A year ago, Essence launched a new film contest called The Essence Black Women In Hollywood Short Film Contest: Spotlight On Our Journeys, posing the question, “Are you ready to be the next top filmmaker?”
The contest – touting a mission to create multidimensional and
refreshing images of Black women, in contrast to commonplace narrow
mainstream media depictions – launched on
Friday, November 1, via the magazine’s website at Essence.com.
The winning short – Stefani
Saintonge’s unique coming-of-age story “Seventh Grade,” selected by a
judging panel that included Shonda Rhimes, Regina King, Ava DuVernay, Mara
Brock Akil, and other influential industry tastemakers – was honored during the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, in February of this year.
Since her big moment at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood event, Saintonge has been able to harness all the exposure she’s received, to make new industry connections, as well as attract the attention of film festival directors around the country, most recently screening at the UrbanWorld Film Festival in New York City.
And now, following that success, Essence is once again looking to give another up-and-coming filmmaker a similar opportunity, with a 2nd
For this year’s challenge, Essence is inviting black women filmmakers to submit their
most creative cinematic interpretations of the magazine’s 2015 theme as it marks its 45th
anniversary: “For the Love of Black Women.”
Filmmakers will produce and submit short films no longer than 20 minutes, after which Essence editors will select 5 finalists, before turning the voting over to their Academy to
select a final winner, who will accept the Black Women in Hollywood Discovery Award at next February’s Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, on February 19, 2015.
A portion of the winning film will also be screened
during the luncheon, where previous guests have included such trailblazers as Oprah
Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Sidney Poitier, Lupita Nyong’o and others.
Filmmakers interested in entering the contest should visit http://www.essence.com/shortfilmcontest, where all necessary information can be found.
Watch Essence’s profile of inaugural winner Stefani