CANNES, France—Free the Bid, founded in 2016 by Alma Har’el, with the initial intention of getting more women directors in advertising assignments, has launched a new discovery service. Free the Work seeks to increase the number of women, trans identifying, non-binary and underrepresented creators involved in all aspects of filmmaking.
A creativity-based platform similar to Spotify and IMDB Pro, the Free the Work, in addition to highlighting diverse talent, will also provide educational tools, facilitate mentorship opportunities and act as a collaborative community platform.
“We use services daily to discover new music, movies, and restaurants,” said Har’el, a Sundance winner this year for her film Honey Boy. “It’s time we treat talent-discovery of underrepresented creators with the same level of urgency and innovation. Given the right tools, I know we will open our eyes and reach a renaissance of creativity.”
Actors and industry leaders, including Emmy award winners Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jill Soloway, Oscar-nominated actor Lucas Hedges, 2019 Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne and Oscar-nominated director of photography Rachel Morrison, appear on the discovery page, which has curated playlists of global talent.
Launch partners include Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Facebook and Amazon Studios. Additionally, Verizon signed on as the inaugural guardian patron, and other organizations including The Sundance Institute, Unilever’s Unstereotype Alliance and the ANA’s #SeeHer initiative are lending additional support. The initiative also includes a launch film from Wieden + Kennedy Portland directed by Amber Grace Johnson.
Since Free the Bid’s inception, agencies have seen a marked change in representation with some seeing a rise of between 35% and 400% in their bidding and hiring of women directors. At present, an estimated 160 ad agencies around the world in 20 countries, and over 180 brands have signed up for Free the Bid.
The new platform seeks to positively disrupt the TV, film and music industries, and will also create the ability to track progress on diversity efforts with customized dashboards.
In its first 18 months, and under the stewardship of Facebook’s CMO Antonio Lucio, Free the Bid saw pledged supporters rise from 0% to 59% when he was in the same role at HP. Lucio joins Free the Work as a founding member.
“Facebook is proud to support this game-changing talent discovery service, helping to expand into international markets with talent that reflects the multicultural tapestry of today’s world,” he said.
Executive Producer – Alma Har’el
Supervising Producer – Christopher Leggett
Producer – Nicole Disson
Production Coordinator – Gustavo Astudillo
Agency – Wieden+Kennedy
Managing Director – Karrelle Dixon
Executive Creative Directors – Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin
Creative Directors – Patty Orlando and Erik Fahrenkopf
Copywriters – Liz Malenfant and Kamey Murphy
Head of Production – Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer – Hayley Goggin Avila
Producer – Julie Gursha
Brand Director – Kimmy Cunningham
Group Strategy Director – Angela Jones
Director of Business Affairs – Amber Lavender
Motion Graphics – Adam Sirkin & Chang Xu
Creative Operations Manager – Amanda Claire
Production – Object & Animal
Director – Amber Grace Johnson
Executive Producer – James Cunningham
Producer – Brooke McDaniel
Production Coordinator – Ashley Lynch
Production Supervisor – Roland Berry
Production Coordinator – Ashley Lynch
Editorial – Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment
Editor – Lauren Dellara
Producer – Sasha Grubor
Asst Editor – Ethan Jacob
Post-Production – Electric Theatre Collective
VFX Super Lead Flame: Martin Karlsson
2D team: Ujala Saini, Giles Cheetham, Brendan Smith, Peter Sidoriak
VFX Producer: Kate Hitchings
Music – Walker
Executive Producer – Sara Matarazzo
Composer – Clarice Jensen
Mix / Sound Design – Joint
Sound Designer / Mixer – Natalie Huizenga
Executive Producer – Leslie Carthy
Color – Company 3
Colorist – Kath Raisch
Producer – Amanda Pilnik