NBCU, Target, Use Summer Film Night to Highlight Diverse Stories

Executive producer Will Packer of "Rob Riggle: Global Investigation" speaks during the Discovery Channel segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour
Will Packer (pictured) worked with NBCUniversal and sponsor Target to spotlight Black filmmakers during Summer Movie Nights. (Image credit: Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

NBCUniversal, along with sponsor Target, will be spotlighting Black filmmakers during its Summer Movie Nights and showing their work on its other platforms.

The commercial loads during movies on NBCU cable networks Bravo, Syfy and USA are being cut by 25 to 35 minutes, creating a platform for shorts from the Scene in Color Film Series.

NBCU and Target worked with producer Will Packer to identify three artists and films to feature as part of the Scene in Color Film Series.

NBCU will be providing blind script deals for all three emerging filmmakers with the opportunity to work with NBCU executives to develop a TV pilot script. Packer will also serve as a mentor to the filmmakers, supported by a grant from Target.

The program starts Thursday with White House Down on Syfy. 

Featured in the Scene in Color Film Series are Chicago filmmaker Addison Wright, who spotlights Black ballerinas who are blending hip-hop with classical pointe in Hiplet: Because We Can; activist and filmmaker Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah shows Black women there is room for them in the media industry with her visual poem To The Girl That Looks Like Me; and Brooklyn-based Kristian King’s Twice as Good tells the story of an over-achiever readying to chart her own path. 

NBCUniversal Scene in Color Target

“We know that in order to change the industry, we must start from within,” said Miguel Rodriguez, senior VP, production operations, creative partnerships, advertising & partnerships, NBCUniversal and Steven Rummer, senior VP, strategy and creative partnerships, advertising & partnerships, NBCUniversal, in a blog post about the program.

“That’s why NBCUniversal has doubled down on its commitment to hire and retain diverse talent, from the decision-makers casting our shows, to the people yelling ‘cut,’ to the costumers and makeup artists and set designers that bring our stories to life. Because when people from all backgrounds, experiences, and cultures bring their own stories to the ones we’re telling onscreen—that’s how we create content that truly resonates,” they said.

Docu-style custom content where the filmmakers discuss their stories will appear across the summer on the three cable networks, while the films are featured on NBCU’s digital properties including Peacock, the NBC One app, Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango Movieclips.

Target will have consistent branding throughout the movie nights via branded elements such as open bumpers and snipes, across all custom content.

“Inclusivity is core to the Target brand, and partnering with NBCU to share the stories of the Scene in Color Film Series broadly and boldly helps create a more equitable and representative creative landscape,” said Maurice Cooper, senior VP of marketing at Target. “We need the voices of these emerging creators now more than ever, and are proud to invest in their continued mentorship, development, and ingenuity.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.