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Issa Rae Deal Promotes Diverse Screenwriters - Afrossip
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Issa Rae Deal Promotes Diverse Screenwriters

By Fabiola Antunes
In Celebs
December 11, 2018
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Issa Rae is seen here attending the Samsung Make Creators Brunch during Miami Art Week on December 07, 2018 in Miami, Florida - Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images North America. Issa Rae is seen here attending the Samsung Make Creators Brunch during Miami Art Week on December 07, 2018 in Miami, Florida – Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images North America.

Issa Rae, through her production company, ColorCreative, has signed a multi-picture production deal with Columbia Pictures, according to a report of the well known entertainment industry news magazine Variety. The pact is unique in that under the agreement, ColorCreative will work with and back projects from emerging, diverse screenwriters.

The move comes as the entertainment industry is under pressure to develop films and shows that feature underrepresented talent both in front of and behind the camera. There’s a lot of room for improvement. Films such as Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians have demonstrated the commercial appeal of movies with minority leads, but they remain the exception, not the rule. A recent USC study found that only 29.3% of characters in the 100 top grossing movies of 2017 were from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Issa Rae is best known for creating, co-writing, and starring in the HBO series Insecure. Selected participants, to be announced in the spring of 2019, will work with Issa Rae and the studio to develop and write features based on their original ideas.

“Issa is a force of nature, and a magnet for talented people,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to join her in her mission to pave the way for fresh and authentic voices.”

Columbia, which is owned by Sony, has backed several projects with minority or female-leads, including the upcoming Miss Bala, an action film with a cast and crew that is 95% Latin, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an animated film that features Miles Morales, a superhero with an African American father and a Puerto Rican mother.

Issa Rae was discovered via her self-produced web series Awkward Black Girl, which inspired Insecure.

Bryan Smiley, VP of production at Columbia Pictures shepherded the deal and will oversee production and development with ColorCreative for the motion picture group. Sara Rastogi, recently appointed as VP of production for ColorCreative will also help guide the deal for the company along with Deniese Davis, COO of ColorCreative.

© Variety

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