HBO Max & WarnerMedia Access Launch Animated Shorts Program Spotlighting Underrepresented Talent

WarnerMedia is launching a new program, aimed at bolstering aspiring creators of adult animation programming, the company announced today.

The HBO Max x WarnerMedia Access Animated Shorts Program will provide up to seven artists, from historically underrepresented communities, with the mentorship, training and tools required to create original, one- to five-minute animated shorts for adult audiences. They’ll be mentored throughout the process by a veteran producer, and will have the opportunity to bring their completed projects to a global audience, via HBO Max.

Throughout the six- to nine-month program, which kicks off in January, participants will be exposed to the business of animation producing, as well as the various career pathways open to those involved with the medium, with industry experts conducting virtual Master Classes on topics including script writing, storyboard and animatic, and character and location design.

The inaugural Shorts Program is centered on the theme of “Only You,” emphasizing HBO Max’s pursuit of boundary-pushing artists with unique voices.

“So many of the world’s best animators got their start with an animated short,” said the streamer’s Director of Comedy and Animation, Aaron Davidson. “We’re proud to offer a space where creators that have yet to be discovered can nurture and share their ideas with the world while learning from and working with the very best storytellers the industry has to offer.”

“The future of animation for mature audiences has never been more promising, and HBO Max is eager to discover artists with a distinctive creative lens who push the boundaries of primetime animation and creative storytelling in ways no one else is doing,” added WarnerMedia’s SVP of Equity and Inclusion, Karen Horne. “We’re looking for unique visual artistry, originality and characters that transport viewers into boundless, imagined worlds.”

Submissions to the program will open (for free) to those 18 and older, with the right to work in the U.S. or Canada, from October 5-24. Only those who have not yet created an original work for a network or streamer are eligible. For more information on the program, click here.

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