Fear the Walking Dead actress Danay Garcia recently said her goodbyes to Luciana, a character she played on the series from seasons 2-8. It had to be bittersweet for the entire cast as they filmed the series’ final episode. This week Garcia attended SXSW for the McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado program, where she is a mentor.
McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado is an organization that empowers Latino voices across different industries. The main focus is film, for which Latinos only represent 1% of the stories told in movies and series. Spotlight Dorado provides a platform for Latino screenwriters and filmmakers along with financing and other necessary tools to produce the stories they have to tell.
In addition to Garcia, the 2022 mentors for the program include actor and recording artist Anthony Ramos, Producer, director, and actress Gloria Calderón Kellet, actor, writer, and producer Al Madrigal, director Carlos López Estrada and writer/director Nancy Mejía.
Danay Garcia – SXSW McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado
The 2022 winner was Jesus Celaya with his feature Lucha Noir, and he was featured at the SXSW 2023 event. Two other finalists were in the running for the grand prize, Jazmin Aguilar’s Kid Ugly and Lorena Russi’s A History of Sitting in Waiting Rooms (Or Whatever Longer Title You Prefer).
The process begins with an open call for Latino writers, directors, and producers. The 2023 program is now open for submissions due by April 21, 2023. The contest is open to all U.S.-based Latino writers, directors, and producers, including film school students, self-taught and independent filmmakers, and DACA recipients. A panel of industry leaders then judges the submissions, and ten semifinalists will be selected from that pool; three finalists are chosen and given a budget to produce their short films. The finalist is then determined by popular vote.