Indeed Makes $3 Million Commitment to Rising Voices Season 3 in Partnership with Lena Waithe, and Hillman Grad Productions to Increase Diversity in Hollywood


#1 Job Site continues investment to provide BIPOC filmmaker career accelerator program focused on the Future of Work

AUSTIN, TX (October 20, 2022) — Indeed, the world’s number one job site, today announced the launch of Indeed: Rising Voices Season 3. In partnership with Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and actor, Lena Waithe, and her company, Hillman Grad Productions, as well as 271 Films. Indeed: Rising Voices was created to invest and accelerate careers for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) filmmakers across the U.S. Each year, executives from Hillman Grad, 271 Films, and Indeed review and select 10 finalists for the Rising Voices program. Once again, Indeed is investing $3 million in Rising Voices and will be accepting submissions from BIPOC filmmakers across the United States. 

“Partnering with Indeed for the Rising Voices initiative for the past two years has been beyond rewarding and we are so proud to be back for a third time,” said Lena Waithe, Hillman Grad Founder, and Rishi Rajani, Hillman Grad CEO. “Creating opportunities for underrepresented BIPOC creators in Hollywood is our mission, and we are forever grateful to Indeed for their partnership which allows us to empower the next generation of great storytellers.”

Indeed will give each of the 10 chosen filmmakers up to $100,000 to produce their film which will debut at a New York City film festival. In addition, they will be mentored by Lena Waithe, executives at Hillman Grad and 271 Films, run by sisters Constanza and Doménica Castro. The filmmakers will be compensated $5,000 for writing an original script and $5,000 for directing. 

The first two years of Rising Voices has been very successful with participating filmmakers getting recognition from prominent film festivals including Tribeca, Sundance, Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Pan African Film and the 45th Asian American Film Festival, among others. In addition, filmmakers who have gone through the Rising Voices program have gone on to direct episodes of ‘The Chi’ on Showtime; ‘‘Chicago Fire’ on NBC as part of NBCU Directors Program; become a Netflix staff writer for sketch show ‘Go Off with Jess and Julissa’; directed Disney+ show ‘American Born Chinese’; hired by Sony Pictures International to write script; directed commercial TV work for Jeep and Oakley; accepted into Netflix Content Creator Program x Ghetto Film School; participated in HBO Short Film Award Program; and have been nominated during award shows such as NAACP Image Awards. 

After two successful seasons of Rising Voices, where our extraordinary filmmakers debuted their films at the Tribeca Festival, it’s clear the program’s creativity and heart is inspiring more conversations and action toward equitable access in the industry.”

said Indeed CEO Chris Hyams. “Lena Waithe, Hillman Grad, 271 Films, and Indeed provide filmmakers with all the tools they need to show Hollywood that all people deserve a seat in the director’s chair. Rising Voices is proof of our belief that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. This is one of the many ways Indeed continues to demonstrate our commitment to breaking down bias and barriers in hiring, and to help all people get jobs.”

This year’s initiative will focus on the theme Future of Work, and communities throughout the U.S. Workplaces continue to evolve as employers and workers adjust to the fundamental changes with the nature of work over the last few years. Employees’ expectations of their employers have shifted, placing heavy emphasis on their wellbeing and company values. Indeed’s mission is to help all people get jobs, connecting millions of people to new opportunities. Indeed, Hillman Grad, and 271 FIlms will empower the filmmakers of Rising Voices Season 3 to show what the future of work looks like to them and the world around them.

“It has been extremely rewarding watching the success of this initiative and the platform it provides for the filmmakers,” said LaFawn Davis, SVP at Indeed. “We are truly honored to continue our partnership with Hillman Grad, 271 Films, and the Rising Voices initiative to support BIPOC filmmakers throughout the process and help the entertainment industry, like all industries, become more diverse and representative of the people and communities that consume content.” 

Rising Voices launched in 2021 with more than 1,600 filmmakers applying for the opportunity to be a part of the program and more than 1,000 jobs created throughout the process. They continued the program in 2022 with films from finalists debuting at the Tribeca Festival

Filmmakers interested in participating, should visit the Hillman Grad website at and submit their screenplays highlighting how the future of work is changing, no later than Friday, November 11, 2022. 

Checkout more of Indeed:Rising Voices Season 3 and the Future of Work with this application video:

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About Indeed


Hillman Grad was founded by actor, producer and Emmy®-winning writer Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani to amplify and celebrate the stories and voices of diverse, historically marginalized communities across all industries. 

Hillman Grad Productions, their development and production arm, is home to the producers behind award-winning films like The Forty-Year-Old Version and Queen & Slim, with upcoming projects set at Netflix, BET, Disney, Amazon, Universal, Focus and MGM including A.V. Rockwell’s feature debut A Thousand And One, starring Teyana Taylor; the Disney Studios high school basketball movie Chang Can Dunk for Disney+; a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic based on his daughter Tracey Davis’ book, Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father; and Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary, directed by James Adolphus and set to premiere in 2023. For television, Hillman Grad signed a multi-year exclusive overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group, which covers programming for all platforms, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, external streaming services, cable and the five broadcast networks. Prior to the WBTVG deal, Hillman Grad executive produced “The Chi” for Showtime; BET’s hit series “Twenties” and “Twenties the After Show” hosted by B. Scott for BET+; as well as the upcoming series “Birth of Cool” for BET+, which is currently in production.

The company has expanded to include Hillman Grad Records with Def Jam Recordings, and has partnered with independent book publishing company Zando. As one of Zando’s first founding publishing partners, Hillman Grad will acquire and publish four to six books over a three-year period, including memoirs, young adult titles, and literary fiction.

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