It’s a wrap! McDonald’s USA proudly announced Jesus Celaya, an emerging Latino filmmaker from southern California, as the grand prize winner of its first-ever Spotlight Dorado short film contest.
We attended the event and all three finalists had terrific short films, but Lucha Noir was a stand-out winner. Jesus Celaya’s Lucha Noir film rose to the top among voters nationwide, following a close rally between finalists Jazmin Aguilar’s Kid Ugly and Lorena Russi’s A History of Sitting in Waiting Rooms (Or Whatever Longer Title You Prefer). “Being named the winner of McDonald’s first-ever short film contest is an honor and an invaluable stepping stone in my career,” said Jesus Celaya, filmmaker and McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado winner. “The Golden Arches gave me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring my story to life, as well as gain new experiences, exposure and connections with several heavy hitters in the film and entertainment industry.” We also hear from Jeff Martinez and Stephanie Beatriz on how important latino representation is.
“Spotlight Dorado underscores the Golden Arches long-standing commitment to uplift and celebrates the Hispanic community through initiatives that fuel Latino pride and representation,” said Jeff Martinez, Owner/Operator and McDonald’s Hispanic Marketing Committee Franchise Lead. “Through this program, we aim to bolster the careers of up-and-coming Latino creatives; and we’re thrilled to offer Jesus a year-long opportunity to work with McDonald’s on creative initiatives and campaigns during 2023.”
Acclaimed actress, director, producer, representation advocate, and program ambassador Stephanie Beatriz made the announcement on behalf of McDonald’s on Dec. 7 at a Spotlight Dorado screening at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, an institution dedicated to the history, science, and cultural impact of the film industry. Other leading voices for Latino representation in Hollywood were also in attendance, including actress and program mentor Danay Garcia, and actress and entrepreneur, Julissa Calderon.