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The contest is open to U.S. based women of color creatives who are writers/directors. Photo: Netflix.
The contest is open to U.S.-based women of color creatives who are writers and directors. Photo: Netflix.

An incubator for women of color in film

Netflix and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers opened a call for women of color creatives who are writers and directors.

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Of the 51 highest-grossing films of 2021, only 12.7% were directed by women while 87.2% were directed by men, according to a report from Women and Hollywood.

Of the total number of films that have led the box office, only 27.3% have been directed by filmmakers of underrepresented races: five of these directors were Asian, three Black, four Hispanic/Latino and three were multiracial/multiethnic. Only three directors were women of color: Chloe Zhao (Eternals), Liesl Tommy (Respect), and Nia DaCosta (Candyman).

These figures indicate that inclusion and diversity continues to be a global challenge in the entertainment industry, both in film and on television. Considering this and seeking to create more opportunities for women of color filmmakers, the U.S.-based National Association of Independent Latino Producers (NALIP) and Netflix are launching an incubator aimed exclusively at women of color.

“The lack of representation for Latinx & Women of Color directors and writers, it is crucial to put forth programs aimed to address the needs and increase the quality and quantity of directors and projects led by Women of Color,” reads NALIP's contest announcement. 

The contest called Latino Lens summons the writers and directors of color who currently work in cinema. Content creators must present their profile and an original short narrative concept they have developed in a brief and original way. Submissions are online on NALIP website.

The contest is now open and the deadline for applications is April 29.

After the applications and evaluation process, the incubator will choose five projects. Each will be approximately three to 15 minutes long and will receive pre-production, production and post-production resources until they are presented. Besides this, the filmmakers will receive mentoring, feedback on their projects, and financing.

The first edition of Latino Lens was held in 2021, and the winners were Eileen Álvarez with Mama Retreat, Caroline Guo with Firecracker, Eunice Levis with Ro and the Stardus and Angelita Mendoza with The Blue Drum. These productions told stories about motherhood, love relationships, suffering and loss. The works of these filmmakers were presented at the Latino Media Fest 2021 and at NALIP's Diverse Women in Media Forum, the same event where the winning shorts will be presented this 2022.

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