EXCLUSIVE: The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and Janet Yang Productions today announced that they’re partnering for a new Short Film Challenge, which will provide production grants of $15,000 to four AAPI women or non-binary filmmakers.
Those looking to take part in the inaugural challenge supported by Julia S. Gouw must identify as an AAPI woman or non-binary person, and submit a narrative live-action or animated short film script featuring an AAPI woman or non-binary protagonist.
The four grantees chosen will be offered networking opportunities with Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning producer Janet Yang and the CAPE network, as well as the chance to submit films to potential buyers and platforms, with access to industry professionals including agents, managers, producers and studio executives.
Creatives serving as ambassadors for the challenge include actor-producer Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians, Eternals), EP-actor Kelly Marie Tran (Lily Topples the World, Raya and the Last Dragon) and actor Richa Moorjani (Never Have I Ever). Tran will also serve on its jury, alongside The Walt Disney Company’s Karen Chau, PictureStart’s Samie Kim Falvey, Miramax’s Munika Lay, Film Independent’s Angela C. Lee, the Sundance Institute’s Ianeta Le’i, screenwriter Adele Lim, Searchlight Pictures’ DanTram Nguyen, Sri & Company’s Mirsada Abdool Raman, Gettin’ Rad Productions’ Naomi Scott, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Niti Shah.
“With the welcome increase in representation for both AAPI’s and women in general, the AAPI woman ironically is still an anomaly both in front of and behind the camera, or in any positions of power for that matter,” said Yang. “This is both a cause and effect of public perceptions that we aim to shift through powerful storytelling.”
“According to a recent USC Annenberg study with Professor Nancy Wang Yuen, of the top 1,300 films from 2007-2019, only 3 out of 1,447 directors were API women (0.2%). That is abysmal and must change,” added CAPE Executive Director Michelle K. Sugihara. “By awarding funds to make their films, this Challenge eliminates (or at least mitigates) one of the major threshold barriers API women and non-binary filmmakers face.”
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