EXCLUSIVE: Gemstone Studios’ inaugural Rising Storytellers Search has identified the four finalists who will compete for a chance to sign a deal with Sony Pictures Television and win additional prizes.
“Never did we imagine we’d get the response or the depth or the quality of our 1700+ submissions in this first-ever Rising Storytellers Search. Vital to Gemstone’s reason for being, our Search allowed us access outside traditional representation to mine for, support and celebrate under-represented voices and provocative stories from an array of creators across the country. We can’t wait to work hand in hand with our final four to elevate their passion projects for our panel of judges in November. Exciting things to come,” said Marie Jacobson, EVP of Gemstone Studios.
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The four finalists – Krystina Christiansen, Priscilla Davies, Vivian Kerr and Jen Schuster – will receive tools from Sony Alpha and team with mentors from both SPT and Ideas United to refine their final pitch reels before presenting them for judging in November. Judges for the competition include Sonay Hoffman (For Life), Diane Paragas (Yellow Rose) and Esta Spalding (On Becoming a God in Central Florida).
“We are delighted to collaborate with these four finalists,” said A.P. Chaney, creative director with Ideas United. “This program reinforced our intention to engage and encourage underrepresented creatives as we work to have a more inclusive and representative future, while accessing and elevating real storytelling across all mediums. We are filled with excitement and so appreciative of these finalists sharing their creative spirits through this initiative.”
In addition to a deal with Gemstone, the creator of the winning proposal will take home equipment from Sony and get access to the company’s DMPC technical-virtual training. All finalists will win a 24-month subscription to Celtx Video Production Studio Software and Josefinas products.
The Rising Storytellers Search was launched in collaboration with the Bentonville Film Festival, Celtx scriptwriting and pre-production system, Josefinas footwear, Ideas United and Sony Electronics’ Imaging Division.
More information about the four finalists and their proposals can be found below:
The Houston 12 – a series inspired by her own biracial family and her white father’s participation in the Black Power movement
Home Sweet Home – a COVID satire about millennials moving back in with their parents
Five Points – a historical drama about the female-led gangs and crime families of New York’s most notorious neighborhood
Dirty Thirties – a darkly personal dramedy about a millennial woman looking for love while fighting breast cancer