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McDonald’s Announces Free Latino Film Contest

What do cheeseburgers and Latino filmmakers have in common? Hopefully a lot in the near future. Today, fast food giant McDonald’s USA announced the launch of Spotlight Dorado, a new multi-year platform aimed at uplifting Latino talent and arming them with access to mentorship and coveted resources to change their career trajectories. Even though Latinos represent nearly 20% of the U.S. population, their stories make up less than 1% of those told by Hollywood. Without mentorship, connections, and financial support, many Latino filmmakers struggle to produce films.

McDonald’s USA: Spotlight Dorado

The goal of Spotlight Dorado is to put these filmmakers a few steps closer to make their cinematic dreams a reality. The program kicks off today with a short film contest alongside acclaimed actress, director, producer and representation advocate Stephanie Beatriz.

“In the last year, there have been multiple milestones for thoughtful and authentic representations of Latinos in film. Though it’s important to celebrate these strides, there is still much more to be done, especially off-screen,” said Beatriz, known for her role as ‘Mirabel’ in Disney’s animated film, Encanto and the new radio drama podcast, Solar. “I’m very excited to partner with McDonald’s to give up-and-coming Latino storytellers the opportunity to accurately reflect the different perspectives that make up the Latino experience in the U.S.”

Starting today through June 3, 2022, U.S.-based Latino writers, directors and producers can participate in the Spotlight Dorado short film contest by submitting their screenplays and stories to Even better, participation in the contest is free.

Three finalists will be awarded a production budget of $75,000 to bring their short films to life and will receive mentorship from industry leaders, including Beatriz and trailblazing Director Carlos López Estrada, among others. Starting this November, the public will have a chance to vote for their favorite short film to help determine the grand-prize winner. The talented winner will also be given a year-long opportunity to work with McDonald’s in 2023 on future creative initiatives and campaigns, and receive one year of industry-standard creative software subscription services.

“We couldn’t be more honored to create this program for talented Latino creators and filmmakers whose stories are often overlooked,” said Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director of Cultural Engagement, McDonald’s USA. “Spotlight Dorado is representative of our longstanding commitment to feeding and fostering the Hispanic community while amplifying diverse voices. We look forward to seeing Spotlight Dorado resources help bring some very important stories to life for all to experience.”

All contest entries are subject to terms and conditions. For more information about Spotlight Dorado, visit And be sure to submit short films by June 3, 2022.

(Main Image: tommyvideo/Pixabay)

Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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