In its sixteenth season, the Armed With a Camera (AWC) Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists nurtures the next generation of Asian Pacific American artists to capture their world, surroundings and outlook on life. Visual Communications Media (VC) works with the Fellows for six months and provides special training, mentoring, networking opportunities, access to facilities and equipment, plus a cash stipend to create four to five-minute digital short films. Visual Communications Media seeks to cultivate a new generation of Asian Pacific American artists committed to preserving the legacy and vision of VC.

A special program will showcase all completed projects at various VC exhibitions across the city of Los Angeles, including their premieres at the 2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) and other venues nationwide. As the LAAPFF is now an Academy Award®-qualifying festival for Short Film Awards, the Film Festival's Golden Reel Award will be eligible for consideration for an Oscar® in the Animated Short Film/Live-Action Short Film category, without the standard theatrical run, subject to compliance with Academy® guidelines. Narrative AWC films will be eligible for the Golden Reel Award.

VC will co-own the productions and will also package and distribute completed works. Distribution income will aid in the continuation of the Armed with a Camera Fellowship.

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Eligible applicants must be of Asian Pacific descent and residents of Southern California. If accepted, Fellows must be able to attend mandatory meetings and workshops in Los Angeles. Women, Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders, South Asian, and Southeast Asian filmmakers are highly encouraged to apply to the AWC Fellowship. If you’re not sure of your eligibility, please contact Visual Communications.  

All projects must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Final piece must be a new, original work in narrative, documentary and experimental genres
  • Final piece must be shot in digital video format
  • Total length of final piece must be four to five minutes
  • Micro-level budget
  • Animation pieces are encouraged

Up to ten artists will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to the arts, production and exhibition experience, and the quality of their sample work. Consideration will be given to communities that have been underserved and underrepresented in the media arts. A review panel composed of community members, media artists, and curators will judge the work based on artistic innovation, feasibility within the timeline, and budget of their proposed projects. Applicants will be contacted by the first week of November 2017.  


  • There is no application cost for current VC Members. If you are not a member, sign up for any level membership HERE (Student memberships require student ID as proof). A VC membership comes with additional benefits throughout the year. 
  • A non-member application fee is $25. Click HERE to pay the fee.


Please send the following: 

  • Information Cover Sheet (Click Here to download)
  • Letter of intent, one page maximum, on how you think you can benefit from the AWC Fellowship
  • Resume and digital headshot (300 dpi, 5x7)
  • Project Treatment (2 page maximum) 
  • Project Timeline (All projects must begin in November 2017 and must be completed by March 17, 2018)
  • Simple Top-Sheet Budget (budget items may include artist stipend, equipment, supplies, location fee, food, etc.)
  • Single sample work no longer than five minutes; viewable via online link

Send the entirety as separate files in one email to:

Applications are now closed.

Founded in 1970, Visual Communications is the first Asian Pacific media arts center in the nation. The mission of Visual Communications is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans. Visual Communications was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, build connections between generations, challenge perspectives, and create an environment for critical thinking, necessary to build a more just and humane society. 

The Armed With a Camera Fellowship is supported by grants and individual donors such as yourself. To contribute to AWC, please click HERE. Or you may send a check made out to 'Visual Communications' with 'AWC' in the reference section. All donations are 100% tax-deductible. Thank you all for your continued support of this great program!