By: Bruce Haring
Cable network Fusion, a division of Fusion Media Group (FMG) that focuses on programming for diverse youth, has issued an open call for scripted and unscripted television projects. The emphasis is on generating new opportunities for young storytellers of different ethnic backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, genders, religions and other under-represented areas of creative talent with or without agency connections.
The Creative Board of Fusion, including Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and founding members Viola Davis, Ezra Edelman, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep and Residente (aka Rene Perez Joglar) will review submissions. The Creative Board was formed in May to identify the next generation of creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent the Fusion network can tap. Members of the board also play a role in Fusion’s content development process, helping to curate untold stories.
Selected projects from the open call will receive funded development deals with the network, which promises at least one project selected for greenlight next year.
Submissions are being accepted on a rolling basis and should center around stories that “speak to the interests and issues that matter to America’s diverse youth—reflecting their curiosity, sharpness, and passion,” according to Fusion. Selected submissions will receive funded development deals with the network. Interested writers, filmmakers, and producers can submit pitches on the company web site at Fusion.net/submissions.
“Addressing the issue of representation in media starts with identifying and investing in a pipeline of talent who represent the diversity that makes this country great,” said Gates, the chairman of the Creative Board. “Then we need to provide them with opportunities where they can color outside the lines and think beyond the usual script. We hope our open call helps break down some of the institutional barriers to entry for young, diverse storytellers.”
Felipe Holguin, the president and COO of Fusion Media Group, said the open call “is an exciting and impactful demonstration of our organization’s commitment. We look forward to seeing great, original stories from talented creators on the FUSION network.”
Fusion Media Group brands include The A.V. Club, Clickhole, Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, The Onion, The Root, Splinter, and others. FMG is one of the leading digital publishers in the U.S., serving over 100 million fans each month, and includes its long-form development and production studios, Story House Entertainment and Onion Studios.