A new partnership between Best Buy Foundation and Banijay Americas, a division of Banijay, the world’s leading producer and distributor of international content, is set to launch early next year, creating an entertainment industry career development program for youth from disinvested neighborhoods across Los Angeles.
Through the career development program, Banijay Americas will collaborate to develop a TV production curriculum tailored to participants at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers®, a Best Buy Foundation program that connects youth with the latest cutting-edge technology, mentoring and career training. The curriculum will include opportunities like seminars and job-shadowing with top producers, directors, editors, and writers for Teen Tech Center youth. Additionally, Teen Tech Center alumni will have a direct pathway to Banijay Americas’ production assistant feeder program aimed at creating entry-level positions on Banijay-produced series.
“Through the community impact hub, we are lifting up the next generation of youth in Los Angeles with the tools and resources to reach for the stars,” said Andrea Wood, Best Buy’s vice president of social impact. “This partnership will help shape the future of the industry by creating a direct talent pipeline that gives young people the opportunity to discover and pursue careers in the creative economy.”
Banijay Americas is the Best Buy Foundation’s first studio partner for the Los Angeles Community Impact Hub, a network of 12 Teen Tech Centers that supports youth across the county. Participants have access to a variety of technology including tools for film production, digital media, audio engineering augmented and virtual reality, 3-D design and more.
“Our work with Best Buy reflects our commitment to creating both content and an industry that reflects the rich diversity of our audience and our city,” said Karla Pita Loor, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Inclusion & Social Responsibility, Banijay Americas. “Banijay Americas is thrilled to partner with Best Buy to offer young people across Los Angeles access to the entertainment industry through learning opportunities and hands-on training, exposure to our network of industry professionals, and eventually, a point of entry for their first television jobs.”
The partnership with Banijay Americas builds on Best Buy’s commitment to address underrepresentation, technology inequities and educational and career opportunities for those who need them most. More than 50 Teen Tech Centers are operating across the nation with a goal to support 100 by 2025.
Banijay-owned studios Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, 51 Minds Entertainment and Truly Original have all committed to participating in the program. The studios are behind such top-rated hits as “Big Brother,” “LEGO Masters,” “MasterChef,” “Below Deck,” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “The Challenge,” “Ink Master,” “Married to Real Estate” and recent Emmy-winning series “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.”
In addition to Banijay Americas, Best Buy has partnered with industry leaders like The Hollywood Reporter and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to support young people pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.