2022 Grants Challenge

Entertainment Industry Career Mentorship Program

The Entertainment Industry Career Mentorship Program (EICMP) is an intergenerational program created by the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) that will shape a more diverse Hollywood of tomorrow by connecting retired industry members with LA-area youth through schools and existing internship programs. This will increase exposure to opportunities in the entertainment industry and provide the guidance and structure needed for these students to succeed in school and their future careers while enhancing the health and purpose of older adults.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA

West LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The EICMP was created in part to address Hollywood’s diversity problem through intergenerational activities. Underserved youth from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds may not have knowledge of and access to the stability and benefits that entertainment industry jobs offer (e.g. health and disability insurance, pensions, union membership). The clear, prescient, and pervasive needs for the entertainment industry to be more diverse and inclusive include reducing the inherent ageism that has historically excluded older adults with a lifetime of valuable industry experience. This program aims to aid students along a pathway towards school and career success while engaging retirees in activities that provide a greater sense of purpose and connection that we know can yield clear benefits to overall health and well-being.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

MPTF is developing a mentorship program that will engage older retired industry members while providing young Angelenos the unique opportunity to gain exposure to a broad range of career opportunities in the entertainment industry - from electricians and hair stylists to marketing and producers. This program will collectively benefit students from low-income communities, retired industry members, and the entertainment community as a whole. With the EICMP, MPTF will work with existing internship programs to connect retired industry members with meaningful mentorship opportunities for the next generation. Mentors, who will represent below-the-line and above-the-line jobs, will be able to share their life experience and workplace knowledge with younger people just entering the industry. It will also give members of the younger generation a personal contact in the industry with whom they can trust without fear of being judged. The ability to have an open and honest conversation about the business can be instrumental for a young person learning how to navigate a tough industry. The EICMP exists to address a seemingly divergent set of needs facing the industry—those of its retirees and the need for diversity and inclusion—and couples them in a way that transcends generations to build upon its legacy while strengthening the future.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The film and television industry exists as an inseparable element of the Los Angeles landscape. The EICMP comes at a significant time in Hollywood. Great efforts are being made in addressing the problems of diversity and inclusion within the industry. With the announcement of the new industry-supported LAUSD magnet school and other existing programs that provide youth participants with valuable work experience, we feel these programs can be enhanced by including intergenerational mentorship. The goal of this program is to inspire and support a diverse group of young people, including first generation entertainment workers, who will be exposed to workplace opportunities that come with healthcare and pension benefits. This will contribute to a more inclusive entertainment community in Los Angeles, potentially reflected in future residents of the MPTF congregate living campus and MPTF constituents.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We intend to develop a program which is well optimized to meet actual needs, ensure robust participation, and include clearly measurable outcomes. This will be done by outlining objectives and metrics to guide program development and ultimately, evaluation. The program goal is to collect a set of measures to track the impact of program participation on the satisfaction, sense of purpose, and overall health and well-being of retiree participants and to collect a set of measures to track the impact of program participation on the satisfaction, emotional well-being, and eventually, educational and career success of youth participants.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 200

Indirect Impact: 2,000