Amazon Prime Video will be hosting the first annual All Voices Film Festival. It’ll showcase short films from US filmmakers who hail from underrepresented communities.

The director, theme or cast must reflect underrepresented communities in either the United States or the world. That includes but is not limited to communities of color, ethnic, gender and religious minorities, the LGBT+, veterans and those with disabilities. Submissions open April 8. They are capped at forty minutes. Submissions must comply with the Rules and Regulations.

The Grand Prize winner will get the following:

• An all-expense paid trip for two to visit Amazon Studios in Culver City, CA.
• $25,000 royalty bonus

The four other winners would receive a $10,000 royalty bonus. All five winners would have their short films promoted on Prime Video. Special events in Seattle and Los Angeles will showcase the winners and discuss diversity in filmmaking and content distribution with industry leaders.

According to Variety, panelists from Amazon Studios, Prime Video, and IMDb will judge the top performing titles based on customer engagement.

“At Amazon Studios, we are looking for passionate storytellers who reflect and represent all backgrounds, specifically so that we can share their experiences and stories. We created this opportunity because we wanted a way for underrepresented voices to be heard.”

Latasha Gillespie, Amazon Studios’ head of diversity, equity and inclusion and one of the judges.

Founded in 2010, Amazon Studios was the first streaming service to be nominated for best picture at the 2017 Academy Awards with Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea. Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq was its inaugural release.

Film is not my forte but I came across a lot of young, aspiring filmmakers at CUNY and Long Island University. If you’re reading this, give it a shot.

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