Right in the middle of Latino Heritage Month, Amazon Studios has announced partnerships with Latino Film Institute and LA Collab, two community organizations working to boost U.S. Latino representation in the entertainment industry.
For the Edward James Olmos-founded LFI, the studio will serve as the exclusive sponsor of its Youth Cinema Project Alumni Program for the current 2022-23 school year and also fund the first-ever YCP Fellowship, which will give 15 aspiring film school students, aged 14 to 18, the resources needed to make a team short film to bolster their school and scholarship applications. The short will screen at LFI’s Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival next year. YCP is a curriculum conducted in 4th to 12th grade classrooms in low-income, under-resourced public schools in which students learn to make a film themselves, from concept to screen, over the course of the academic year. The alumni program has connected more than 300 YCP graduates to continued learning opportunities, including mentoring, internships, more advanced filmmaking programs and help with college applications.
“After two decades of building the pipeline from our community into Hollywood, we are excited that Amazon Studios is supporting our work with the Youth Cinema Project,” Olmos said in a statement. Only together will we be able to create Hollywood’s multicultural future.”
With LA Collab, Amazon is helping the nonprofit build networking platform LTX Match, to help Latinos at all levels within the entertainment industry find jobs, mentorship, capital and community.
“It is time to put the incredible tech innovation that exists today to help fix the broken bridge between Hollywood and our Latino creative community not finding each other,” LA Collab co-founder Beatriz Acevedo said in a statement. “With LTX Match, we aim to connect our community with access to make sure that we have equal opportunity to thrive in Hollywood.”
The two community organizations came together with the studio Monday evening at Neuehouse to celebrate Latino Heritage & Culture, an event hosted by Olmos and Latasha Gillespie, global head of DEIA for Amazon Studios, Freevee and IMDb.
“As we strive to be a global entertainment destination, we acknowledge the power and importance of Latino audiences. In order to tell their rich and dynamic stories authentically, we need their skills and creative power both in front of and behind the camera,” Gillespie said in a statement. “Partnering with LFI and LA Collab is not a charitable endeavor, it is an equitable endeavor. It is our responsibility to remove barriers and open doors so everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”