LA Mayor Announces New Entrepreneurs in Residence to Increase Diversity in Film Industry

Los Angeles—Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that Theresa Kang and Amir Shahkhalili, Partners at WME, and Kevin Iwashina, Senior Associate at Endeavor Content, will serve the City of Los Angeles’ 2019 Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program, an initiative that enlists some of L.A.’s most accomplished business minds to build stronger industries across the City.

The Endeavor team will leverage its institutional knowledge and relationships with leading artists and content creators to expand Mayor Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund (EEF) — a public-private partnership that creates new career opportunities for communities that have been historically excluded from the entertainment industry.

“Endeavor is at the center of a global network that will help strengthen my office’s work to build a more inclusive entertainment ecosystem,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Theresa, Kevin, and Amir will bring new ideas and energy to our efforts to provide young people in underserved communities with opportunities to follow their dreams in Hollywood.”  

They officially begin their EIR appointments today at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where they will build new awareness around EEF, and work to recruit new partners.

Launched last February with filmmaker Ava Duvernay and more than 60 companies, the EEF is dedicated to building career pathways into film, television, and music for women, people of color, and low-income Angelenos through paid internships, focused mentoring, and an ongoing series of workshops and panels.

The EEF has secured 140 internships and three full-time offers for L.A. residents from underrepresented communities, and aims to serve 1,000 Angelenos by the end of 2020.

During their year-long term, Theresa, Kevin, and Amir will build support for EEF, by expanding internship and mentoring opportunities, and creating new educational programming.

The EIRs will also partner with the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to embark on a comprehensive study of diversity in L.A.’s entertainment industry, with a focus on below-the-line career opportunities.