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NBCUniversal partnership opens the door to diverse voices in film and television

May 10, 2022

From an examination of growing up as Black and transgender, to the sacrifices new immigrants make in Canada, and a look at Korean popular culture’s influence in North America, this summer students in Sheridan’s Bachelor of Film and Television  program will develop new films that bring their authentic and diverse stories to life, and reflect the places and spaces that have defined their unique experiences.

The projects are being completed thanks to support from NBCUniversal, which last Fall announced a partnership with Sheridan to provide bursaries and grants to film and television students who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or from a racialized community. Each student receiving a creative project grant has the opportunity to complete a project of their choosing this summer, and to take part in a mentorship program with an industry member or a member of Sheridan's alumni community. Sheridan's film and television programs are well known in the industry, and more than 3,000 graduates lead successful careers in the screen and media areas.

These projects offer students the chance to explore ideas inspired by their own background. “I see getting this award as a chance to express a story rooted in race, one that expresses and appreciates a lot of those elements that were part of my upbringing in Colombia and are now part of my new life in Canada,” says fourth-year student Martin Restrepo.

Thirty students applied for the grants. The seven projects awarded are:

  • Futures for Rent by fourth-year student Andressa Back. This 13-minute short follows a Latinx woman in Canada who dreams of being a writer but drives an Uber to make ends meet.
  • Women at the Store by Martin Restrepo is a story of the sacrifice immigrant mothers make so their children can thrive.
  • A documentary on the influence of Korean culture by first-year student Lileean Bardai.
  • Mikaila Kelsy’s TWIRL will chronicle the story of being Black and transgender while growing up in Toronto.
  • White Elephant by third-year student Taylor Gale will recount the experiences of biracial children living in largely white communities.
  • Third-year student Adil Belhadji will create a short horror film inspired by arachnophobia.
  • Rachel Millares, also in third year, will use the grant to create a narrative ‘mixtape’ of voice memos from real people, creating an album along with visuals.

NBCUniversal will participate in a showcase of the completed projects this September.

About NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a division of Comcast Corporation.

About Sheridan's Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design

Sheridan's Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design (FAAD) is Canada's largest art school. Internationally recognized for our outstanding programs, we train performers, animators, filmmakers, designers, and artists to realize the full potential of their talents. With countless Oscar, Emmy and Canadian Screen Award accolades, graduates and faculty members are recognized as leaders in their respective industries. Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is infused into our programs, ensuring that the unique identities and talents of our students and faculty are valued and can contribute to the rich diversity of our arts programs.

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