Latinos In The Industry

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: The Micro-Budget Feature in the Contemporary Distribution Landscape

By Jeffrey Winter, a NALIP LPA mentor and co-executive director of The Film Collaborative, a non-profit committed to distribution education and facilitation of independent film.

At some point in our formative childhood years, we learn that "progress" is the process of getting "bigger and better." We come to understand that $100 dollar in 1900 is roughly the equivalent of $2,680 today. What we used to call a millionaire we now reserve for billionaires. We assume that the passage of time means things get easier, more rational, and yes, "better" overall.

As adults we learn that "progress" is not nearly as simple as all that. In fact, - we backslide, we re-invent, we encounter new technologies that change everything. When I first got into this business full-time, a $1 million movie was considered a throwaway, what we flippantly termed "straight to video" or a network "movie-of-the-week." Yet for the most part, those films did very well financially, and were the cornerstone of a rich, powerful, and largely insular and undemocratic Hollywood.

Now that time seems like a distant dream (or nightmare, depending on your perspective). Nowadays, if your average indie filmmaker says they spent $1 million on their film, people look at them like they are utterly decadent and out-of-touch (unless they have movie stars in their film). There are numerous factors that have contributed to this of course, including... 1) the democratization of digital filmmaking technology and the explosion in the number of independent films being made as a result; 2) the radical fracturing of the film consumption habits of the public given their thousands of channels and ubiquitous access to on-demand content; and 3) the crash of 2008 and the predominantly backsliding global (especially US and European) economy that offers us no reason to think that things will get any better any time soon.

And so, we have entered the era of the Micro-Budget film, which Microfilmmaker Magazine defines as a "less than a 30,000 budget," and which they claim amounts to 80 - 90% of all independent films today.


History Makers International Conference

From January 25-27, 2012 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York, History Makers International will be presenting experts on the latest in digital media, addressing the challenges we all face. Audiences are moving online and demanding interactive experiences and social engagement.

Traditional factual programming is confronting, as well, a growing appetite for reality formats and shrinking budgets. So it's imperative that producers are conversant with the latest digital tools and enhancements.

Our January History Makers International event will feature a fascinating session on history games that use archives, animation and other visual techniques, while our examination of interactive documentaries will show how new relationships between audiences and content are being created.

Our Second Screen session will present the latest information on mobile and tablet apps while Creating Social Campaigns will present the entire panoply of interactive tools that the digital world provides.

Click here for more information and registration details.

Call for Entries: Cine Las Americas International Film Festival

Cine Las Americas invites filmmakers, producers and distributors to participate in The Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, now in its fifteenth consecutive year. The festival will be held April 24-29, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The festival showcases contemporary films from Latin America (North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula. Films made by or about Latinos in the U.S. or the rest of the world, and films by or about indigenous groups of the Americas are also invited to participate.

Deadline: January 16, 2012 at 5:00pm ($20, or $15 for students or NALIP members)
Late Deadline: January 30, 2012 at 5:00pm ($40, or $30 for students or NALIP members)
Please note: submission deadlines are not postmark deadlines.

For complete guidelines and more information please visit

Call for Entries: CineFestival en San Antonio

CineFestival en San Antonio, the nation's original and longest-running Latino film festival in the country, is seeking the best Latino features, shorts, documentaries, animation, experimental films and youth works for its 34th annual film festival. The CineFestival call for entries early deadline is Friday, November 4, 2011. The final deadline for entries is Friday, December 2, 2011.

In addition to film submissions to be shown during the 2012 CineFestival, festival organizers are also accepting submissions for the Screenwriters Spotlight Competition, a new screenwriting contest for feature length narrative films that explore the Latino experience. The deadline for screenwriters is also Friday, November 4, 2011. The winner will receive a $1000 award as well as travel and lodging to CineFestival 2012 where a staged reading of the work will be presented.

Forms can be found at

  'Puss In Boots' Groundbreaking with Two Latino Leads
(CineMovie.TV) - Puss In Boots, the number one film in America features two Latino leads, a rarity in Hollywood. A lot has changed since Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, the voices behind the 3D animated film, arrived to America to achieve their Hollywood dreams. Antonio explains why Hollywood has shifted into a new mentality. FULL STORY

America Ferrera to Headline 'Chicago' in London
(AP) - America Ferrera is ditching the clunky braces and the thick fake eyebrows of "Ugly Betty" for sexy, slinky outfits in her West End debut as the showgirl Roxie in "Chicago." FULL STORY

Upclose and Personal with Actor Danny Arroyo - One of The Stars of 'Hercules Saves Christmas'
(LA Splash) - LA Splash recently interviewed actor Danny Arroyo about his lead role in the upcoming film "Hercules Saves Christmas," airing December 3rd on Animal Planet. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

Visit the NALIP Job Opportunities page for all the latest listings.

