Jason Donnelly (Dj Puzzle) was chosen as composer to score one of the four short films in the new HBOAccess program. Four filmmakers were be chosen. Each were be paired with a mentor (an HBO development executive), provided with creative master classes and given a budget to create short-form content for HBO. New York director and writer Jamal Caesar (Black Ash Blue/Reform) is one of the four film makers. Jamal picked Jason to score his short for HBOAccess. More info on Jamal here

HBOAccess is a new four-week program created by HBO to provide project development, master classes and mentoring opportunities to emerging, diverse filmmakers.

The intent of the program to “identify diverse talent, provide development and mentorship, and afford participants opportunity to create short-form content for HBO,” per the premium network’s announcement. Filmmakers equipped with knowledge of cameras and scripts (and the ability to be in Los Angeles for the production period in June — housing and travel are not included) are allowed to submit one narrative directing sample (either a full-length feature, short or webisode).

Four filmmakers will be chosen from the submissions, and each will be paired with a mentor (an HBO development executive), provided with creative master classes and given a budget to create short-form content for HBO. At the end of the four-week process, each project will be considered for production as a 10-15 minute film or webisode series to air on various HBO platforms including, but not limited to, HBO Go, HBO, HBO’s YouTube channel, film festivals, charity screenings and other outlets.

“We are thrilled to present this opportunity to filmmakers who might not otherwise find their way through our doors,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming. “I believe this undertaking will serve as a valuable experience not only for those who are chosen to participate, but for us at HBO as well.”

The timeline for submissions is as follows:

Feb. 3, 2014 – Application process opens at

March 3, 2014 – Application process closes (or on the date upon which submissions reach the cap of 500 applicants, whichever comes first).

March 2014 – 20 candidates will be chosen to advance to second-round interviews (conducted in person or via Skype). Candidates will be expected to discuss their project in detail. Additionally, candidates must own and assign to HBO all rights necessary to develop and produce their idea.

May 8, 2014 – Four finalists are notified.

June 3, 2014 to June 26, 2014 – HBOAccess™ program is held in Los Angeles.

HBO’s definition of “diverse” includes those who identify as Asian Pacific American, Sub-Continent Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and women.

BET Urban World Film Festival

The film by Jamal Caesar (musical score by Jason Donnelly Dj Puzzle) has been accepted into the BET Network’s Urbanworld Film Fest NYC.

Jamal Caesar Reform DVD

The Urbanworld® Film Festival is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind. The five-day festival includes features, documentaries, and short films, as well as panel discussions, live staged screenplay readings, and the 2nd Annual Urbanworld® Digital, a 1-day Conference during the festival focused on digital and social media. Over the last fourteen years, Hollywood studios and talent-driven independent films have consistently chosen Urbanworld® to premiere box office and award-winning hits. Urbanworld® has also become home to some of today’s top brands who wish to reach key influencers and media & entertainment leaders across the multicultural landscape. The Urbanworld® Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld® Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes dedicated to redefining the multicultural roles in contemporary cinema, television, and online by implementing programs and initiatives that support the development of the urban content creation community. Gabrielle Glore serves as Executive Producer of the Urbanworld Film Festival, as well as ancillary Urbanworld Foundation endeavors.

The film is set in New York City (with locations primarily in Manhattan and Brooklyn). The story centers around a young Hasidic man who arrives home for Yom Kippur dinner covered in blood. He hides his secret from his family, yet attempts to maintain his composure and sense of culture amidst his family and their friends. But despite it all he must atone on this high holiday. And, in doing so, he must break the rules of this holy day in order to save a life and save his soul.

Starring rising star Jake Hoffman (“Click”, “Rosencranz & Guildenstern are Undead”, and “Barney’s Version”), REFORM is a dramatic mystery about a young man caught in a cultural, moral, and an identity dilemma for a crime we are increasingly convinced he did not commit. Critically, culturally, and creatively meaningful, REFORM highlights issues near and dear to us all: identity, community, and what it really means to “do the right thing”.

Set to be shot on the RED Camera (as used on such films as “The Social Network”), and with funds already raised through Kickstarter, coupled with the funds I have already been fortunate to raise and set aside, I plan on supporting the high budget necessary for Production/Costume/Make-Up Design, and standard film-production costs (including catering, crafty, transportation, equipment rental, computing resources, and more). The Three Design elements, though, are particularly costly because they (like in period pieces) require great attention to detail in creating a certain level of authenticity. In this case, the authenticity is specific to the cultural look, feel, and traditions unique to a community of Hasidic Jews.

Music by Jason Donnelly (Dj Puzzle)