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Calling All Emerging AAPI Filmmakers: HBO Max Wants Your Short Films

The sixth-annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film Competition is accepting submissions through March 1 for cash prizes.

Poppy Liu

Poppy Liu

HBO Max/screenshot

Streaming platform HBO Max announced the official theme for its sixth annual Asian Pacific American (APAV) Visionaries Short Film Competition, harnessing the “Power of Love” for the 2022 launch.

Starting today, Jan. 18, emerging filmmakers of Asian and Pacific Islander descent may submit short films that involve the AAPI community. Formerly known as the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition, the award ceremony was established in 2016 to spotlight diverse perspectives.

This year, the top three winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to premiere their shorts on HBO Max following a theatrical screening at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

“Going into the sixth annual APA Visionaries Short Film Competition, I’m proud to see the impact and growth the competition has had on the industry,” Jackie Gagne, senior VP of multicultural marketing at HBO Max and HBO said in a press statement. “At a time when the most personal stories are also the most universal, the diversity of our storytellers is more important than ever. Our competition is designed to celebrate emerging creative APA filmmakers and the unique experiences and unsung talents that exist within the Asian Pacific American community.”

The “Power of Love” theme encourages the submitted films to “portray ways in which Asian Pacific Americans perceive and show love in their relationships, friendships, or families,” per competition guidelines.

“Hacks” star Poppy Liu will serve as the 2022 HBO Max Visionaries ambassador and spokesperson, following in the footsteps of previous ambassadors like “Lovecraft Country”‘s Jamie Chung, “Insecure”‘s Sujata Day, and “Silicon Valley” breakout star Jimmy O. Yang.

Liu gushed of the honor, “I think some of the most exciting work in our community is happening at the indie level, and this is an incredible opportunity to bring visibility to those stories that have yet to make their way to the mainstream: stories that exist at the intersections of our identities, stories that expand the narrow understanding of the AAPI experience, stories that celebrate the abundance and range of talent within our community. I’m so excited to see the work that emerges from this competition and discover some of my new favorite filmmakers.”

Short film submission criteria mandates that each film is 10 to 15 minutes long and directed by a person of Asian or Pacific Islander descent. Each short must be an original live-action narrative and have commenced principal photography on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

For the complete set of rules and guidelines, visit www.hbomaxvisionaries.com. All submissions are due by March 1st at 11:59 p.m. PST. Follow the conversation on social media using #hbomaxvisionaries.

Judges for the competition include HBO Max executives and representatives from leading Asian American media organizations including the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), and Visual Communications.

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