Amazon will award $10,000 for the Best Overall Film and $5,000 for an Audience Award, plus lead a discussion panel on the future of LGBTQIA+ storytelling; the selected films will premiere at the October 2023 festival.
Recognizing the need for more inclusive storytelling in filmmaking, the 2023 SCAD Savannah Film Festival (SAVFF) and Amazon Studios have created a dedicated SAVFF LGBTQ+ Short Film Competition, which will premiere during the festival, which runs October 21–28, 2023.
The collaboration creates a platform for emerging queer filmmakers to share their stories and gain mentorship and exposure, while onsite programming will offer networking and educational opportunities and drive conversation around equitable filmmaking. It is a practical application of Amazon Studios’ Inclusion Policy and Playbook, which builds DEIA into the content greenlight process and invests in programs to grow talent from historically excluded communities at all stages of the career pathway.
As the official presenting sponsor of the SAVFF LGBTQ+ Short Film Competition, Amazon Studios will donate $10,000 for the jury-awarded Best Overall Film and $5,000 for an Audience Award, with winners announced during the official Festival Awards Brunch. Also at the festival, Amazon Studios will lead a panel discussion on the future of LGBTQIA+ storytelling, host educational opportunities for SCAD students and alumni, as well as a networking session for filmmakers.
To submit a film to the SAVFF LGBTQ+ Short Film Competition, a director, writer, or producer contributing to the film must identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Films should represent excellence in storytelling and execution while remaining under 40 minutes in length. Submitted films should reflect unique insight into LGBTQ+ themes, issues, or ideas in either narrative or documentary formats. The film's content should embody a personal connection to the subject and showcase the filmmaker's artistic approach to visual storytelling. Interested filmmakers can submit their film to the competition via FilmFreeway.
“At Amazon Studios we have long prioritized amplifying underrepresented voices; it is part of the equity work we are committed to doing,” said Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of DEIA, Amazon Studios and Prime Video. “We recognize the joy, complexity and power of LGBTQIA+ storytelling and we are thrilled to support these filmmakers through our collaboration with SCAD.”
Christina Routhier, Executive Director, SCAD Savannah Film Festival said, “We are grateful that Amazon Studios has joined us to help move the needle on this very critical issue. This competition and its mentorship effect can help the next generation of LGBTQ+ storytellers achieve new creative and professional goals and build sustainable careers, and we hope to inspire other institutions and festivals to follow our lead with similar dedicated programs.”
Source: SCAD Savannah Film Festival