RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021
Cashmere Jasmine is a first-generation disabled Afro-Caribbean writer and director from South Florida, who creates provocative surrealist dramas. Her brand is dramas revolve around taboos and the complexities of identity seen through lenses of class, race, sexuality, and even criminality; deconstructing perceptions with her real-life experiences and dark humor.
Born to undocumented immigrants in South Florida, Cashmere Jasmine had goals of being a congress-bound attorney. Her aspirations turned into working in finance at Merrill Lynch after the 2008 recession, ironically, kidney failure shifted her path out of necessity. Unwilling to let something like kidneys get in her way, her entrepreneurial spirit went into overdrive as she started a photography business, using her early digital cameras to deliver photo and video assets. She learned everything she could about making media – from sales to pre and post-production.
After bribing the DP of an agency into a cinematography mentorship (don’t ask), landing a small business grant, then encountering a series of unfortunate events, Cashmere’s arduous journey led her from South Florida to Boston, to Southern California. Where she creates film and new media with a dedication to featuring BIPOCs on both sides of the camera, she has produced award-winning shorts “Bombs Bursting in Air” (L.A. Intl. Film Fest, 2020) and “Weenie” (Buffer Film Fest, 2019), primarily focusing on LGBTQIA+ and disability-inclusive stories. Her next project on her slate is “Sia” (2022), as she finishes post-production on her self-reflective identity series of shorts she wrote and directed, “Oreo” (2021)
After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab.
This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:
- Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
- Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
- Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS