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Reimagining the Astronaut Legend: CVALT - A Mars Mission Film by Pablo Riesgo


Reimagining the Astronaut Legend: CVALT - A Mars Mission Film by Pablo Riesgo
The latest results are out, and three exceptionally talented filmmakers have been recognized by McDonald's USA in the Spotlight Dorado short film contest. These rising stars are poised to make a significant impact in the industry. Each of the selected finalists will receive a generous production budget of $75,000 and invaluable guidance from renowned industry leaders, propelling them on a memorable creative journey to produce their short films.
The Spotlight Dorado contest, now in its second year, continues to prioritize diversity and inclusivity, specifically aiming to support and bridge the gap for Hispanic filmmakers in the industry. McDonald's commitment to championing the community's rich culture is further highlighted through initiatives that promote pride and representation.
After meticulous assessment of numerous submissions, a panel of industry experts carefully handpicked this year's top three finalists based on criteria such as originality, direction, writing, and production value. The filmmakers were pleasantly surprised with this exciting news during a star-studded celebratory event in Hollywood. At the event, they had the opportunity to meet and interact with their mentors, including esteemed personalities like Al Madrigal, Danay Garcia, and Gloria Calderón Kellett. Last year's Spotlight Dorado grand-prize winner, Jesus Celaya, was also present to inspire and encourage the newcomers.
Gloria Calderón Kellett, showrunner of the Amazon Original series "With Love," expressed her enthusiasm about being a mentor in the Spotlight Dorado program. As a Latina who faced challenges while starting her career in Hollywood, she understands the importance of providing a platform for these emerging filmmakers to tell stories that resonate with their community. Her goal is to ensure they feel seen, heard, and deserving of recognition.
This year's mentor squad is nothing short of exceptional, with the inclusion of Grammy®-winning artist and Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominated actor Anthony Ramos, director Carlos López Estrada, and writer-director Nancy Mejía. Together, they will guide the finalists over the coming months, sharing insights from their own experiences of breaking through barriers as Latino creators in Hollywood.
The three short films created by these finalists will premiere on SpotlightDorado.com in November, allowing viewers from all over the nation to watch and vote for their favorite, thus contributing to the selection of the 2023 grand-prize winner. The highly anticipated announcement of the winner will take place in December. The chosen filmmaker will then receive a year-long opportunity to collaborate with McDonald's on next year's Spotlight Dorado campaign, in addition to receiving a laptop and a one-year subscription to industry standard creative software services. All three finalists will also be granted entry fees for up to six national film competitions in 2024 as part of the program's generous support.
Marissa Díaz - Fancy Florez's Summer Staycation:
Marissa Díaz, a talented Tejana writer, director, and producer, has an impressive portfolio, having contributed to notable projects like HBO's Girls and HBO Max's teen drama, Generation. Her expertise has been recognized through various fellowships, such as the Film Independent + Netflix Episodic Lab, Film Independent + CNN Original Series Docuseries, and Producers Guild of America + Google Create.
Synopsis of Fancy Florez's Summer Staycation: Meet ten-year-old Fancy Florez, a young girl with a taste for the finer things in life. Determined to have the best summer staycation ever, she works hard to bring her dream to life, even if it means confronting her archenemy. This heartwarming comedy offers a glimpse into the joys and challenges of girlhood.
Kryzz Gautier - Chimera:
Kryzz Gautier is a talented writer and director of Afro-Latina heritage, with a strong connection to her Dominican Republic roots. Her writing contributions include acclaimed works like Gordita Chronicles and the celebrated franchise BIOSHOCK. Gautier's films have garnered international recognition, screening at prestigious events like Fantasia, Outfest, and Frameline, which qualify for Academy Awards, BAFTA, and Canadian Screen Awards.
Synopsis of Chimera: Delving into the theme of obsession and technology's impact, Chimera follows Kian Zarrido, a skilled virtual reality developer leading a double life. After recreating her ex-girlfriend in virtual reality, she must navigate complex relationships with her fiance in real life, raising intriguing questions about the blurred boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds.
Pablo Riesgo - Cuando Volvimos A La Tierra/ When We Came Back to Earth:
Pablo Riesgo is a talented Spanish writer and director, dividing his time between Los Angeles, Madrid, and Mexico City. Currently pursuing his MFA at the American Film Institute, Riesgo's remarkable skills earned him the opportunity to direct the pilot episode for the inaugural AFI Television Initiative in 2022. His latest short film, Tiro Dominical, achieved international acclaim, being showcased in more than 20 film festivals worldwide and receiving the prestigious Best Comedy Short Award at the 34th Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
Synopsis of Cuando Volvimos A La Tierra (CVALT): CVALT presents a captivating reimagining of the legend of the astronaut and Native American. The story embarks on a thrilling mission to Mars, unfolding through the perspective of Marcel, an incredibly wealthy man with grand aspirations. During his journey, he encounters two unexpected guests who yearn for a better life, leading to an extraordinary and eye-opening experience.
To know more about Spotlight Dorado, click here.