March 23, 2023

HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries to address belonging, identity and culture

NEW YORK (Sept. 5, 2017) — HBO invites emerging Asian Pacific American (APA) filmmakers to create works that explore themes of home for its second annual HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film Competition. The contest seeks to address such timely issues as belonging, identity and culture through the lens of the APA experience. Three winning films will be selected to premiere exclusively on HBO (and/or its on-demand, digital and/or social platforms) and awarded cash prizes. For complete rules and guidelines, visit The deadline for entries is November 1, 2017. Join the conversation on social media with hashtag #hbovisionaries.

Launched in 2016, HBO Visionaries is designed to showcase the personal stories and cinematic visions of up-and-coming APA directors. Now in its second year, the competition seeks to inspire filmmakers and celebrate the diversity of perspectives in the APA community through themes of home.

The ambassador for the 2017-18 competition is actor Leonardo Nam, who has received critical acclaim for his role of lab technician Felix Lutz on Westworld. Born in Buenos Aires to Korean immigrant parents, raised in Australia and now living in Los Angeles, his unique journey coincidentally embodies the theme of this year’s competition. Nam is also featured in the official promo video for this year’s competition. Click here to view.

“In these turbulent times, using cinema as a way to create and foster constructive dialogue is more important than ever,” said Nam. “The goal of this year’s competition is to highlight the range of experiences and points of view from within the Asian Pacific American community.”

“HBO Visionaries is about empowering aspiring APA filmmakers as well their communities,” stated Jackie Gagne, VP Multicultural Marketing at HBO. “We’re looking for highly-personal films that also reveal universal truths.”

The judging panel is comprised of HBO executives and a panel of industry experts, including representatives from the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) and Visual Communications. General submission criteria includes:

  • • Running time: 8-12 minutes, inclusive of credits
  • • Films must have been directed by a person of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
  • • Director must be a resident of one of the 50 United States or Washington, D.C.
  • • Films must be in the English language or contain English subtitles (common phrases acceptable)
  • • Films must be a major festival premiere
  • • Films must have commenced principal photography on or after October 1, 2016
  • • Films must not have had any previous exhibition on broadcast or cable
  • • Employees of HBO and any other Time Warner entity and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate

In its first year, HBO Visionaries received over 350 submissions from across the United States. The three winning shorts (‘Monday’ by Dinh Thai, ‘Wonderland’ by Tiffanie Hsu and ‘Toenail’ by Jingyi Shao) made their world premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival prior to their HBO premiere during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. More recently, YouTube channel ‘The Apartment with Asif and Baluch’ hosted a community screening and discussion panel with the filmmakers.

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 131 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on- demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

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