EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios embarked on two entertainment collaborations that mark a real and differentiating commitment to supporting the US Latino community.
The studio has joined forces with Edward James Olmos’ Latino Film Institute and is the exclusive sponsor of its Youth Cinema Project Alumni Program for the 2022-2023 school year. YCP’s alumni program connects more than 300 program graduates from low-income, under-resourced public schools to hands-on access and learning opportunities across the industry, including mentoring and assistance with college applications.
Amazon Studios is also funding the inaugural YCP Fellowship, which will provide 15 college-bound students with resources to make a high-quality short film as a team to strengthen their film school applications and scholarship opportunities. The film will then screen at next year’s Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.
“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.” said Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of DEIA for Amazon Studios, Freevee and IMDb. “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.”
“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. Only together will we be able to create Hollywood’s multicultural future,” Olmos said.
To further strengthen the Hollywood pipeline, Amazon Studios is also continuing its support of local non-profit LA Collab to build the vertical entertainment of LTX Match from the ground up. The AI-enabled platform will use technology to connect Latino talent at scale with jobs, mentorship, boards, capital and community at all levels of the Hollywood ecosystem, helping to address the all-too-common statement “we can’t find Latinos to work in entertainment.”
“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,” said Beatriz Acevedo, co-founder of LA Collab. “With LTX Match, we aim to connect our community with access to make sure we have equal opportunity to thrive in Hollywood.”
In 2021, Amazon Studios launched its Inclusion Policy & Playbook, an industry-first resource that extends its commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility for its content and productions, and contains actionable guidelines for its collaborators in the creative community.