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HBO Max and WarnerMedia Launch Animated Shorts Program

New mentorship and training program seeks to discover artists in underrepresented communities whose style and voice push boundaries in storytelling and animation; up to 7 artists will be selected to participate; applications due by October 24.

WarnerMedia has launched a new mentorship and training program geared toward developing historically underrepresented talent in primetime animation. The HBO Max x WarnerMedia Access Animated Shorts Program will provide up to seven artists with the tools, instruction, and resources to create original animated short films for adult audiences. 

The theme for this inaugural program is “Only You,” with HBO Max looking to discover artists whose style and voice push the boundaries of what’s possible in animation and storytelling. During the six to nine-month program, which launches January 2022, participants will explore various career pathways and learn the business of producing an animation project, with comprehensive production budget resources to develop their original one to five-minute animated short. Industry experts will conduct virtual Master Classes on production cycle topics, including script writing, storyboard and animatic, and character and location design. Selected creators will work independently on their projects and will have scheduled check-ins with a dedicated mentor and a seasoned producer who will guide participants through the entire process. Completed projects will have the opportunity to reach global audiences, streaming exclusively on HBO Max. 

“So many of the world’s best animators got their start with an animated short,” remarked Aaron Davidson, Director, Comedy and Animation, HBO Max. “We’re proud to offer a space where creators that have yet to be discovered can nurture and share their ideas with the world while learning from and working with the very best storytellers the industry has to offer.”

“The future of animation for mature audiences has never been more promising and HBO Max is eager to discover artists with a distinctive creative lens who push the boundaries of primetime animation and creative storytelling in ways no one else is doing,” added Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Equity and Inclusion, WarnerMedia. “We’re looking for unique visual artistry, originality and characters that transport viewers into boundless, imagined worlds.”

The program is intended for historically underrepresented creators who identify as Indigenous, Black, LatinX, Asian, MENA and other communities of color, people with disabilities and members of LGBTQ2+ communities. Submissions from international candidates will be accepted provided creators have the right to work in the U.S. or Canada. The Canadian component of the program will seek out Indigenous artists, selected through a key collaboration between imagineNATIVE and WarnerMedia Access Canada. Applicants must be a resident of Canada for the Canadian cohort only.

Applicants must be 18 or older and can apply for free between October 5 - 24. Artists who previously have not had the opportunity to create an original work for a network or streamer are eligible. More details on the program, application, submission materials, evaluation criteria and link to apply can be found here.

Source: WarnerMedia