Bambadjan Bamba is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist from the Ivory Coast who has worked in prominent roles on numerous hit television shows like THE GOOD PLACE and GREY’S ANATOMY, and in blockbuster films like BLACK PANTHER and SUICIDE SQUAD. He was recently featured in Will Smith’s Netflix series AMEND: THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA. His writing has been published in Variety, the Washington Post, NBC, and CNN to name a few, and he is a contributor in the New York Times bestseller "American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures" by award winning actress America Ferrera. In 2017 Bambadjan publicly disclosed that he was a recipient of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is in danger of being terminated. Ever since, Bambadjan has used his inspirational story to advocate for immigrant rights. Bambadjan is also the recipient of the Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU and the Courageous Luminary award from the National Immigration Law Center. Full Bio »
Free webcast exclusively for Stage 32 members with Ivory Coast/American actor Bambadjan Bamba (BLACK PANTHER, SUICIDE SQUAD, THE GOOD PLACE) - bring your questions!
No matter who you are or where you’re from, the journey to becoming a full-time and successful actor in America is a difficult one. Yet if you’re from a different country and are contemplating moving to America, or if you’ve already moved here and are dealing with one of a variety of immigration statuses, your path is that much harder. You have to figure out how to legally live in America with this profession and work with studios and networks when payment might be more complicated than for actors that are American citizens. And that’s on top of the everyday struggle of finding and landing roles, which can also be harder if you do not have an American accent. There is no question that there are serious obstacles to overcome as an immigrant actor, but it’s still a path that can be achieved, and has been achieved many times before.
For as much emphasis that is often put on the sheer luck of breaking through as an actor and finding success, there is another element that is often underemphasized, which is the strategy and planning necessary for actors to build their career. Luck certainly can play a part, but these lucky breaks are much more likely to come to actors who do the work ahead of time to have a game plan and can better put themselves in the right place and the right time Whether fair or not, this goes double for immigrant actors and actors planning on moving to America. There is a large amount of strategy and planning necessary to find success, including how to get a visa, find sponsorship, get representation, use support networks and initiatives available to you and building your career piece by piece. It can be overwhelming, but the good news is you never have to be alone in this journey. There are communities and organizations that offer support as well as fellow immigrant actors who have gone down the path you’re on and can give you tips and strategies to help you achieve your dreams.
Bambadjan Bamba is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist from the Ivory Coast who has worked in prominent roles on numerous hit television shows like THE GOOD PLACE and GREY’S ANATOMY, and in blockbuster films like BLACK PANTHER and SUICIDE SQUAD. He was recently featured in Will Smith’s Netflix series AMEND: THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA. His writing has been published in Variety, the Washington Post, NBC, and CNN to name a few, and he is a contributor in the New York Times bestseller "American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures" by award winning actress America Ferrera. In 2017 Bambadjan publicly disclosed that he was a recipient of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is in danger of being terminated. Ever since, Bambadjan has used his inspirational story to advocate for immigrant rights. Bambadjan is also the recipient of the Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU and the Courageous Luminary award from the National Immigration Law Center.
In this free Stage 32 webcast, Bambadjan will give you some insight of how to strategically prepare for your move, maneuver around common obstacles that international actors face, and find your community and representation to give yourself the best shot to be successful. He’ll first explain the pros and cons of moving to America to pursue acting as well as when the right time to move is. He’ll then go through the legal roads you can pursue and how to navigate different immigration statuses you may have. Bambadjan will lay out different organizations and initiatives that you can take advantage of as you get started and will give you advice on how to find representation and sponsors from abroad and how to work legally as an undocumented immigrant. He will also lay out how to work even if you do not have an American accent, as well as how to work on improving your American accent. Finally, Bambadjan will give you tips and strategies on dealing with the emotional challenges associated with being an immigrant.
In partnership with The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
Q: How do I watch my webinar live?
A: If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Go to Webinar, you will receive an email from Go to Webinar with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. You can also access your webinar link in your purchase history located under settings in the top right-hand corner of your Stage 32 profile.
If you received a confirmation that your webinar is on Zoom, you will receive a separate email from Zoom with further instructions for participating in the live webinar. Your login link will not be in your Stage 32 profile. If you did not receive your link via Zoom please email email@example.com.
