Indeed, Lena Waithe and Hillman Grad Productions Announce 10 Filmmakers for ‘Rising Voices’ Season Two Initiative Celebrating BIPOC Filmmakers

Indeed’s $3 Million Investment will Finance Rising Voices Season 2 and New Filmmaker Residency Program to Further Showcase the Meaning of Work

The Short Films are Set to Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2022

AUSTIN, Texas--()--Indeed, the world’s number one job site, today announced the 10 filmmaker teams selected for season two of Indeed: Rising Voices. In partnership with Emmy Award-winning writer, creator and actor Lena Waithe and her company Hillman Grad Productions, Indeed: Rising Voices was created to uncover, invest in and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) filmmakers across the US to tell diverse stories around the meaning of work, and the idea that jobs create opportunities and better lives for all. This season, each filmmaker will present their films at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2022.

“Indeed’s Rising Voices not only levels the playing field for BIPOC creators in Hollywood by creating opportunities for individuals to be seen, heard and represented, but also empowers the next generation of storytellers, providing access to funding, on-site skill, career development and mentorship,” said Lena Waithe. “Our continued mission at Hillman Grad Productions is to ensure that program mentees are truly set up for success as they continue to grow within their individual careers.”

The 10 selected filmmaker teams are:

  • Cara Lawson
  • Gbenga Komolafe
  • Georgia Fu
  • Jalmer Caceres
  • Justin Floyd
  • Leon Cheo
  • Shanrica Evans
  • Tara Motamedi
  • Travis Wood
  • Urvashi Pathania

“Indeed's mission is to help people get jobs. Season One of Rising Voices proved our belief that talent is universal but opportunity is not,” said Indeed CEO Chris Hyams. “With Season Two, we are thrilled to bring 10 brilliant new voices to the story of the power of jobs to change lives.”

This season, Indeed invested $3 million, tripling its initial investment from season one. This increased investment by Indeed will include the two below programs:

  • Rising Voices Season 2: Executives from Hillman Grad Productions, Indeed, and Ventureland selected 10 screenplays from 900 applicants. Each filmmaker was awarded a $10,000 writing and direction fee to create a short film (under 15 minutes), a $100,000 production budget, a dedicated line production crew through Hillman Grad and 271 Films, and granted access to an additional COVID budget to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. Mentors from Hillman Grad Productions will include: Calmatic (Grammy-Award winning Director, PRETTYBIRD), Destin Daniel Cretton (Film Writer), Justin Chon (American Writer, Director, Actor and Filmmaker), Melina Matsoukas (Filmmaker, de la Revolución Films), and Rayka Zehtabchi (Academy Award winning Iranian-American Film Director).
  • Production and Development Lab: Indeed and Hillman Grad have launched a new Production and Development Lab (“The Lab”), a 12 month non-exclusive residency program featuring three of the Rising Voices 1 filmmakers: Chinese-American filmmaker Johnson Cheng, Haitian filmmaker Stacy Pascal Gaspard and Dominican-born filmmaker Gabriela Ortega. Modeled after Indeed’s incubator program, which funds new product ideas internally, Hillman Grad will work with the filmmakers to develop ideas and create content for Indeed. A $2 million production budget from Indeed has been allocated to The Lab, and Hillman Grad will provide production support. Each filmmaker is awarded $100,000 for their role as filmmaker in residence.

"We are excited about the selection of 10 more BIPOC filmmakers who will have the opportunity to share their stories through Indeed's Rising Voices S2,” said LaFawn Davis, SVP, Environmental, Social & Governance. “Partnering with Hillman Grad, 271 Films and Tribeca to showcase their talent will give these filmmakers a leg up in a very competitive industry where opportunities like these are hard to come by.”

For more information on Indeed: Rising Voices, please click here: Rising Voices (

More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world (comScore, March 2021) and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs in more than 60 countries and 28 languages. Over 3M employers use Indeed to find and hire new employees, making Indeed the largest job site in the US, Canada, and the world. More than 250 million people each month search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies on Indeed, and Indeed delivers twice as many hires than other branded job sites combined (BreezyHR, 2020). For more information, visit

Hillman Grad Productions is a development and production company committed to creating art that redefines the status quo and providing a platform for BIPOC and underrepresented voices across all mediums. Founded by Emmy-Award winning writer Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani, the company currently has projects at Netflix, Disney, BET, Showtime, HBO, Universal, MGM, Amazon, WBTV and Focus Features.

Past critically acclaimed films include: the 2020 BET Awards Winner for Best Movie, Queen & Slim, with additional accolades such as Best Screenplay for the Black Film Critics Circle Awards, Best First Feature at the Hollywood Critics Association (HCA), in addition to Image Awards (NAACP) nominees for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Jodie Turner-Smith), Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Daniel Kaluuya), and Outstanding Motion Picture. In addition, the Sundance Film Festival 2020 award-winner The 40-Year-Old Version, produced by Radha Blank, which Netflix released the film globally to rave reviews: nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, BAFTA Awards nominee for Best Leading Actress, and Gotham Awards Winner for Best Screenplay.

Hillman Grad Productions currently in the works include Showtime's The Chi, renewed for Season 5, Amazon Prime's Them picked up for season 2, BET+'s Birth of Cool, the Disney+ film Chang Can Dunk, Focus Features' picture A Thousand And One and a Mary Tyler Moore documentary entitled Being Mary. Hillman Grad's critically acclaimed series Twenties was recently nominated for a GLAAD award.

Projects in development include a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic based on his daughter Tracey Davis' book Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father. Waithe and Rajani are producing alongside Sight Unseen Pictures. Additionally, Waithe penned the script for Universal's forthcoming Talent Show, and Cynthia Erivo is set to star in the drama with Waithe serving as an executive producer alongside State Street Pictures and Rajani will oversee for Hillman Grad Productions.


Gina Dukes, DKC


Gina Dukes, DKC