You know, Allen Maldonado.

Actor/writer/director Allen Maldonado has starred and written for some of your favorite shows: The Last O.G., Black-ish, Survivor’s Remorse and more.

Since 2004, when he popped out on your grandmother’s favorite soap opera The Young & The Restless, he has been a staple on Black television. Scratch that, he has been a staple on television (period). Amassing over 77 acting credits, he like many actors/ comedians have stayed on the serious grind in efforts to find creative ways to stay relevant. Maldonado will probably be the first to say that no matter how dope of a scene stealer you might be, you are only as good as your last project. So, instead of sitting and letting others decide his next opportunity… he jumped and grabbed the bull by the remote-controlled horns.  Maldonado created a platform designed to change the game not just for himself as an actor (providing opportunities for him and his peers to work), but also for content creators (actually creating the opportunities for him and his peed to work). He created an app called Everybody Digital that is currently changing the face of short-form content online in a curated way (no shade to YouTube but your stuff can definitely get lost messing around on that platform).

Everybody Digital has been called the Netflix for short films.

You probably are like “what’s a short film and why do we care?” A short film is typically considered to be a movie that is less than 30 minutes in length and should not be trivialized because they are powerful forms of content is in the cinematic world. In fact, shorts are actually so valued that they are even a category at The Academy Awards. The harsh truth is that most moviegoers have never actually seen a short film. There’s really no place that the industry has opted to play them (outside of a festival or maybe a premium cable network). There are many reasons why these films are stigmatized.  One is because many have resolved that the content presented are uncompleted films or short versions of larger projects. But those are misconceptions that Maldonado aims to dismiss. With his Everybody Digital app, he resurrects quality short films (predominately for people of color) from the after-festival graveyards, giving them glorious new life in digi-sphere!

This year he hosted his first film festival in Brooklyn to celebrate the content and content creators (actors, writers, producers, directors, etc.) in a top-notch display of support. The Everybody Digital Film Festival (that boasted sponsorship from by NBC Universal, TBS, SAGAFTRA, Driven Society, The Shadow League, and Pizza Hut) aimed to shine a light on short filmmakers who are so often overlooked and underappreciated. It did that completely. Performances by Diggy Simmons and with Talib Kweli on the turntables made the opening party popping at Kinfolk94.  Throughout the weekend, a number of stellar films were spotlit. The featured screenings were Narcoleptic starring black-ish star, Miles Brown, A Father’s Love starring Terayle Hill and Tichina Arnold and brand new series called The Struggle.

The most exciting aspect was the award packages.

For the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, winners each received a meeting with the Head of Talent Development for NBC. Each film that was selected for the platform proper (the app), they will get an LA screening for the press, industry insiders, friends, and family. Their next festival will be in California at the top of the year, with Google.