John Singleton

Submissions are being sought for the “John Singleton embRACE L.A. Short Film Competition,” inspired by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker John Singleton, who passed away in April. — PHOTO: Submitted

Philly filmmakers are invited to enter the inaugural John Singleton embRACE L.A. Short Film Competition, which is inspired by the legacy of African-American filmmaker John Singleton, who died April 28.

The competition, recently announced by Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. and the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) highlights stories focused on the African-American experience told through the lens of its Black characters.

The John Singleton embRACE L.A. Short Film Competition is the result of a partnership between the City of Los Angeles and the PAFF under Wesson’s embRACE L.A. initiative and is designed to “honor Singleton’s cinematic legacy while simultaneously celebrating his unapologetic approach to filmmaking.”

Filmmakers are invited to submit their live action short narrative scripts through Sept. 15. Three winners will be awarded $20,000 each for the production and completion of a live-action narrative short film. Public screenings of the selected films will be offered in May 2020. Complete application information can be found at

The “embRace L.A. is our initiative aimed at unifying Angelenos and empowering communities through conversations about race and racism and working to change these inequities,” Wesson said in a statement. “Through the medium of film, we are encouraging young filmmakers to be a part of this conversation, just as many of John Singleton’s films were a conversation about race in South L.A.

“We’re celebrating John and his legacy with the John Singleton embRACE L.A. Short Film Competition by giving emerging filmmakers the opportunity to be their generation’s John Singleton, giving them the resources to create short films that echo the cultural contributions of John. Just as embRACE L.A. strives to do, these short films will continue a dialogue about race in Los Angeles and work to confront and change these inequities — just as John’s films bridged the racial divide in this country during his career.”

Author, educator and film expert Donald Bogle, whose latest book, “Hollywood Black: The Stars, The Films, The Filmmakers” features a foreword by Singleton, whose provocative and realistic movies, including “Boyz n the Hood,” “Baby Boy” and “Rosewood,” helped to launch the careers of Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Tyrese and Academy Award-winner, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Bogle has poignant memories of the filmmaker saying, “The great thing about him, among other things, was that he not only liked making movies, but he liked seeing movies, and you can get that in his foreword. He talks about films that he saw growing up, and so forth. It was great to work with him.”

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