Dolby Laboratories and award-winning nonprofit Ghetto Film School have announced the winners of the Dolby Institute x Ghetto Film School New Voices. New Visions. 2024 competition. This year, the competition encouraged applicants to create an original short film concept that exemplified their singular voice and vision and would benefit from Dolby Vision images and Dolby Atmos sound. The 2024 winning filmmakers are Dwayne LeBlanc, Antonello Velez, and the directing/writing duo Sarah Jean Williams and Luna Garcia.
Over the course of nine months, the selected creatives will receive ongoing mentorship from leading filmmakers like Carlos López Estrada (Raya and the Last Dragon, Blindspotting) and Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once), production support from Antigravity Academy, and individual $25,000 grants to fund the production costs of their short films.
The winners will also be supported by a technical team from Dolby that will help grade the visuals of their films in Dolby Vision and mix the sound in Dolby Atmos.
This will be the third group of filmmakers to go through the Dolby and Ghetto Film School program. For the first time this year, Dolby and GFS staff will assist the winners in submitting the finalized short films to leading film festivals.
Since their original collaboration in 2014, GFS and Dolby have helped bolster the careers of more than 8,000 emerging filmmakers annually across the United States. Under this initiative, they’ve successfully upheld their mission to support diverse voices, advance the creative industry, and promote an inclusive culture through various programs such as the New Voices. New Visions. competition and the Emerge! Filmmaking Lab.
“Building on our successful partnership with Ghetto Film School, we are thrilled to continue our support of the next generation of filmmakers in year three of this competition,” said Glenn Kiser, Dolby Institute director. “We came up with the New Voices. New Visions. theme this year to allow the creative voices of our filmmakers to take center stage, and we are blown away by the incredible talent of our winners. We can’t wait to support them on their journeys to bring their films to life with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.”
“This program was conceived to support and develop early career filmmakers by placing them in positions of creative leadership,” said Ghetto Film School CEO and alumna Montea Robinson. “And this year’s theme, New Voices. New Visions, builds upon this mission, underscoring the importance of providing top-tier talent with the resources to realize their unique visions. We appreciate the team at Dolby Institute for being such dedicated partners and incredible resources for our filmmakers.”
Dwayne LeBlanc is a Los Angeles-based, first-generation, Caribbean American filmmaker. Primarily self-taught, his practice focuses on themes of migration, visibility, and dual identities. His debut narrative short film, Civic, won both the Jury Prize and Audience Award for Best Departures Mid-Length Short at the Indie Memphis Film Festival and a Special Jury Recognition at the New Orleans Film Festival.
Antonello Velez is a native New York-based filmmaker, focused on bringing authenticity and heart to storytelling. After graduating from Iona University, he’s directed ads for high-profile brands such as NFL, Cigna, and Red Bull as well as working with premiere agencies 72andSunny, Edelman, and McCann. In 2021, he produced, directed, and edited a short documentary titled Where There’s Smoke, which shed light on the duality of California’s wildfires.
Sarah Jean Williams was born and raised in Los Angeles. Focused on storytelling, she has a desire to reframe the fantasy genre to represent contemporary culture and make space for voices today. Sarah Jean is in her final year at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has made films in partnership with Netflix, Neutrogena, and the Huntington Museum.
Luna Garcia is a 23-year-old creative from Los Angeles, CA. At sixteen, she penned her first short film, Charley Horse, which went on to compete at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, SFFILM, and the Bentonville Film Festival. With a background in stand-up comedy, Luna’s creative work is defined by her biting sense of humor and grounded social observations. She graduated from Yale University in May 2023 with a degree in American Studies.
The Dolby Institute https://www.dolby.com/institute/
Ghetto Film School https://www.ghettofilm.org