February 3, 2014

Attention Diverse Filmmakers: Produce Content for HBO Through Their HBOAccess Program

HBOAccessHBO has launched HBOAccess, a 4-week program which gives diverse filmmakers the chance to receive not only valuable mentorship and learning opportunities, but actual short-form content for one of their many different platforms, including HBO Go, HBO, HBO's YouTube channel, HBO.com, film festivals, charity screenings and other outlets as well. Applications are now being accepted, so continue on to find out more about the program, as well as eligibility.

Running for 4 weeks in June, HBOAccess is a program that gives participants a rare opportunity to receive mentorship and project development in order to produce short-form content for one of their various platforms. HBO has opened this program specifically to diverse filmmakers. For a definition on exactly what HBO considers that to be, here's what they say on their Withoutabox page:

For the purposes of the HBOACCESS program, diversity is defined as those who identify as Asian Pacific American, Sub-Continent Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and women.

Applicants must provide the following for the online application form:

  • Personal essay explaining how your diversity has worked to your advantage. Please limit your response to 750 words.
  • Resume and/or biography including directing experience, or work resume (with applicable experience or employment).
  • 1 Narrative Directing Sample (full-length features, shorts, or webisodes, no reels)

Accepted candidates get paired with a mentor, an HBO development executive, who will guide them throughout their program. Together they will develop the project approved during the application process. HBO will also provide a series of masterclasses taught by HBO executives and creative talent. After the 4 weeks are up, each project will be considered to be produced as a 10 - 15 minute film or a series of webisodes to air on various HBO platforms.

The deadline to submit your work is March 3, 2014 or whichever date HBO reaches their submission cap (500 entries), whichever occurs first. For more info, as well as the application form, head on over to HBOAccess' Withoutabox site.

Link: HBOAccess -- Without A Box

[via Indiewire]

Your Comment

96 Comments

So you mean I get a jump start in my filmmaking because of the color of my skin.... god the American dream is amazing.

So glad people can see me as me and not as a color.

February 3, 2014 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Billy

It's comments like this that perpetuate white supremacy. Having black skin is not an advantage in being a filmmaker, nor does it give you a "jump start". Use common sense Billy, not your sense of white entitlement when there are calls for HBOs call. Look at their programming and tell me how diverse it is: Girls, Looking, etc...

February 3, 2014 at 9:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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It’s comments like this that perpetuate white supremacy.

Malik- Explain how that perpetuates white supremacy?

Having black skin is not an advantage in being a filmmaker, nor does it give you a “jump start”.

In this contest having anything but white skin or a penis does get you a jump start. By the way, If I was white and gay am I still excluded?

White entitlement, common sense?

Sounds like Billy is upset because he wants to be a filmmaker just like you and this is one avenue that's closed to him.

HBO's programming is quite diverse which makes one wonder why they need a contest that specially excludes white men. What if I was from South Africa? Would I be African American enough?

February 3, 2014 at 9:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ronnie

I have an interracial porn short. Can I enter that as well?

February 3, 2014 at 9:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

:D :D :D :D :D

February 4, 2014 at 7:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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guto novo

I'll probably be at a disadvantage here in this forum. I'm reading the comments and all I see is a lack of self awareness when it comes to race. I shouldn't be surprised that what is common sense to me about race, would be common sense to someone like Billy, Anil, or Ronnie. America is a white patriarchal society, white men have on top of the food pyramid in every institution of this country. The moment any institution wants to open up to women or people of color, white men often feel slighted because instead of having 100%, they have 98%. Ronnie, I don't want to be a filmmaker, I am a filmmaker. White supremacy is perpetuated when white males who benefit from a white supremacist patriarchal system refuse to self reflect (like the three gentlemen I'm responding to), that there is a lack of voice telling stories in film--in media in general. Ronnie if you look at HBO's programming, it is not diverse, where are the writers, and producers of color, they're out there. I suspect that you see a couple of characters of color and assume it's all good. The Wire, Treme stars African Americans, however, the writers, and producers are white. HBOs access is attempting to find different voices. Anil, I think you don't understand racism, you have to be in charge of institutions (banks, military, government, and movie studios, etc.) that oppress other groups because of their skin color or gender. HBO isn't oppressing white men. Let's be real. Billy's assumption about handouts is coded language, African Americans must not be qualified if they are given opportunities--I'm sure if HBO gave him an "handout" in the form of a series, or film, he would take it. Only a white male who hasn't unpacked the white privilege can say skin color shouldn't be considered, when it is considered. Skin color is always considered in America, which is why we are having this conversation. Being a humanist is recognizing the lack of diversity of voices in media.

February 3, 2014 at 10:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Malik

I hear you, Malik. These programs/grants/opportunities are essentially all exclusionary "handouts" by nature. They're not considered to be so as long as their nets are exclusionary based solely on socioeconomic status (which they inherently are, because -- look at their audience -- how many well-connected Hollywood millionaires submit to these things)? If the nets are exclusionary based on race or gender, all of a sudden it becomes an unfair handout.

Basically: helping lower socioeconomic classes = good; helping people of color and women = bad.

What would you all say about a program that gave multimillionaires a chance to do something like this? (Hollywood? The norm? Unfair? Unneeded?) What about one that gave that same chance to a day-job working, ordinary Joe? (Amazing? Fair? Needed?) When it comes to something seemingly harmless like this, people don't seem to mind exclusion as long as they're not the ones being excluded.

February 3, 2014 at 11:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

I agree with you 100% Malik. I checked out your website. You do really good work. Don't worry about the noise and continue to follow your path.

