Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) Announces 2011 Lineup
The 15th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) announces its official selection of 76 films, including 42 feature films (29 narrative and 13 documentaries) and 34 short films from 14 different countries. LALIFF will return to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood from Sunday, July 17 through Monday, July 25. The nine-day event will highlight the best recent films from Latino talent; from the well-established in Hollywood to the up-and-coming.
Several films by NALIP members and mentors will be screening this year at LALIFF:
Feature Length Narrative Films:
AMERICA... ELLA SE ATREVIO (AMERICA SHE DARED), Sonia Fritz (LPA 2007, LWL 2008, Estela finalist), 90min. PUERTO RICO
GUN HILL ROAD, Rashaad Ernesto Green (Estela finalist), 88min. USA
WITHOUT MEN, Gabriela Tagliavini, 83min. USA
Feature Length Documentary Films:
EL VELADOR (THE NIGHT WATCHMAN), Natalia Almada (LPA 2003, Estela winner), 52min. (LPB Showcase) MEXICO/USA - L.A. PREMIERE
GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, Pamela Yates, produced by Paco de Onis (NALIP conference mentor), 90min. (LPB Showcase) USA - L.A. PREMIERE
HARLISTAS: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY, Alfredo de Villa (LPA mentor), 91min. USA - WEST COAST PREMIERE
HAVANA SURF, Rodrigo Diaz McVeigh, 54min. CUBA/SPAIN L.A. PREMIERE
PARAISO FOR SALE (PARAISO EN VENTA), Anayansi Prado (LPA 2003), 75min. (LPB Showcase) PANAMA/USA
PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE, Ari Luis Palos (DYD mentor) and Eren Isabel McGinnis (LPA 2003, DYD mentor), 90min. (LPB Showcase) USA
A MAN MADE EARLY, Cruz Angeles (Estela winner), 15min. 32sec. United States - West Coast Premiere
BEYOND THE ROPES, Johnny Kirk, 17min. United States L.A. Premiere
BETTER, John Cantu, 42min. United States - L.A. Premiere
DESPERTAR (AWAKEN), Cristina Kotz Cornejo (LWL 2004), 14min. Mexico - World Premiere
NOCHE SIN LUNA (MOONLESS NIGHT), Bethynia Cardenas Iniguez, 13min. Mexico - L.A. Premiere
Click here to download a full list of films selected for the 2011 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. Keep an eye on the LALIFF website for screening dates and times.
Admission tickets to regular screenings are available on pre-sale online at $12 with a $2 discount to LALIFF members. Metro riders could purchase general admission tickets with a $1 discount at the festival's box office. For more information, purchase advance tickets and to see the list of films and countries represented, please go to www.latinofilm.org
NBC to Broadcast 2011 NCLR ALMA Awards as Primetime Special
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Comcast and NBC are pleased to announce that NBC will broadcast the 2011 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) ALMA Awards on Friday, September 16 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT in a ceremony celebrating the nation's Latino performers who promote accurate and positive images of Hispanics in entertainment. Eva Longoria and George Lopez will co-host the one-hour primetime special.
Since 1995, the NCLR ALMA Awards has honored outstanding Latino artistic achievements in television, film, and music. The show is an integral part of NCLR's mission to open doors and create greater opportunities for Latino families in the U.S. As a national primetime television entertainment special with a cause, the NCLR ALMA Awards demonstrates how diversity strengthens our country and inclusion strengthens the entertainment industry.
The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios, and Janet Murguia, President and CEO, NCLR.
"NBC is proud to join with the NCLR ALMA Awards so that we can recognize the outstanding achievements of Hispanic artists with this national showcase," said Telegdy. "As a company, NBCUniversal encourages diversity at every level of the entertainment industry, and serving as the new home for this awards show will help further realize that goal."
"Thanks to Eva Longoria and PepsiCo, both among our long-time partners, and our new partners Comcast and NBCUniversal. We look forward to having the biggest and best NCLR ALMA Awards yet," Murguia said. "We can think of no better time to put a spotlight on the many contributions that Latinos are making in the entertainment industry. I am especially grateful that all of our partners are making unprecedented commitments to ensure the continued success of this most valuable program. "
The executive producers of the ALMA Awards will be Bob Bain, Eva Longoria, and Janet Murguia. NBCUniversal and its parent company, Comcast Corporation, which has had a national partnership with NCLR since 2006, will contribute to the production costs of the awards show.
