Thursday, June 16, 2022


Talent Development and Inclusion Program Introduces 
New Visual Effects Track

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to announce commitments from 27 partner companies in the sixth year of its Academy Gold Rising program.  Gold Rising is an entertainment industry internship enhancement and mentorship program for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.  For the first time, the program includes a dedicated focus on visual effects as part of its production track, which concentrates on below-the-line careers. 

Alongside the Academy, participating partners include AMC NetworksAmazon StudiosAnnapurna PicturesThe Black ListBRON StudiosCircle of ConfusionCreative Artists Agency (CAA)DTS – XperiThe Walt Disney CompanyDolby LaboratoriesFilmmakers AcademyFormosa Group LLCFotoKemFremantleGroup Effort Initiative, Illumination EntertainmentMonkeypaw ProductionsMoving Picture InstitutePanavisionParamount PicturesParticipantShout! FactoryStreamland MediaUnited Talent Agency (UTA)Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and WarnerMedia.

“We are incredibly inspired by the participants of Gold Rising.  Just as we seek to impart knowledge throughout this program, we are equally eager to learn from these talented individuals who consistently bring their unique ideas and insights,” said Academy governor and Education and Outreach Committee chair Wynn P. Thomas.  “We welcome this new class and look forward to seeing their ambitions unfold as they begin their journeys into our global film community.”

“The Academy’s goal is to evolve constantly in finding new ways to support emerging filmmakers within various disciplines.  We’re thrilled to add a visual effects focus to our Gold Rising production track program this year, underscoring the importance of emerging technological advances in the art of filmmaking and their invaluable role in creating a story,” said Academy Vice President, Talent Development and Inclusion Programs Kendra Carter.  “We look forward to expanding the breadth of hands-on experiences that will help open doors for our participants to explore their futures in the industry, and we thank our incredible partners, Academy members, and donors for making this robust program possible.”

This summer, 100 students (including 14 interns placed within the Academy and the Academy Museum) will participate in Gold Rising.  The eight-week program, which concludes with a graduation ceremony on August 6, offers participants networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, a variety of panel discussions on every aspect of filmmaking, and career preparation sessions.

Partners will sponsor up to three of their interns for the program, which kicks off today, June 15, with a two-day orientation that includes Academy governors, members, and other industry speakers, a studio panel, virtual tours of the Academy’s Film Archive, Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and a look into the Oscars® and Scientific and Technical Awards.

The program’s production track features online technical workshops and masterclasses for students interested in cinematography, costume design, film editing, production design, sound, and visual effects, a category newly added to the program this year.  The 31 participants in this track are from California State University Northridge, Exceptional Minds Academy, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Film School, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, New York Film Academy, and select local community colleges from the Academy’s Community College Film and Media Arts Consortium.

Gold Rising interns will hear from close to 100 panelists and speakers throughout the program on such topics as:

Sustainable Production: What Is It and Why You Should Care

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Women inside the Executive Suite

Visual Effects Producers: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX

The Magic of Music and Sound in Film – “Top Gun: Maverick”

Discovering the Enchantment of “Encanto”

Authentic Storytelling in the LGBTQIA+ Space

Destigmatizing Mental Health

Upon completion of the program, all Gold Rising interns will be paired with an Academy member for an eight-month mentorship.  Academy members from every branch have volunteered their time and support to the program, including such mentors as Khadija AlamiJudd ApatowLorrie BartlettSterling K. BrownMichael GoiSpike JonzeEric RothOsnat ShurerKaren ToliverEnnio TorresanMichael TronickNancy UtleyVirgil Williams, and Janet Yang.

Gold Rising affords top film entertainment, technology, production services, and digital media companies an opportunity to recruit and educate a nationwide pool of diverse talent.  To date, there are 465 past Gold Rising program participants.  The 2022 class is from 48 colleges and universities and comprises 82% underrepresented racial/ethnic communities, 59% women, 32% LGBTQ+, and 18% with disability.

Gold Rising, led by program directors Bettina Fisher and Niti Shah, is a part of Academy Gold, a global talent development and inclusion initiative that provides creative individuals of diverse backgrounds with access and resources toward achieving their career pathways in filmmaking.  Programs under the Academy Gold umbrella also include Gold Fellowship for Women, the Student Academy Awards, and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  All past participants and award recipients of these programs become a part of the Gold Alumni Program, which provides networking opportunities, access, and career advancement services, and offers affinity groups for Black and African American, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+ and women alumni to network with others who share similar identities, backgrounds, and experiences.  The program also tracks participants’ career progression and successes through a database, offering a diverse talent pipeline for the industry.

Academy Gold Rising is supported by grants from The James Irvine Foundation and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.  Additional support is provided by The Walt Disney Company and the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Other funding is provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Critics Choice Association in honor of Melvin Van Peebles, and Leon Silverman.


For more information about the Gold Rising program, visit

For more information about Academy Gold, visit: 

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