February 3, 2014 at 11:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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It is extremely difficult for anyone to get a job at this time, even with a college degree. If we were making art solely to make art, such programs would be unnecessary. This is about getting ahead. Filmmaking in the United States is very close to a true democracy due to YouTube . If you are aggravated by this post or by a comment on it, you are on a site by the name of NoFilmSchool, and you have the ability to create a response via film or video for all to see. Speak up.

February 3, 2014 at 11:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Martial Miles

I think you are mistaken. MSNBC is that way (pointing the finger left).

February 4, 2014 at 12:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

"America is a white patriarchal society, white men have on top of the food pyramid in every institution of this country. "

Not only America, Malik, EVERY COUNTRY colonized by europe is a white patriarchal society. I´m white as snow, red beard and a long beautiful hair, christians hate me when i have fun pretending I´m Jesus 2.0 for them at the streets! :D :D, and I live in South America, Brazil, and here, even with most of the population being black, or a mix of black with white and indigenous, the white patriarchal principles rules everything, the left wing government here (when not stealing public money, you now, communists don´t like money, so they steal it so people don´t have to use it :D) at least is doing a good job to minimize this situation of disrespect with different races and minorities...

so I guess any project that bring attention to the fact that there is a lack of representation of the 'minorities' is more than welcome, even so because it makes the problem that most white people think they don´t perpetuate to come to the surface, as in the comments... also today most 'minorities' are only this in the media -that program our minds collectively - because in real life we white people, thanks the gods and the not-gods, are in a deserved process of extinction! ginger people leading the white poeple extinction path! YEAH! :D :D :D

February 4, 2014 at 7:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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guto novo

Renee how ironic that you say these programs are "handouts," but probably is in one of those "more women directors in hollywood" focus groups...I've seen posts like that on here!
like i said to some sellout pacifist in this post, Look up the voter ratio of the academy, you know the ones that decide the oscars and reconsider your pacifist approach!

February 4, 2014 at 8:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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t. Calico

That was a concise and accurate explanation of the Cultural Marxist doctrine of radical egalitarianism, which is rapidly becoming the normative belief system in the West. There is absolutely no way that I would subscribe to a world view that expects me to voluntarily subordinate my interests to the interests of others and declare every accomplishment of my race as an "ill-gotten gain", but I do understand why many find this perspective appealing.

February 4, 2014 at 10:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Marc B

t. Calico -- not ironic at all. Note that I put "handouts" in quotes. I was attempting to offer perspective to those who think that a program that specifically seeks out people of color and women is a "handout" (we all understand the negative connotation with the term, right?), because that means that ALL programs are "handouts" by nature. They inherently seek out those who don't have the money nor Hollywood connections.

To be clear: I don't think these programs are handouts. Deserving people earn them. Period.

February 5, 2014 at 1:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

No, being from South Africa would make you South African, not African American. But making comments like that sure does make you stupid.

Actors of color, visible on screen, do not constitute a diverse industry or programming. What is the nature of roles for people of color? How diverse is HBO in regards to writers, producers?

Hearing people say things like these, things that attempt to make it seem like all is right with the world and there is no need for something like this make me think of you as a deckhand on a slaveship talking about, 'But we're all in the same boat on this guys!'

February 5, 2014 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

But . . . to be excluded because of your skin colour feels a bit, well, prejudiced. Doesn't matter what skin colour you are does it? Or are you saying it does? I feel deeply that that I should not be in any way favoured because I'm a particular skin colour and this program will give people some great opportunities that they might not have otherwise had. That I will always applaud. Positive discrimination . . . I think the PC speak eats itself. Is any discrimination positive? I'm still in two minds about that.

February 4, 2014 at 7:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JPS

Save the speeches for Malcolm X Malik, this contest is racist directly towards white males and meant to stir hatred. Go make 240p quality ';knockout game' movies on HBO money bloodclot.

February 4, 2014 at 5:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yousure Sucke

Racist against white men?

Come back to me when having a white man in a writers room is seen as "the quota hire" and their talent is entirely disregarded on this basis. The purpose of diversity programs is to have a wider range of experience that can be brought to the table. It is to bring in marginalised and underrepresented people who are immensely talented but don't get those opportunities due to subconscious (note I did not say overt or malicious) bias, where the talents of white people, and white men, are subconsciously valued over those of diverse backgrounds.

Do you ever wonder why the industry is so chock full of white people? Perhaps it's because, until painfully recently, those who were considered "colored" (an incredibly offensive term, by the way) were actively barred from entry. As a result, there is a subconscious reinforcement of the idea that white people are more suited to the industry. The explicit barriers may have been taken down, but the implicit barriers have not.

The erasure of non-white experiences lingers today. In fact, the Coca-Cola commercial that aired during the Super Bowl was met with enormous backlash. The reason? "Why are they singing in foreign languages? This is America!!!!1!1!!!" - displaying the precise erasure of the existence and experiences of first, second, third (to the nth degree) generation migrants.

It is this kind of thinking that makes it painfully clear to many that initiatives like HBO's are more necessary than ever.

It's funny, I wish this stereotype didn't manifest so vividly right here in the comments. All I see is "I'm a white male and you're not catering to me!" - you know, despite the industry EXCLUSIVELY catering to white men for decades. In fact, Hollywood still stupidly thinks its main target audience should be young white males. Very telling.

February 4, 2014 at 10:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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corderouge

comments like these are examples that racism is alive and well! Welcome to the real world where the majority are seen as themselves and not their skin color....NOT!. God forbid that scraps are thrown to the minorities! those in the majority born into a life long privilege of not having the moral decency to decipher what its like on the other side of the fence, disillusioned by the "hard work got me where I am" mentality, subconsciously scream reverse racism whenever (and if ever) special opportunities are giving to the minorities. Ask your bigoted self, whats the ratio, on mainstream daytime & prime-time network TV, of the majority families represented VS minority families? you racial fascists always have to show your heads!

