Amazon Studios is formalizing its dedication to the Latino group in Hollywood and past by partnering with Edward James Olmos’ Latino Film Institute, the Youth Cinema Project and native non-revenue LA Collab, working collectively to strengthen the Hollywood pipeline.

“As we strive to be a global entertainment destination, we acknowledge the power and importance of Latino audiences. In order to tell their rich and dynamic stories authentically, we need their skills and creative power both in front of and behind the camera,” said Latasha Gillespie, world head of DEIA for Amazon Studios, Freevee and IMDb, in a press launch saying the information. “Partnering with LFI and LA Collab is not a charitable endeavor, it is an equitable endeavor. It is our responsibility to remove barriers and open doors so everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

As such, Amazon Studios has signed on as the unique sponsor of its Youth Cinema Project (YCP) Alumni Program for the 2022-2023 faculty yr. The program connects over 300 graduates from low revenue, beneath-resourced public colleges to fingers-on entry and studying alternatives throughout the trade, together with mentoring and help with school functions. The firm may even fund the inaugural YCP Fellowship, which can present 15 school-sure college students with sources to make a excessive-high quality brief movie, working as a crew to strengthen their movie faculty functions and scholarship alternatives. Their movies will then display at the 2023 version of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF).

Amazon Studios additionally reaffirmed its dedication to LA Collab as the group builds LTX Match, an AI-enabled platform that goals to fight the all-too frequent assertion “We can’t find Latinos to work in entertainment” by connecting Latino expertise with “jobs, mentorship, boards, capital and community” throughout the Hollywood ecosystem.

Gillespie mentioned the new and renewed partnerships at an unique occasion celebrating Latino heritage and tradition held on Monday evening at NeueHouse Hollywood on Monday evening, the place she was joined by group leaders like Olmos, founding father of the Latino Film Institute (LFI); Gloria Calderón Kellett, showrunner of Prime Video’s “With Love”; and Youth Cinema Project’s govt director Erika Sabel Flores.

Latino Film Institute founder Edward James Olmos takes a selfie with a scholar’s household as Amazon Studies and LFI have fun Latino heritage & tradition at NeueHouse Hollywood on Oct. three.

Getty Images

Before the program started, Gillespie defined the motivation behind Amazon Studios’ efforts.

“One of the things we try to pride ourselves in doing is the internal work,” Gillespie advised Variety. “It’s always easy to point the finger and say what that industry or Hollywood isn’t doing, but it’s a harder thing to say, ‘What are we not doing? Or not doing well enough?’”

When the DEIA crew checked out the information, they recognized a niche of their progress with the Latino group, each when it comes to the firm’s artistic partnerships and its personal inside community; these partnerships and initiatives have been based with a purpose to fill that hole.

“It was about an impatience and dissatisfaction with our progress in terms of Latiné community. We were like, ‘We have to do better,’” Gillespie stated. “That’s what equity is about — it’s understanding we have a lot of work to do in a lot of spaces, but some spaces need more immediate attention than others, and for us right now that’s the Latiné community. Not taking our foot off the gas for the other communities, but in addition to.”

The new initiatives come as Amazon Studios DEIA crew marks the one-yr anniversary of their Inclusion Policy and Playbook, a guidepost in the firm’s effort to enhance variety, fairness, inclusion and accessibility in its productions and on its units by way of “clear directives, and aspirational goals that move us toward a more equitable future.”

According to Gillespie, the firm has been inspired by the progress made in the first yr of the playbook, regardless of a couple of “humbling lessons learned” alongside the method, as the crew discovered its groove.

“All in all, it renewed our faith and renewed our commitment that change can happen if you are intentional about it, and if you build structure, policies and systems to support it,” she stated, summarizing the foremost takeaway.

Gillespie additionally famous the anniversary in her remarks earlier than the assembled crowd. “We celebrate our progress humbly embrace lessons learned and reiterate our intention to hold ourselves to a higher bar,” she stated. “Let me be clear, we did not publish our Inclusion and Policy Playbook because we have it all solved. Just the opposite. We did it to increase our accountability and build further transparency.”

She continued: “At Amazon, building partnerships is one of the most essential foundations for our success. We know that experience matters, relationships matter and partnering with experts, leaders and trusted voices in the Latiné community matters.”

[Pictured: “With Love” showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett, LFI Founder Edward James Olmos, Youth Cinema Project govt director Erika Sabel Flores, Global Head of DEIA for Amazon Studios, Freevee and IMDb Latasha Gillespie]