Director and Free the Bid founder Alma Har'el is launching a service to increase the number of women, trans-identifying, non-binary and underrepresented creators in filmmaking.
Free the Work is a talent discovery platform, powered by machine learning, which aims to fight systemic discrimination within industry hiring practices. Companies including Procter & Gamble, Facebook, AT&T and Amazon Studios have joined Har'el as founding partners and will lead the service’s global expansion over the next three years.
The platform is the next phase of Free The Bid, the initiative launched by Har'el in 2016. Free The Bid calls on ad agencies, production companies and brands to pledge to have at least one woman director bid on every commercial job.
An estimated 160 ad agencies and more than 180 brands worldwide are now signed up to Free The Bid in 20 countries.
Free the Work will allow TV networks, film studios and brands to track quantifiable results for their diversity efforts with a customised dashboard. The database will be free to access and include features such as personal accounts, sharing playlists and tracking via paid membership. It will also offer educational tools, facilitate mentorship opportunities and allow members to collaborate on issues such as equal pay.
Actors and industry leaders, including Emmy award winners Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jill Soloway, appear on the discovery page, which provides curated playlists of global talent.
Verizon has signed on as Free the Work’s inaugural guardian patron, and The Sundance Institute, The Unstereotype Alliance and the ANA’s #SeeHer initiative are also supporting it.
Wieden & Kennedy Portland created a film to launch Free The Work. Directed by Amber Grace Johnson through Object & Animal, the spot takes viewers on a 200-year journey to spotlight overlooked creative voices.
Har'el said: "We use services daily to discover new music, movies, and restaurants – 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."