February 4, 2014 at 8:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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t. Calico

+1 :)

February 4, 2014 at 8:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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guto novo

You're probably going to teach your kids not to see color too, right? Which is just another way of saying, 'i'm going to teach my children to ignore a very real and very brutal history of this country. One that explains the socio-economic status of so many people of color across the land and that as a byproduct leaves them to believe that the actual reason for their disadvantages is lack of work ethic and an inherent inferiority.

The American Dream. You're the kind of person that would captain a sailboat and say you fill your sails with hard work.

February 5, 2014 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

Common sense Malik!

I am afraid to let you know that the offer is borderline racist, and Billy is right.

As someone who is Asian, this is clearly an initiative promoting racism by openly announcing that we will mentor people who are not Caucasian!

It should have just been an offer without any labelling to who can apply.

Epic fail.

February 3, 2014 at 9:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anil

u should look up what racism is! perhaps compare that with the racism folks suffered not too long ago in the 60's.
as an asian, you are an abomination! did u not know of the camps around the Vietnam war? if so, compare that to this program that tries to aid a natural imbalance of minorities on tv and dare tell me this is racist.

Look up the voter ratio of the academy, you know the ones that decide the oscars and reconsider your pacifist approach! may the good mother nature get rid of the pestilence that is within us. u an are abomination

February 4, 2014 at 8:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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t. Calico

You don't solve "racism" by exclusion.

February 4, 2014 at 7:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jack Marchetti

You don't solve 'racism' by doing nothing whatsoever either.

February 5, 2014 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

Hm. So what you're saying is that if HBO wanted to help promote and nurture creators of color, they should help people that are not of color. COMMON SENSE. YOU'RE RIGHT. let me help the black rhino by helping animals not in danger of extinction! oops. I guess all the animal shelters across the planet failed epically in helping the black rhino! FOCUS. it's more than just for cameras.

February 5, 2014 at 8:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

Skin color should never be taken into mind when discussing art or opportunity. If I was anything other than white or a male, I would be offended by HBO. Everyone should have an equal opportunity, anything outside of equal is unjust. If you want more shows on HBO featuring non whites... then you work harder and get to the place where you can change that instead of taking handouts.

I am not a racist but truly a humanist, striving to create an equal playing field based on how talented you are not what color or gender you hold.

February 3, 2014 at 9:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Billy

Yes, everyone should have equal opportunity. For that to happen, well, everyone would have equal opportunity. Unfortunately, that is not the case. And if you think, in Hollywood no less, that the people that work the hardest are the ones reaping the rewards, your entire worldview is more off-base than i initially thought. You're not a humanist, they believe in individual thought. Something you mistake for your superficial assessments of the world around you.

February 5, 2014 at 9:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

This is great, because all white filmmakers are successful.

February 3, 2014 at 9:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ben

Your comment is great, because white men in society need all the help they can get. And then, they need more.

February 5, 2014 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

Having originated from South Africa, I must say, from a distance, this is very disappointing to see coming from the states. It's the sort of reverse-apartheid thing I've come quite accustomed to over the years. It's wholly unnecessary, and causes heaps of friction among creators.

February 3, 2014 at 10:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yep. Also known as Cultural-Marxism. It's truly the product of sick, sick, minds that have been warped by our "progressive" institutions. Basically, anything that has been, or was successful, must be torn down and destroyed. People who believe in ideas like these have a mental block (that is partially encouraged by current culture) that only allows them to see the world in a "zero-sum game"... meaning that in this case, because "white males" are broadly successful in the west, they must have oppressed others to achieve it. You know, instead of maybe just adopting cultural practices that were more successful than others for one reason or another. This contest is pure racism. Disgusting. If you're the kind of person who actually supports programs like these, you're part of the real problem...

February 4, 2014 at 12:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

Folks are becoming a little too reactionary rather than self reflecting. Breaking into film is tough for everyone. It is a business of exclusion, but it is extraordinarily hard for a persons of color. It is not reverse racism or apartheid for HBO to offer opportunities for women and persons of color. Most of you are upset by this opportunity, because maybe you believe that it takes something away from you. This called self-entitlement (nutured by white supremacy). Kyle saying it's apartheid, is not only hyperbole, but shameful. Apartheid was systematic death to black South Africans. HBO offering opportunities, is not that...if you feel that, god help you. I suspect this conversation will go in circles, so I'm out. I'm sure there won't be in any healing in the feelings of those of you who feel this is unfair to white men, contrary to the evidence.

February 3, 2014 at 11:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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" It is not reverse racism or apartheid for HBO to offer opportunities for women and persons of color."

Yes, it is... if some people are excluded because of their race or gender. This is the DEFINITION of racism and sexism. Time for you to do some self-reflecting. Clean your mind out.

"This called self-entitlement (nurtured by white supremacy)"

Really? You're going to go here? What is more entitled than believing that BECAUSE your not a "white-male"... you somehow "owed" opportunity or resources from them, or the society that was built on their practices year ago (whether you believe it was right or not). THIS IS ENTITLEMENT IN IT'S PURIST FORM.

February 4, 2014 at 12:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

I was going to say that a lot of them are commenting in this thread, but that would insult the disabled.

February 5, 2014 at 9:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

"...is not only hyperbole, but shameful."

"This called self-entitlement (nutured by white supremacy)."

Pot, meet kettle.

