The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is launching the Inclusion Fellowship Series. This newly established program will focus on building a more inclusive and equitable industry for all members of the Latinx community. The six-day festival, established in 1997, said that from now on, each year, the fellowship will champion an underrepresented group from within the Latinx community. 

"For our first fellowship, we are proud to highlight Afro Latino voices because Black lives are Latino lives,” says Academy Award-nominated actor and co-founder of LALIFF and the Latino Film Institute, Edward James Olmos.

Netflix is sponsoring the program for five visionary directors who identify as Afro Latino to create a short film with its world premiere at LALIFF 2021. “Netflix is excited to partner with LALIFF in helping to foster the next generation of Latino talent," said Pete Corona, Manager of Original Series at Netflix. "Discovering new voices behind the camera will lead to bringing fresh and diverse perspectives in front of the camera, and we can't wait to see what these new filmmakers will create.”

Each filmmaker will receive individualized mentorship from an established filmmaker, one-on-one meetings with industry leaders from production to distribution, and various networking opportunities. The completed films will premiere as part of a special program during the 2021 version of LALIFF, where the fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in the festival’s Industry Week. Netflix will also offer support to the selected group of fellows throughout the development of their films. 

LALIFF’s Inclusion Fellowship series will award a $20,000 grant to each of the five selected fellows for the production of a short. The fellowship will be open to any filmmaker residing in the United States that self-identify as both Black and Latinx and is a permanent resident or U.S. citizen. The call for submissions is now open and the deadline is October 10, 2020.