of those filmmakers is able to get an episode of TV direct, which of those filmmakers is able to make their first feature, and which of those filmmakers are able to just break into the system in a very real way. And I think obviously that's going to be partially based on the quality of the films and partially based on tenacity of the filmmakers. But if we can really come into this program having felt like we delivered an opportunity for these filmmakers to break into the business in a very real way. I mean, that's sort of I think the most incredible form of success. And I think for all of us the goal is going to to continue guiding them in that process and making sure that we can do everything on our end to do the films come out, looking stunning, I'd say.

- So the focus in terms of the talent that we're looking for there's lots of underrepresented talent. And you went through a number of examples we're targeting specifically BiPAP filmmakers. And one of the things that we think is interesting I'd love to hear your thoughts is, what do you think is unique about the BiPAP perspective when it comes to the meaning of work?

- Oh man. And I feel like it like BiPAP also encompasses so many different perspectives and types of people, but I think there has been a tendency in this country, even as things seemingly start to get more equal there's still not a level of equality when it comes to access to work and access to jobs and access to opportunity. And I think like we talk a lot about sort of leveling the playing field and providers are active but I think a lot of times there's like also like a lack of just general access. Like I didn't think I was, I didn't know what the film business was coming up. I didn't know anyone in it. I didn't have any touch points there. I didn't have an uncle that worked at CAA. And I think for a lot of the BiPAP community you're having this generation of people who were interested in getting into a variety of different fields that just truly don't have the ability to do so in the same way that maybe white counterparts would. And so I think for us when we think about the power of work, there's also I think a little bit of this tendency and I think I've definitely felt it personally in Hollywood too, where a lot of times in the past there was one seat at the table for a person of color. And it almost created this incredibly like competitive dynamic where you're almost competing as other people of color for that one slot on the table. And I think in coming into, you know, 2020, 2021 as people start to think a lot more about systemic racism and the systems that have been really kind of holding people back, there's got to be a sense of big companies and organizations and systems understanding all of their inherent biases and racism that have created workplaces that are maybe not as diverse as they could be or inclusive as they could be. And so I'm really excited about these filmmakers being able to come in and tell very personal stories and relationships with work and what it's meant to them and getting jobs. And I think that it's going to be kind of eye opening for a lot of people too, when you actually contextualize that versus what we think is typical or what people think is racist or not racist, or even sort of like, I think like coming into a world where we've actually started to have real conversations about our criminal justice system and conversations about public education and systems of what happens to communities of color versus communities not of color like there's a lot of work to be done. And I think what's great about art is it's there's a way to explore really resonant themes and pointing of moments that are instead but do it the way that can feel entertaining or artful or elegant that doesn't feel so in your face. And there's also a level of sort of like actually being able to present your own perspective and opinion and point of view that people can actually watch something. I love the idea of people being able to watch some of these films and coming away, actually thinking a little bit differently about the world or at least feeling like they got a perspective that they don't normally get on an everyday basis. And I think that's just the power of art overall. I think for me and in so many ways it was an introduction to a world that I didn't know, and that's what books were and that's what movies were. And that's what kind of helped shape who I am as a person. And we can keep pushing that envelope as well in a very very real way. And I love these horror films doing that as well. And think as we go through the development process we're going to push the filmmakers to really be nuanced and hypercritical and not do anything that feels ordinary

- Well as our time is coming to a close. I'd love to sort of wrap up looking a little bit to the future. And really when we look at these last 345 days, and the industry that you're in has been deeply affected, like so many others, what do you see as some of the changes that will be not just temporary adaptations to being in the middle of a pandemic, but what will what we've been through mean for the future of entertainment for Hillman Grad and how has your perspective changed permanently?

- Totally. Well, there's no movie theaters anymore and it's all streaming, which is, you know, a in itself like sort of, just from like a macro perspective, I don't know that the movie theater experience is ever going to go away but it's been really crazy to see how quickly the industry has shifted to a model that's not reliant on what I think is like one of the most iconic American institutions which is movies in the movie theater. But I think there's also been an awareness raise through the black lives matter movement, through a lot of the protests that happened last year even talking about, you know, whether it's like sort of abolishment of the police or whether it's really sort of moving away from like the current prison system. I think a lot of people, including myself in a lot of ways like felt like going into 2020, I was like a woke individual and I knew things and I read the New York Times and all that good stuff, but feeling like as a lot of this this stuff came to the forefront and some of the ugliness in the country, I think came to the forefront, realizing that a lot of our systems really need to be reconstructed. And that exists, I think, on a governmental level but I think it also exists in Hollywood. And I think Hollywood is taking a very critical look at the amount of executives who are in Greenlight positions that are women and people of color. And it's not that many, it's like the vast majority of the heads of all the television networks and to introduce are still older white men. And what that leads to I think is one very specific perspective. And I think there's one been a shift in sort of people realizing that they need to diversify the decision makers in Hollywood. But two, I think that there is a realization that the sort of age old opinion that content for people that have traditionally been other doesn't make money has gone out the window. I think whether you look at Black Panther or whether you look at Crazy Rich Asians, you know, I think we sort of been approving that this is no longer the case and that, you know, movies of people but with color can't work internationally. It was always a big one I heard coming up in the business and I think we've proven that that's not the case either. And in fact there happened to be a lot of people of color that live internationally. And that it's a, and so I think that you're starting to see some of these shifts in the Hollywood from a sort of like, this is what a blockbuster is. This is who can star in a movie. This is what is valuable. People realizing that that's not actually the case as much and maybe it was never the case, and maybe it was just a system that was kind of put in place to continue to keep people down. But at least now we know that there's a level of profitability, there's a desire for content. It feels different than everything we've seen before. And to be able to get to that place, we need some of the decision makers to look a little bit more inclusive and to just have more voices in there that reflect these different perspectives. And so, despite I think I was trying to figure it out, the system of movie theaters and how we get back into that. I am really excited for Hollywood to continue to new to make this push and to grow into more socially aware content and realizing that that content can also be incredibly entertaining and really fun to watch. So it's got its good and its bad.

- Fantastic, well, I could keep talking for a very long time with you, but we are out of time. I know you need to catch a plane. Rishi, thank you so much for taking the time to talk today, but thank you so much for this opportunity to partner together. I can't tell you how excited we are to bring this program to life. For folks who will be watching this when when this is going out the program will be actually officially launched. So you can go to the Hillman Grad website and read about the program and submissions are open through the end of February. So please come and share your story with us. And we're so excited to see what comes to this.

- Amazing, thank you so much, Chris. We're incredibly incredibly excited and yeah I can't wait to start reading these scripts.