'Launchpad' on Disney+ gives 6 filmmakers a chance to tell stories of diversity, discovery

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Friday, May 28, 2021
Launchpad on Disney+ promotes diversity, gives new filmmakers a voice
On Friday, Disney+ subscribers will be able to hear from a new generation of storytellers who are being given a "Launchpad" in a new series.

Six filmmakers.

Six stories of diversity and discovery.

And this Friday, May 28, six creative and culturally rich original live-action shorts will be added to Disney's legendary collection.

It's called Launchpad, and the goal is for everyone to be seen, every voice to be heard and to celebrate the magic that connects us.

"The vision is for us to support each other, for us to all have a seat at the table or to build a new table together," says Phillip Domfeh, the senior manager of Launchpad.

Disney calls it Launchpad because it's a chance for up-and-coming filmmakers from underrepresented communities to be seen and supported.

"We wanted to give access and opportunity to people in Hollywood who may not have had it before," says Mahin Ibrahim, the director of diversity and inclusion for Disney. "We also view this as a launchpad for their careers."

In American Eid, Aqsa Altaf tells the story of a Muslim Pakistani immigrant on a mission to make Eid a public school holiday.

"I grew up watching so much Disney and so much stuff from the Western side of the world," says Aqsa Altaf, the filmmaker behind American Eid. "I grew up in Kuwait. I just never saw myself represented on screen."

Coming full circle, Altaf is proud to add her story to the Disney collection.

"I literally have like grown as a filmmaker, as a leader and as an artist because of this experience," Altaf says.

In Dinner is Served, Hao Zheng introduces us to a Chinese student breaking barriers.

"I hope that kids like me can finally feel that they're seen now through these movies and that they can be true to themselves," says Hao Zheng, the filmmaker behind Dinner is Served.

Launchpad debuts this Friday on Disney+.

They're currently seeking a new batch of filmmakers for Season 2.