Latinos In The Industry

HBO and POV Lead Emmy Award Nods For Documentaries

By Peter Knegt — The 32nd Annual Emmy Award nominations for news and documentary were announced this morning, with numerous docs that were favorites on the festival circuit over the last year or two making appearances throughout the nominations.

While CBS led the overall nominations with 34 (mostly for its news programs), it was closely followed by PBS with 32. Of those, 12 came from PBS's doc series POV and NALIP Trustee/POV Co-executive producer/Executive Vice President Cynthia Lopez. These POV films included the likes of Food, Inc., The Oath and Presumed Guilty received multiple nominations. HBO Documentary Films also received 12 nominations, partners with NALIP in the HBO NALIP Documentary Grant for 3 years. Their nominees include two films by Latinos: Estela winner and Francisco Bello's (LPA 2007) War Don Don and Estela finalist Alexandra Condina's Monica and David.

Alexandra Codina's noted Monica, and NALIP DYD Mentor Stephanie Wang-Breal's Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy were nominated in the Outstanding Informational Programming (Long Form) category.

Laura Poitra's The Oath from Women Make Movies, and Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith's Presumed Guilty, both of which aired on PBS's POV under Cynthia Lopez and Simon Kilmurry, were both nominated for Outstanding Investigative Journalism (Long Form).

There was also the straightforward Best Documentary category, which saw the aforementioned likes of Presumed Guilty and The Oath nominated. NALIPster Bello also received nomination for Outstanding Editing on War Don Don (HBO). A complete list of nominations can be found here. Presumed Guilty's Roberto Hernandez was also nominated for Outstanding Research.

Founding NALIPster and mentor John J. Valadez was nominated as Director/Producer for Outstanding Historical Programming Long Form for his The Longoria Affair, which aired on ITVS

Insider Insight: Studios Try to 'Crack The Code' on Latino Moviegoers

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

In the same way Hispanics have become an important political voice, so it goes with Hollywood and moviegoing.

Hispanics, now the second-largest group in the U.S., are more likely to go to movies, the Motion Picture Association of America says. Last year, 43 million Hispanics purchased 351 million movie tickets, an MPAA report says, an uptick from the 37 million who bought 300 million tickets the previous year.

And in 2010, when Nielsen examined that coveted group of heavy moviegoers -- people who see on average 16 movies a year and contribute to 63 percent of ticket sales -- it found that Hispanics make up 26 percent of those frequenting theaters.

"In every single dimension that you can think of, you can see that the Hispanic group is a moviegoing group," Nielsen's Claudia Pardo says. "They go in families, they go often, and they account for a larger share of the ticket sales."

For years, Hispanics have been a fast-growing demographic, but while Hollywood studios are well aware a sizable audience is there, the industry is still testing out the best ways to reach it.

Naturally, studios have picked up on the trend, explaining what Fabian Castro, Universal's vice president of multicultural marketing, calls the "boilerplate" of movie marketing these days: "You do your Spanish-language ads on Univision and Telemundo, and more often than not it's a translation of an English ad. You hit your magazines and websites, and you do some sort of grass-roots effort. That's standard."

Yet the reality is not quite that simple. The Hispanic demographic is far from homogenous, consisting of various nationalities, levels of acculturation and language preference, which affect both the development of movies targeting the group as well as the way studios try to market so-called mainstream films.

As a result, Hollywood is trying out a hodgepodge of ways to reach the group: developing more nuanced marketing, finding ways to make mainstream films more inclusive and providing something different from mass-appeal blockbusters by making movies targeted to Hispanics.

Producer Elizabeth Avellan — whose resume includes Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Machete and the Spy Kids franchise (a fourth installment arrives in August) — says Hollywood is in the midst of trying to "crack the code."

"The problem is that no one has had the patience to crack it. Latinos love tent-pole movies — they want to go to see Spider-Man, they want to go see Predators," she says.

To Avellan, the key is to find a way to create those "big, kick-ass" movies and do it in a way that's inclusive.