February 4, 2014 at 12:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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CopperheadLXXIX

Dear Malik! you shouldnt have responded to Kyle's claim of reverse racism, Its clear he probably speaks Afrikaans! (probably a white south african) What other claims would you expect. he then throws the fact that he is "South African" to evoke some sort of empathy and not take away his "reverse-racism" claims. The nerve of his kind in south africa to deny any aid to "minorities"

February 4, 2014 at 8:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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t. Calico

I actually don't speak Afrikaans, and I'm of relatively fresh European decent (more so than most "White South Africans"). I suppose this makes me even more of a minority (and also more "diverse"), and I've never been thrown any bones... If anything (contrary to what is generally implied), I'd like to see racism disposed of in it's entirety. I've had way too much of that in my life, especially coming from a place where every form you fill in still wants to know if you're white or black.

No one ever said the world was fair, and this definitely isn't contributing to it being any fairer.

February 4, 2014 at 4:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Thoughts definitely in the right place but still... I remember a sharp dude, WAY cooler than most, that said:

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

And that sure as hell wasn't a television network exec!

February 4, 2014 at 1:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jaybird

he was from Mars cos he sure wasnt talking about the earth in which humans live in

February 4, 2014 at 8:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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t. Calico

Really? Sounds like a joke! Funny is the last diversity group "(...) and women".

February 4, 2014 at 3:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yea, women... 51% of the worlds population. Women are are actually the greatest majority on the planet.

February 4, 2014 at 7:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

what's their percentage in filmmaking jobs compared to that 51%? Maybe then you get your answers

February 6, 2014 at 11:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ryan

And... disabled people.... where where where?!

February 4, 2014 at 4:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Paolo

WOW, is this now a political website?

February 4, 2014 at 5:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Wow, the white male privilege is really showing here.

Look at any of the metrics with regards to participation by certain groups in Hollywood. It's overwhelmingly white people, and within that, overwhelmingly white men.

This is a way to provide an opportunity for people from more diverse backgrounds to work past the in-group bias that exists everywhere, but especially so when that group makes up the overwhelming majority of people in the industry.

As for "HBO is very diverse" - are you kidding? Of the more popular/critically acclaimed shows, Game of Thrones' main characters are all white, and the Dothraki are portrayed as less civilised than the white communities. Girls is so overwhelmingly white that there was a relative shitstorm a while back when one of the writers openly disregarded comments about the lack of ethnic diversity, and she chose to do so in a rather racist, privileged manner. The Newsroom - main characters are white, with three bit parts in the main cast, all of whom are disposable within the broader narrative. The little I've seen of Boardwalk Empire - same thing. And True Detective is still in its infancy. So there, of all the current programming, little to no major ethnically diverse characters.

The saturation of white people in Hollywood in 2014 is frankly surprising, because there's neither a shortage of young talent from all backgrounds, nor are white people inherently better filmmakers.

Funny how it's racist to try and encourage diverse voices. Surely that diversity is good, given each storyteller will have an even more unique voice due to vastly different life experience.

Given that ethnically diverse people in America now make up a massive portion of moviegoers, why shouldn't it follow that more ethnically diverse filmmakers should be brought in, so these people can actually identify with the films in a more personal way?

Thinking that a program that will ultimately have only a handful of participants as "entitlement" is just whiny bullshit. Why aren't white men applying to the countless programs which don't cater to minorities?

I'm sick of this bullshit. "Reverse racism" my ass. This isn't it. Pardon my language, this just frustrates me to no end.

February 4, 2014 at 6:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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corderouge

+1

February 4, 2014 at 9:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Malik

Actually, the majority of the Hollywood movers and shakers - people who run studios and agencies - are Jewish. Which is a religious/ethnic minority. Oy, vey!
.
In any case, while Hollywood in general is overtly proto-Marxist, they will never agree with the concept that they are themselves a racist exclusionary group. To Hollywood, such group is something that watches Fox News and never practices anything less than progressive among their own Obama supporting ranks. So, if one is set on bringing the "I wuz done wrong" attitude to Hollywood, he is seeking a career end, not a career beginning.

February 4, 2014 at 6:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

"Wow, the white male privilege is really showing here."

There is no white male privilege! Our current Civilization was not HANDED to white-males. The "white-male" doesn't even really exist as it's own race! You people are INSANE and the "white-male" is nothing more than a boogeyman created to alleviate the cognitive dissonance that arises when trying to understand why only a few certain races have built successful societies on this planet. (hint: study evolution and r/K selection)

For example, I myself am of Polish and Northern Italian (dark skinned) ancestry. Because of my completion I've been called everything from Middle-Eastern to Puerto Rican... but guess what? I'm still a technically a "white-male" on paper. Bullshit. Only two generations ago both sides of my family left their respective countries to avoid a variety of persecutions. Now, since I'm lumped in with this "white-male" villian... and I don't meet any diversity quotas... I miss-out on special treatment and am chastised for appearing to be the bogey-man you mentally-ill Marxists have created with your sick-brains. Go f*** yourselves, sincerely. There are no more selfish people on the planet than yourselves.

Plus, who exactly holds the majority of power in Hollywood? Jewish people? The people that others have ACTIVELY tried to eradicate multiple times during human history? Yea, that's right. Shut up and stop complaining.

February 4, 2014 at 7:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

YOUR POLISH AND NORTHERN ITALIAN???? You'd be white as a snowflake. It's southern italian, you can't even pull off a basic geography lie, you f'in phony.

February 4, 2014 at 9:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yousure Sucke

"White men aren't privileged in any way, we just have better representation and opportunities because we're inherently better than others who we totally beat out fair and square. We never fed each other false racist and sexist prejudices in order to turn on those who weren't part of 'us' and we certainly didn't use these prejudices to excludes others from having the opportunities we had, let alone success"

That's what you sound like. Do white people face discrimination based on skin colour? Yes. Do white people face racism to the extent of those who are not white, and more specifically in Hollywood? Hell no. Not a chance.

