Latinos In The Industry

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: The 5 Best Ways to Use Social Media to Build an Audience For Your Movie

By social media strategist and NALIP conference speaker Sheri Candler. Excerpt from The Film Collaborative's upcoming book, "Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul."

Some filmmakers start the social media process very early in production (Nina Paley started blogging three years before she released "Sita Sings the Blues"); some begin only after their films hit the festival circuit. However you do it, social media isn't just setting up a Facebook and Twitter account; social media means anywhere you can share a link, comment on a post, or self-publish content for everyone to read, watch or listen. And it's always a work in progress.

Here's five of my best tips on using social media to build an audience.

1) Don't spend all of your time talking about your film.

Constant selling is boring and that's counterproductive: You're trying to build interest. This is why you should be careful about entrusting outside agencies with building and maintaining your social media presence: They can't effectively be the voice of your work.

Think about what interests your audience in their daily lives and why they would be attracted to you as an artist and to your film; then, present them with news and information that aligns with it.

"We talk about everything related to the movie, about collaborations with other people. We also talk about space, indie filmmaking, creative commons issues, and our views on piracy issues," says Nicolas Alcala, writer-director of "The Cosmonaut." "It is a place you can come and learn about us as people, what we believe and what we are doing related to the movie. We just make it more personal and allow people to feel like they are inside the workings of the production. We find that people respond the most when you tell personal stories."


Call for Submissions: The Heineken Voces Grant

TFI has made it a goal to not only seek out unheralded projects from around the world but also help foster the development of filmmakers living and working here in the United States. That's what brought the Tribeca All Access (TAA) program into fruition and what's propelled it to advocate for idiosyncratic and refreshing subject matter.

Over the years, TAA's succeeded in highlighting stories that go beyond common parameters of theme and characterization. Having seen this continued investment towards underrepresented works pay off through the years, TFI's now expanded on this idea and launched the Heineken Voces grant, which supports US-based Latino filmmakers working on a feature-length narrative or documentary project that offers a new perspective on their cultural experience.

Submissions close on October 10th.
You can apply for the grant here.

Since its onset, TAA's established a talented roster of filmmakers that have depicted Latinos' triumphs and struggles in modern America with uncompromising takes on the material. On the narrative front, Gun Hill Road (TAA '09) and Entre Nos (TAA '08) offer compelling views on frayed family dynamics and immigration, respectively, while also delving into deeper insights of acceptance and individualism.

Rashad Ernesto Green's Gun Hill Road is currently captivating theater audiences with its potent look at a Puerto Rican family in the Bronx and the clash of norms that erupts between a father and son. His tackling of the domestic drama convention is particularly striking because of how he addresses culture, sexual identity and social status through grounded performances and a believable, realistic sense of place.

In another character-driven drama, Entre Nos, Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte present a soulful and introspective account of a resourceful Colombian mother & daughter struggling to start anew while facing stark socio-economic obstacles. While the film delves into the oft-repeated theme of immigration, the female-oriented focus is noteworthy and captivating, giving the story a palpably refreshing viewpoint.

Latino documentary filmmakers have also made great strides in bringing their cameras into lively situations. Alexandra Codina's Monica & David (a TAA '07 grantee project & Best Documentary winner at TFF '10) lovingly captures the romantic relationship between two adults with Down syndrome and their passionate efforts to plan their wedding. It is Codina's quaint insight into her own Cuban-American family (the "Monica" in the film is her cousin) that makes the film such an intimate presentation of human devotion.

Marilyn Agrelo's Mad Hot Ballroom (a TFF '05 favorite) chronicles several elementary school kids taking ballroom dancing lessons in schools throughout the city. The Cuban-born Agrelo delivers a breezy and feel-good story about the untapped talent and zest for life of today's youth, all while reveling in the vibrant cultural "melting pot" that is New York City.

All of these versatile filmmakers present unvarnished views on Latinos' diverse lifestyles through a thoughtful approach to storytelling. With the Heineken Voces grant, these kinds of stories will continue to be told in unique ways - asserting content above all else and, yes - straying from convention.

Call for Entries: JC PowerHouse Short Film Festival

JC PowerHouse Short Film Festival, taking place Sept. 30 - Oct. 2nd, 2011 in Jersey City, NJ is accepting submissions for short films!

FREE to submit your film!

Entries accepted:
- Narrative
- Doc
- Animation
- 30 mins or under

Deadline to submit: Sept. 16, 2011
Please visit:
Click on "submit" for rules and regulations.

Gomez Joins Valiant as Trasmedia Producer

By Dave McNary, Variety

Starlight Runner Entertainment topper Jeff Gomez has come aboard as a "transmedia producer" for Valiant Entertainment's efforts to build up its superhero characters across films, vidgames and other digital formats.

Gomez has worked on the "transmedia" elements for "Avatar," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Transformers," "Tron" and "Halo" with the idea that the concept of the bible - a document containing backstory information that film and TV writers rely on for building plots and characters - is taken to the new level of developing a piece of intellectual property in a consistent manner across multiple media platforms.

Gomez worked at Valiant between 1992 and 1998 as a writer on "Eternal Warrior" and "Master Darque" and line editor on "Ninjak" and "Bloodshot."

"This is a homecoming for me," he told Variety. "When I worked there previously, we were already paying mind to the fans and exploring that the young people would want to interact with the characters more extensively."

Gomez founded Starlight Runner in 2000.

Valiant Entertainment announced plans last month to plans to return in print and digital comics next year. The company also announced at that point that former Marvel CEO and vice chairman Peter Cuneo had become chairman, along with disclosing it has received a capital infusion from private investment company Cuneo & Co.

