Black History Month Movie Mogul: Troy Pryor | Chaz’s Journal



Pryor said that they are entering a new phase, and he plans to scale the Chicago Film XLerator program to 6 additional cities including Atlanta, Milwaukee, Miami, London, Puerto Rico, and Los Angeles. “Kim Vaughn is a very talented creator, said Pryor. “We met at Second City years ago, and last year, she pitched a project that takes a satirical look at an experience she had that occurred during the 2020 protests. It’s a pretty witty way to talk about some serious subject matter.” The program’s previous winners are Chantel Chavon and Adenike Thomas. Also among the program’s mentors are JaNeika and JaSheika James, whom Pryor met on one of our Rogerebert.com Black Writers Week panels.

Beginning this past fall, Pryor is also serving as a consultant on Chicago Made, a program out of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events that is aiming to help build the Chicago creative economy and a more diverse workforce. XD Tech is leading the way on this workforce development program under the leadership of its founder, Xavier Hernandez, also known as Professor X. 

“Chicago has always had amazing talent, amazing creatives, amazing thought leaders, but historically, we’ve had somewhat of a challenge retaining those individuals, and sometimes attracting more opportunities,” said Pryor. “Now, with Cinespace and the tax credit, there have been some amazing things that have been happening in our market to attract more opportunities. But the challenge is we have to continue to optimize those opportunities and build on them to create more. You’ve got the continuous expansion and push for more work in our market, and then you have the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that many intuitions and organizations are aiming for. With our pilot program, Chicago Made, the goal is to essentially do both. In short, our role is to identify potential candidates that would be eligible to be a part of the program, emerging creatives in a variety of skill sets that just need an extra push. As these individuals become certified and complete the course, they’re going to go into a hiring pool for productions that Creative Cypher already has moving forward.”

Other roles Pryor has recently taken on include serving as an executive producer on the series, “How We Got Here,” created by Ebert Fellow and Fellow University of Illinois graduate, Jewel Ifeguni, and collaborating with Cesar Rolon on launching Cypher Latino, which will have a full slate of programming in Puerto Rico and Miami this spring. He is currently working with SheaMoisture founder Richelieu Dennis on his new firm, Group Black, that will assist Fortune 500 companies in supporting Black initiatives. When I asked Troy if there is anything he is forgetting, he said he is co-curating “The Vibes,” the new show at Second City from its executive producer Jon Carr, whom he also met during our Black Writers Week.  

There’s no question that Pryor doesn’t shy away from taking the initiative, and that’s why I believe he will succeed at any endeavor he desires to tackle. So Disney meets Def Jam, here he comes! 

For more information, visit the official site of Troy Pryor.



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