The US prestige TV network HBO is doubling down on Asian-American outreach, issuing a call for submissions to a third run of its Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film competition. The competition not only aims to celebrate Asian-American filmmakers, but also acts as a sourcing channel for Asian-American narratives to feature on HBO.
With entries for this cycle’s contest due on November 14, 2018, HBO expects to select three winners from the entrant pool. In addition to receiving cash prizes, the winning films will screen at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May 2019. Winning filmmakers will also have the opportunity to license their works for exclusive premieres across HBO’s network and digital platforms during that same month.
Notably, this year’s Asian Pacific American Visionaries competition desires more representation from South Asian-Americans. HBO selected Indian-American actress Sujata Day (from the show Insecure) as the program’s 2018-19 ambassador, and Day makes a direct appeal to filmmakers of South Asian descent in the competition introduction video.
This perhaps comes after the previous two APA Visionaries competitions featured ambassadors (Leonardo Nam of Westworld and Jimmy O. Yang of Silicon Valley) and winners of East or Southeast Asian descent.
HBO has also brought aboard representatives from prominent Asian-American organizations to help judge the 2018-19 APA Visionaries entries, including the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), and Visual Communications.
“Competitions like HBO Visionaries offer our community the chance to share our stories with a mass audience. We’re thrilled to be working with HBO to help seek out a new generation of APA directors,” said CAAM Executive Director Stephen Gong.
For more information on the third annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film contest, including submissions rules and eligibility guidelines, please visit HBO’s official contest page.