At the end of the day, this is a program targeting a "niche" of sorts. Complaining that this excludes white people is, in this context, akin to complaining that documentary development initiatives neglect narrative projects. It's just absurd that institutional bias should be ignored to the extent that any miniscule form of affirmative action (that doesn't even guarantee a career boost to any extent) is suddenly a "handout".

As a brown person, I'd absolutely LOVE for this to be completely unnecessary. But given that it's rare to see anyone similar to myself being represented as anything outside of a taxi driver or store clerk (this is improving, see Aziz Ansari, Danny Pudi, Irrfan Khan, Mindy Kaling, etc. however it is still VERY slow), and there is little representation behind the scenes either (Shyamalan is an exception, but a bad one). This is not just the case for sub-continental Asians, but also eastern/south-eastern Asians, Africans, and those in the Middle East.

Racism against non-whites is alive and well in the western world, as is sexism. And if this program is what it takes to have our voices heard (in a bloody 15 minute short, not a $100 million blockbuster film), then so be it.

As for your comment about Jewish people - Nobody here is talking about Jewish people except those calling this program racist towards white people. Don't bring them into this, please. It's a cheap shot trying to undermine the fact that people of colour still face widespread and socialised discrimination in the western world.

"Shut up and stop complaining" - yeah, it would be good if white men could do that in the few (and far between) instances where a program doesn't directly cater to them.

February 6, 2014 at 7:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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corderouge

+100!
The internet lends so much anonymity to these arguments that folks' true colors (no pun intended) show very quickly. Giving people of color, regardless of being Black, Asian, Latino or whatever some leveraged opportunities is something very needed.

America is made up of thousands of multi-ethnicities, yet we do not see it in most of the programs, ads and promotions bombarding our eyes and minds every day. However, the instant we try to expand on the views in a major, it's racism? Huh? How illogical, self entitled and narrow minded can one be?

Guys, not to worry. I am SURE that even with this incubator program, there will continue to be PLENTY of invisible ceilings beyond HBO's assistance.

It IS a business opportunity for expansion, plain and simple. Not to worry guys, people of color won't be taking too much of your pie without working doubly as hard as usual. It's just another day, so sleep well as you always have been.

February 4, 2014 at 8:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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"It IS a business opportunity for expansion, plain and simple. Not to worry guys, people of color won’t be taking too much of your pie without working doubly as hard as usual. It’s just another day, so sleep well as you always have been."

+1 and that is a punch in the face from reality :/

February 5, 2014 at 12:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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guto novo

I think what people don't realise is that people of colour, disability and women etc would LOVE to live in a world/society where these types of initiatives are not needed.

February 4, 2014 at 7:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Martin

You are correct, sir.

February 6, 2014 at 12:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JTC

Yes, it's a shame that "diversity" in this context is even an issue. But, it's also a shame it's necessary to explain to so many people why there's a lack of it and why that can be a problem. Racism, bigotry and sexism may not be as bad or widespread as in years past but they still exist to a significant degree. I think most of you honestly believe in a fair society but some of you seem to have a very basic understanding of fairness that doesn't consider the entirety of a situation. Fair isn't always fair.

Since using actual groups of people usually distracts from the message, I'll use the balance scale (like the scales of justice) as an example. If you start off applying more weight to one side than the other (a factor you can't ignore or omit), that side will obviously be heavier. If you then decide you want both sides to be equal, you can't get there by simply adding the same amount of weight to both sides. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. To many, that's how they think fairness should work; one day just declare everything equal without taking into account the effects of what came before.

The ONLY way to balance the scales (without starting from scratch) is to subtract from the heavier side (a non-starter for that side, btw) and/or disproportionately add more to the lighter side. Once balanced, you can add equal amounts to both sides to maintain that balance. HBO recognizes the disparity that exists between the people this program is geared towards and groups that are generally better represented. It's an imperfect solution designed to provide an opportunity to what they feel are under-recognized, under-served and underrepresented voices. Is HBO not in a good position to see this first-hand and make that judgement about the industry?

Feeling left out? Like it or not, until things are truly equal, the occasional disproportionately distributed opportunity in favor of the underrepresented side is the only realistic way to balance the scales.

February 4, 2014 at 7:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

And what about East-European-Americans? I think they have issues in western society too!

February 4, 2014 at 9:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Idk. I'm a white male, I struggle just like anyone else. There's nothing handed to me. if they look at my work i can only hope they like it for what it is, not bc I'm white and Im sure I would say the same thing if I was black or of another origin. I don't feel you need to balence the scale by excluding people. instead they just need to reach out into these communities and invite their target market for the OPPORTUNITY to compete. I know some professional athletes and I've never heard any of them say that black guy beat me out of the position. If they lost their spot on the team it was bc another athelete beat them out. Not bc the black guy needed an opportunity or the team needed some diversity. They were just simply better at the job. What I do think is needed in the industry is opportunity for all. With opportunity anything is possible no matter how you're made. Idk how I'd feel being a minority winning the golden prize without the full range of competition. There's no question I'd ask myself was my work really the best of the best or did I win bc the talent pool was so shallow? If I was in the minority, or even a female I would stay clear of a contest like this. Call me naive but I do see everyone as equal when it comes to creativity, I just think the industry needs to reach out better and offer the opportunity instead of shrinking the playing field. That just seems like tthe easy way out, though probably makes HBO feel good about themselves. I believe in grants for those less fortunate and they should offer free use of equiptment for underprivileged filmmakers but to exclude any one race or gender is just silly.

February 4, 2014 at 9:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

You're talking about winning golden prizes and shallow competition pools but, the way I understand HBOAccess to work, it's not a contest, it's a program to which people who fit their criteria for diversity can apply. Not everyone who meets that criteria will be accepted to the program, which is why they request a written essay and want to see resumés and samples. You say you believe in grants for people who are less fortunate. That's exactly what this program aims to be. Sometimes less fortunate means socio-economically. Sometimes, it means culturally and ethnically. And sometimes, it's gender based.

