Diego Nájera was attracted to NALIP because it is a place where young people can connect and young creators can start out and get to know the industry. He believes in NALIP’s mission of networking creators to executives, not because of ethnicity, but because of a creator's’ talent. As a child, Nájera loved film and would go to the movies every week. He began his career in Mexico as a producer for the Guadalajara International Film Festival and moved to Los Angeles three years ago to earn a Master’s degree from USC’s Peter Stark Film School.
His biggest hurdle throughout his career has been coming to the U.S. and building a network. “I think you’re always looking for who to do this with,” he says. “Film is a collective medium – you can’t do it on you own. You always need a support system or a group of people to help you out. I think that search is the most challenging part. If you don’t have that system, you’re on your own and you can’t do it. You can’t make it.”
Nájera’s believes the meaning behind #WeAreInclusion is community. It represents being able to connect with people with similar experiences and who are willing to collaborate. It is a model for the Latino community, which tells the world that Latinos are here and have stories to tell that are not the typical immigration and narco stories.
Having started off in Mexico, Nájera felt like tapping into the American market was hard because no one was paying attention to Latino films. However, because of the success of certain Latino creators, there is now an opening within the American market. “You do get noticed. You just have to do the work and have a good story to tell with passion and a point of view,” he says. “I think we’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to do. It’s a matter of working at it and opening doors and creating.”