Now Playing: McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado Unveils Top Three Finalist Short Films, Championing Latino and Hispanic Representation in Film

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January 23, 2024

UPDATE: March 18, 2024 - Drumroll, please… McDonald’s USA is thrilled to announce that Tejana writer, director, and producer, Marissa Díaz, has been selected as the grand prize winner of the 2023 Spotlight Dorado short film contest. Her adventure-filled Mexican standoff, Fancy Florez’s Summer Staycation, won over audiences nationwide in a tight race against finalists Kryzz Gautier’s Chimera and Pablo Riesgo’s Cuando Volvimos a la Tierra. As she claims her grand prize, McDonald’s is proud to support her journey by providing resources and a platform to help advance her career as a filmmaker.

Fancy Florez’s Summer Staycation follows ten-year-old Fancy Florez and her masterplan to enjoy a luxurious summer in her neighbor’s abandoned pool, only to have her plans foiled by her archenemy. This slice-of-life comedy is a peek into all the ups and downs that come with girlhood.

Marissa’s undeniable talent in unique storytelling is just one example of the incredible pool of emerging Latino and Hispanic filmmakers. Opportunities like Spotlight Dorado underscore McDonald’s long-standing commitment to uplift and celebrate the diverse communities it serves through initiatives that fuel pride and representation

Spotlight Dorado winner Marissa Diaz



Fans nationwide are invited to visit to tune in and vote for their favorite short film now through Feb. 11.


(CHICAGO - Jan. 23, 2024) Get ready to press play on the latest Spotlight Dorado lineup of short films from rising Latino and Hispanic filmmakers. Starting today, audiences nationwide can visit to immerse themselves in three distinct projects stemming from the latest edition of the short film contest, including Marissa Díaz's adventure-filled Mexican standoff, "Fancy Florez's Summer Staycation," Kryzz Gautier's virtual reality romance, "Chimera," and Pablo Riesgo's satire sci-fi, "Cuando Volvimos A La Tierra." Fans can vote for their favorite film until February 11 to help determine the grand prize winner.

The short films are making their debut amid underrepresentation of Latinos and Hispanics in the entertainment and film industry. Recent findings from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative highlight the issue remains ongoing, both behind the scenes and on-screen. Their latest research study, supported by McDonald’s Spotlight Dorado, reveals that less than 5% of directors from major motion pictures between 2007 and 2022 were Hispanic/Latino. Among this group, only five were women.

This disparity goes beyond directors. On-screen, a mere 4.4% of lead or co-lead roles featured Hispanic/Latino actors. This latest research highlights the urgency for a more inclusive film landscape.

By supporting pivotal research and rising storytellers, McDonald’s is helping drive inclusivity while reaffirming its commitment to the diverse communities it serves.

”As part of our commitment to giving back to the diverse communities we call home, we are proud to support opportunities that help drive inclusivity and change,” said Ryan Worthy, Content and Culture Director at McDonald’s USA. “With Spotlight Dorado, McDonald’s has been able to use its scale to amplify pivotal research and create opportunities for Latino and Hispanic storytellers - and the results speak for themselves. We’re so proud of the outstanding talent showcased by this year’s Spotlight Dorado finalists. They have a bright future and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for them.”

Following their selection as the top three finalists last summer, McDonald’s gave the talented filmmakers a combined budget of $225,000 to produce their short films. Each also received personalized mentorship from industry leaders, including Grammy®-winning artist, Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominated actor Anthony Ramos, actress Danay Garcia, comedian, writer, actor, and producer Al Madrigal, director Carlos López Estrada and writer-director Nancy Mejía.

The grand prize winner of this year’s program will be announced in March. For more information on the program, visit


Watch the Spotlight Dorado Short Film Trailers


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Marissa Díaz - Fancy Florez’s Summer Staycation

McDonald's Spotlight Dorado 2023 finalist: Fancy Florez’s Summer Staycation by Marissa Díaz


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Kryzz Gautier - Chimera

McDonald's Spotlight Dorado 2023 finalist: Chimera by Kryzz Gautier


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Pablo Riesgo - Cuando Volvimos A La Tierra

McDonald's Spotlight Dorado 2023 finalist: Cuando Volvimos A La Tierra by Pablo Riesgo


About McDonald’s

McDonald's has always been committed to the communities it serves, and the people that make up those communities. Spotlight Dorado underscores just one of the steps McDonald’s has taken to help achieve a more equitable and inclusive future for our employees, Franchisees, suppliers, customers, and the communities we serve and foster. Serving more than 14,000 local communities nationwide, McDonald’s wants to use its scale to empower and amplify the voices of Hispanic and Latino talent, especially in areas where they are underrepresented, including film.

Beyond Spotlight Dorado, the Golden Arches has given back and connected with the Hispanic and Latino community through initiatives in music, education, and sports, as well as supporting local charities and organizations that fuel pride and representation.

McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s approximately 13,500 U.S. restaurants are owned and operated by independent business owners. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and on Facebook at


About USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative 

Launched 15 years ago by Founder Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the Initiative is globally recognized for its valuable and sought-after research solutions to advance equality in entertainment. Dr. Smith and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative examine gender, race/ethnicity, LGBT status, disability, and age on screen and gender and race/ethnicity behind the camera in cinematic and television content as well as barriers and opportunities facing women and people of color in the entertainment industry. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative also conducts economic analyses related to diversity and the financial performance of films. Recently, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative launched The Inclusion List ( to celebrate the leading films, companies, and people advancing inclusion in entertainment. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s research reports include the Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD), multiple landmark studies with Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles, and their yearly investigation of on screen and behind the camera roles across more than 1,600 top-grossing films. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative is generously supported by The Annenberg Foundation, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, and other corporate and individual sponsors. To learn more, visit or follow on X and Instagram.

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