Q: How do I watch my webinar on demand?
A: You will be able to watch your webinar on demand as many times as you’d like inside your Stage 32 profile. The recording is processed and posted between 24-48 hours after the webinar concludes. You can follow the instructions below.
YOU MUST HAVE A STAGE 32 PROFILE TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO – STAGE 32 IS FREE TO JOIN If You Already Have a Stage 32 Profile:
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute educational broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32. Your webinar will be taught by a working industry professional with in-depth teaching on a topic. If you are able to attend live you will be able to ask your Stage 32 Educator questions during Q&A.
Q: What are the system requirements to watch my webinar live?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.9 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer.
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you cannot attend a live webinar or purchase an on demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to re-watch?
A: Yes! Like all Stage 32 education, after the purchase of a live or on demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording.
Q: How do I get a copy of the handouts provided?
A: If the webinar you take included handouts you can find them as downloads underneath your on demand video. You must be logged into your Stage 32 profile to view the video and get the handouts by clicking settings in the top right hand corner, then clicking purchase history.
Q: What if I need accessibility and accommodations?
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request accommodations.
Thanks for your loyalty to Stage 32 Education. We value having you in the Stage 32 community.
If you have any further questions, we are always happy to help. Please contact Stage 32 support at email@example.com.
The landscape of distribution has shifted dramatically over recent years and continues to change in this post-pandemic world. While there are more places than ever to go to for distribution, there’s also more competition for your project to be noticed by distributors and, once distributed, for viewers to decide to watch your film over the other thousands at their fingertips. Moreover, with so many companies and services in this space, it can be difficult to determine which companies are actually on the up-and-up and which will treat your film with the respect it deserves. If you’re trying to get your film picked up right now or hope to have your feature project distributed in the future, the most important step is to understand what the landscape looks like today and what your options actually are. Let’s break it down for you. Kristin Harris is a seasoned entertainment executive who has spent the past 15 years in the independent distribution space. She has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Kristin currently serves as VP, Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversees all aspects of the company's distribution arm and manages the release slate, which includes EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award Nominee, TO DUST, and the Academy Award nominated LOVING VINCENT. Kristin will teach you how film distribution currently works today, what options are currently available to you and your feature film, and how to best navigate this world to ultimately get people to watch your project. Making decisions regarding distribution for your film can be a daunting task, but Kristin is going to give you the most up-to-date and comprehensive breakdown of what distribution looks like today so you can be armed with facts and strategies when finding the best release strategy for your own film. Praise for Kristin "Very informative and have learned a great deal. Will definitely put to use for our Feature Film Projects. Thank you!" -Haskell A. "Very good practical information detailed enough to get the lay of the land on this topic."-James P. "Great info in a new age." -Mary M.
All of us are storytellers. No matter what part of the film or TV making process you are involved in ultimately your job is to tell your story in the best way possible - on the page or on the screen. And, sometimes, if you get a story on the page you realize that there is no one better than you to be able to direct that vision. Maybe you have a vision for the way your characters look or how they talk. Maybe you have a vision for a set piece that you just know, if shot just right, will make a scene perfect. Ultimately what's in your Mind's Eye can catapult you to be an excellent director for your project. But, where do you begin? Becoming a first time writer/director takes a lot of risk on both sides creative and professional. Creatively, you may not have the experience to be able to correctly execute your vision in the way your mind sees it. Professionally, a producer or financier has to take a risk on you and believe in you to make sure that they make back the money they invest in you. Although this isn't an easy scenario for either side, the great news is that it can be done. And, we've brought in a Stage 32 Educator who has helped do just that for first time writer/directors Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage who's film THEM THAT FOLLOW got produced by Gerard Butler, starred Oscar-winner Olivia Colman and screened at Sundance! Josh Sathre is the Production Executive at Amasia Entertainment, where he was the executive on WILD MOUNTAIN THYME starring Jamie Dornan, Emily Blunt, Jon Hamm and Christopher Walken and he served as Associate Producer on their feature film THEM THAT FOLLOW, produced with Gerard Butler, which premiered in Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. He is also in active development on many of Amasia's projects with major studios. He is actively working with newer writer/directors and has seen incredible success...as long as they are prepared for the opportunity. In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar Josh will teach you the ins and outs of what it takes to stand out as a writer/director in order for you to effectively get your shot at making your first feature film!