"If the director and the executive producer are both from Latin countries, that's a huge deal. It already has a Latin stamp; it's going to have a different point of view," she says. "It's just that they're not going around going, 'We're making Latino films'; they're saying, 'We're making awesome films that include our point of view and our flavor and our rhythms and things like that.' "

But, she adds, studios should do it in a way where the movies still look like the big franchises that swoop into theaters each year, noting that filmmakers can do that, on a budget, and still be inclusive of this audience.

"This is the reality about Hollywood: The only color they care about is green," Avellan says. "That's reality. You make some money, they'll make your movie. If it was successful, you get to make your next movie; you get to have a career. Really, part of cracking the code is making them money with your product."

What she makes, she says, are "mainstream movies that people want to go to, big action movies" while being mindful of costs and without pandering.

"We're not saying (to Latinos), this is a movie for you, but you'll find the flavor," she says. "We make iced tea, but we make it passion fruit iced tea. It has that zing to it, (but) it's still iced tea, so the world feels connected to it."

For example, she mentions Sin City. "It didn't have one Latin character, but you have Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Jessica Alba (cast in the movie). ... That's the beauty of what's going on, and I don't think we're the only ones doing it by the way."

Universal's Castro says the studio also relies on inclusiveness when marketing its slate, which was the case with Fast Five. The latest installment in the Vin Diesel franchise topped the box office with $86.2 million its opening weekend in April — the largest opening of the year — with 33 percent of its grosses coming from Hispanic pockets. Its domestic gross as of July 4 was $208 million, according to

The film's predecessor, 2009's "Fast and Furious," arrived with Hispanics making up 46 percent of its opening weekend audience. "That became an eye-opener for pretty much all of Hollywood in seeing that there is a Hispanic audience that is very, very important and obviously goes to the movies so it's time to pay attention to that," Castro says.

But he says simply translating an advertisement from English into Spanish won't cut it.

"The natural challenges in reaching the Hispanic market are obviously language and levels of acculturation. You can't homogenize the entire Hispanic audience into one bucket and say, 'Oh, we're going to reach the Hispanic audience by doing one thing.' That's really what had been going on," Castro says. "(Instead) we look at genres that ... we historically have seen have been very successful with that audience: Action, horror, family films do incredibly well. We try to pay as much attention to the nuances and behaviors of the audience and see how that fits into the marketing of the film."

When it came time to market "Fast Five," Universal's team looked for ways to draw out what's culturally relevant in the movie and highlight it -- in this case, the diverse cast and music.

And if a movie doesn't have a diverse cast like "Fast Five," the studio shoots for other ways to find a cultural tie-in. With "Hop," Universal teamed up with singer-actor Jencarlos Canela to do a Spanish version of "I Want Candy."

But Paul Presburger, CEO of Pantelion Films, Lionsgate's studio venture with media outlet Televisa, says he believes there's an audience for English-language pictures targeted to the Hispanic audience — it's just a matter of developing that market.

"We know there's a market here, but it's a bit of an elusive (one)," Presburger says. "It's one of the big challenges. I'll start with the fact that if you look at television, the Hispanic television business is huge.

Univision right now beats the U.S. (broadcast) networks several nights a week. You look at music, and the Latino music business is a huge business. Yet there is no film business for them. The question is why."

Pantelion is answering that question by aiming for four to five English-language releases a year specifically for this audience in addition to opening six to eight Spanish-language movies in more limited runs.

The studio isn't the first to try this strategy, and Presburger says he's aware it's a tough road. "Part of the issue is that in television, they've been watching the same kind of telenovela programming all around Latin America for 50 years, but from a movie perspective, an Argentine film is so different from a Mexican film, which is different from anything else."

At the same time, he says, focus groups in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Florida revealed that some Hispanics feel underrepresented in cinema.

"Typically, Hispanics are shown in movies as gang members and drug dealers and such as opposed to what they are: an up-and-coming demographic with a middle class," Presburger says.

The idea for now is to create English-language movies that can unite or blur "some of these distinctions of nationality," Presburger says, and do it with enough regularity to develop brand recognition. "We're looking at universal or general themes in our movies as well but with a DNA of Latino flavor in it," he says.

