Jamie Chung in Lovecraft Country
Jamie Chung in Lovecraft Country

HBO announced the call for submissions for its annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries (APAV) short film competition. Submissions will open on January 1, 2021 at 9:00AM PST.

For this year’s competition, HBO is seeking emerging storytellers whose works respond to this year’s theme of “Taking The Lead.” Serving as the ambassador and spokesperson for the 2021 HBO Visionaries program is Jamie Chung, currently starring in HBO Original Series Lovecraft Country. Previous ambassadors have included Executive Producer of Cinemax’s Warrior Shannon Lee, Insecure’s Sujata Day, Westworld’s Leonardo Nam and Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang.

“I’m so honored to be an ambassador for the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition,” said Jamie Chung. “It’s a great opportunity for the next generation of Asian American Storytellers to showcase their work and tell meaningful authentic stories. A stepping stone to continue making waves of change!”

Established in 2016, HBO Visionaries provides an unprecedented platform for emerging filmmakers to share their unique and diverse perspectives of the community. Now in its fifth year, APAV serves to showcase cinematic storytellers of Asian and Pacific Islander descent awarding the top three winners with cash prizes and the opportunity to have their projects premiere on HBO and available to stream on HBO Max following their theatrical screening at the 2021 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

All submissions are due by April 1st at 11:59PM PST.

Submission criteria for HBO Visionaries includes:

  • Running time: 10-15 minutes, inclusive of credits
  • Films must have been directed by a person of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
  • Director must be a resident of one of the 50 United States or Washington, D.C.
  • Films must be in the English language or contain English subtitles (common phrases acceptable)
  • Film must not be publicly available online through September 30, 2021
  • Films must have commenced principal photography on or after January 1, 2020
  • Films must not have had any previous exhibition on broadcast or cable
  • Films must be live action narratives
  • Employees of HBO and other WarnerMedia entity and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate

Judges for the competition include HBO 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.

“At HBO, we are proud to see how much the APA Visionaries competition has grown and the impact it has created in the industry,” said Jackie Gagne, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, WarnerMedia. “Heading into the fifth year of the visionaries competition, we are excited to continue elevating unique experiences and highlighting the unsung talent and diversity of storytellers that exists within the Asian Pacific American community.”

“The HBO Visionaries family is a milestone in my journey,” said Dinh Thai, a finalist from the 2017 competition with short film Monday. “Their support and influence are equivalent to receiving Li xi (red envelope filled with money) from loved-ones for the rest of my life! I’ve met an abundant amount of inspiring people who’ve provided priceless lessons, which ultimately led to selling a pilot script and directing on New Amsterdam for NBC.”

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