Watch the ten films shortlisted for the 2021 awards

Watch the ten films shortlisted for the 2021 awards

The winners of both the jury prize and the Audience Award will be announced during an invitation-only event at Frieze Los Angeles. Voting has now closed.

The Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award 2021, presented in collaboration with Endeavor Content and the acclaimed non-profit academy Ghetto Film School (GFS), provides a platform and development programme for emerging Los Angeles-based filmmakers aged 18-34. Now in its second year, the initiative offers ten aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to embark on a rigorous four-month programme at GFS. 

The 2021 fellows are: Tayo Amos, Alyse Arteaga, Giselle Bonilla, Jeremy Burkett, Jane Chow, Ashley Chrisman, David Liu, John Rizkallah, Andrés Vázquez and Ciara Zoe. Tasked with responding to a brief to explore the ocean as a framework for thinking about the complex environment of Los Angeles, the fellows produced individual short films.


The jury, which includes Claudio de Sanctis, Head of the International Private Bank and CEO EMEA for Deutsche Bank, will select the best entry, and award one fellow with a $10,000 prize.


In addition to the main prize, 2021 sees the introduction of the Audience Award, which enables the public to vote for their favourite film. Voting for the Audience Award opens on May 17, 2021 and will run until June 12, 2021.


We hope you enjoy watching this year's shortlisted films.



In partnership with

Deutsche Bank Art, Culture & Sports 

2021 shortlist

'Oceans' – Tayo Amos

An ambitious film-maker is forced to grapple with the memories of her father's passing through the powerful, cleansing forces of water.

'Sit in Water, Float in Peace' – Alyse Arteaga

An exploration into the subconscious that reveals the insecurities of an artist and her familial connection to the water just west of Los Angeles.

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'You're not from Around Here, Are You?' Giselle Bonilla

A kayaker’s attempt to protect conservation efforts disrupts a memorial service.

'Essential Work' – Jeremy Burkett

Essential Work is a meditative piece chronicling a gig economy worker’s last day to make rent and avoid eviction.

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'Sorry for the Inconvenience' – Jane Chow

In Los Angeles' Chinatown, a lonely teenager tries to help her parents keep their seafood restaurant afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Amaris' – Ashley Chrisman

A young woman who feels that her life is spiralling out of control is encouraged to visit the ocean.

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'River' – David Liu

Three siblings walk along the dry, concrete expanse of the Los Angeles River, reminiscing about their recently deceased mother.

'Dear Mama' – John Rizkallah

A young woman from the Middle East recounts her first experience in Los Angeles to her mother back home.

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'El Llano en Llamas' – Andrés Vázquez

An incarcerated firefighter struggles to find emotional stability as he relives searing memories of his traumatic past.

'Surface' – Ciara Zoe

A meditative experience with a kindred stranger provides a moment of reflection and release for an isolated spirit.

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