The Blackmagic Collective Breakthrough Initiative was created to champion future BIPOC TV Writers and Directors poised for their first episodic credits. The program is designed to provide participants with opportunities that will put them on track to be staffed on a TV series or hired to direct their first TV episode.

Meet the 2021 Breakthrough Initiative Participants


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Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez

WRITER

Charlene Bagcal

DIRECTOR

Cindy Chu

WRITER

Corey Dashaun

WRITER

Jeannette Godoy

DIRECTOR

Jerell Rosales

DIRECTOR

Jules Koostachin

DIRECTOR

Kelechi Urama

WRITER

Kryzz Gautier

DIRECTOR

Lisa & Laura Bunbury

WRITERS

Blackmagic Collective has named eleven participants for its inaugural Breakthrough Initiative. The initiative was created to champion BIPOC TV directors and writers who already have a strong body of work and an impressive list of credits. The 1-year program is a career accelerator that engages decision makers in the industry as “Champions” who advocate for and help participants navigate the path to their first TV credit by the end of the year.

Major brands are already championing the participants. Blackmagic Design, Scriptation, and others have committed to in-kind support spanning equipment, software, and beyond.

Participants were selected from an expansive pool of nominees based on their body of work and numerous recommendations from respected industry professionals.

Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez – Queer Mexican-Israeli-American Jew with a comedy and drama focus, and an affinity for petty underdogs. Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation Development Grant recipient and alumnus of Sundance Screenwriters Intensive. Ben’s also had 20+ comedic shorts/webisodes produced and 2 dramatic, award nominated/winning shorts produced. 

Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez

Charlene Bagcal – Director/Writer with a focus on genre and world building. Asian American and a Southern California native. Recently wrapped being staffed on psychological thriller series, Red Bird Lane, starring Susan Sarandon. Currently in development for hour-long dystopian series, The Un/Desirables, of which she is the creator and a director for. 

charlenebagcal.com

Cindy Chu – Focus on comedy/horror/drama. Queens native, from a working-class Taiwanese/Chinese immigrant family. Created an award-winning digital series, Queens on Amazon Prime, and received Hennessy’s Unfinished Business grant. 

Cindy Chu

Corey Dashaun – Comedy/Horror writer with a focus on themes of identity, sexuality, masculinity and race as kids of color come to age. Rochester, NY native and former educator. Currently, a writing fellow for Film Independent’s Project Involve. 

Corey Dashaun

Jeannette Godoy –  Director/Writer. Focus on YA/Family Drama/Dramedy. First generation, Mexican American, choreographer turned director. Wrote a YA dance drama in development with Campanario Entertainment which she will direct. 

jeannettegodoydirector.com

Jerell Rosales – Director of young adult dramedy thrillers. Gay military brat.  Feature debut stars Lana Condor, François Arnaud and James Franco for Lifetime/A+E: High School Lover.  Jury Award win at Austin Film Festival for latest short The Terrorist.  Also a writer with a Humanitas Prize.

jerellrosales.com

Jules Arita Koostachin – Director/Producer/Writer born in MoshkeKo AsKi (Ancestral lands of the InNiNeWak – Cree) with a focus on protocol and practices in relation to Indigenous stories. A documentarian, an academic, and delving into the scripted world with my first feature drama Broken Angel

juleskoostachin.com

Kelechi Urama – Comedy/Dramedy writer with a focus on stories about women and relationships. Nigerian American and Maryland native. Recently optioned a pilot to a major studio. 

kelechiurama.com

Kryzz Gautier – Focus on Sci-Fi/Genre/World Building. Queer, Afro-Latina writer/director born in the Dominican Republic who lived in the US as an undocumented adult for 5+ years. Set up a series and a feature at studios in the last six months, both of which she wrote and will be directing. 

kryzzg.com

Lisa Bunbury & Laura Bunbury – Sisters.  Writing/Producing team.  Focus on Teen/Family Drama.  Florida Natives with Caribbean roots.  Producing win at Cannes for Tuesday.  

BunburySisters.com

The Breakthrough Initiative was created to address the real access barriers highly qualified BIPOC writers and directors face in the entertainment industry. To become a Champion or learn more about the women selected for the 2020 program click here.