Paul Feig’s Powderkeg To Champion Underrepresented Voices

Deadline reported this week that Paul Feig will launch Powderkeg, a digital content company intended to promote new voices, especially those of women, LGBTQ-identified people, and creators of color. CEO Laura Fisher will run the company, who’s previously headed development and production at Yahoo and Disney. The focus will be on series both scripted and unscripted and incubator programs. On the same day, Feig announced that his company Feigco Entertainment will require inclusion riders on all future television and film projects. Feig has joined prominent Hollywood figures like Michael B. Jordan and Ben Affleck & Matt Damon in adopting inclusion riders following Frances McDormand’s rousing Oscars acceptance speech, where she evangelized the equitable treatment of women in film. An inclusion rider means actors can include a clause in their film contract demanding a certain percentage of diversity in front of and behind the camera.

Feig is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter best known for big-budget comedies featuring Melissa McCarthy: Bridesmaids (2011), The Heat (2013), Spy (2015), and Ghostbusters (2016). He created the cult classic dramedy Freaks and Geeks and has directed episodes of beloved sitcoms like Arrested DevelopmentThe Office, and 30 Rock. He is well known for championing hilarious women and combatting the notion that women aren’t funny.

This year, WICF has the pleasure of partnering with Feig and HBO’s Ada Chiaghana on the festival’s two film competitions. The winner of the WICF Short Comedy Film Contest will earn $1,000 and a one-on-one mentoring call with Feig. Submissions have closed and the winning entries will screen at April’s festival.