Valiant made the announcement of Gomez's role on Tuesday, the eve of Comic-Con, which will be attended by Gomez and execs from the revived brand. The company's library includes over 1,500 characters, such as X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman and Ninjak.

Valiant CEO Jason Kothari told Variety that Garcia's expertise in transmedia plus his passion for the library titles was "an irresistible combination."

Kothari also said the company's been in discussion with producers, directors and writers to set up several titles as feature projects and will begin announcing specific titles in coming months.

Zoe Saldana to Produce, Star in Thriller 'Dominion' at Paramount

By Borys Kit and Daniel Miller, The Hollywood Reporter

Just as her action movie Colombiana opens across the country, Zoe Saldana has set up the supernatural thriller Dominion at Paramount.

The pitch hails from Dean McCreary and Chester Hastings and while plot details remain sketchy, the story centers on a woman (Saldana) who is half-human, half-angel.

Saldana will also serve as a producer on the project, alongside Robbie Brenner. Brenner is a producer on the Gerard Butler drama Machine Gun Preacher, the story of drug-dealing biker-turned-children's crusader Sam Childers and it was on that project where she first crossed paths with McCreary and Hastings; the duo had worked on an earlier incarnation of Childers' story.

Hastings and McCreary, both repped by Gersh, co-wrote You're My Angel, a thriller from 4 Horsemen Films that is in development. They also co-wrote Fanboy, a short film about a video store employee who is the world's biggest Sam Raimi fan. The unreleased comedy features turns from Raimi and J.K. Simmons, who play themselves.

Saldana, repped by ICM, is best known for playing Neytiri in Avatar and Uhura in Star Trek. She recently wrapped production on The Words, a drama with Bradley Cooper, and is attached to star opposite Mark Ruffalo in Infinitely Polar Bear, an indie drama that is being produced by J.J. Abrams.

  Guillermo Del Toro Interview, Part II: "The most important element of filmmaking is your freedom."
(indieWIRE) - Del Toro spoke with iW about his interest in the "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" property, and why he continues to approach everything in Hollywood with trepidation. FULL STORY

Review: 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'
(Latin Horror) - Guillermo del Toro's personal films have always pivoted around the notion of children in distress. Cronos, The Devil's Backbone, and Pan's Labyrinth all fit the mold. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Latino Actors for Short Film
I am a Mexican writer-director out of Norwalk, seeking Latino actors for my short film Dirty Girl From Texas, shooting Sept. 1-3. 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

Michelle Rivera-Huckaby
NALIPster finishes filming short Encuentrate

NB&M Productions in association with Captain Crazy Productions is proud to announce the completion of filming for their upcoming 30 min. short, Encuéntrate, written by NALIP member Michelle Rivera-Huckaby and directed by fellow NALIP member Sonia Fritz (LPA 2007, LWL 2008), featuring an extraordinary cast of seasoned and up-and-coming actors, produced by Michelle Rivera-Huckaby and shot in location throughout North Georgia.

Encuéntrate stars Nancy Ticotin (Ransom), Michelle Rivera-Huckaby (Meet the Browns), Juan Carlos Piedrahita (Main Street), accompanied by an equally impressive supporting cast featuring Rose Bianco (Christmas Cupid), Alpha Trivette (Money, Power and Respect), among many others.

The film is about a young woman, Anais, who alienates herself from her family and her culture because of issues she thinks she has with her mother. The death of her abuelo brings her face to face with everything she ran away from and bringing her to discover a family secret. Will she learn the importance and strength of faith, family, forgiveness and love?

The film is currently in post production and will be hitting the 2012 film festival circuit. Stay tuned. Director: Sonia Fritz; Screenwriter: Michelle Rivera-Huckaby; Executive Producers: Josh Huckaby and Michelle Rivera-Huckaby; Associate Producer: Jessica Imoto Harney; Producer: Michelle Rivera-Huckaby; Director of Photography: Willie Berrios; Composers: Victor Payano and Jimmy Guthrie; Cast: Nancy Ticotin, Michelle Rivera-Huckaby, Juan Carlos Piedrahita, Rose Bianco, Victor Payano, Kyla J. Cruz, Raul Sosa, Carla Olivar, Davin Grindstaff, Alpha Trivette, Dave Pileggi, Vince Pisani, Jessica Pena, Frank Roberts, Shayr Guthrie.

Josefina Lopez
NALIP mentor's play celebrates 20th anniversary

Boyle Heights, California Casa 0101 Theater proudly presents the 20th Anniversary of NALIP mentor Josefina Lopez's play Real Women Have Curves to run September 9th through October 23rd, 2011. The 20th anniversary production of Real Women Have Curves, directed by Casa's new Artistic Director Corky Dominguez, will coincide with the opening of Casa 0101 Theater's new venue. For reservations visit

Before it was an award-winning film that launched the career of the talented America Ferrara, Real Women Have Curves was a play written by a then 21 year old Josefina Lopez based on her experience working in her sister's sewing factory after graduating from high school. The play is told through the eyes of Ana, an 18 year old chubby, pretty girl, with aspirations for a life beyond years and years of puro lomo the hard, back-breaking labor that had been her parent's lot.

An Opening Night Gala event to commemorate the opening of the venue, the theatre companys 10th season and run of the hit play turned award-winning film Real Women Have Curves, will take place on September 9, 2011 at the new site. The Opening Night Gala will include a pre-show reception, admission to the performance, entrance to the post-show party celebrating the unveiling of the new venue, and more exciting surprises.


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