"Comcast's long-standing partnership with NCLR has been an important connection to the Hispanic community," said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation. "We're proud to join them in bringing the ALMA Awards and the positive images they highlight to NBC."
Two other important NBCUniversal media assets � Telemundo and mun2 � will join NBC in celebrating the ALMA Awards across all its platforms. Telemundo News will feature highlights of the star-studded event and mun2 will re-broadcast the awards show at a later date. In addition, Telemundo.com will be the �Official� ALMA Awards site offering exclusive behind the scenes content from rehearsals and backstage, as well as extensive coverage from the red carpet. mun2 will also produce a two-hour special as part of its weekly music variety show �18 & Over� from the ALMA Awards red carpet, spotlighting the fashion, star arrivals and showcasing some of the biggest music videos of the year. The �18 & Over� pre-awards show special will air Friday Sept 16th from 6-8 p.m. and mun2.tv will preview the �18 & Over� ALMA Awards special online one week prior to its airdate.
For additional information, including announcements about the nominees and performers at this year�s ceremony please visit www.almaawards.com or follow the show on Twitter at #almaawards.
Nets Put Buy in Bilingual
By Cynthia Littleton, Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety
The new cable drama "RPM Miami" is a high-octane sudser -- think "Fast and the Furious" meets "Desperate Housewives."
In the show's first few episodes, Iraq war veteran Alejandro becomes enmeshed in Miami's underground street racing culture and falls for the sweet but rebellious Luisa -- until the return of Mike, the husband she thought was dead. The conniving Gina cajoles Ramon to help her exact revenge on a rival. The voracious Ana looks to seduce another female conquest. And the long-suffering Jonas surprises everyone by waking up from a coma.
"RPM Miami," which airs on the NBCUniversal-owned cabler Mun2, is a primetime ensembler in the classic potboiler tradition. Except that the characters converse in two languages, Spanish and English, throughout each episode. In many scenes, characters switch languages mid-sentence.
"RPM Miami" is emblematic of a wave of programming hitting U.S. Spanish-language broadcast and cable outlets that is aimed squarely at the fastest-growing demographic in TV: U.S.-born, bilingual Hispanics.
More and more programs on Spanish-language TV are employing a blend of Spanish and English as programmers in the sector adjust from a tight focus on first-generation, Spanish dominant immigrants to second- and third-generation Latinos who watch plenty of English-lingo fare but are still hungry for programs that speak to their specific multicultural mindset. And major media congloms like NBCU, News Corp. and Viacom are paying close attention.
NBCU's new CEO, Steve Burke, has made it clear that the company sees its Spanish-language media assets -- broadcaster Telemundo and cable sibling Mun2 -- as major growth opportunities. Burke backed that up by giving oversight of those nets to Lauren Zalaznick, the cable programming maven who turned Bravo into a powerhouse for NBCU.
Telemundo and Mun2 represent "an immense opportunity for NBCU to be on the leading edge of growth with an audience segment that is on the rise in terms of sheer numbers and in terms of cultural influence," says Zalaznick, chairman of NBCUniversal Entertainment, Digital Networks and Integrated Media. She also oversees the newly created Hispanics@NBCU initiative to capture more advertising dollars aimed at Latinos.
The push for a wider variety of programming on Spanish-lingo TV in the U.S. also reflects the long-standing frustration by Hispanics that they remain sparsely represented in mainstream primetime shows, despite their ever-growing numbers, as documented in the 2010 Census. A study commissioned by MTV's bilingual offshoot Tr3s (or "Tres") found in a survey of Latinos in the 14-34 age range that nearly half are seeking more "bilingual/bicultural programming."
To programmers focused on next-gen bilinguals, the confluence of trends amounts to a mandate to develop more innovative -- and hopefully profitable -- programming. These are not your abuela's telenovelas.
SiTV, the pioneering English-language Latino network founded in 2004, changed its name to NuvoTV on July 4 as part of a rebranding and programming overhaul. The move is in response to overwhelming evidence that bicultural Latinos have gone from niche to mainstream. "Biculturals represent 80% of the overall growth of the U.S. Hispanic market," says NuvoTV CEO Michael Schwimmer. To complement its signature original programs "Model Latina" and "Latino 101," its new shows include fitness training skein "Operation: Osmin," cooking show "Mission Menu" and "PastPort," which tracks Latino celebs returning to their families' homelands.