Whether it’s penning a feature screenplay or finding a staff position on a TV series, many actors have found new and continued success by venturing into writing. And there’s a good reason why. Transitioning from one part of the industry to another can feel daunting. But if you’re an actor, you’re not starting from scratch – you are pivoting. And in order to do so you need to recognize your strengths, utilize your previous acting experience, and build on your established relationships. Most importantly, as an actor, you already have inherent superpowers that will help you excel as a writer. Actors are storytellers so it makes sense that at some point they may want to write their own stories. But will you be taken seriously? Can you move from being in front of the camera to behind the computer screen successfully? You absolutely can. And you don’t have to give up acting in order to do so. Ultimately, you will be able to write, pitch, and produce better because of your previous experience. So let’s hone those skills and get you ready to make that pivot! After starting out her career as an actress, most notably starring as Emily in the cult classic 3 NINJAS, directed by Jon Turteltaub, Kate Sargeant has become an accomplished television writer, working on over 100 episodes of network TV on shows like CASTLE, CSI: CYBER, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS and BLINDSPOT. She has also written, directed, and produced a few of her passion projects including three short films: CHANGING LANES, FACING LIFE, and ANOTHER FOREIGN CONCEPT. In addition, Kate launched an original comedic series that she wrote, directed, and produced called YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET about our obsession with social media. Most recently Kate served as a Supervising Producer on a one-hour drama for Sony entitled OBLITERATED. Kate just launched a new half-hour comedy series on YouTube entitled VIRTUALLY SINGLE, which she created, wrote, produced, and stars in. Kate has successfully navigated the pivot from acting to writing and is excited to share what she’s learned during this transition. Exclusively for Stage 32, Kate will teach you how you can make the jump from acting to writing, not by starting over, but by using the superpowers you’ve already developed as an actor to take the next step. She’ll explain her own story and how she made the jump herself before explaining how you can do the same. She’ll discuss what it really means to become a writer and will then show you the superpowers you have as an actor that you might not realize that can help you with every element of writing, from dialogue writing to pitching. She’ll discuss specific challenges you’re going to need to face as an actor and will give you tools and strategies to take the first steps towards writing. She’ll finally reveal how you can use your writing to boost your acting career. If you’ve always wanted to write but have never been sure how to make the leap, Kate will give you the tools and inspiration you’ve been looking for
The SVP of Production and Development at Vertical Entertainment will show you how to pitch a film or series project to Amazon Prime and navigate negotiations. From award-winning dramas to binge-able comedies to watercooler actions, Amazon Prime has a show for every audience, including THE BOYS, MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, REACHER, FLEABAG, HANNA, BOSCH… the list goes on and on. As broad as the platform’s tastes may appear, there is a clear strategy behind-the-scenes, and if you want to see your project streaming on Prime, you’ll need to know what Amazon is looking for to tailor your pitch and close a deal. Creators might not get too many opportunities to pitch a major streaming platform. What are they looking for in a show or film? How does revenue impact their choices of which projects to produce? And how do you make sure that when you do sell your show, you get paid as well as any other creator? With this webinar exclusively available through Stage 32, you can set up your pitch to succeed when it’s your turn to pitch. You’ll learn what Prime is producing and licensing, how they bring in revenue, the best teams to connect with for your project, and how to negotiate your deal effectively. You’ll also cover how Prime has chosen shows in the past and where they’re headed. Taking you behind the scenes of this online shopping conglomerate-turned-award-winning streamer is Kristin Harris, a seasoned entertainment executive with 15 years of experience, who currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Vertical Entertainment. She has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Kristin previously held the role of VP of Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversaw all aspects of the company's distribution arm and manages the release slate, which includes EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award-nominated TO DUST (currently included on Prime), and the Academy Award-nominated LOVING VINCENT. With this insider look at Amazon Prime’s streaming business, you’ll be able to develop a strong pitch for your project that fits the streamer’s needs while ensuring you make a great deal for yourself and your team. With the television landscape changing rapidly, this webinar will keep you ahead of the creators looking to sell to Prime and show your ability to keep up with industry needs. Praise for Kristin's Stage 32 Education: "Well-timed, instructor is knowledgeable, engages the audience. Informative." -Shelly B. "Kristin was amazing! So knowledgeable and articulate. I learned so much." -Maggie G.
