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The Gotham Film and Media Institute Announces Student Filmmakers And Entrepreneurs Selected For 2023 Gotham EDU Film And Media Career Development Program

by The Gotham Staff on June 14, 2023

Fifth Cycle of the Gotham EDU Program Includes New Scholarships in Support of Students from Underrepresented Backgrounds

New York, NY (June 14, 2023)The Gotham Film & Media Institute (The Gotham) announced today its selections for the Summer 2023 cohort of The Gotham EDU Film and Media Career Development Program. The Gotham’s six-week program catapults students into the media workforce with mentorship, candid industry insights, comprehensive resources, and support in developing their skills as the next generation of industry changemakers. 

The expanded 2023 curriculum will cover development, pitching, marketing, distribution, new technology, and entrepreneurship, with workshops, peer-to-peer sessions, and open conversations that allow students to explore opportunities and carve a strategic path into the media industry. This year’s list of industry professionals, spanning fiction, documentary, and audio formats, includes leaders from A+E Television Networks, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Impact Partners, ITVS, Magnolia Pictures, SFFilm, and The 51 Fund. 

“It is essential that we provide talented young people from historically excluded backgrounds with the skills and guidance they need to succeed in this rapidly evolving industry,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director and Cait Carvalho, Director, Gotham EDU. “By equipping them with the tools and resources to navigate new distribution paradigms, emerging technologies, and more, we can help to level the playing field and ensure that all voices are represented across the media ecosystem.”

Attendees are supported with scholarships from the Sidney Poitier Initiative, honoring the legacy of groundbreaking actor, director, and activist Sidney Poitier; the Questlove Scholarship sponsored by iHeartMedia; and the MTV Joel Schumacher & Sophia Cranshaw Scholarships, in support of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC undergraduates. Select students are participating tuition-free with the support of partner institutions, including founding Gotham EDU program partner Colgate University, Lincoln University, The University of Florida, and the Islamic Scholarship Fund.

The Gotham EDU 2023 Career Development Program runs in two sessions, from June 5 to July 14, 2023, and July 17 to August 18, 2023. The first Career Development Program was held with 22 students in 2020. The Summer 2023 program will be the fifth edition, with two sessions of 20 students each. It will continue to be run virtually to improve access for students across the country. The student participants will also have the opportunity to receive feedback on their concept  presentations during one-on-one industry feedback sessions. Select students will participate in paid internships at The Gotham and MTV Entertainment Group’s Ambassador’s Program. 

This year’s Gotham EDU cohorts hail from 25 colleges and universities across the US. Student alumni of the program have gone on to work at A24, Apple, Amazon Studios, CBS News, HBO Documentaries, PBS Kids, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Showtime Networks, Nickelodeon, Nike, NBC Universal, Paramount, and the United Talent Agency (UTA). 

Other Gotham EDU initiatives underway for 2023 include the Executive Leadership Program, the Focus Features & JetBlue Student Short Film Showcase, and the Colgate University NYC Study Group. 

Gotham EDU 2023 Career Development Program scholarship recipients include: 

The MTV Joel Schumacher & Sophia Cranshaw Scholarships:

  • Graviela Hernandez Sosa, American University
  • Jennesy Herrera, Hunter College
  • Juliet Reynolds, Arizona State University
  • Ivan Rome, Columbia University
  • Melanie Wu, The New School

The Questlove iHeart Scholarship:

  • Mia De Jesus, Hunter College
  • Christopher Brandon Medina, Miami Dade College
  • Dara Nicole Díaz Ríos, Emerson College
  • Tyra Robinson, Bethune Cookman University
  • Sarah Sy, University of California, Davis

The Sidney Poitier Initiative Scholarship:

  • Oreoluwa Akinyode, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Jeremiah Battle, Stevenson University
  • Maya Darby, University of North Carolina
  • Linnea Hopkins-Ekdahl, Columbia University
  • Betselot Shifferraw, Loyola University Maryland

The Burke Family Foundation Scholars:

  • Vanessa Alzate, Marymount Manhattan College 
  • Jeremy Kurt, Purchase College
  • Isabela Molina, Yale University
  • Jenna Morgan, University of California, Davis
  • Cloe Rankin, Boston University
  • Mariatou Saho, New York University
  • Hailey Paige Sullivan, Emory University
  • Laila Wilson, Stony Brook University 

Students selected for the Gotham EDU 2023 Career Development Program include: 

  • Elizabeth Armstrong, Colgate University 
  • Ayla Babanikos, University of Florida
  • Eli Berliner, Yale University
  • Grace Chen, American University
  • Phillip Divon, Lincoln University
  • Laine Girolamo, Colgate University
  • Hannah Goff, Colgate University
  • Tina Huang, Yale University
  • Ishikaa Kothari, Yale University
  • Katrina Lee, University of Florida
  • Cynthia Lin, Yale University
  • Maryam Mir, New York University
  • Ayesha Nawal Mubin, Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema
  • Bridget Perdomo, University of Florida
  • Jasmine Pérez, University of Florida
  • Ava Wigdor, Colgate University 

About the Gotham Film & Media Institute

The Gotham celebrates and nurtures independent film and media creators, providing career-building resources, access to industry influencers, and pathways to wider recognition. The organization, under the leadership of Executive Director and award-winning producer Jeffrey Sharp, fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Gotham Week, Gotham Labs, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Awards, Gotham EDU, Owning It, and Expanding Communities.


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