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Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions Features Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright as Top Exec – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Lena Waite’s Hillman Grad Productions includes Lacey Liu Nguyen Wright as CEO

Lena Waite – actor, director and founder of Hillman Grad. (Photo courtesy)

Lacey Liu Nguyen Wright is the CEO of the Hillman City Foundation, which is a development and production company of Lena Waite, which she manages with CEO Rishi Rajani. Wright is a small, slender woman with a surge of energy that manifests itself in the fast pace of her speech. This woman speaks fast – and as New Yorkers, we are often accused (correctly) of speaking as if we are chasing our words, so imagine how fast Mrs. Wright speaks.

She’s excited and, frankly, she should be. Wright goes to work every day at Hillman Grad Productions. There, Wright oversees the Mentoring Lab and Rising Voices initiatives, which are in their second year in partnership with Indeed. During the second season, the company showed 10 finalists to directors at the Tribeca 2022 Film Festival.

Entering the eight-month program without training is difficult because it is fiercely competitive. For the few lucky ones who pass the test as mentors, they are given the opportunity to improve their creative skills through personalized instructions provided by industry professionals. This creates additional ways to attract more people from different backgrounds in the entertainment industry.

Lacey Liu Nguyen Wright, CEO of Hillman Grad Foundation. (Photo courtesy)

The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab is for their business family[ily] with a deep commitment to infuse new stories and perspectives in front of and behind the camera. Imagine what a laboratory looks like.

At Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, creative energy is mixed to find the right chemical compounds to bring ideas out of the minds of the world’s creators. To obtain the perfect alchemy, they organize a solid group of seminars, educational resources, professional development and networking opportunities for a group of different writers, actors and ambitious creative leaders.

The program includes television writing, acting and executive development, instructed by Carolyn Michelle Smith (co-director of Acting Track), Behzad Dabu (co-director of Acting Track) and Michael Svoboda (director of Writing Track), among others.

Now what makes it really exciting is that the lab is a sequel to the production company – part of a bigger puzzle, so to speak – which creates a sustainable pipeline of talent in film and television (with plans to expand into other spaces including music, publishing, fashion and others).

Program participants have the opportunity to interact directly with an impressive guest list, which includes actors, directors, casting directors, editors, union representatives and publicists. Many of the names on the list are integrated with the company as a whole, whether through a project, client or partnership.

This is where Waithe’s program is different from the others. It is not about posing for public relations. This hard-working, visionary is determined to help as many artists as possible to build their future.

Let me put something back and have a moment. There are millions of creative people who have never had the opportunity. Facts – In Hollywood, talent is only part of what makes or breaks a career. When all is said and done, when the proverbial dust settles, the victors standing in this desired circle must have perseverance.

Waithe has the power of a crane. This Taurean friend definitely hears the word “no,” but it translates to “how,” followed by a strategy to break down barriers. Therefore, if I ever walked down the street and saw Waite in a cat fight, I would not have to wait to be marked. I’m wringing my hands because when she wins – now listen – she wins the whole world and that’s a legend!

In light of these facts, it is clear why Ms. Lacey Liu Nguyen Wright, CEO of the Hillman City Foundation, is moving at the speed of sound. Wright is an experienced player in the industry. She was previously an associate director of BLD PWR, an initiative founded by actor and activist Kendrick Sampson to mobilize the entertainment industry to support grassroots organizations.

She is also a graduate of the Creative Artists Agency Foundation and Randall Woodfin’s political campaigns for the mayor of Birmingham, John Osoff for the Senate, Joe Biden for president and Kamala Harris for the people.

She is currently a board member of the Covenant House California Advisory Committee, RAINN Speakers Bureau, InsideOUT Writers Jr., GoFundMe’s AAPI Community Fund, and chairman of The Objective.

On the left are Chris Hyams, Lena Waite, Rishi Rajani, Lafaun Davis and Indeed Rising Voices Filmmakers. (Photo courtesy)

Remember that this program is only in the second year. Directors Johnson Cheng, Gabriela Ortega and Stacey Pascal Gaspar from the first season were selected for a one-year residency with Indeed as residents. Ortega’s film for the first season of Rising Voices, “Huella”, was the official selection for a short film at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Also, three directors from the first season were hired to direct an episode in season 5 of “The Chi” on Hillman City – Deondray, Quincy Linier Gosfield and Boma Iluma. Iluma has directed two music videos with Hillman Grad Records artist Daven Faris, including “Bad Guy” and “Tunnel Vision.”

Johnson Cheng recently directed an episode of the first season of “American Native Chinese” (Disney +), an upcoming action-comedy series that jumps into the genre, and directed director Destin Daniel Creton in the pilot. My team took 15 minutes to talk to Lacey Liu Nguyen Wright, and here’s what she shared about the program.

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I see how busy the team is and congratulations to the second-year artists who are screening their short films at the Tribeca Film Festival. This is basic.

LACIE LEU NGUEN WRIGHT: Come and yes, this festival is special.

LAS: Talk to us about the program, please.

LLNW: What’s so great about this program is not just a $ 1,000 grant to make a short film, we pair them with mentors who help them. They work in a network with producers who help them help the staff. They help them understand things and how to manage a $ 100,000 budget and create beautiful works of art.

LAS: This is basic. How has the creative community reacted to the shorts so far?

LLNW: People and industry are responding very favorably. They love videos [and season one] have switched to [screen at] various festival circles. I think the important thing is that this is not a grant program.

LAS: This is not a grant program.

LLNW:This is a talent development and mentoring program /

LAS: It changes lives (in my opinion) because you can help a lot of people form careers that can support whole families.

LLNW: That’s right. We do not leave them without support. We help them in many ways, such as finding representation if they have challenges in their first job or if they want to reject ideas. They always have someone to pick up the phone, call them and these mentors keep them.

LAS: Oh, Mrs. Lacey – if I feel a tear forming in my eye! This is cooperation.

LLNW: Yes, this program is a really amazing collaboration and not only between but also with the team of Indeed, Ventureland and PRETTYBIRD.

LAS: A creative village is needed.

Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions Features Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright as Top Exec – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions Features Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright as Top Exec – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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