In its seventeenth 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 seeks to cultivate a new generation of Asian Pacific American artists committed to preserving the legacy and vision of our communities. We are seeking artists, 30 years old and under, who are committed to empowering communities and challenging perspectives through their creative works.

Visual Communications works with the Fellows for six months (November 2018 - April 2019). The Fellowship includes training, mentoring, networking opportunities, access to facilities and equipment, and a cash stipend to create five-minute short films. 

To celebrate our AWC artists, a special program will premiere completed works at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Highly qualified narrative AWC films will be eligible for the Festival's Golden Reel Award. Recipients of the Golden Reel Award for Narrative/Animation Short Film will be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live Action Short Film category of the ACADEMY AWARDS® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy® rules. 

AWC productions will be co-owned by Visual Communications. VC will package and distribute completed works. Distribution income will aid in the sustainability of the program.

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Eligible applicants must be of Asian Pacific descent, 30 years old and under, and residents of Southern California. Accepted Fellows must be able to attend mandatory meetings and workshops in Los Angeles. Women, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, South Asian, and Southeast Asian filmmakers are highly encouraged to apply to the AWC Fellowship. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Visual Communications.

All projects must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Final piece must be a new, original work (animation, narrative, documentary, and/or experimental)

  • Final piece must be shot in digital video format

  • Total length of final piece must be four to five minutes

  • Micro-level budget (between $500 - $800)

Up to ten artists will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to the arts and communities, 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 project timeline and budget. 

Applicants will be contacted by the first week of November 2018.  


  • FREE 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 prepare the following: 

  • Letter of intent, one page maximum, on how you think you can benefit as an AWC Fellow

  • Resume and digital headshot (300 dpi, 5x7)

  • Project Treatment (2 page maximum)

  • Project Timeline (All projects must begin in November 2018 and must be completed by March 25, 2019)

  • 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 online

If you have questions, email


Our mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives.  Founded in 1970 with the understanding that media and the arts are powerful forms of storytelling, Visual Communications creates cross cultural connections between peoples and generations.

Our programming includes: the annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and year‐round screenings and exhibitions; the Armed With a Camera Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists; the Digital Histories media production and storytelling project for older adults; and C3: Conference for Creative Content.  We are home to the VC Vault, one of the largest photographic and moving image archives on Asian Pacific experiences in America.

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!