NALIP Member News

Posted by on September 13, 2018

Check Out Member News from September 13, 2018. 

NALIP East Bay Filmmakers Fight for Latinx Representation 

Diana Elizabeth Torres stars in the locally made film East Side Sushi.

Inclusion seems to be a buzzword for Hollywood executives right now. In 2017, Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture — the first to do so with an all-Black cast centered on a LGBTQ story. Then Get Out earned more award nominations and cemented a well-deserved boost for stories told from an African-American perspective. And last month, Crazy Rich Asians topped the box office in its first weekend in theaters as the first major Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast in 25 years. But the rise in diversity in media hasn't been significant for the Latinx community.

Anthony Lucero, a writer and director born and raised in Oakland, is about to finish a two-year director's shadowing program with ABC in Los Angeles. He finds the lack of Latinx representation in media upsetting. Lucero wants to stay away from stereotypes and put Latinx actors in films as normal, everyday people — people who eat pizza and speak English. His main goal is to give Latinx actors roles portraying detectives and doctors instead of gangsters and sexy house cleaners. "The issue is that the Oscars is still Black and white," he said. Black and white voices control a lot of the media and Latinx and Asians are only given a little sliver. "If you want to have a voice, you need to have a lot of money in the industry, and if the powers making the decisions are not people that come from the community, our people will end up being solely represented by shows like Narcos."  

Dawn Valadez, a local documentary director and producer of social issue documentaries such as Going on 13 and The Pushouts, which just won the Imagen Award for best documentary, has been a longtime member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and the Brown Girls Doc Mafia. She is aware that despite the push to increase Latinx, people of color, and female representation in the media, there still need to be more stories about Latinx lives, communities, and families. "I feel that my work is more like a vessel creating space for the stories of the people and communities around me to shine — sharing more than negative statistics; sharing our individual and community strength, resiliency, knowledge, beauty," Valadez said.

Florencia Manovil, an East Bay writer, director, and producer originally from Argentina, tells stories about women. Instead of calling herself a Latinx filmmaker, she considers herself a queer feminist making queer feminist content from the perspective of someone who grew up in Latin America. Manovil likes to depict different kinds of Latinas and explore how their identities and perspectives can differ depending on where they are from. She just wrapped principal photography for the third part of her latest film trilogy Bridges and found that people in the East Bay were very generous with their time and skills because they want to support indie narratives. Other local Latinx filmmakers echoed Manovil's experience.


NALIP Members Honored As Austin Film Society Announces the 2018 AFS Grant Recipients

19 emerging Texas filmmakers and projects highlght the organization’s commitment to diversity, gender equity and artistic achievement, and NALIP is proud of our members for becoming AFS Grant Recipients!



Documentary Feature in post-production

Director: Chelsea Hernandez

In the shadow of a lucrative building boom in Texas, more construction workers die on the job than any other state. BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM follows the intimate stories of hard-working immigrant families fighting for their livelihood.



Narrative Short in production

Director and writer: Miguel Alvarez

In the near future, a struggling, single father discovers the terrible consequences of his actions when he's caught stealing medicine for his sick son.




Seattle International Film Festival

Iliana Sosa, JULIAN

Berlinale Talent Campus

NALIP Member Debby Wolfe and "One Day At A Time" Showrunner Gloria Calderon Kellett's New Show "Just Like Us," Picked Up By CBS

Debby Wolfe

Debby Wolfe has been part of the NALIP community for various years, having been a speaker for the NALIP Media Summit, a featuree of the #WeAreInclusion campaign, and a NALIP Latinos Writer Lab fellow.

DEBBY WOLFE is a Salvadorian-Jewish comedy writer and film director from South Florida. A graduate of the University of Central Florida film school, her award-winning short films have screened in festivals worldwide, including Tribeca and NBC Universal Short Cuts. She participated in the NBC Writers on the Verge program which led to her being staffed on NBC's Whitney. From there, she went on to write for Disney Channels' Best Friends Whenever and Emmy-nominated Dog with a Blog. Currently, she writes on the Norman Lear Netflix series One Day at a Time.

CBS has put in development Just Like Us, a multi-camera family comedy from One Day at a Time writer Debby Wolfe and co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Gloria Calderon Kellett.

Written by Salvadoran-American Wolfe, Just Like Us centers on a widower who takes in his teenage El Salvadorian niece while still raising his two grown daughters, retired parents and running the restaurant he started with his late wife.


Emma Ramos’ Film Spanish Class The Sketch Is Selected Into NBC Short Film Festival Unveils Finalists

The finalists for the 13th Annual NBCUniversal Short Film Festival were announced Monday with the fest setting a record for female representation in front of and behind the camera. The finalists will be recognized at an awards ceremony Oct. 24 at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood where their short films will be screened.

The finalists were selected from 15 semi-finalist shorts after being showcased at public screenings in New York City this past August. They have already earned acclaim at prominent festivals including CAAMFest, the New York Television Festival, Outfest and the Pan African Film Festival.

The awards ceremony will recognize the fest’s award winners including Best Writer, Best Director and Best Actor. They will be determined by a panel of entertainment industry professionals, members of the press, and NBCUniversal executives. The event is free and open to the public.


Episode Director: Brendan Colthurst Writers: Emma Ramos, Irene Lucio, Bernardo Cubria and Timmy Wood

Nominated twice for an Imagen Award for Best Web Series, B.U.T.S is a sketch comedy web series created and starring Irene Lucio and Emma Ramos making fun of themselves and their surroundings through a Latina lens. In each episode, they portray different characters that parody and satirize the many ‘afflictions’ of the modern-day woman. In the “Spanish Class” episode, a couple, Lucy and Timmy, get way more than they bargained for when they set out to learn Spanish in a week.