GLAAD partners on new LGBTQ digital filmmaking contest: SEE YOURSELF

 

GLAAD is partnering with Project Greenlight Digital Studios (PGLDS) and Section II to find entertaining, premium, short-form digital series that fairly and accurately portray LGBTQ individuals and their stories. The theme of SEE YOURSELF  is simple:  the competition seeks content that reflects true, unique, and lived LGBTQ experiences.

Of the 126 releases GLAAD counted from the major film studios within its 2016 Studio Responsibility Index, only 22 (17.5%) contained LGBT characters.  And as found within the 2015 Where We Are On TV report, only 25 (4%) of the 881 regular characters expected to have appeared within the 2015-2016 broadcast primetime season were identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  This new competition is hoping to challenge these numbers by creating funding, production, and distribution opportunities for a series focusing on themes relevant to the LGBTQ community.

In identifying areas where GLAAD's resources will support this new initiative, such as promoting the contest, evaluating content and judging finalists, Ray Bradford, Director of Programs, Entertainment Media, shared:

“GLAAD is proud to partner with Project Greenlight Digital Studios and Section II on this exciting and new competition that amplifies unique and diverse stories from the LGBTQ community.  We look forward to working with them to highlight the many creative stories and themes that continue to accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ people everywhere.”

To enter, filmmakers will be invited to submit 1-2 minute Kickstarter-esque pitches for original digital series to SEE YOURSELF.  These pitches can range in themes from dramatic to comedic, from thriller to documentary style. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected and voted on by the public.  The "audience winner" automatically moves into the Top Five, where he/she and four finalists will be asked to provide additional materials.  These finalists will then be interviewed by the creative teams at Adaptive Studios (PGLDS), Section II, and GLAAD.  One filmmaker or filmmaking team will receive $5,000 and a development deal to create original digital series with Section II and Adaptive Studios.

See Yourself contect AnnouncementThe contest was first announced last night during a special panel at OUTFEST 2016.  submissions will begin August 2, and the final winner will be announced on September 19.  For complete contest rules, guidelines, timeline and criteria, visit SEE YOURSELF.

 

 

Project Greenlight Digital Studios is a story-driven creative community that empowers the next generation of great filmmakers.  Founded by Adaptive Studios -- the partners behind the Project Greenlight television series on HBO -- PGLDS is an incubator for premium digital content produced, written, and directed by new and emerging talent.

Brittany Turner, Vice President, Digital, at Adaptive Studios said that:

“Our goal at PGLDS has always been to create opportunities for independent filmmakers and under-represented voices in the filmmaking community. We are thrilled to team up with GLAAD to help expand this effort to the LGBTQ community through the See Yourself contest.”

Section II is the destination platform for audiences seeking female-focused LGBTQ films and television.  The company showcases content and creators relevant to the queer-female demographic, and has licensed and acquired the world's largest collection of LBTQ features, shorts, and series.  With their Digital Marketplace, Section II has recently expanded into producing original content, including the series For Ex-Lovers Only, which screened ahead of last night's SEE YOURSELF competition announcement at Outfest.

Section II founder, Allie Esslinger says:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Project Greenlight Digital Studios, a company as dedicated as we are to building an ecosystem for emerging filmmakers.  To have the support of GLAAD as we enter into this partnership means so much for a startup like us, whose mission is to foster #BetterRepresentation of LBTQ women in pop culture.  Working hand-in-hand with Industry and Community stalwarts to cultivate talent and create new content for LGBTQ+ audiences is exactly what we’ve been working towards for the last two years.”

 

By creating funding, production, and distribution opportunities for voices and content that challenge the current status quo of LGBTQ images in popular media, SEE YOURSELF  hopes to be a catalyst for change.  And in partnering with Project Greenlight Digital Studios and Section II, GLAAD advances its mission of accelerating acceptance by pushing for more diverse LGBTQ characters and more substantive stories.