The Propelle content accelerator initiative, a partnership between Realscreen and Abby Greensfelder’s Everywoman Studios designed to support the careers of up-and-coming women creators by pairing them with leaders in the industry for mentorship and project workshopping, is expanding its scope via a new partnership with Endemol Shine North America.
Supplementing the program’s original documentary/docuseries focus — the crux of the program when it was launched in 2020 by Greensfelder and Realscreen and has already presented two Accelerator Awards — the expansion will allow the women-focused initiative to double the number of creators it mentors and give out an additional Accelerator Award for unscripted formats. The new category will be spearheaded by Endemol Shine North America’s chief content officer Sharon Levy (pictured, right) and Greensfelder (left).
Administered by Realscreen, the format program will select three projects, and the creators of each will be paired with a female industry mentor. Each creative team will further workshop and develop the project to prepare it to pitch to buyers in June 2022 at Realscreen West in Dana Point.
Endemol Shine North America, in partnership with Everywoman Studios, will also provide financial support to further develop the winning format project.
Executive mentors for the inaugural format component are: Sahara Bushue (left), Westbrook Studios’ head of unscripted; Bunim/Murray Productions’ president Julie Pizzi (center) with vice president of development Myiea Coy; and Allison Wallach (right), EVP and head of FOX Alternative Entertainment.
Executive mentors for this year’s documentary/docuseries program are: Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch (left), co-CEO and co-founder, 44 Blue Productions (a Red Arrow Studios Company); Devon Graham Hammonds (center), SVP of East Coast development and current programming, Industrial Media; and Rushie Perera (right), co-founder, North Maple Productions.
“We launched this initiative to remove barriers of entry for women with incredible stories to tell, and I’m ecstatic to be expanding upon that mission in partnership with Endemol Shine and Sharon to help bring the next great woman-created format to viewers around the globe,” said Greensfelder in a statement. “I’m also incredibly grateful to all of our mentors who are dedicating their very precious time to this program and to supporting rising female creators.”
“After serving as a mentor for Propelle’s last cycle, which was a truly rewarding experience, Abby and I discussed the idea of expanding the program to include a format-focused program and I’m thrilled that we are making it happen in 2022,” added Levy. “We need more talented women getting real opportunities in the unscripted industry and with the help of our all-star team of mentors, hopefully we will be doing just that through this program.”
“We are absolutely delighted with the caliber of talent Propelle has attracted within the first two years, and the meaningful outcomes that have emerged through the accelerator with Abby’s team at Everywoman Studios and our amazing mentors,” said Claire Macdonald, SVP and publisher of Realscreen. “Being able to expand the program to encompass formats with the support of Endemol Shine makes Propelle more accessible to more female creators, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Further details for the next edition of the Propelle content accelerator will be released in January in tandem with the Realscreen Summit in Austin, Texas.