Latinos In The Industry

Winners of the 26th Annual Imagen Awards

Winners of the 26th Annual Imagen Awards, honoring positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in entertainment, were announced at a star-studded dinner ceremony held in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The awards, hosted by actress Maria Canals-Barrera, star of Disney Channel's Emmy-winning "Wizards of Waverly Place," were handed out in front of an audience of approximately five hundred attendees representing the entertainment industry and Latino community. Among celebrities in attendance were Edward James Olmos, Kenny Ortega, Esai Morales, Mark Ballas, Cote de Pablo, Eva La Rue, Lupe Ontiveros, Victoria Justice, Alexa Vega, among others. Also in attendance were U.S. Secretary of Labor and former local congresswoman, Hilda L. Solis, and PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

Helen Hernandez, president of The Imagen Foundation, said: "We are proud of all the accomplishments that Latinos have achieved thus far throughout all facets of the entertainment industry; however, we must strive for continued progress of inclusion, particularly in decision-making and creative roles throughout the industry. I would like to personally thank all our corporate sponsors as well as Latino community leaders for their continued support of The Imagen Foundation and our mission."

Winners were selected in 19 different categories from film, television and the internet, and judged by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latino community leaders. Special recognition went to Latino Public Broadcasting, who received the Norman Lear Award, named for the veteran television producer who conceived the Imagen Awards program, and Walt Disney "Imagineer" Alfredo M. Ayala, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Following are the winners for this year's Imagen Awards in their respective categories. Please note that there were no nominees for Best Feature Film Director but a new category, Best Young Actress/Television, was added:

Best Primetime Television Program or Movie-of-the-Week: Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC)

Best Actor/Television: Freddy Rodriguez, CHAOS (CBS)

Best Actress/Television: Martha Higareda, Lies in Plain Sight (Lifetime Television)

Best Supporting Actor/Television: Carlos Gmez, The Glades (A&E)

Best Supporting Actress/Television: Eva La Rue, CSI: Miami (CBS)

Best Young Actress/Television: Selena Gomez, Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney Channel)

Best Children's Programming: Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)

Best Documentary/Television: The Longoria Affair (Latino Public Broadcasting)

Best National Informational Program: Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One (WGBH)

Best Local Informational Program: Eye on Our Community (KCBS-TV)

Best On-Air Advertising: Dora 10th Anniversary Campaign (Nickelodeon)

Best Variety or Reality Show: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)

Best Feature Film: Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group/SimonSays Entertainment) director Rashaad Ernesto Green (NALIP Estela Award finalist)

Best Actor/Feature Film: Esai Morales, Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group/SimonSays Entertainment)

Best Actress/Feature Film: Michelle Rodriguez, Tropico de Sangre (Maya Entertainment)

Best Supporting Actor/Feature Film: Miguel Sandoval, Spoken Word (New Mexico Media Partner/Luminaria Films)

Best Supporting Actress/Feature Film: Adriana Barraza, From Prada to Nada (Pantelion Films/Lionsgate)

Best Theatrical Short or Student Film: The Big Deal (Lucy Rodriguez)

Best Web Series: Chismex (mun2)

Major sponsors of this year's event included Nielsen, Fox Deportes, PBS SoCal, The Walt Disney Company, Disney/ABC Television Group, NBCUniversal, CBS, The Gas Company, Lear Family Foundation, ABC7, Paramount, Latino Public Broadcasting, Warner Bros. and LATV Networks.

What Is the Future of Hispanic Filmmaking?

By Daniel Cubias, The Huffington Post

The mythology of American cinema is ripe with tales of precocious kids who shot crude movies with their first cameras. Think of the young J.J. Abrams or the Coen Brothers, running around their backyards, directing their childhood friends to jump off garages or do a pratfall.

However, very few of these fledgling directors are named Hernandez or Garcia. Primarily because of a lack of resources, young Hispanics are unlikely to see filmmaking as a realistic option.

"For a teenage Latino from a working-class background, it's not even that making a movie is unattainable," says Luis Lopez Aldana, a film producer. "It's that they don't consider it at all. Making movies is not even a potential career choice. It's mystic."

As a result, the current ranks of Latino filmmakers are thin, and that influences what kinds of stories get told in American cinema. More important, it has an impact on how Hispanic culture is portrayed -- if it is portrayed at all.

