HBO Max Announces APA Short Film Competition


| Photo by Thomas Marlowe via Wikimedia Creative Commons

NEW YORK – HBO Max has announced its sixth annual Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film competition with the theme The Power of Love. Submissions began January 18 and are due by March 1 at 11:50 p.m. PST.

Only original live-action narrative pics centering on and portraying how Asian Pacific Americans perceive and show love in their relationships, friendships, or families are eligible. Films of Asian or Pacific Islander descent must have directed the film to qualify and a runtime of 10-15 minutes. In addition, films must have commenced principal photography on or after January 1, 2021.

Filmmakers can find a complete set of rules for the competition here. Judges for the competition include HBO Max 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.

First launched in 2016, the competition was previously known as the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition. It provides a platform for emerging Asian and Pacific Islander filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their unique and diverse perspectives. HBO Max will award three winners this year with cash prizes and the chance to have their projects premiere on HBO Max following a theatrical screening at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

“Going into the sixth annual APA Visionaries Short Film Competition, I’m proud to see the impact and growth the competition has had on the industry,” said Jackie Gagne, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, HBO Max, and HBO. “At a time when the most personal stories are also the most universal, the diversity of our storytellers is more important than ever. Our competition is designed to celebrate emerging creative APA filmmakers and the unique experiences and unsung talents that exist within the Asian Pacific American community.”

Hacks star Poppy Liu will serve as the 2022 HBO Max Visionaries ambassador and spokesperson, following previous ambassadors like Lovecraft Country‘s Jamie Chung, Insecure‘s Sujata Day, and Silicon Valley‘s breakout star, Jimmy O. Yang.

Maritte Go | File Photo

In 2018, Maritte Go, a Filipino American director based in Los Angeles, submitted her film Remittance and was adjudged one of the three finalists. Remittance tells the story of a Filipino cruise worker who receives a call informing her that her son is in the hospital. The film is up close and personal to Go, who told the Philippine Daily Mirror that “it is about growing up and seeing her mother’s hardships and sacrifices to make her family succeed.” She said that all of her mother’s sisters had to scrape together all the money they could to get her mom to medical school.

Go has since directed part of the anthology film Phobias, with her segment, Vehophobia. She has been a Project Involve Directing Fellow and participated in Women In Media’s CAMERAderie Initiative.

In 2021, her latest film “Black As Night,” is part of the Prime Video anthology series in Welcome To the Blumhouse. Black As Night centers on a New Orleans teenager with low self-esteem who learns of a group of vampires nesting in the city and must find the confidence to take them out with the help of a few of her friends. The film marks one of the first two installments alongside fellow horror-thriller Bingo Hell. — With Jay Domingo/PDM

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