Disney+ will premiere the first season of short film collection Launchpad this May.
The six live-action shorts come from filmmakers of underrepresented backgrounds. The ultimate goal of Launchpad is to diversify the types of stories being told and to provide access to those who have historically not had it. Disney chose the filmmakers from a pool of over 1100 applicants.
Each new collection within Launchpad will feature different stories around a central theme. This first batch represents the theme “Discover,” and tells stories inspired by life’s journey.
“This first group of shorts by these six gifted filmmakers took our breath away. They are moving, provocative and entertaining, and they each convey a unique perspective on living in America today and the things you learn about yourself and others when you follow your own path,” said Mahin Ibrahim, Director of Disney’s Diversity & Inclusion Market, who oversees the Launchpad program. “I am excited to share them with you, and I look forward to welcoming a new group of filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds for our next season of Disney’s Launchpad.”
Submissions for the second season of Launchpad (theme: connection) open May 10. The program will also include a writers’ track for the second installment.
The first season of Launchpad premieres all six short films on May 28. Get the details for each film below.
Launchpad Short Films
“AMERICAN EID” Written and Directed by Aqsa Altaf
Ameena, a Muslim Pakistani immigrant, wakes up on Eid to find out that she has to go to school. Homesick and heartbroken, she goes on a mission to make Eid a public-school holiday. In the process, reconnects with her older sister, and embraces her new home, while her new home embraces her.
“DINNER IS SERVED” Directed by Hao Zheng, Written by G. Wilson & Hao Zheng
A Chinese student at an elite U.S. boarding school realizes excellence is not enough when he tries out for a leadership position no international student has ever applied for.
“GROWING FANGS” Written and Directed by Ann Marie Pace
Val Garcia, a Mexican-American teen who is half human/half vampire, has had to keep her identity a secret from both worlds. But when her human best friend shows up at her monster-infested school, she has to confront her truth, her identity, and herself.
“THE LAST OF THE CHUPACABRAS” Written and Directed by Jessica Mendez Siqueiros
In a world where culture has nearly ceased to exist, one lone Mexican-American struggling to carry on her traditions unknowingly summons a dark and ancient creature to protect her.
“LET’S BE TIGERS” Written and Directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz
Avalon’s not ready to process the loss of her mother, but when she’s put in charge of a 4-year-old for one night, she finds more comfort than she ever could have expected.
“THE LITTLE PRINCE(SS)” Written and Directed by Moxie Peng
When Gabriel, a 7-year-old Chinese kid who loves ballet, becomes friends with Rob, another Chinese kid from school, Rob’s dad gets suspicious about Gabriel’s feminine behavior and decides to intervene.
So, which of these short films are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
The first Launchpad collection arrives on Disney+ May 28.