Mun2 is looking to leverage all the assets of NBC�Universal to fire up its original programming expansion plans.
"'RPM Miami' is such a unique production that it warranted a genre of its own. We coined it a 'dramela,' targeting GenYLAs (young Latino Americans) who see themselves as uniquely American," said Telemundo chief operating officer Jacqueline Hernandez when the show bowed in May. To maximize the sudser's appeal to viewers who may not be thoroughly conversant in Spanish, "RPM" runs with English subtitles. The show has already been picked up for a second season.
It's clear that Spanish-lingo cablers are embracing the weekly drama series as an organic addition to the traditional strip format of the telenovela. And they are reaching beyond their walls to outside producers, in some cases those who are more accustomed to working in English but are eager to break into a fast-growing market.
"There are a lot of Hispanic viewers who don't necessarily watch telenovelas. We have to work harder to get them," Zalaznick says.
Tr3s is readying a new drama series for the fall, "Popland," which traces a young woman's journey from a small town to the high life in the big city. It'll air primarily in Spanish with English subtitles. It follows on the heels of the cabler's first scripted series, "Ninas mal" (Charm School), a racy teen soap that aired earlier this year and was a spinoff of the hit Mexican pic of the same name.
Among the most popular series on Tr3s is the unscripted "Quiero Mi Boda," which takes biculturalism head-on as it examines the ups and downs of Latinos marrying outside their culture.
Like Tr3s, Mun2 is aggressively courting a younger aud with a host of reality shows that freely mix Spanish and English. "I Love Jenni" has a "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" feel as it follows regional Mexican music star Jenni Rivera and her entourage.
"Beauties and the Boss," which bowed last month, revolves around Monica Weitzel, the Latina owner of the L.A.-based modeling agency, Associated Flavors Agency.
"Beauties" comes from 8th Wonder Entertainment, and marks the shingle's first production for Mun2.
"We've been wanting to get into the Latino market for the past three years," says 8th Wonder topper Michael McQuarn, who has other Latino-themed programs in the works.
"I Love Jenni" also marks the first Latino-themed show for its production company, Blank Paige Prods., which has hired a bilingual staff, according to topper Edward Paige. He admits to some frustration in dealing with the general market in getting press and advertising coin for "Jenni."
"The mainstream media outlets and advertisers tend to bypass us, not realizing that 'Jenni' is (similar to) the 'Kardashians,' " Paige says.
Although Latino webs are reaching out to more indie producers, competition comes from the networks themselves, not other indies, says Roger Huguet, prexy and chief operating officer of Imagina U.S., the U.S. arm of Spain's Imagina Holding, which has been producing TV content for Telemundo, Univision, Televisa, Colombia's RCN and other Latino webs, all production powerhouses themselves. Imagina U.S. is producing dating show "12 Corazones" and telenovelas "Amor de Nuevo" and "Amor de Peliculas" for Telemundo and reality show "Protagonistas" for Univision.
All the activity in the Spanish-lingo sector has been galvanized by the latest U.S. Census Bureau findings that documented the growth of the Hispanic population during the past decade and the projected future growth of the U.S.-born subset.
The Hispanic population now tops 50 million and is growing, by some estimates, eight times faster than other segments of the U.S. population. Moreover, the U.S. Hispanic median age is 25 compared with 36 for the general population.
While mainstream broadcasters have seen their auds erode, both Univision and Telemundo and even smaller Spanish-lanuage nets have seen an uptick in viewership. Market leader Univision sometimes bests the ratings of its mainstream counterparts.
Even before the Comcast takeover of NBCU, Telemundo and Mun2 had been pushed by chief operating officer Hernandez to maximize the synergy between the two offshoots, to make them a tighter unit, says Flavio Morales, Mun2's senior VP of programming and production.
With the new focus on growth, both Telemundo and mun2 are expecting an increase in their production expenditures, though for now, budgets remain lean.
"If I had staged a car crash or race in every episode of 'RPM Miami,' we would have blown through the entire budget very quickly," says Alonso Galvez, production veep for Mun2.
