Spotlight Dorado program is part of our core initiative to help advance the careers of diverse filmmakers and accelerate their journey from where they are now, to where they want to be. Content creators chosen for one of our programs will undergo a thorough evaluation process by our Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee. If chosen, the content creator will receive a grant to bring their film to life and receive mentorship with key industry figures during the duration of the program.

Yes. The program will require the first five (5) pages of your script upon initial submission.

All genre submissions are considered. We want to develop and amplify your specific vision. We ask that you simply pay attention to the needs and expectations of the program as stated in the rules and guidelines in which you are considering applying for.

No; however, short narrative concepts with complex lead characters, innovative and compelling storylines that offer a fresh take on the Latino experience will be highly considered.

Spotlight Dorado does not support short narrative concepts based upon stereotypes and/or storylines which portray Latinos in a negative light; must avoid including anything that is offensive to a specific race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic group; cannot include any defamatory statements; cannot violate any local, state or federal laws; cannot violate or threaten any business, person, place or group.

The deadline to submit your story is June 10, 2022. 

No. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the submission and evaluation process, all submissions MUST be received by the deadline date.

Final short narrative projects must not have had a theatrical release, US broadcast airing or be available for online viewing prior to the special showcase event determined by the Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee. Entries that will not qualify include but are not limited to anything which has already been submitted to other programs; completed projects already in post, streaming, or premiered; previously sold or optioned.

Yes! Spotlight Dorado is open to McDonald’s Crew.

Yes! However, materials should be translated and submitted in English. Make sure to highlight the areas that are meant to be in a non-English language. 

There is no cost to apply

Generally, the evaluation process is a total of two rounds from start to finish

Several rounds of evaluations will be conducted by the Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee, a selection of qualified industry professionals. The identity of these committee members will remain anonymous. As you pass to a new round, additional information may be required from you.

Unfortunately, the Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee cannot offer personalized feedback or legal advice, we would love to speak with each individual filmmaker, but it simply isn’t viable for us to correspond with up to thousands of applicants.

The Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee reserves the right to exclude any submission that it believes, in its sole discretion, doesn’t meet the required criteria, or for any other reason at their reasonable discretion.

No, we will not be able to return any of your submitted materials.

All rights remain with the writer, regardless of the contest rules. No one outside of the Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee will review your entry without the writer’s permission. For the winner, we do not send out the winning idea or script until we have their consent and mutually deem the project “circulation ready”.

We ask for a producer to be included in the project. In addition, participants will work with Spotlight Dorado staff, crew, and mentors to work out the best plan on how to produce the project.

Have in mind that the Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee reserves the right to withhold portions of the support if during a required update or review of the project certain goals and guidelines previously set are not met. It is required that each Spotlight Dorado team have all consent forms, release forms, rights, and permissions before moving to the next phase. If the team does not meet this requirement by the end of the pre-production period, then the team will be disqualified.

Selected finalists must provide a financial production report that details the costs and usage of the budget and account for all support. Grantees must also acknowledge McDonald’s and Spotlight Dorado in the opening and end credits, and in all promotional material and publicity of the short film project.

We need to see the viability of your project. The budget needs to make sense with the creative and logistic aspects. If your project progressed to the next round, we would request a budget summary, top-sheet or complete breakdown from you. An actual or estimated budget is preferred, the more detailed a budget you can provide, the better. These allow Spotlight Dorado Staff and Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee to better evaluate your project and the strength of your plans for seeing it realized. 

Yes. Final projects may be subject to disqualification if the Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee reasonably believes there is third party content – not owned by the content creator – that may be the subject of copyright protection or for any other reason at Sponsor’s reasonable discretion. Content that may not be used without prior permission includes but is not limited to photographic images downloaded from public sources; drawing or images; music of any kind that is not in the public domain (i.e., any music produced after 1926); and voice-over material. Contestant is solely responsible for securing permission to use any copyrighted material and may be required, upon request, to submit proof of ownership or license to Spotlight Dorado. The Spotlight Dorado Evaluation Committee reserves the right to suspend or disqualify at any point of the incubation process.

For any additional questions please click here.
Skip to content