Indeed, just three percent of the members of the Directors Guild of America are Latino. This percentage has been more or less consistent for years.

Apparently, the DGA knows that this is a problem, which is one reason they have set up an official committee "to explore how Latino artists can advance their careers, enhance their job opportunities in both the English and Spanish-speaking media, and improve their craft skills within the television and motion picture industry."

And with Latinos now the largest ethnic minority in America, is the time right for a Hispanic resurgence in cinema? People like Lopez Aldana certainly hope so.

He is one of the creators of On the Run, the first feature from Cinetico Productions. The film is, according to writer-director Alberto Barboza, a "tripped-out, magical LA love story" about a young Latino who falls for a Chicana tattoo artist.

[NALIP member] Jana Diaz Juhl, a producer of the film, says that On the Run reflects its creators' lives and experiences. In other words, it is based firmly in the Latino experience.

"It's not 'Hey, I'm telling a story, and everybody in it just happens to be brown.'" Diaz Juhl says. "Showing your reality is when your voice becomes unique."

Of course, there are a few Hispanic superstar directors who have long been airing their unique voices. Gregory Nava has been creating challenging work since the 1980s. In addition, the triumvirate of Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, and Miguel Arteta have made daring films that, at times, have even caught the attention of Oscar voters (which is tough for Latinos to do).

Perhaps the most dependable Latino hitmaker is Robert Rodriguez. Still, he risked his mainstream cache with last year's Machete, which was, shall we say, an individualistic look at the immigration debate. Regardless of what you think of the movie (and I thought it pretty much rocked), it's doubtful that it could have come from a non-Latino director.

So where is the next generation's Rodriguez coming from?

The founders of Cinetico think they have one possible source. In addition to making films, the company runs a shadow program, which brings high school and college kids to the set so they can follow the filmmakers around and see how a movie is created.

"That's something we didn't have when I was growing up, because the resources didn't exist," says Miguel Angel Caballero, one of On the Run's producers and its star. "Nobody was going to come into our schools and take us to a set to see something that was going to inspire us. The experience helps the kids, even if they don't want to be in the entertainment business."

And perhaps that is the key. This isn't just about movies. The fact is that the entertainment industry, which is all about creating metaphors, is a metaphor itself for the lack of access and resources for young Latinos.

Filmmaking is simply another niche in which Hispanics are slowly making their voices heard. With hope, one day soon, our presence will be in proportion to our numbers and our contributions to America.

As for On the Run, the filmmakers plan to release the film next year and go the festival route to try to get a major distributor. After that, they will start work on their follow-up feature.

Asked about the future of Hispanic cinema in America, Caballero offers a twist on William Goldman's famous observation that no one in Hollywood knows anything.

"We don't really know where it's going," Caballero says. "All we can do is continue to make films that are inspiring and relevant to the community. It's a long journey."

Women Helping Women Event with Suzanne Lyons

Women Helping Women in Entertainment (men welcome to attend!) invites you to attend BE YOUR OWN CEO: Taking Charge of Your Career Direction. Learn how to unleash your entrepreneurial skills & turn your creative vision into Hollywood success with inependent producer, popular coach and NALIP mentor Suzanne Lyons. Click here to read Suzanne's full bio.

Sunday, August 28, 2011 from 4:15-6:15pm
Beverly Hills Country Club
3084 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Reservations Required:
Women Helping Women Network Members: $10
Non-WHW Network Members from THIS list: Get 20% DISCOUNT off the $25 non-member rate, pay ONLY $20 per person (good through 7pm August 27).
Click here to Register

Join us for a fun-filled networking event and well-rounded enlightening discussion with Q&A that covers:
Taking Charge of Your Career Direction
10 "Must Know" Tips to Succeed in Hollywood
How To Create/Produce Your Own Projects To Advance Your Career
10 "Must Know" Tips To Raise Film Financing
Understanding Legal: How To Option Projects & Attach Yourself as a Producer, Director or Actor;
Copyrights, Life Rights
How To Categorize Your Relationships for Best Results
How To Get A Mentor
A New Approach to Pitching Yourself and Your Projects
AND MORE...come prepared with your questions

