CAPE’s Short Film Challenge for AAPI Women and Non-Binary Filmmakers

Today, our friends at CAPE have announced they are teaming up with Janet Yang Productions to launch the inaugural Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge. 

This challenge will provide 4 short film production grants of $15,000 each to four AAPI women and non-binary filmmakers in addition to providing potential network opportunities with Janet Yang Productions and CAPE and other entertainment professionals. As many of you know, a few of CAPE’s most legendary ambassadors include actor-producer Kelly Marie Tran (Disney Animation’s Raya and the Last Dragon), multi-talented Gemma Chan (Marvel Studios’ Eternals) and the amazing Richa Moorjani (Netflix’s Never Have I Ever). The jury for the contest will consist of Asian American and Pacific Islander women from across Hollywood from places such as MiramaxSearchlight PicturesSundance InstitutePictureStartThe Walt Disney Company and more (including Kelly Marie Tran herself)!

Here is the official release from CAPE:

December 15, 2021 — Los Angeles, CA – CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and Janet Yang Productions announced today they are joining forces to provide short film production grants of $15,000 each to four AAPI women or non-binary filmmakers. The inaugural Short Film Challenge is generously supported by Julia S. Gouw.

The four awardees will be offered unparalleled networking opportunities with Emmy Award- and Golden Globe-winning Hollywood producer Janet Yang and the CAPE network, along with the chance to submit films to potential buyers and platforms with access to industry professionals including agents, managers, producers and studio executives. Serving as ambassadors for the Challenge are actor and producer Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians, Eternals), actor and Executive Producer Kelly Marie Tran (Lily Topples the World, Raya and the Last Dragon), and actor Richa Moorjani (Never Have I Ever). Tran will also serve on the jury, alongside Karen Chau from The Walt Disney Company; Samie Kim Falvey from PictureStart; Munika Lay from Miramax; Angela C. Lee from Film Independent; Ianeta Le’i from the Sundance Institute; screenwriter Adele Lim; DanTram Nguyen from Searchlight Pictures; Mirsada Abdool Raman from Sri & Company; Naomi Scott from Gettin’ Rad Productions; and Niti Shah from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“With the welcome increase in representation for both AAPI’s and women in general, the AAPI woman ironically is still an anomaly both in front of and behind the camera, or in any positions of power for that matter,” said Janet Yang. “This is both a cause and effect of public perceptions that we aim to shift through powerful storytelling.”

“According to a recent USC Annenberg study with Professor Nancy Wang Yuen, of the top 1,300 films from 2007-2019, only 3 out of 1,447 directors were API women (0.2%),” said Michelle K. Sugihara, CAPE Executive Director. “That is abysmal and must change. By awarding funds to make their films, this Challenge eliminates (or at least mitigates) one of the major threshold barriers API women and non-binary filmmakers face.”

Submissions open now and continue through January 26 for narrative live-action or animated short film scripts featuring a AAPI woman or non-binary protagonist. Additionally, the director or writer must identify as an AAPI woman or non-binary person. More information on the submission process can be found on CAPE’s website at

This is an exciting and incredible opportunity for all AAPI women and non-binary filmmakers everywhere! Submit now at the link above if you’re up for the challenge!