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Columbia Business Monthly

Cargo, Urban League Join Forces to Support Film Production, Education in South Carolina

May 09, 2023 09:17AM ● By Donna Isbell Walker

By Donna Isbell Walker

Marketing agency Cargo announced that it has formed an alliance with Urban League of the Upstate to help boost South Carolina’s place in the entertainment industry.

The new alliance is part of a task force that includes the Minority Film Institute, the South Carolina Film Commission, and the Urban League, with the goal of trying to attract film productions to Upstate South Carolina.

As part of the alliance, Cargo will produce marketing materials and media, while the Urban League of the Upstate will spearhead training programs for minority groups in technical and creative aspects of film and television production, as well as topics such as wealth management and personal development.

The classes will be presented at the George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate.

One of the Urban League’s goals is to expand the infrastructure for film production in the Upstate, and to that end, the organization will host an annual symposium that will feature panels led by experts in the industry, as well as film screenings. The symposium will offer an opportunity for both education and networking.

The Urban League also has plans for a virtual production studio and theater, to be located in Spartanburg. Once the studio is completed, Cargo will take over operations and management, giving access to students, the community, and Cargo’s clients.

The goal of the task force and the alliance is to strengthen South Carolina’s role in film and TV production in the state and the nation.

“Cargo is thrilled to be joining forces with the Urban League of the Upstate to support workforce development in the entertainment industry,” said David Estrada, global executive producer for Cargo. “We believe this initiative will help to create opportunities for more individuals to enter the industry and develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. We look forward to working with the Urban League and other collaborators on this exciting project.”

This alliance will make a difference for aspiring filmmakers and production crew members in South Carolina, said Gail Wilson Awan, president and CEO of the Urban League of the Upstate.

“This innovative alliance with Cargo will help develop a diverse, skilled workforce of Upstate crew members, which would make the state and our region more attractive to production companies,” she said. “This creates new jobs and expands existing ones for entrepreneurs, small and minority business owners, and creative professionals.”