Our founder, award-winning producer Erika Olde-Coggin, launched the Erika Film Foundation in 2014 to help marginalized youth overcome the barriers they face to pursuing careers as directors, producers and in behind-the-scenes roles.
Erika’s experience breaking into the film industry showed her that the path to becoming a filmmaker could be improved, especially for those without the right education or network advance their careers. She knew that making it easier for underrepresented, aspiring filmmakers to break into the industry would introduce better talent, build a better entertainment industry culture, and ultimately make better movies.
Erika created the Foundation’s flagship mentorship program, IRIS IN, in 2015 to educate talented and passionate young filmmakers about the business side of the film industry. Erika has expanded the program from a speaker series to an in-depth mentorship program, featuring regular one-on-one engagement between students and professionals that come from a wide variety of careers in film. The Foundation also places students in paid internships in the industry to give them on-the-job experience.