‘Black-ish’ Actor Allen Maldonado Creates the First App for Short Films
Michael Bezjian

Keep your eye on Allen Maldonado whose Hollywood star is on the rise. He’s best known for his hilarious, recurring role on ABC’s Black-ish and as a staff writer on STARZ’s hit series, Survivors Remorse. This ambitious young entrepreneur also runs the recording company, Get It Done Records, a film production company, Only Son Productions, and a T-shirt line, Vineyards’ Phinest — where a portion of its proceeds go to his foundation.

In 2017, he’s adding “digital mogul” to his resume. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Maldonado launched Everybody Digital, the first digital app for short films. Expect the app to launch April 1st. 

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He spoke with ESSENCE about his new venture.

Why did you feel the need to create an app that showcases short films?
I created Everybody Digital for short filmmakers because I was frustrated. Once a film goes through the film festival circuit, it’s like, “What’s next?” and the answer is—nothing. There’s no distribution, there’s no platform to showcase your short film.

So the app, like most great concepts, was born out of necessity. But is there really an audience for short films?
Absolutely. There is an audience for short content and most consumers don’t see any short films or even know that they exist. I wanted to create a platform where, after that film festival circuit, there is a home for the right film. Our team is resurrecting many of the short films that have been tossed to the side over the years. Good films and great, young filmmakers.

How is your team approaching creating original content, which is a key to building and keeping an audience?
We are producing an Everybody Digital original short film a month, and we’re also producing an original digital series every other month.

How can filmmakers with completed short films contact your team? What is your team looking for as to acquisitions?
Inclusion is our policy. The submission process is easy. We want our content to look like the world we step into every day. Naturally, we are looking for gifted Black filmmakers and especially, Black women filmmakers and writers to contribute their talent to the platform.

What is your vision for “Everybody Digital?”
Right now I am building a team in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, to start. Looking at how people are consuming content, the next generation, the millennials — they are unplugging traditional media delivery. 90% of them don’t watch television; they consume the majority of their content through their mobile phones. That’s our demographic; that’s the future.