A little money does go a long way, as Telemundo discovered when its most expensive original production, telenovela "La Reina del Sur" (Queen of the South), made for about $10 million, became its biggest hit. Its success has spurred Telemundo to launch its first-ever Primetime Emmy campaign for the show (pitching it as a contender for best drama series) and star Kate del Castillo.
Some veterans of the Hispanic media scene are a little skeptical, but still hopeful, that the boom in the programming marketplace will be sustained this time around, having seen a flurry of activity come and go a decade ago.
"After the last census in 2000, the U.S. Hispanic market got all this hype and attention, then people forgot," says Luis Balaguer, CEO of Hispanic talent management agency/production company Latin World. The shingle supplies talent for Univision shows, and is developing a sitcom for ABC, "I Hate This Place," with Latin World partner Sofia Vergara and Electus' Ben Silverman.
"It's a shame, as they now represent more than a trillion dollars in purchasing power," Balaguer adds.
NGL Media Cultivates & Distributes Video Content From Latino Content Producers
NGL Media, a new Latino media and branded entertainment company, is launching a groundbreaking program aimed at working with independent and professional Latino content producers and outlets alike. Providing mass exposure for Latino content producers' work while giving them the tools and training to thrive in the Digital space is at the core of the company's mission that also promises to bridge the gap with Fortune 500 Hispanic advertisers seeking a premium in-culture video environment for their brands.
"As we set out to build NGL Media, we threw out the rule book and asked ourselves what content producers and advertisers are most looking to get out of today's Latino media and entertainment space. Independent Latino content producers are looking for greater exposure and ways to monetize their work, while professional content outlets are always seeking more eyeballs around scalable revenue-driven opportunities. Fortune 500 advertisers are aggressively looking for new ways to reach what's become a highly fragmented U.S. Hispanic audience. I'm proud to say that NGL Media delivers on all fronts and is poised to complement the old school model that is primarily focused on targeting the less acculturated U.S. Hispanic sector through traditional media," says CEO and Founder, David Chitel.
In addition to producing original content in-house, NGL Media has already amassed a video library from over 100 Latino content producers whose work ranges from TV shows like the Emmy award winning sketch comedy show, El Vacilon, that aired on Mega TV, to webisodic series, Eco Rico, an independently produced lifestyle cooking show from Latina mom and eco-cooking expert, Giselle Achecar. Through the NGL Media Content Partner Program, the company's in-house team works directly with emerging Latino talent providing training and tips to give them the best chance to mass-syndicate and monetize their work. NGL Media is also pursuing business relationships with Latino media outlets regardless of language, that are looking for new "over-the-top" scalable revenue sources for their content.
"Our goal is to deliver for advertisers, premium content producers and distribution outlets by creating a consistent flow of high quality content we produce and aggregate to any and all outlets where Latinos are watching. With respect to content, we do this by providing greater distribution opportunities and the tools and resources needed by independent content producers to raise the quality of their work. Sharing ad revenue with our content partners makes it a win-win for everyone," says Chief Revenue Officer & Partner, Ben Leff.
"As a content creator I'm extremely excited that NGL Media is taking the lead in distributing bicultural content throughout Digital platforms," says Ben DeJesus of Diamante Pictures. "So far, we've produced over 60 episodes for NGL Media including the Web series 'Tales from a Ghetto Klown with John Leguizamo' and the results have been impressive. I'm also looking forward to sharing my experience and expertise through the NGL Media Content Partner Program."
Actor John Leguizamo, NGL Media partner and spokesperson for the company's content hub UrbanoTV, has been on board since the beginning. In addition to 'Tales From A Ghetto Klown' which explores his recent return to Broadway, Leguizamo also contributed a series of videos in which he recreates his versions of the most popular YouTube viral videos of all time.
NGL Media is eager to speak with independent content producers and media outlets alike. Private video webcasts will be scheduled for those who are interested in immediately learning more about NGL Media's partner programs. Others can visit the company's website at www.NGLMedia.com or email email@example.com for more information.
NHMC Local Impact Awards Luncheon, Sept. 8
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) will present its 9th Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 8th at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, California. The annual celebration honors those individuals or entities whose achievements, generosity of spirit, or courage-under-fire have greatly benefited the Latino community. For sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.nhmc.org/local-impact-awards for more information.