Represent is a short-film festival dedicated to shifting the narratives told about people of color through stories that reflect on our ever-growing dreams, realities and imaginations.
The festival aims to provide a platform for us to share our own narratives on our own terms. Whether through production, talent, or storytelling, it is essential that we have a role in the frameworks of filmmaking that allows us to reflect our own cultural, ethnic, and linguistic identities.
People of color are consistently misrepresented in films and highly underrepresented on film crews. Consequently, we often see films about people of color that simply reenact the racist history of our ancestors, tokenize people of color through one-dimensional characters, or focus exclusively on our traumatic experiences navigating through society. Although sharing our history is important, very few films account for the breadth, dynamism, and fullness of our ever changing realities and imaginations. The festival will counteract these tropes by presenting films from three genres—narrative, animation and documentary—followed by curated panel discussions that shift the narrative toward one that encompasses the wealth of talent, creativity, and diversity we seek in this field. Participants will build relationships with other filmmakers, industry folks, and creatives of color with shared values, in hopes that we will network and collaborate on expanding the realm of representative works in the future.
Presented by the Antiracist Classroom, Represent is an opportunity to discuss, deconstruct, and express what’s missing from the film industry and what we hope to see more of in the future.
Represent will be hosted on Saturday, October 5th 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Ticket sales to be announced.
The festival will include a day-long program, presenting films from three genres—narrative, animation and documentary—followed by curated panel discussions that shift the narrative toward one that encompasses the wealth of talent, creativity, and diversity we seek in this field.
We invite filmmakers of color between the ages of 16 - 25 to submit short films that center PoCs as creators and subjects. This may include films that reflect you and/or your collective identity to push the limits of typical depictions of PoCs in film, depictions which are often mischaracterized, racist, or reliant on traumatic histories.
While the content of submissions doesn’t need to explicitly focus on the topic of identity, who we are inherently shapes our work, so we welcome films that explore identity in varying degrees. Do you have a film that portrays an ideal reflection of your cultural, ethnic, or linguistic heritage? Are you working on a project that counters the prevailing interpretations of identity or culture we see around us? Are you a creator who has consciously cultivated diversity and inclusion throughout your filmmaking process? Show us how you choose to reflect yourself in your work.
Have any questions regarding your submission? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Requirements & Eligibility
- Productions must be led by people of color; we understand that filmmaking is a collaborative practice that requires teams of people with many roles and understand that there are bound to be crews comprised of people with many different identities. We invite diverse crews to submit work and will prioritize those led primarily by crews of color.
- Submissions may be located within the United States or Internationally.
- Films will be selected based on excellence in story, relation to the theme of “shifting the narrative,” production quality, and creativity/originality.
- Films must not exceed a running time of 25 minutes.
- Works-in-progress will not be admitted.
- There is no limit to the number of films you can submit. Please fill out separate entry forms for each film.
- All films must be submitted in English or with English subtitles.
There are none!
- Submissions Open – June 10th, 2019
- Regular Deadline – July 1st, 2019
- Notification Date – September 5h, 2019
Meet Our Judges
Aniya Wolfe, 17
Filmmaker Aniya Wolfe is a visionary transcending boundaries internationally. Aniya has directed, written, produced, and edited several projects including her own award winning full length feature film, Beyond My Skin. This thought provoking film addresses the various challenges and issues facing today's youth. In 2015, Wolfe launched Beauty Scene Productions, LLC. after recognizing the power in visuals and sound. She believes film can be used as a tool to expand perspectives. Despite her age, Since moving to LA from Philadelphia with her family in 2016, she has directed episodes of the Google web-series GodComplx, shadowed amazing sets like Grownish and Nike, and has worked on projects for artists like Bianca Ryan, Nathan Davis Jr and Tim Johnson Jr. from “The Four”.
Christina Xing, 20
Christina is a 20 year old Asian-American director, represented by Adolescent Content. She has graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy for Motion Picture Arts and is currently studying Directing at Art Center College of Design. Born and raised a small peach from Birmingham, Alabama. She’s gotten to chase cowboys, befriend sheet ghosts, slow dance with brooms and meet the man on the moon, all thanks to her ongoing friendship with the cinema. She has made several award-winning films and music videos that have been featured on outlets like the FADER, Refinery 29, OUT Magazine, The Gay Times and screened at several Oscar-qualifying film festivals all over the world. She strives to make Cassavetes for people of color. She also strives to keep her nose clean and to eat more veggies.
Jalena Keane-Lee, 24
Jalena Keane-Lee is a Director, DP, and Producer, dedicated to democratizing storytelling through uplifting underrepresented voices behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Jalena is the co-founder of Breaktide Productions, an all women of color video production company and has directed and produced national campaigns for clients like Nike, Bright Pink, and THINX, as well as producing original short films. She is a 2018 NeXt Doc Fellow and a 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, which has supported shorts that have premiered at SXSW, HotDocs, and Sundance. Jalena is directing a documentary short supported by Pacific Islanders in Communications that highlights the mother daughter relationships of the Ku Kia’i Mauna, native Hawaiian activists standing for their sacred mountain, Mauna Kea. Jalena is currently in production directing her first documentary feature following a young menstrual activist fighting to end the tampon tax co-produced by Stick Figure Productions.
Redamo Rosa, 18Born in LA and raised both in Puerto Rico and in LA, Redamo Rosa has had a very diverse view on his own culture. Being from a very underrepresented part of the world but also living in one of the most famous cities in LA, Hollywood, he is constantly frustrated with the lack of diversity he sees in the film world. Puerto Rican’s really never get a chance to be in films and rarely are highlighted in behind the scenes. When Puerto Rican actors do, they never are playing Puerto Rican’s, they mostly play Mexicans. Puerto Rico is sadly still a colony after it was forcefully taken by America so Redamo feels a need to represent his culture and highlight Hispanic main characters. In the third grade, Redamo started making his first few films, soon it became an obsession, until now it’s a job. He creates a wide variety of platforms from Webseries, short films, feature films, short stories, photography, screenplays, music videos and so on. Most recently he created an animated music video for Sony Music Latin titled: Tu Lado Oscuro. The animation features an entirely fictional world with an all Puerto Rican cast of characters along with the animators who are based in Bogotá, Columbia.
Sade Ndya, 19
Sade Ndya is a visual artist based in Pasadena, CA who specializes in cinematography and photography. At only 19, she's opened her own freelance studio space called The Red Futon, where she actively shoots narrative films, music videos and branded photo content. Through her studio productions, she is actively dedicated to providing safe creative spaces for POC's and women to carry out their personal visions behind and in front of the lens. Thinking the world was hers as soon as she owned her first DSLR, Sade began by just making films about people with stories to tell. All of these moments collectively becoming a part of her and who she is, shaping her knowledge and awareness of the world. She wants to promote this sense of self-actualization with her work. To help people become proud of who they are, where they came from, and what they believe in. Sade is currently studying at Art Center College of Design, with an upcoming BFA in Cinematography and Film Production.
The Antiracist Classroom would like to thank Star In You, ArtCenter’s Humanities & Sciences Department and ArtCenter Dialogues (A Toyota Motor Corporation Endowed Series) for their generous financial and community support in making this event a reality.