IRIS-IN is the Erika Film Foundation’s flagship film industry mentorship program. Our founder Erika Olde Coggin launched IRIS-IN in 2015 at Ghetto Film School in New York as a speaker series. Since that time, the program has expanded and now engages students through hands-on workshops, one-on-one mentoring, unique field trips and presentations by notable keynote speakers.

IRIS-IN walks students through each step of taking a film from an idea to a premiere, with particular focus on the business side of film. Students dive deep into every part of the process, including pitch meetings, assessing market value, packaging, production, sales and marketing.

Over the course of the academic year, IRIS-IN students have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. Working on teams in a collaborative environment, students develop the pitch, budget and potential market value for an example film and have their work assessed by industry experts.

At the end of the academic year, the Erika Film Foundation places each student in a paid internship in the industry based on their individual interests. The Foundation also helps prepare students for their on-the-job experience through resume reviews and mock interviews.

IRIS IN is a film editing technique that was used in black-and-white films – you’d see a circle encompass a shot and shrink to close it. We named it symbolically as we were bringing young people, the next generation, marginalized people, into the business.

– Erika Olde-Coggin
Founder and President, Black Bicycle Entertainment | Founder, IRIS IN Program, Ghetto Film School