LatinX in Animation (LXiA), a signature program under the Latino Film Institute (LFI), has opened applications for its first-ever LXiA Spark Animation Grant.
Sponsored by Netflix, this program will select two independent, emerging Latinx animation filmmakers to each receive a grant of $10,000 towards the development and production of an animated short film. The goal is to uplift the presence of Latinx animation filmmakers, drawing attention to their individually unique ideas and perspectives as well as elevating the creativity and talent that the Latinx community at large has to offer the animation industry.
Beyond the financial support provided, LXiA Spark Fellows will also be paired with an industry mentor. Mentors will offer their advice, experience, and guidance throughout the development and production of the grant recipients’ shorts. From the development to post-production, LXiA Spark Fellows will also be supported through a series of panels tailored to address each stage of their film’s production.
“We really wanted to be intentional about creating a program that meant our filmmakers would be set up for success,” says LXiA founder and co-director Magdiela Hermida Duhamel. In providing wraparound support to LXiA Spark Fellows, LXiA envisions creatives who will continue to build out their professional networks and utilize the opportunity to make strides in the animation industry.
LXiA Spark Fellows will have approximately 16 months to complete their animated shorts. The shorts will also enjoy a special screening at LFI’s annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) in 2023. For this pilot year, the LXiA Spark Animation Grant will be awarded to individual Latinx filmmakers living and working in the United States. As the purpose of the grant is to help support a singular, complete short film, the grant will not be available to students or for commercial projects (including music videos, TV show pitches or web series).
“This is a peak moment of growth for us,” says Bryan Dimas, co-founder and co-director for LXiA. As of October 2021, LXiA is now three years old. “We’re hopeful that future editions of the LXiA Spark Grant means that we can award more fellows and expand the program further. There’s so much amazing talent out there!”
“LatinX in Animation has built a strong community and network of support for Latinx animators, and we’re thrilled to be part of their new initiative to support emerging artists in this field,” says Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Animation Film at Netflix.
Netflix’s 2021 slate features films and series helmed by leading Latinx talent within the animation space, including Jeremiah Cortez (Dogs in Space), Jorge R. Gutiérrez (Maya and the Three) and Guillermo del Toro (Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans and the upcoming Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio). The company’s support of the LXiA Spark Grant builds on their partnership with the Latino Film Institute, and is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries.
Submissions for the LXiA Spark Animation Grant are now open. Criteria and required materials, may be viewed here and submissions may be completed through this form. The deadline to apply to the LXiA Spark Animation Grant is Friday, December 10, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. PST.
Learn more about LatinX in Animation at www.latinxinanimation.org .