This blog can be attributed to Alexandros Koronakis, Executive Director – External & Regulatory Affairs for Southern Europe, and Sandro O. Mesquita AVP – CSR & Environmental Sustainability, AT&T Latin America.
We are excited to announce that the FACIUNI Becas scholarship program has, for the first time, opened its doors to filmmaking students from Spain and Portugal. With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and deeply wounding the cultural sector, we are excited to be expanding the initiative to passionate students in the two European countries. Both Spain and Portugal have a supremely rich cultural heritage, with civil society, academia, industry, and political institutions who have consistently prioritized the arts.
Launched in 2013, the FACIUNI Becas scholarship program was developed by AT&T, DIRECTV and SKY, in conjunction with partners including WarnerMedia, University of Southern California (USC), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Sundance Sundance Co//ab, Sundance Institute and TVCortos. The scholarship was established to create opportunities for film students on a local and international level. It takes place in nine countries, where short films made by students, conversations with renowned film directors, and much more, are presented. It is supported by powerful allies who help drive and establish a commitment to the motion picture industry.
Since its inception in 2013, the initiative has grown every year, with more than 2,800 short films submitted so far, and collaborations with 200 universities, annually. To-date there have been nineteen international and fifty-eight national winners, and more than US$ 890,000 awarded in grants for Latin American and US filmmaking students. In this way, we invest in the Latin American film industry through an international competition where winners compete against each other for the grand prize: a chance to take a summer course at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
The positive support for the participants of FACIUNI doesn’t stop there, as our project has grown to include important partnerships to benefit participants. Some selected short films receive airtime on OnDIRECTV and the streaming platform DIRECTV GO. The winners of the international scholarship have their films exhibited at the New York Latino Film festival, while international winners will show their short films in the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile and have access to the Sundance Institute’s Sundance Co//ab’s classes and workshops. Participants are able to gain access to sessions with mentors via AT&T’s Shape Event, and short films are also all broadcast on TV Cortos.
The scholarship contest seeks to promote and showcase the work of film students from Ibero-America, and to help ensure continuity for training, meeting, and exchanging experiences among students, universities, film makers and experts in the filmmaking industry. To help motivate and promote young talents, and the growth of the filmmaking industry in the region, from October 1 to December 30, 2020, filmmaking and audiovisual career students from Portugal and Spain have been invited to take part by submitting their short films online at www.faciuni.com/ue.
We look forward to developing collaborations in the two new countries we are entering this year, and hope that through 2021 we will be able to present new partnerships in Spain and Portugal with universities, film festivals, or any other bodies that share our passion for helping young talent develop.