Calling all creatives!

Applications are open for the first Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator. The Disney program is a new opportunity for up to six directors from underrepresented backgrounds to present diverse perspectives through original, live-action short films for a proposed initial run on Disney+. The chosen directors, paired with creative executive mentors from across Disney, will be challenged to create original films that both celebrate a “Discover” theme and align with Disney’s brand values.

“At the Walt Disney Studios, we believe that great stories come from everywhere, and we are committed to telling inclusive stories and working with filmmakers who bring diverse perspectives to the table,” says Alan Bergman, co-chairman of Walt Disney Studios. “The Disney Launchpad gives us a platform to empower a new generation of filmmakers to share original stories that resonate with our global audience and reflect the world we live in.”

Based at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, the Launchpad is a seven-month immersive program that will enable directors to take part in a robust curriculum of professional and storytelling classes primarily led by the American Film Institute, the program’s educational partner.

Select shorts will receive the grand honor of living on the Disney+ streaming platform, and some may even be considered for further development, depending on quality, performance on the platform, future arc, and other factors.

“We know the best films and content are those that showcase the diversity of the wider world,” says Julie Ann Crommett, vice president of multicultural audience engagement at Walt Disney Studios. “Launchpad recognizes the importance of diversity in front of and behind the camera by bringing together the most talented filmmakers with the world-class talent and resources of The Walt Disney Company.”

For full eligibility criteria and application details, visit

Photo: Disney