Time Is Winding Up! The Deadline For Submissions To The ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Short Film Contest: Spotlight On Our Journeys Is December 5th ACCLAIMED PANEL OF JUDGES HAS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE MARA BROCK AND SALIM AKIL GINA PRINCE BYTHEWOOD, AVA DUVERNAY, AND MORE


NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/-- There's still time to become the next top filmmaker. On November 1st, ESSENCE invited aspiring filmmakers to showcase their own inspiring images reflecting the truths and triumphs of Black women's lives by entering The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest: Spotlight On Our Journeys. Since its launch on ESSENCE.com, the #1 media brand for African-American women has continued to receive an eclectic gathering of submissions. The final deadline for submissions is December 5th.

The aim of ESSENCE's Short Film contest is to create images of Black women that are multidimensional and refreshing – in contrast to the narrow depictions that are commonly presented in media. Contest finalists will be selected by a team of ESSENCE editors. From there one winner will be chosen by the Black Women in Hollywood Academy, which includes top industry tastemakers. In addition, the panel of judges has expanded to include: husband and wife producing team Mara Brock and Salim Akil; film director and writer Gina Prince Bythewood; producer Stephanie Allain; PEOPLE movie critic Alynda Wheat; director and editor-in-chief of Shadow and Act Tambay Obenson; filmmaker Ava DuVernay; director of development for 34th Street Films Amber Rasberry; and screenwriter and director Dee Rees. They will join previously announced judges Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of hit shows Grey's Anatomy and Scandal; and actress Regina King. The winner will later be recognized in the company of A-listers during the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon held on February 27, 2014.

The contest plays out as follows:

  • Aspiring filmmakers are challenged to write and direct an original short film, no longer than 20 minutes that presents an image of a Black woman in a unique, refreshing way.
  • One winner, selected by a panel of ESSENCE editors and The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Academy of industry tastemakers, will be recognized in the company of A-listers at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon on February 27, 2014. Past honorees at this Oscar-week event have included Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Shonda Rhimes, Suzanne de Passe, Cicely Tyson, Gabrielle Union and many others.
  • The winning film will also be featured on ESSENCE.com, with a portion played at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.

For more information and rules, please visit Essence.com/ShortFilmContest.


ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the ESSENCE Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the ESSENCE Book Club, ESSENCE.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 43 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 9.8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.ESSENCE.com.

SOURCE ESSENCE Communications Inc.


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