Virtually everyone gets lost in the static. But, of the people who do excel, some groups aren't that well represented and some of those systematically so (or so it seems). You might be the fairest, most inclusive guy around but that doesn't change the fact that there are OTHER people in positions of influence who put a high value on you being a white male. It's important to recognize that you may unknowingly benefit from it, although the tendency would be to naturally chalk any advantage it gave you up to your ability. How many white males ever entertain the notion they got a job in large part because they are white? Being a white male is no guarantee of success but it's hard to look through decades of American Cinematographer and not see the overwhelming presence of one group over all others. I'm not condemning the publication, only pointing out its contents.

This isn't directed at any particular person but if some of you feel being excluded from this offer constitutes some sort of punishment for you, you probably do have some entitlement issues.

February 4, 2014 at 1:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

I ran focus groups, studied viewer behaviors etc etc etc. The bottom line is the reason they're going after "diversity" is to build upon one of the most lucrative markets in the business today. Hint, it's not too far behind the 25 to 54 demo. It's the African American community. I'm not saying they don't want to find the next Spike Lee or Teerence Howard, we all enjoy their brillant work. The sad part is until the market can bare some fruit Hollywood doesn't pay it any attention. Now that there's some dollars at play with a certain demo they're all over it. That alone is progress to some degree and I think it's a good thing, but don't get it twisted if there was no dough behind it we wouldn't be reading this post. I hate to put a monetary twist to it but the facts remain and the stage is changing, I guess this is just their way of getting a foot in the door. Gotta admit, it's pretty smart.

February 4, 2014 at 1:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

I just watch "Seduced and Abandoned". I'm not so idealistic that I don't realize It's ALWAYS about the money. But, if some worthwhile initiatives come out of the pursuit of more dough, so be it.

February 4, 2014 at 1:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

*just watched

February 4, 2014 at 1:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

Agree

February 4, 2014 at 1:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

Back in the mid-90's, I met a few folks who worked on Fox's mostly black oriented sitcoms like "Martin" and "Living Single". More often than not, the system worked this way :
'
A black writer was paid a lot of money to develop the show.
Once it was picked up, the idea was to have as many black writers as possible but the mix was often around 50/50 (half-black/half-Jewish).
.
And, FWIW, someone like Martin Lawrence often clashed with showrunners, regardless of their color. Samm-Art Williams - a very respected playwright and, at 6'8", an imposing physical presence - couldn't stand the guy and was soon fired. Donovan McNabb might have called it a "black-on-black crime" but it was par for the course in the La-La Land.
.
Finally this :
-
According to Jerry Seinfeld, comedy and political correctness don't mix. The "Seinfeld" star had some surprisingly blunt things to say about the perceived lack of diversity on his shows in a chat with BuzzFeed and CBS News. In the clip above, the host brings up the fact that most of the guests Seinfeld has had on his Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," have been white males. Seinfeld is clearly uncomfortable with the line of questioning, muttering, "Oh, this really pisses me off." Seinfeld then takes a shot at "everyone else [who] is calculating, 'Is this the exact right mix?' To me, it's anti-comedy. It's more about P.C. nonsense than 'Are you making us laugh or not?'" He continues, "People think it's the census or something? Does this [have to] represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world I live in. If you're funny, I'm interested. If you're not funny, I'm not interested. And I have no interest in race or gender or anything like that."
.
http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/jerry-seinfeld-s-blunt-take-on-diversi...

February 4, 2014 at 7:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Seth Mcfarlane, sounds like the same thing. He hits the whole gamut, lol. And who doesn't like family Guy? Girl, boy, black, white, Hispanic and even the Jews love it. Especially over at that Network. Funnys money for sure.

February 4, 2014 at 9:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

i just finished counting all popular shows on hulu and this is what i have come up with. 0 colored directors or producers. out of actors and actresses 86 are white 12 are colored (colored is used to define anyone who is not Caucasian. just facts.

February 4, 2014 at 9:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Howard L Hughes

Going to make a point, then walk away. My issue is HBO'S idea of diverse. Diversity is inclusive, not exclusive. "Minority" is also highly relative. Yes, I am a caucasian male. I am also; gay, a democrat, and non-christian. I also happen to live in Oklahoma, making me very much a minority where I live. Diverse means a collection of differences; in this case supposedly ideas and world views. HBO's concept of "diverse" in this case is VERY narrow in the overall scheme of things.

February 4, 2014 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gene Locke

I understand your point and your frustration but one probably can't tell you're gay, a Democrat, non-Christian and live in Oklahoma just by looking at you. Therein lies the rub. You check a lot of diversity boxes and, of course, true diversity includes white males, but the HBOAccess program is not about diversity within the program itself. It's about diversity among the programming once it gets out into the world, how it contrasts with everything else, who's responsible for it and who it represents.

February 4, 2014 at 1:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

I would venture to say that Steve McQueen is one of the greatest filmmakers alive today as some would say Alfonso Cuaron is, and Kurosawa used to be, and perhaps one day Derek Cianfrance will be. These people are all from different backgrounds and cultures, they all either make or made great cinema regardless of the color of their skin. We won't know what you are capable of until you put your talents to use. Yes, defining diversity by excluding a culture is a slippery slope but in the long run it doesn't matter because if I want to tell stories, I will.

February 4, 2014 at 12:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Martial Miles

Damn I was really interested in this. They could have stated what they mean by diversity much more efficiently by saying 'no white males plz' :P

That said, seems like good opportunity for those who might need it more!

