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The Hollywood Academy's Gold Rising 2021 program is supporting Latinos.
The Hollywood Academy's Gold Rising 2021 program is supporting Latinos. Photo: EFE

The Hollywood Academy's Gold Rising program bets on Latinos

The fifth edition of the Hollywood Academy's Gold Rising supports Latino talent in the film industry.

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For its fifth year, the Gold Rising program will be held, as the Hollywood Academy remains determined to increase diversity and representation in film by encouraging young people from underrepresented communities to showcase their talents and brilliance in the industry.

Among more than 9,000 applications, 100 students are part of the Gold Rising class of 2021, which has gone virtual for the second year in a row and will celebrate its graduation this Saturday, Aug. 6.

For eight weeks, 100 young people have participated in seminars and conferences with emblematic figures of the film industry. The fifth graduating class of Gold Rising received support and advice to guide their careers in the film industry thanks to the institution that organizes the annual Oscars.

"We are excited to see these talents working toward a future that is more inclusive and representative of all aspects of the film industry," Christine Simmons, the Academy's chief operating officer, told EFE.

Sofia Ayerdi, one of the participants of Gold Rising 2021 shared her excitement for taking part in the program. 

"It was something I couldn't believe, I just couldn't believe it. I said: 'There's got to be some mistake. Is this really happening to me at the Academy?' It's truly unbelievable,"said Ayerdi.

The Texas-born, Mexican-American film production student at California State University Northridge (CSUN), also said she was grateful for the "close-up" look into the heart of Hollywood the program gives to the new generations.

For his part, Gold Rising 2019 alumnus Felipe Vargas recalled his experience in the last on-site edition.

"I remember it as one of the best days of my life. They took us to Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paramount, Warner Bros... I wanted to make movies since I was a kid so the ten-year-old Felipe would have been super surprised to hear everything I ended up doing that summer," he said.

The Colombian screenwriter and director who grew up in Florida and studied at the University of Southern California (USC), explained that with Gold Rising one feels "that the doors to Hollywood are opening." He pointed out that the program not only allows you to meet "the top people" in the industry, but also peers and "people at your level who are going to come up with you."

The Gold Rising program helps to cement and reinforce the industry's ongoing efforts to address issues of inclusion, representation, accessibility and opportunity for underrepresented communities in the United States.

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