Last year, Robert Rodriguez launched the El Rey Network. It was the best thing to happen to film aficionados this side of Turner Classic Movies, albeit a different kind of film: El Rey features kung fu, giallo, spaghetti westerns, slashers, and assorted other drive-in and exploitation fare uncut, all day and most of night. The network also has original programming in the same vein, such as From Dusk ‘Till Dawn: The Series, Lucha Underground, and the must-watch Directors Chair, which features interviews with filmmakers like John Carpenter, Francis Ford Coppola, and Rodriguez crony Quentin Tarantino. Now, the “rebel without a crew” is looking to help out up and coming filmmakers and artists with his People’s Network.
According to Variety, “The People’s Network is an online initiative to solicit creative ideas from aspiring directors, writers and other talent with the ultimate aim of bringing unknown creators to TV.”
El Rey’s “Epic Summer Movie Challenge” kicked off this week, and is looking for creative types to design a poster for their ultimate summer movie. The contest will run through the rest of the season, at which point Rodriguez and his team will choose a winner. The lucky artist will be featured on the cable network and receive a trip for two to Cancun, Mexico (thankfully, not the actual town of El Rey).
“When I started out, I didn’t have this kind of support,” Rodriguez says in a statement. “By mentoring artists through ‘The People’s Network,’ I have a chance to give back.” Hopefully this will prevent young filmmakers from having to sell their bodies to science like Rodriguez did to fund El Mariachi.
The “Epic Summer Movie” contest runs through August 9th.