Howard University students are getting a chance to learn the entertainment business through paid internship programs. Lionsgate is the first entertainment company to join forces with Howard University to start the educational institute’s program that will allow six to 12 students to learn the filmmaking and television businesses.
2020 presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, who is a Howard alumna thought of the idea and mentioned to Lionsgate that intern programs with higher education could increase diversity across the entertainment business.
“Howard University has produced several graduates from film, law, business, and theater who have paved their own paths into Hollywood through their persistence, however, there is more work to do before the entertainment industry reflects the diverse audiences it serves,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a statement to Deadline. “I applaud our partners at Lionsgate for building a bridge from higher education to the workplace which will help diversify Hollywood behind the camera and create a new generation of executives.”
HBCU higher education institutions were established before the 1964 Civil Rights Act with the primary intention of serving African-American communities. Howard University is one of the highest-ranking HBCU in this nation.
The students are undergrads placed in companies for 20 to 25 hours in paid internships at roughly $13 to $15 an hour.
Lionsgate employed three interns motion picture, production, worldwide TV/digital distribution and talent acquisition. One of the interns has already been hired for an entry-level position at the company. They are also recruiting and will be hiring more interns this summer.
“Greater diversity and inclusion makes our industry stronger and our films and television series better,” Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns told Deadline.