Christmas Scripts for TV
Looking for completed feature-length Christmas scripts with stories that are suitable for television. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

From the Editor
Alex Mendoza
Alex Mendoza & Associates
AMARTE Design & Digital Printing
9513 Longden Avenue
Temple City, CA 91780

1323 Lincoln Blvd., #220
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Latino Filmmakers Nominated for IDA Documentary Awards

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced its nominations for the 2011 IDA Documentary Awards, taking place on December 2, 2011. Among the nominees are several Latino filmmakers and friends of NALIP:

Nominees for the Best Feature Award

Nostalgia for the Light - Chilean master director Patricio Guzmán's moving, and deeply personal odyssey.

The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Mas Pequeno) - Tatiana Huezo's story of an annihilated Salvadorian town that re-emerges through the strength and deep love of its inhabitants for the land and the people.

Better This World - Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega's riveting account of two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas who wind up arrested on terrorism charges at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Nominees for the IDA Humanitas Award

The Learning - NALIP DYD mentor Ramona Diaz, Director

The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Mas Pequeno) - Tatiana Huezo, Director

Nominees for the Best Continuing Series Award

"POV" (American Documentary, Inc. | POV), recipient of NALIP's 2011 Corporate Diversity Achievement Award

Click here for a full list of nominees.

Marlene Braga
NALIPster appointed VP of Programming at Azteca America

NALIP mentor Marlene Braga has been appointed to Vice President of Programming of Azteca America, where she will be responsible for day-to-day programming and also collaborate on long-term strategy with the SVP of Programming, Production and Marketing. The appointment is effective immediately.

Ms. Braga was previously VP of Programming for nuvo TV (formerly SiTV). Prior to the position, she founded Woman on the Verge Productions, a company specializing in high-end content creation, from live events to reality series and feature films. She has also held the position of Director of Programming and Production for the The History Channel en Espanol.

Her television experience also includes field production work at ABC and story development and production for PBS. Prior to moving into television journalism, she was print producer for major companies such as Cond� Nast Publications, Donna Karan, Pixar Animation Studios and the Gap.

Marita De La Torre & Sharon Arteaga
NALIPsters' short screening at Napa Valley Film Fest

Actress Marita De La Torre and director Sharon Arteaga, both NALIP members, will be present at the Napa Valley screening of their short film, When I Grow Up on Friday, November 11th at 2:00pm at the Jarvis Conservatory at 1711 Main Street, Napa, CA, on Saturday November 12th at Calistoga Elementary, 1327 Berry Street, Calistoga, CA and on Sunday, November 13th at the Native Sons Hall, 1313 Spring St., St. Helena, CA.

When I Grow Up was the Audience Award Winner of SXSW 2011 Reel Women Showcase and the Winner of the 2010 Cine Las Americas Texas Archive Moving Image Award. The short was the second project Arteaga and De La Torre worked on and the two are slated to meet again in Arteaga's upcoming project, Plane Pretend.

Marita is also keeping busy with her first effort as an associate producer in the feature-length film Tres Cruzados currently in pre-production. Although the feature was written and financially packaged in Hollywood, the film will be a co-production between the Mexican and Spanish governments and it will be filmed in Guadalajara, Mexico in the summer 2012. Marita has also recently begun working on producing her second feature Go Where We Go in association with writer and producer Brian Brock in Los Angeles.


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The Latinos in the Industry e-Newsletter is a free service provided by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) with the generous assistance of Alex Mendoza & Associates (AMA) in an "as-is" basis for the education and information of users only. NALIP and/or AMA, their principal(s), employees, agents or representatives shall under no circumstances be liable for any loss or damage, including, but not limited to, loss of profits, goodwill or indirect or consequential loss arising out of any use of or inaccuracies in the information. All warranties expressed or implied are excluded to the fullest extent permissible by law. All comments and postings, including those by the Editor, are the responsibility of those individuals posting and no endorsement by NALIP and/or AMA should be inferred. Referral links and individual e-mail forwarding are permitted. NALIP reserves the right to withdraw or delete information or to discontinue this service at any time. All quoted, linked and/or referred information, as well as all copyrights and trademarks, are the property of their respective holders, used here under license and/or "fair-use" rules. © NALIP.