Stage 32 is proud to continue our partnership with Raindance Film Festival for the 5th year in a row, and while we may not be able to all come together in London to celebrate so many amazing and talented filmmakers, we're thrilled to partner with Raindance to highlight global talent virtually and from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Even in its virtual format, Raindance continues to showcase and champion the best new films from all over the world, and included in this year's incredible program is a collection of remarkable short films. Stage 32 is bringing together some of the world's top up and coming short filmmakers whose most recent films are playing Raindance. Included in this conversation will be Arjan Brentjes, whose animated short film SAD BEAUTY is playing at Raindance, along with almost 30 other film festivals this year alone. Also featured will be London-based director and cinematographer Molly Manning Walker whose debut short film GOOD THANKS, YOU? will be playing this year's Raindance in addition BFI London, Bilbao, and Palm Springs Film Festivals. Rounding out the panel, is Will Niava, an Ivorian-Ghanaian film director based in Montréal, Canada, whose film ZOO won Stage 32's 5th Annual Short Film Contest and is currently selected at over 40 international film festivals. In this FREE Stage 32 webinar, Arjan, Molly, and Will will take part in an exclusive Q&A moderated by our very own Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney to discuss the state of short filmmaking today and how they put together their most recent projects.
Your pitch deck is the most important tool in your initial stage of obtaining financing for your script. A pitch deck is also used as an aid to attaching an actor or director you are interested in. As a tool, your deck is the first impression of your film condensed so the investor can become familiar with your project and determine if this is an opportunity for them. To close the deal or at least garner meaningful consideration and interest, your pitch deck has to stand out. It has to not only tell the story of your project, why it should be attractive to talent, and what the true potential audience may be, but, most importantly, it needs to show a true and realistic path to profitability. And this is where so many decks fail. Sure, you want to paint a rosy picture with your investor pitch deck. But here's the thing, most investors who have put money into films before know BS from reality. They will know if you are overshooting your estimates (an extremely common tactic), whether your film comps are ridiculous (they almost always are) and if you're exaggerating who your potential audience will be (nearly always the case). A great investor pitch deck is filled with equal parts optimism and reality. Sure, every investor wants to dream of unbelievable riches and success, but what truly makes them open their wallets is believing in the team, the project, and being presented a realistic worldview as to the potential return on their investment. Michelle Alexandria knows a thing or two about raising money. As a producer and Head of International Sales and Acquisitions for Glasshouse Distribution, Michelle has raised or assisted in raising funds for dozens of films and other projects. She has personally worked on 25 feature films $6MM and under and 3 television projects in various capacities including producing, line producing and executive producing. Michelle has spoken on the topic of raising financing at the Cannes Producers Network and other prominent film festivals and markets including MipCom, Berlin, Buenos Aires, UniFrance, Sundance, and AFM. Her knowledge is extensive and her advice actionable, and now she's here to deliver the goods exclusively on Stage 32. Michelle will teach you how to create an investor pitch deck that doesn't have that same dusty feeling of so many decks and which fits the current climate of raising funds. She will show you what elements truly matter for an investor and which you can leave out of your deck entirely. She will discuss the value (or lack thereof) of artwork and posters. Additionally, she'll dive into loglines and synopsis to assure that you are giving your potential investors the true vision of the project. She will teach you how to put together a realistic cast list and film comps. She will discuss budgets, scheduling and how to incorporate those elements into your deck. She will talk to you about putting together the right team and how those team members can send the right or wrong signal. As an added bonus, Michelle will share examples of pitches decks that have helped secure millions in financing! "Clear, concise, and brilliant." - Mario D. "No BS, straight to the point information. Loved every second." - Patricia H. "I have a deck for my film. It's going in the garbage. I will be starting over tomorrow with this wealth of information flowing in my head. Remarkable job, Michelle!" - Phil M. "Sure, everyone wants Leo or George in their films. Sure, everyone thinks their film is the next My Big Fat Greek Wedding or some other independent blockbuster. Sure, everyone believes that they have THE idea that is going to get them the money. Michelle just gave me the map as to HOW to get the money by being REAL. I can't wait to get started and to bounce ideas off my team. This was so much fun. Thank you!" - Denise P.