February 4, 2014 at 1:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jj

I was thrown by the requirement to state how your diversity has worked to your advantage. That seems pretty strange to me. As for the racism/entitlement/etc comments, as a very white (Irish-American) male, I don't really have a problem with women and non-white folks getting a bone. And I don't understand the resentment. The whole point is to encourage development of more diverse film content. Seems logical to me. But of course the interweb is where we see the vast majority's true colors shining though, eh?

February 4, 2014 at 2:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ronn

I think HBO could avoid inflaming the racism debate by simply running a number of contests - one for each minority group - and say something to the effect of, "HBO is looking to produce a series of short films that highlights the experiences of African Americans (or Asians, women, Hispanics, etc.). If you belong to this group please fill out an application."

The problem with a blanket statement like, "Calling all minorities," is that it does perpetuate this idea of all minorities vs whites. Unfortunately, white supremacists in earlier days perpetuated this and programs like the one HBO is running could claim to be a reaction to the racist paradigm. BUT at SOME point we'll have to agree to stop fighting fire with fire or we'll never put the fire out. Not saying it's today or tomorrow but I think it's soon. Racism is not alive and well. It is sick and dying. Just because quite a few thousand people complain by tweeting- We'll call it twhining or twhine - Just because a few thousand people twhine about a superbowl coke ad that celebrates diversity does NOT mean that racism is alive and well. The majority are not racist and that will continue to get better. Not saying we shouldn't try to stamp it out totally. Just saying it sounds a tad idiotic when someone reads a comment they view as blatantly racist (sometimes it is and sometimes it is just perceived as such) and then claims that racism is alive and well. Hy-per-bo-le.

February 4, 2014 at 3:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Eric

Does French Canadian count?

February 4, 2014 at 3:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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orb

If you are like the woman in the now viral secular charter testimony video, you might :-)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/controversial-testimony-on-...

February 4, 2014 at 4:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Agni Ortiz

NO WHITE MALES! - Thanks for the invite HBO, ya dirt, this post needs special attention on certain forums.

February 4, 2014 at 5:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yousure Sucke

It's easy to look at this opportunity through a lens of racism. But, if you take race out of it, and look at it as a business transaction in which you are simply trying to reach a demographic which isn't being represented in your business... it kinda makes sense actually.

From their end, if this ends up bringing lets say, a native American or a Black person to direct a short, which in turn brings in more viewers from that particular demographic into HBO's viewership... that's a success.

I suppose it could be labeled racist, but EVERYTHING on earth is compartmentalized and labeled. It just so happens that when this natural tendency aligns with actual people and skin color it becomes a moral / ethical issue and not a superficial / business one.

I'm empathetic to those that see it as racist, because quite frankly you technically could label this opportunity as such under that definition. But if you look at the broader equation, and what is trying to be done, it becomes a project which supersedes racial connotations.

Have you ever watched a stand up comic blurt out conspicuous and unapologetic racist remarks? Of course! It can be hilarious, and we forgive those particular moments because it's being exploited through comedy and not meant to do anyone personal harm.

This opportunity is not meant to do anyone harm but simply reach out to demographics which are not being as represented as they could under HBO's business model. You can choose to see this is a moral issue, or just accept that it's a business one and that HBO could quite honestly... give 2 shits about your skin color.

February 4, 2014 at 7:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kaleb

Say, uh, any new footage from that Red Dragon 6K, or that Digital Bolex, or BM4K, or, say, that new GH4K?

February 4, 2014 at 9:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gene

I thought the fruitvale comments were bad, most of you folks have managed to out do yourselves lol.
You're experiencing what people of color go through on regular basis.
When the shock wears off,read your history books. Oh wait, most them are inaccurate. Those of you who are crying injustice because you're a white male who isn't getting an opportunity to enter a contest for hbo? When you wake up this morning, take a deep breath and be happy knowing you won't have to be stopped and frisked, looked at like a common criminal or thought of as someone you're not. You'll have more opportunities to get your film made because the world identifies with you. If it doesn't you'll gentrify and take what isn't yours without any consequence. See it's already getting better "it's great to be a white man.

February 5, 2014 at 12:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ren

This is the best description of Hollywood I've seen recently (and it'd also apply to the Oscar kerfuffle) -
"Walk onto any major film set, and I guarantee you’ll be standing within 20 feet of a genuine creep — someone who is verbally abusive (or worse); someone with reprehensible habits in the bedroom, boardroom or bathroom; someone who has committed crimes and had them swept under a deep carpet crafted out of threat letters from lawyers and publicists; someone whose entourage is so obnoxious it needs to be collectively lit on fire. Successful actors know this. And — right or wrong — most see no reason to blow off one director when there are dozens of others who have VIP booths in hell waiting for them." - Leslie Gornstein
http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-news/burning-question--why-are-so-ma...

February 5, 2014 at 1:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I'm embarrassed by this comment thread. It simply blows my mind that people can accuse these diversity programs of being exclusionary, while completely disregarding the century-long exclusion of the very people you think are getting your share of opportunity. Trust me -- they're not.

Remember why we needed these programs in the first place, guys.

February 5, 2014 at 1:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

VR, for how many centuries have you personally been discriminated against?

February 5, 2014 at 10:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I'm not sure you understand - this isn't about personal discrimination. It's about centuries of institutional discrimination that has culminated in a subconscious bias inherent in western society.

It's not through active malice, but rather through centuries of social conditioning.

February 6, 2014 at 3:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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corderouge

I don't get what the big deal is. We tend to tell stories that resonate with our life experience. By focusing on less-voiced cultural groups, HBO is probably hoping to get some films with a fresh perspective. I don't think it's about anything more than that.

February 5, 2014 at 2:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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They closed it off already! That was quick, if anyone has a waiver they're not using to enter, let me know. I don't care how or why I get to make a film, I just want to do it.

