LALIFF Launches The Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series

LALIFF BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of latinfilm.org

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is launching a new program to build a more inclusive and equitable industry: The Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series. 

“We are firm believers on the importance of opening avenues for the creation and distribution of films that tell the human experience through the Latino perspective, and this collaboration with Netflix is another very important step in that direction,” said Diana Cadavid, Artistic Director, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

The opportunity will be given to an underrepresented group from within the Latinx community each year. This time, Netflix is sponsoring the fellowship with a production grant for five Afro-Latinx filmmakers.

Media representation of Latinidad is limited. It is mostly white and light-skinned Latinx people who get to be recognized as awarded writers, artists, producers, and directors in the U.S. Both the behind scenes and the narratives shown on-screen erase Black-Latinx/Afro-Latinx experiences from Latinx spaces. If change is the destination, The Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series is a step in the right direction.

“For Latino representation in Hollywood to change, we need to create funding and distribution opportunities for our storytellers. The LALIFF Inclusion Fellowship is exactly that. For our first fellowship, we are proud to highlight Afro Latino voices because Black lives are Latino lives,” said co-founder of LALIFF, Edward James Olmos.

In order to guide the participants’ journey, the program will pair them with professional filmmakers. The selected professionals will use their experience and knowledge to provide feedback on the participants’ craft and career. The entire process will unfold from November 16 through April 16, 2021.

Each director will receive $20,000, individualized mentorship, meetings with industry leaders, and networking opportunities. From development to post-production, fellows will also be supported through a series of panels hosted in each state of their film production. 

Ultimately, the final short films will be featured at the premiere of LALIFF 2021. As a result, filmmakers will have the opportunity to participate in the Festival’s Industry Week, where they will further develop their careers and gain the industry access needed to succeed as working artists.

Applications are open to emerging Afro-Latinx filmmakers who have completed at least one short film, have not yet completed a feature film, and are ready for the next step in their career. Here are the rest of the requirements:

  • Treatment:
    • Must be written in English
    • Must be four pages or shorter (single space, Arial font)
    • Must be for a short film (less than 15 minutes) of any genre
    • Must be the original work of the submitter created solely for this competition
    • Must include: Working title, Logline, Stage of Development
  • Samples of previous work:
    • A director’s reel or excerpts from previous work
    • Maximum 5 minutes
  • Director’s statement:
    • Elaborate on your vision for the short film you want to create
    • Maximum two pages (single space, Arial font)

Calls for submissions are open until October 14th, and selected participants are notified by November 16th. Visit https://latinofilm.org/fellowship/ for more information!