Daytime fans know Allen Maldonado as The Young and the Restless' Jamal, a role he played back in 2004. But they and the rest of the world may soon know him as a streaming service extraordinaire.
The California native, who has starred in and written for some major shows like The Last O.G., Black-ish, and Survivor's Remorse, has created a platform that is set to change the streaming game for actors, writers, directors, and producers everywhere. It's an app called Everybody Digital that acts like Netflix for short-form content.
Though short films aren't exactly popular for most moviegoers, they can actually have pretty powerful content -- so much so, they have their own category at the Academy Awards. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a place outside festivals for audiences to see them. Maldonado aims to change that with his Everybody Digital app, which brings after-festival films to the digital world in a curated form.
"The average consumer never gets the opportunity to even see some of these spectacular short films," the star tells CNN. "Back in the day, before trailers took over, the outlet [for short] films would be before movies."
According to Maldonado, the idea to create such a space for short form content was born out of the "heartache" that ensued after he released his 2012 short film One Decision Away, which tells the story a college graduate struggling in a rough neighborhood with his wife and child.
"When you make a short film, you have basically 12 to 15 months of life being that the film festival circuit only allows you to run it for that time period," Maldonado says. "I had a film that won countless awards, had great notoriety and after that 12-to-15-month run, it was over."
The turn of events prompted him to spend 18 months developing the app -- without any previous developing experience behind him. And in addition to being the brainchild behind Everybody Digital, Maldonado has also written a 10-episode digital series titled Who the F%#@ is Uncle Joe that is available on his new app.
"I was a kid in a candy store asking my developers for the moon," Maldonado recalls. "Sometimes that's the best place to be because you actually create something that you really want, rather than what the limitations are at the moment."
Everybody Digital is now available on the Apple Store and Google Play. For more information, click here.
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