Latinos In The Industry

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Financing Your Micro Budget Film

By Stacey Parks

We've done a lot of talking on this blog about financing $1-$5 million films, but yesterday on the Film Specific Facebook page I received a question about how to finance Micro Budgets, specifically in the $500K and under range. What a great question.... so let's explore it shall we?

First of all, the person who asked the question wanted to know if pre-sales and bank financing apply to Micro Budgets. The answer is no, and the reason why is actually two fold. First, the fact remains that Pre-Sales and Bank Financing are predicated on having name cast attached to your project, and at the $500K and under range, it's unlikely that you'll have strong enough names to merit Pre-Sales (it's not impossible, but it's extremely rare). Second, as Adrian Ward from National Bank Of California stated in my interview with him, (and I'm paraphrasing here) - it's basically not worth it for a bank to get involved in any budget under the $1.5 million mark, especially considering the admin costs alone in processing the loan paperwork.

So while you can see there may be a few limitations to working with a sub $500K budget, but let's look at some possible solutions.


Call for Submissions: Spirit Awards

Film Independent is accepting submissions for the Spirit Awards, with the early deadline of Tuesday, September 13 and the final deadline of Tuesday, October 11.

Now in its 27th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards has become the vanguard event in independent film, recognizing the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promoting the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best International Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include Someone to Watch Award, Truer Than Fiction Award, and Piaget Producers Award.

Submission guidelines, applications, and more information can be found at

IFP Independent Filmmaker Conference, Sept. 18-22 (NYC)

IFP's five-day Independent Filmmaker Conference is the must-attend event for filmmakers offering the opportunity to learn the art, craft and business of filmmaking - and where it's going next. Now in its new home at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, the event is more intimate and provides greater industry access than ever before. September 18-22, 2011 in New York City.

Purchase any pass by Friday, September 2nd to win a chance to pitch your narrative feature, documentary or new media project live to top industry execs. Get a chance to workshop your presentation and introduce your latest project to tastemakers and decision-makers!

For the latest Conference updates, schedule, and to purchase passes go to:

OC Film Fiesta, Sept. 3-18 (Santa Ana)

The OC Film Fiesta returns to downtown Santa Ana from September 3-18 for another cinematic celebration of Orange County's cultural diversity and rich Latino history. All film screenings are free!

The festival opens on Saturday, September 3 with a special screen tribute under the stars to Zorro, Orange Countys own international ambassador of swashbuckling. This special free outdoor screening of the 1920 Douglas Fairbanks classic film The Mark of Zorro will take place at 120 W. Civic Center Drive in downtown Santa Ana and will also feature a display of vintage 1920s automobiles and music from the Roaring 20s. The event will begin at 7pm, and the screening will take place at dusk.

This years Film Fiesta schedule includes fun family screenings, insightful documentaries, classic films and movie stars. Among the line-up are John J. Valadez's Imagen Award-winning civil rights documentary The Longoria Affair, Ray Telles' epic documentary about the Mexican Revolution, The Storm that Swept Mexico and the new comedy White Knight starring Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan) as a jailed Ku Klux Klan leader who learns some lessons about tolerance from his Mexican farm labor organizer cellmate played by Nacho Libre's Hector Jimenez.

For a full 2011 Film Fiesta schedule (including movie trailers) please visit

Stars Hector Jimenez, Olga Segura and director Jesse Baget will be in attendance for the free red carpet screening of White Knight, which takes place Sunday, September 18 at the historic Yost Theater.

The 2011 Film Fiesta will also screen the lavish Mexican Golden Age classic Bugambilia, starring Dolores del Rio and Pedro Armendariz as well as John Fords 1946 film The Fugitive, which stars del Rio, Armendariz and Henry Fonda. Both films feature stunning cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa.

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Jobs & Opportunities

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

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

Dennis Leoni
NALIPster's web series Los Americans to air on LA county buses

Passengers of the Los Angeles County Metro bus system will soon be able to watch full episodes of NALIP founding trustee Dennis Leoni's web-series Los Americans, delivered in shortened segments through the Transit TV broadcast network Monday through Friday starting on September 5.

Los Americans features the Valenzuelas, a multi-generational middle-income Mexican-American family living in Los Angeles, is the first series of this kind to be featured on Transit TV. The Valenzuela family deals with many issues facing American families today, including unemployment, cultural identity and alcoholism. Following each episode, viewers are directed to online tools, information and resources to help them find solutions for the issues featured in the episodes.

The series is written and directed by Dennis Leoni, who is best known for having created and produced the award-winning television series 'Resurrection Blvd.' for Showtime. Los Americans feature Esai Morales (Caprica, Jericho, La Mamba), Lupe Ontiveros (Southland, Family Guy) Raymond Cruz (The Closer, Breaking Bad) and Tony Plana (Ugly Betty, 24).

Los Americans also airs on One Economy's Public Internet Channel ( The series is an original production of One Economy Corporation and its video production company, V-Studios, which is managed by award-winning director, Robert Townsend.

Transit TV is the largest digital network providing information, entertainment and advertising to passengers on the Los Angeles County Metro bus system with plans to expand to other cities. The Transit TV network receives over 1 million views on a daily basis in the region.

Maja Zimmermann
NALIPster's film selected for Toronto Int. Film Fest

NALIP member Maja Zimmermann executive produced Porfirio, the award winning Colombian feature by Alejandro Landes. Porfirio premiered at Cannes' Directors Fortnight with raving reviews and is now an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will be screening September 9, 11 and 18 at TIFF - click here for details.

Maja Zimmermann has also been selected to present her newest Colombian drama Jardin de Amapola by Juan Carlos Melo as a work in progress at the "Carte Blanche" platform of the Locarno International Film Festival earlier this month.

Carmen Rivera
NALIPster's play La Gringa celebrates 15th anniversary

NALIP member Carmen Rivera's Obie Award-winning play, La Gringa just celebrated its 15-year anniversary at Repertorio Espaol. La Gringa tells the story of a New York-born, Puerto Rican woman's search for identity. Both English and Spanish versions are available at Samuel French Publications.


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