The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) has announced the launch of LALIFF’s Inclusion Fellowship Series. This newly established program will focus on building a more inclusive and equitable industry for all members of the Latinx community. Each year, the fellowship will champion an underrepresented group from within the Latinx community.
For its inaugural year, Netflix is sponsoring the program for five visionary directors who identify as Afro Latino to create a short film that will have its world premiere at LALIFF 2021.
Academy Award®-nominated actor and co-founder of LALIFF and the Latino Film Institute, Edward James Olmos says, “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.”
“Netflix is excited to partner with LALIFF in helping to foster the next generation of Latino talent,” said Pete Corona, Manager of Original Series at Netflix. “Discovering new voices behind the camera will lead to bringing fresh and diverse perspectives in front of the camera, and we can’t wait to see what these new filmmakers will create.”
Each filmmaker will receive individualized mentorship from an established filmmaker, one-on-one meetings with industry leaders from production to distribution and various networking opportunities. The completed films will premiere as part of a special program during the 2021 version of LALIFF, during which the fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in the festival’s Industry Week, in order to further develop their careers and gain the access needed to succeed as working artists. Netflix will also offer support to the selected group of fellows throughout the development of their films.
LALIFF’s Inclusion Fellowship series will award a $20,000 grant to each of the five selected fellows for the production of a short. For the full requirements, please visit: https://latinofilm.org/fellowship/. The call for submissions is now open and the deadline is October 14, 2020. The selected filmmakers will work with their mentors and partnered organizations from November 16 through April 16, 2021.