2021 Short Film Competition

The theme for the 2021 APA Visionaries
Short Film Competition is "Taking the Lead."
Submissions open January 1, 2021 and close April 1, 2021.
Check back for more details and Official Rules.

The 2020 APA Visionaries films will be available on HBO and HBO Max on Tuesday, September 29.
#HBOVisionaries #HBOMax


Winners of the 2019 HBO APA Visionaries Competition

2020 APA Visionaries Short Film Series: Thomas Percy Kim on Si
2020 APA Visionaries Short Film Series: Tiffany So on Fine China
2020 APA Visionaries Short Film Series: Johnson Cheng on Lonely Blue Night




HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries is a short film competition sponsored by HBO that provides emerging directors of Asian and/or Pacific Islander descent the opportunity to showcase their work.

Judged by a panel of HBO executives, industry leaders, and fellow APA filmmakers, the competition seeks to identify cinematic storytellers who offer unique perspectives of the Asian Pacific American experience. The theme for the 2020 APA Visionaries Short Film Competition is “Breaking Barriers.” Films should provide a unique lens into the challenges and victories of overcoming obstacles from the perspective of an Asian Pacific American cinematic storyteller.

In addition to receiving cash prizes, the three films will be selected to make their premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May 2020 and offered the opportunity to license their film to premiere exclusively on HBO and/or its platforms during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2020.

Film premieres will be at HBO's and HBO Max's sole discretion.


1. Director must be a resident of one of the 50 United States or Washington, D.C.

2. Films must have been directed by a person of Asian or Pacific Islander descent [i.e., descendants of the people of the Far East, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent or Pacific Islands (China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands and Samoa)].

3. Director must be at least 18 years of age and of the age of majority in their state of residence (i.e., 19 years of age in Alabama and Nebraska; 21 years of age in Mississippi) as of 9/15/19.

4. Films must be an original live action narrative (no documentaries or animation).

5. Running time (inclusive of credits): 10-15 minutes. Film must be a minimum of 10 minutes in length; submissions shorter than 10 minutes in length will be disqualified. Films must be a maximum of 15 minutes in length (inclusive of title sequence and closing credits); if a submission is longer than 15 minutes in length, only the first 15 minutes of the film will be judged.

6. Films must be in the English language or contain accurate English subtitles (common foreign words/phrases are acceptable without subtitles).

7. Film must not be publicly available online through 5/31/20.

8. Film must have commenced principal photography on or after January 1, 2019.

9. Film must not have had any previous exhibition on broadcast or cable (by means of any method or medium) or online.

10. Employees of Home Box Office, Inc. (“Sponsor”), Warner Media, LLC., Don Jagoda Associates, Inc. (“Administrator”), The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (“CAPE”), Visual Communications, FilmFreeway, Vimeo, Inc. YouTube, and their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies and the immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible.

11. Once completed, submit your film to the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival via FilmFreeway. Follow the on-screen directions to create an account on FilmFreeway and submit you film to the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Select "HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition" as the category for your film, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete your entry. You will need to indicate “Yes, I would like my film to be considered” for the question regarding consideration for the HBO APA Visionaries Competition. An acknowledgment of the Official Short Film Rules and Official Short Film Competition Release is also required to be entered into the Competition.

Submissions for the Competition officially open on September 15, 2019 at 9am PST; however, if you submitted a film to LAAPFF from Sep 1 - Sep 14, 2019, your film will still may be eligible for consideration via email. Such individuals will be sent an email on or about September 15, 2019 with instructions on how to enter the APA Visionaries Short Film Competition. If, after September 15 you do not receive an email, use the “Contact Us” feature at www.hbovisionaries.com.

12. Limit one entry per person.

Please review the complete Official Rules.

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