February 5, 2014 at 5:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Really? "How" and "Why" just happen to be the main reasons movies get made !

February 6, 2014 at 4:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Agni Ortiz

Let's cut to the chase. I've read as many comments as I could stomach so I think I get the gist of why several posters are so up in arms. It has nothing to do w/ racism; though most of the people who are so upset would like us to believe it is. It's because the entity fronting the project is HBO. If this was an article about the PBS Access Program this post would have 3 comments. Most of the anger is because HBO is viewed as a major player capable of catapulting someone to stardom plain and simple. There are opportunities and festivals aimed at Hispanic. Asian American, and LGBT filmmakers and I haven't seen any posts about those draw the ire of so many like this one. I was hesitant to post because truthfully trying to argue w/ the individuals who are so upset is useless. They've already made up their minds. What they refuse to acknowledge is the disparity that exists. I don't think Hollywood itself is racist ( except for Michael Bay. The "Ghettobots" have gold teeth, fight all the time, and can't can't read? That dude sucks) because of the disparity. It's simply that most people promote and produce what they know. The HBO program is simply a way to get more stories heard. I'm gonna wrap it up. This was an interesting post V Renee. Sorry it became what it did. I'm done. I'll just sit and wait patiently for the first closet racist to take this chance to reference Tyler Perry or welfare. It's a shame how a thread on one of my favorite sights turned into the dark side of Twitter so quickly.

February 5, 2014 at 9:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Lopez

I'd like to see any audited results that these "minority" programs are anything more than a sop to political correctness and pressure groups. In and of themselves, they are quite inexpensive compared to, let's say, actually financing a "minority" film. And, by the way, it's quite lucrative to invest into certain niche ethnic categories anyway. For example, "Ride Along", a Universal Studios film with a dismal 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has already grossed ~ $100M. Tyler Perry's films are likewise incredibly profitable despite major thumb-downs from the critics at large.

February 5, 2014 at 10:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I think you're right, it's hard for people to put this opportunity in context when they're struggling to achieve it themselves.

February 5, 2014 at 11:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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IAN

Thanks for your input, Lopez. It really is a shame, because we're all here for the same reason: to become better filmmakers.

February 6, 2014 at 3:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

I used to watch The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son('This is the big one!'), What's Happening, Good Times, Chico and the Man, Fat Albert, and The Bill Cosby Show when I was a kid back in the 70's. And Bill Cosby was the coolest thing in I Spy, cooler than Snoopy!

February 5, 2014 at 10:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gene

All I'm going to say at this is remove the words 'whites' from the exclusion (to seperate ourselves from the current policticial climate and current values) I am not commenting on that) and replace it with any other generic group. Then read Harrison Burgeron and you will immediately see the correlation.

Just saying.

February 5, 2014 at 1:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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David B

As a Vonnegut fan i'm surprised you'd reference his work in defense of attacking this program. Which you are, whether you allow yourself to realize it or not. I've read the work you cite and it is not applicable here. We're not taking films written, produced, directed, and starring white people and forcing them to replace any of them with people of color. We're not 'crippling' them or putting them at a disadvantage in any way before they get to make films. We're not cutting anyone's legs off because they're advantageously tall.

If you honestly think Kurt would oppose or even warn us against the dangers of programs like this then i believe you've misunderstood the man and his body of work.

February 5, 2014 at 4:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

FIrst, thank you for the post.

Second, thanks for the comments.

If you are white, identify as white, or simply a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, and think that this one instance of 'preference' towards non-whites is somehow going tip the scales in favor of people of color, that because of this and programs like this the scope of cinema will be forever changed and movies like The Last Samurai won't star a white dude in the lead role, then you're hilarious.

Almost as laughable as a white man being offended by not having complete and utter access to every conceivable opportunity and advantage.

Get a grip. I've seen both sides first hand as a 'white' latino. White men have half a millenia of a head start in regards to wealth and opportunity in this country. We're not asking for 40 acres and a mule. Not even the people who are literally owed this are asking for it.

I'd just like to watch a film where the maids aren't invariably latina. Where the people of color only exist to serve as representatives of their respective cultures. where you can't possibly be non-white without that very non-whiteness coming into play either as a plot point, the entire plot, or a cheap excuse for diversity in casting. Where the non-white man or woman survives whatever our cast is trying to survive. it's just sad, pathetic, lazy and the more i'm confronted by these pathologies in people the less angry i get and the more i am want to respond with a Bukowski quote:

"We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

laugh at the odds.

February 5, 2014 at 4:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

Any new footage from soon to come out cameras? Seriously. Is ARRI at the point with building their 4K camera to release some test footage? The GH4K is supposed to be 'announced' Friday--any footage yet? Anything new from the Digital Bolex? The 6K Red Dragon?

February 5, 2014 at 11:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gene

I'm sorta ignoring all the anger talk, I applied to the program, and decided to post my essay answer online, because it has the N-word in it, and the internet needs more of that, right?

http://philmccarty.com/blog/the-hboaccess-diversity-question/

February 10, 2014 at 10:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I would just like to add one remark. I haven't read through the comments, but I think I have a suggestion to better programming for HBO. If they want to truly diversify their network, making a program that is tailored to a select group of individuals is simply the wrong way to look at it. This program should be open to ALL filmmakers who can submit their screenplays anonymously. There should be no names, no gender, no race, and no age attached to the script. In fact, only a serial number should be given to each individual and placed on their script. From there, HBO could read through the scripts and choose which ones they think are the best. They would then take the serial number that is on the scripts they like and connect with the filmmakers. That way, there is no discrimination. Equality for all is what we push for in today's world and yet time and time again, that isn't the case. Love HBO. Love it, love it. But I think this could have been done a little better.

February 11, 2014 at 5:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Bob