These 3 Filmmakers Won $225,000 Through McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado Program

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McDonald’s has named its three finalists for its Spotlight Dorado short film competition. The finalists are budding filmmakers Jazmin Aguilar, Jesus Celaya and Lorena Russi.

Each of them will receive $75,000 to produce a short film. They will also benefit from the mentorship of industry leaders, including actress Stephanie Beatriz (Encanto). In April, Beatriz said Remezcla that a program like Spotlight Dorado was designed to help “the shepherd [a] new generation of Latino filmmakers in the professional world [and] put Latino voices in the spotlight.

Now Beatriz looks forward to what the three finalists will do with the tools they need to bring their shorts to life. “It’s been a long journey for Latino representation on and off screen, but the creativity, passion and impeccable quality of the three finalist short film narratives fills me with hope for the future,” Beatriz said in a statement.

Aguilar, Celaya and Russi learned that they had won the contest at a celebratory event in Los Angeles, where Beatriz told them the good news.

The short film that Aguilar will produce with his prize money is called ugly childa European-style spaghetti western combined with contemporary Shonen anime.

Celaya’s short film will be Lucha Noirea noir piece drawn from classic American comics and Mexican lucha libre wrestling culture.

Russi’s short film is called A Story of Sitting in Waiting Rooms (or whatever longer title you prefer)which is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy about self-discovery with a queer Latina and her Colombian immigrant parents, her best friend, and a Civil War ghost.

As finalists, Aguilar, Celaya and Russi are now in line to become the grand prize winner and have the opportunity to work with McDonald’s on future creative initiatives and campaigns. All three shorts will debut in November on spotlightdorado.com. The big winner will be elected by the public.

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