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Amazon Prime Video Launches Shorts Festival for Underrepresented Filmmakers

Amazon Prime Video has announced it will launch the All Voices Film Festival, a short-film competition for U.S. filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds to compete for a grand prize of $25,000.

Submissions must be created by or feature people from marginalized communities, such as people of color and ethnic, gender and religious minorities, LGBTQ people, veterans and people with disabilities. Entrants will produce and shoot a film up to 40 minutes long, and self-publish it to Prime Video where U.S. subscribers can view the submissions. Submissions open April 8.

A panel of judges 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,” said Latasha Gillespie, head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Studios, and one of the judges of the festival.

The judges will award one filmmaking team a $25,000 prize and a tour of Amazon Studios in Culver City, Calif. Four other finalists will receive $10,000 each, and all five of the winning short films will be featured 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.

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Amazon Studios was the first streaming service to be nominated for best picture at the 2017 Academy Awards with “Manchester by the Sea,” which won best actor and original screenplay. The company also earned nods for “The Big Sick,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “The Salesman.” Their buzzy upcoming slate includes Mindy Kaling’s “Late Night” and Shia LaBeouf’s “Honey Boy.”

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