AT&T Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab Fosters a New Generation of Female Creators
By Fiona Shea
AT&T and Hello Sunshine, the media company founded by Reese Witherspoon, hosted an immersive, eight-day skills-building and mentorship program.
Hello Sunshine, the production company of Reese Witherspoon, executive producer and star of Big Little Lies, reteamed this past July with partner AT&T to host the Filmmaker Lab. The program is designed to discover and foster the next generation of young female creators and tackle the gender and diversity imbalance in entertainment.
Twenty young women were selected to participate in the Lab: 10 from Los Angeles where the Lab is based, as well as Dallas, Miami, Columbus and more. The young women, who ranged in ages between 16 and 19, also represented a mix of geographic, experiential and cultural backgrounds.
Over the course of the eight-day Lab, participants created a documentary short film featuring personal anecdotes and insights from their powerful subjects, including Witherspoon; Pam Lifford, WarnerBros.’ President of Brands and Experiences; Chantal Nong, VP Feature Development of DC Comics; Afnahn Khan, Warner Bros.’ VP of Post Production; and HBO’s Kat McCaffrey, VP of Drama Programming.
The five entertainment executives shared what they wished they were taught about the industry when their careers were first starting, and left this year’s participants with guidance, connections and a completed documentary short to add to their growing portfolios.
Watch the behind-the-scenes video of their documentary short below.