Amazon Studios is joining in on the effort for much-needed growth of Latine representation in Hollywood by teaming up with three organizations already doing the work. The production studio is teaming up with Edward James Olmos’ Latino Film Institute, the Youth Cinema Project, and LA Collab, a non-profit based in LA.
The three organizations working with Amazon Studios have worked tirelessly for years to bring new opportunities to young creatives in underrepresented communities who want to be part of the entertainment industry. The focus of the organizations is to make sure that Latine communities can be seen in Hollywood at an equitable rate both in front of and behind the camera.
At the heart of this partnership between Amazon Studios and the organizations will be the inaugural Youth Cinema Project Fellowship. This will provide 15 college-bound students the resources to make high-quality films while strengthening their core skills as creatives. In addition, their films will be screened at the 2023 edition of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), something that will absolutely be a life-changing moment for these young and talent people.
“Representation really is so meaningful,” Gloria Calderón Kellett explained on a panel earlier this year. “And for Latinos, especially right now. There is a graveyard of wonderful Latino shows this past year that we have seen go away and to be able to continue this story of you know, Mexicans, Afro Cubans, queer people, all finding love all loving each other.”
Olmos and Kellett were joined by Lorenza Munoz and Latasha Gillespie from Amazon Studios, the co-founder of We Are Mitú Beatriz Acevedo, and program director for the Youth Cinema Project Erika Sabel Flores for this Amazon Studies and Latin Film Institute event celebrating our culture and where representation in Hollywood was pushed one step forward.
Hollywood has historically ignored the Latine community, often sacrificing our stories to budget cuts. And that’s especially disheartening as the Latine community makes up almost 19 percent of the U.S. population. Yet, according to the Hollywood Diversity Report, only 7.7 percent of film roles were given to Latine people. Additionally, fewer than that are represented behind the camera and in directorial roles.