December 22, 2022

By Betti Halsell

Assistant Managing Editor


The time for unity is here. Elevating the Black community is a national priority as seen through the California Film Commission partnership with the Handy Foundation for its Pilot Career Pathways Training Program.

This platform aims to prepare people from marginalized communities for employment in the film and television production industries. Ri-Karlo Handy, CEO of Sunwise Productions and founder of the Handy Foundation, explained the significance of this collaboration in an exclusive interview with L.A. Watts Times.

“In most industries, but specifically the Hollywood entertainment industry, to be successful —most likely you had mentor, somebody to take you under your wing,” Handy said as he began break down the power of mentorship.

Handy spoke about the consistent change in the Hollywood landscape and the complexities in landing a life sustaining job can be without guidance.

“The Handy Foundation synthesized that experience that has happened organically for folks into a program …” said Handy, bringing awareness to the needs of this type of direction within BIPOC communities.

The idea sprung from a widespread conversation that bloomed into an organization of job support, mentoring, and specialized fieldwork education. Handy formed the Handy Foundation after a popular discussion went viral in 2020, diving into the need for more Black editors in Hollywood. The mission is to connect diverse employees to job possibilities in Hollywood as well as to provide career growth while assisting studios and networks in meeting diversity and inclusion goals.

The initiative includes on-hand training with state-of-the-art technology that corresponds with what is being used in the current field. Members of this cohort will be able to feel the workflow energy of production and master its navigation, aligning their mind with seasoned entertainment industry experience.

According to the official Handy Foundation website, California’s media industry has created over 212,520 specialized jobs. It offers over $26 billion in wages. The average national salary in the film industry is 47% greater than the national average amount. The Handy Foundation has trained approximately 120 people. According to Handy, 95 of those people are hired in noteworthy shows such as “The Batchelor” and “The Hunger Games.”

Handy considered the community expansion and how those who are moved to assist with growing the program can lend their focus by stating, “If you are associated with a community organization that has a group of people that can benefit from this information, you can reach out to us.”

Handy Foundation is looking forward to Launching the NAACP Glam Squad program on Jan. 14, alongside many more events in 2023.)

Category: Arts & Culture