SCAD Savannah Film Festival teams with Amazon Studios to support LGBTQIA+ filmmakers 

SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Short Film Competition to Premiere at October 2023 Festival 

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA — Recognizing the need for more inclusive storytelling in the filmmaking industry, the 2023 SCAD Savannah Film Festival (SAVFF) and Amazon Studios have created a dedicated SAVFF LGBTQ+ Short Film Competition, which will premiere during the festival, October 21–28, 2023. 

The collaboration creates a platform for emerging queer filmmakers to share their stories and gain mentorship and exposure, while onsite programming will offer networking and educational opportunities and drive conversation around equitable filmmaking. It is a practical application of Amazon Studios’ Inclusion Policy and Playbook, which builds DEIA into the content greenlight process and invests in programs to grow talent from historically excluded communities at all stages of the career pathway. 

“At Amazon Studios we have long prioritized amplifying underrepresented voices; it is part of the equity work we are committed to doing” said Latasha Gillespie, Global Head of DEIA for Amazon Studios and Prime Video. “We recognize the joy, complexity and power of LGBTQIA+ storytelling and we are thrilled to support these filmmakers through our collaboration with SCAD.” 

"We are grateful that Amazon Studios has joined us to help move the needle on this very critical issue," said SCAD Savannah Film Festival executive director Christina Routhier. "This competition and its mentorship effect can help the next generation of LGBTQ+ storytellers achieve new creative and professional goals and build sustainable careers, and we hope to inspire other institutions and festivals to follow our lead with similar dedicated programs." 

As the official presenting sponsor of the SAVFF LGBTQ+ Short Film Competition, Amazon Studios will donate $10,000 for the jury-awarded Best Overall Film and $5,000 for an Audience Award, with winners announced during the official Festival Awards Brunch. Also at the festival, Amazon Studios will lead a panel discussion on the future of LGBTQIA+ storytelling, host educational opportunities for SCAD students and alumni as well as a networking session for filmmakers. 

To submit a film to the SAVFF LGBTQ+ Short Film Competition, a director, writer, or producer contributing to the film must identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Films should be under 40 minutes in length and represent excellence in storytelling and execution. Submitted films can be narrative or documentary formats, reflecting unique insight into LGBTQ+ themes, issues, or ideas. The film's content should embody a personal connection to the subject and showcase the filmmaker's artistic approach to visual storytelling. Interested filmmakers can submit their film to the competition via FilmFreeway


Media Contacts 

JJ Maxwell     
AVP for Public Relations     
[email protected]     

Steven Wilson/Lauren Peteroy     
Scenario Communications     
[email protected] / [email protected]     


About Amazon Studios 

Amazon Studios is the home for talent, creating and producing Original films and television series for a global audience. Original series premiere exclusively on Prime Video, which is available in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide. Amazon Studios also produces and acquires Original movies for theatrical release and exclusively for Prime Video, in addition to producing Original content for Freevee, Amazon’s premium free streaming service. 

SCAD Savannah Film Festival 

Celebrating its 26th year, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival and its competitions provide SCAD students with opportunities as unique as the selected films. This year, the festival received more than 1,700 film submissions for competition series. During the festival, students from every academic discipline connect with leaders from the entertainment industry in master classes, coffee talks, lectures, workshops, and panel discussions. Presented each year in Savannah, a premier film hub in the Southeast, the festival promotes quality movies produced by independent and studio filmmakers. 

Follow the festival on Facebook and Instagram @savfilmfest and TikTok @scaddotedu and use #SCAD and #SAVFF. 

SCAD: The University for Creative Careers 

SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs across locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and online via SCADnow. SCAD enrolls more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 120 countries. The future-minded SCAD curriculum engages professional-level technology and myriad advanced learning resources, affording students opportunities for internships, professional certifications, and real-world assignments with corporate partners through SCADpro, the university’s renowned research lab and prototype generator. SCAD is No. 1 in the U.S., according to Art & Object’s 2023 Best Art Schools ranking, with additional top rankings for degree programs in interior design, architecture, film, fashion, digital media, and more. Career success is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. For the past five years, 99% of SCAD graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. SCAD provides students and alumni with ongoing career support through personal coaching, alumni programs, a professional presentation studio, and more.