Initiative Aims to Create Talent Pipeline for Filmmakers of Diverse Backgrounds
Los Angeles September 26, 2016— ShortsHD, the World’s Leading Short Movie TV Network and showcase for talent from cultures around the world, launched a new initiative dubbed #WatchInColor, which celebrates the United States’ diverse movie talent and creates new opportunities for diverse filmmakers on-set, on-screen and on-air.
#WatchInColor kicked off over the past two weeks in Washington, D.C., first at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation annual galas, Sept 15th and 17th , respectively, and at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Awards, September 22nd. The initiative will run through the rest of 2016 and culminate at the annual ShortsHD Short Film Awards in Beverly Hills during Oscars Week 2017.
The challenge facing the entertainment industry today is that the industry does not reflect the audience. Minorities make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population but are underrepresented in movies by 3:1 in leading roles, by 3:1 among directors, and 5:1 among writers. Short films, which are the bedrock of opportunity for traditionally underrepresented voices, can be part of the solution. Short films have a far greater diversity of artists, both on and off camera, than mainstream movies or television.
#WatchInColor is focused on creating real, practical opportunities for young African American, Hispanic, Asian American and other diverse filmmakers to get their films made and seen by the public. Working with the Hispanic community as its launch partner, ShortsHD has developed a new award for Best Hispanic Short Film with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, is dedicating 40 hours of on-air programming during the month of September across its US cable network to emerging Hispanic short films and is creating a “bank” of short films by diverse filmmakers that movie theaters across the country will be able to draw on at no cost to screen these shorts before feature films.
Similar initiatives to make an on-the- ground difference will be announced with the Asian and African-American communities over the coming weeks.
ShortsHD’s campaign will launch by bringing fun and interactivity to a serious topic by hosting a photo booth. Everyone is invited to add their voices to celebrate diverse movie talent and to urge the industry to embrace that diverse talent by sharing their favorite actors, directors and movies online with the hashtag #WatchInColor.
“Greater diversity of talent in film means a greater variety of stories, plain and simple.” said ShortsHD CEO, Carter Pilcher. “This Summer’s weak box office in the US demonstrates that audiences are bored with ‘same-old, same-old’ movies. We need new stories! #WatchInColor celebrates the amazing richness and diversity we all share as part of the American experience, and is designed to get stories from these hot new filmmakers MADE and SEEN! We hope to be joined by many across the industry to positively champion emerging talent from the Black, Hispanic and Asian communities.”
“Our combined voices hold incredible power. Together we can make a difference in the movement to bring more diverse talent to the entertainment industry. That’s why I am really excited about being a part of the #WatchInColor campaign,” said Charles Gonzalez, former member of Congress, a past Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and current Chairman of the ShortsHD Advisory Board. “The diversity of America ought to be reflected in our movie theatres, on our television screens and however else we are entertained. As the #oscarssowhite controversy brought into sharp focus a few months ago, diverse talent in roles that reflect our rich contributions are not evident enough today.”
Join the celebration of diverse movie-making talent with the hashtag #WatchInColor and please visit www.shorts.tv/watchincolor.
ShortsHD™ is the first high definition channel dedicated to short movies and is available on DIRECTV (Channel 573), and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 1789), CenturyLink Prism TV (1789), Frontier Communications (Channel 1789), Verizon Fios TV, Google Fiber and numerous NCTC member companies. ShortsHD™ is operated by Shorts International, the world’s leading short movie entertainment company with the world’s largest movie catalogue dedicated to short movies. Shorts International also operates ShortsTV®, which is available across Europe and Africa. Shorts™ is the short movie on-demand service available on iTunes movie stores in 54 countries across the globe and Amazon Instant Video. The company is headquartered in London, England with an additional office in Los Angeles and is led by Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/shortshd and twitter: twitter.com/shortshd.
ShortsHD Corp. Communications U.S.
Jason Damata Jason@fabricmedia.net 917-279- 8706
Theo Dumont Theo@fabricmedia.net 818-943- 7876
*Source: The 2016 Hollywood Diversity Report from the Ralphe J Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA