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The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) announced today the call for submissions for its third annual LALIFF Inclusion Fellowship which aims to champion underrepresented filmmakers within the Latino community. With continued support from Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, ten visionary self-identifying Indigenous Latino and Afro/Black Latino directors will each be awarded $30,000 for the production of their short films.

“Last year, LALIFF and Netflix expanded the Inclusion fellowship by adding the Indigenous Latino cohort to the existing Afro/Black Latino cohort with the goal of uplifting Latino voices and moving representation forward. As we begin our third year, we are proud to announce the fellows will be receiving larger grants to bring their stories to life. It is fantastic to see Netflix realize the need to invest more in the Latino community and our stories,” says Academy Award®-nominated actor, founder of the Latino Film Institute (LFI), and co-founder of LALIFF, Edward James Olmos. 

The Fellows from last year’s program – William D. Caballero, Evelyn Lorena, Nicole Mejía, Sebastián Rea, Kristi Uribes, Elyssa Aquino, Jeanette Dilone, Gabriela A. Moses, Alexis García and Eli Vazquez – all premiered their films at LALIFF 2022. The 2021 Fellows have also found success with their short films. Monica Suriyage’s “La Ciguapa Siempre” qualified for the Academy Awards® in 2023 and played in 16 film festivals so far, and Justin Floyd’s “Quinceañero” in four film festivals including the Cannes Short Film Festival.

“We know that better representation on screen begins with empowering more storytellers from historically excluded groups behind the camera. LALIFF does incredible work in nurturing and platforming the next generation of Latino filmmakers, and we’re thrilled to continue this partnership for a third year of the Inclusion Fellowship,” says Pete Corona, Director of Drama Series at Netflix. 

In addition to the $30,000 grants, the selected Fellows will receive individualized mentorship from industry leaders on topics ranging from production to distribution, as well as various networking opportunities. Netflix mentors will also offer support to the selected group of Fellows throughout the development of their films, which will premiere at LALIFF 2023.

Through the Inclusion Fellowship, participants will further develop their careers and gain the industry access needed to succeed as working artists. For the full requirements, please visit https://laliff.org/fellowship/2023_submissions/.

The call for submissions is now open and the deadline is September 16, 2022, at 11:59 pm (PT).