  Freshly Indie KCET Ramps Up Local Programing With $50M Deal
(The Wrap) - KCET, the former PBS station serving Southern and Central California, has struck a $50 million programming deal with Eyetronics Media and Studios. Under the partnership, Eyetronics will provide up funding for new local programs to start production in the fall. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Comcast Liason to Latino Community (Philadelphia)
Comcast is hiring a Sr. Director, External Affairs to serve as liaison and informational contact between Comcast and national third party diversity groups including think tanks, advocacy groups, public policy groups, and academic institutions, with particular focus on those representing interests of the Hispanic communities. 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

More NALIPsters in NYILFF

The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) is currently underway, with a line up of domestic, international, shorts and a variety of other programs. Log on to the festival's web site for screening times and locations: In addition to the NALIP members spotlighted in previous editions of LITI, these NALIP members have films screening in the festival:

Short. Directed by Gloria La Morte (LWL 2011), Written by Dominic Colón, Produced by Joseph La Morte.
Crush takes place in the South Bronx during Prom Night, where a young man is in for an evening filled with mixed emotions as he decides whether or not to man up and face his high school 'crush' or punk out and let him walk away.
Winner of the 2011 HBO/NYILFF short script competition, this short screens prior to all feature presentations at NYILFF.

Captive Beauty
Doc Feature. Directed by Jared Goodman, Produced by Spencer Kehe (LMM 2010).
A documentary about four female inmates in Medell�n, Colombia�s all-female prison, who are brought together by a beauty pageant inside the prison walls.
Sat., Aug. 20 @ 8:00pm
Info and trailer here

Trouble Child
Short. Directed by Adel L. Morales.
Veronica, a new counselor at a group home for young girls, tries to gain the trust of a rebellious young lady by sharing her own troubled past as a teenage runaway.
Wed., Aug. 17 @ 7:00pm
Info here

Migdia Chineas
NALIPster's film continues festival run

NALIP member Migdia Chineas' award-winning short film anonymous (street meat) has a busy upcoming festival schedule. The 4-minute sci fi short was written and directed by Migdia Chinea, and Josie Martineaux and Ruben Rabasa. A search for social justice in a parallel world, Migdias' short can also be seen here on Vimeo.

The film screened at the California International Shorts Film Festival, where it received an Honorable Mention, the Cannes Festival de Film, Daazo Centre European Films in Cannes. It was nominated by Famewalk International Film Festival, Seoul Extreme Shorts International Film Festival, St. Petersburg International Film Festival Beginning (Russia). Up next is a screening at the Burbank International Film Festival (Sept. 15, 2011 @ 8:00pm Women's Night Block One at AMC Theaters in Burbank). Click here for details.

John J. Valadez
NALIPster's doc The Longoria Affair wins top honor at Imagen Awards

By Lola Rodriguez Rodriguez

Last night at a black tie dinner some five hundred guests convened at the historic Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills to honor the country's most talented Latino film and television artists, both in front of and behind the camera. The occasion was the 26th annual Imagen Awards, created by legendary writer and television producer Norman Lear and Imagen Foundation founder Helen Hernandez. The Imagen Awards are both a glamorous and serious affair to honor positive, nuanced and powerful portrayals of the Latino experience in film and television.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, the first Latina in American history to hold that post flew in from Washington D.C. to attend. PBS president Paula Kruger, Vice President for Diversity at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Joseph Tovares and actor Tony Plana who narrated The Longoria Affair all cleared their schedules in order to attend.

The best part of the evening came near the end when the nominees for Best Documentary on Film or Television were announced. As the titles of the films in competition were read, "Sins of my Father (Red Creek Productions), The Fence/La Barda (HBO), The New America (mun2), The Longoria Affair (PBS), Monica and David (HBO)," actor and Chairman of Latino Public Broadcasting, Edward James Olmos could be seen; eyes closed and fists clenched repeating to himself, "Longoria, Longoria, Longoria...."

Then, from the podium came the words, "And the winner is...The Longoria Affair", the entire ballroom shook with applause and gritos. As Director John J. Valadez (a founding NALIP member and LPA mentor) and Co-Producer Pamela A. Aguilar took the stage amid a cacophony of claps and hoots, there came a lone voice above it all. It was impossible to tell where it came from but the words were clear and distinct and unmistakable: "Viva Hector Garcia!" Other voices echoed "Viva!" in response. Everything after that was a timeless and exquisite blur...


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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.