McDonald’s USA continues to pave the way for Latinos on the golden screen with the return of Spotlight Dorado. The short film contest is one of the ways in which the Golden Arches aims to use its scale to empower and amplify the voices of Latino talent, especially in areas where the community is underrepresented.
This year, McDonald’s is casting Anthony Ramos, Grammy-winning artist, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actor, to take on a new role as a program mentor, joining a roster of film industry leaders including the award-winning writer, producer, director and actress, Gloria Calderón Kellett. Together, they will work to empower and guide three new Spotlight Dorado finalists as they go through the filmmaking process. The emerging filmmakers will also be awarded a production budget of $75,000 each to build their stories from the ground up, getting them closer to making their cinematic dreams come true.
“After more than a decade navigating my own career, I’ve seen firsthand how challenging it can be for creatives from underrepresented communities to get the support and resources needed to jumpstart their careers,” says Anthony Ramos, who will soon be seen starring in the next installment of Transformers: Rise of The Beasts, out this June. “Through Spotlight Dorado, McDonald’s is helping drive much-needed change in the industry. I’m so excited to be a Spotlight Dorado partner and help make a difference for Latinos to get their stories funded, produced, and told.”
Today, Latinos make up nearly 20% of the U.S. population and are a driving force in countless industries, including media and entertainment. While Latinos are avid moviegoers (24%), their stories are often overlooked and currently make up only about 1% of those told by Hollywood. Bridging this gap is key to helping shift the narrative about the Latino experience in the U.S., and fostering new voices and perspectives is one of the first steps toward driving industry change.
Take Two! McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado Short Film Contest
All U.S.-based Latino writers, producers, directors, aspiring filmmakers or creatives with a great story to share are invited to submit their screenplays to the Spotlight Dorado short film contest at www.spotlightdorado.com for the chance to be selected as one of three finalists to be awarded $75,000 to produce their films. Submissions are due on April 21, 2023 and are free of charge regardless of age, experience, or professional background.
“McDonald’s has a long history of investing in the diverse communities that it serves, and we’re proud to continue showing up for our Hispanic fans in ways that matter most to them,” says Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director Cultural Engagement & Social Media Content, McDonald’s USA. “Spotlight Dorado is an extension of that. We were blown away by the creativity and incredible quality of the short films we received from young filmmakers last year. There’s no shortage of Latino stories to be told, and we’re on the edge of our seats for new stories to come this year!”
To kick off the second year of Spotlight Dorado, the Golden Arches is popping up today at the SXSW Film and TV Festival, one of the ultimate cultural meet-ups for industry professionals and changemakers in the U.S., with an interactive experience that aims to help Latino filmmakers advance their career trajectories. Combined with a thought-provoking panel on navigating today’s entertainment industry, guests will experience a simulation of the twists, turns, and roadblocks often faced by Latinos in film through an engaging maze installation.