Since Hispanics are already "going to see these big Hollywood movies," it's a matter of offering something different, Presburger says, noting how well Tyler Perry, who's also with Lionsgate, has been able to offer his audience what studios haven't. "I kind of look at it as nobody's quite cracked the nut yet," he says about the Hispanic market.

Regardless of the approach, one thing's for sure, Universal's Castro says: It's not a wise move to ignore this audience.

"Whether you consider (Hispanics) a minority or not, it's too big to ignore," he says. "They embrace the movie campaign; they're great advocates of a product, and that's something that we don't want to dismiss."

The Harvest/La Cosecha Documentary Exposes Plight of 400,000 Children Who Work As Migrant Laborers on America's Farms

Executive Produced by Eva Longoria and Shine Global, the Producers of the Academy-Award® Nominated film, WAR/DANCE

The Harvest/La Cosecha, an award-winning new film by Shine Global, U Roberto Romano and Executive Producer Eva Longoria that examines the lives of child migrant laborers, will be released theatrically by Cinema Libre Studio starting on July 29 in New York at the Quad Cinema (34 West 13th Street) followed by Los Angeles on August 5 at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 (9036 Wilshire Boulevard) with additional theatres to follow. Following its theatrical run, the film will be screened in up to 30 cities nationally as part of a comprehensive community outreach program. The film, which focuses on three Latino youths who are among the 400,000 children who work as migrant laborers on America's farms, will also be broadcast nationally on the EPIX, the multiplatform media service, and on October 5 with a DVD release later that month.

Directed by award-winning photographer and filmmaker U Roberto Romano, The Harvest/La Cosecha tells the stories of three adolescents who travel with their families across thousands of miles to pick crops in southern Texas, northern Michigan and northern Florida during the harvest season. Along the way, they face back-breaking labor in 100-degree heat, physical hazards from pesticides, the emotional burden of helping their families through economic crises when work opportunities dry up, separation from their families and peer groups and dwindling hope for their educational and economic advancement. Actor Eva Longoria serves as executive producer through her company, UnbeliEVAble Productions.

"I've been an activist for migrant farm workers for over 10 years. When I learned about this film I knew I had to be involved," said Eva Longoria.

"Very few of us understand the true cost of the produce that we buy in grocery stores every day,"said Susan MacLaury, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Shine Global. "While we only pay 80 cents a pound for tomatoes, the child who may have picked them has paid with his or her future."

Zulema Lopez, 12, thinks of nothing but working in the fields, and one of her earliest childhood memories is of her mother teaching her how to pick and clean strawberries. Having attended eight schools in the last eight years, she struggles to keep up and is afraid she may not make it to high school. When asked what her dreams are, she replies that she doesn't have time for them.

Perla Sanchez, 14, travels with her large family to pick crops across the United States. She watches as her classmates forge special bonds that she will never share with them as they advance from one grade to the next and she is left behind. And just when it seems that her father has found a job that will allow them to stay in one place and have some stability, a decline in his health sends them back on the road. She dreams of becoming a lawyer so that she can help other migrant workers who struggle to make ends meet.

Victor Huapilla is a 16 year-old living in Florida. His family migrated to the US when he was young looking for a better life and is on the path to full citizenship. To help support his family, Victor has had to balance his time between harvesting and going to school and his education suffers. While Victor is often in the fields, he's glad his younger sisters are still spared the ordeal of picking up to 1500 pounds of tomatoes a day. But the expenses of legally bringing his two older sisters to America bankrupts the family and they can't afford to migrate for work.

Albie Hecht, Co-Founder of Shine Global and Chairman of the Shine Global Board of Directors, said, "Kids who work all day in fields, and have to move every six months to follow the harvest, don't focus on school. Their friendships suffer. Their physical health suffers. It is very hard for them to grow and develop, and many give up on life dreams or career ambitions. All they see is the harvest."

Scenes from The Harvest/La Cosecha have been presented to the US Department of Labor and members of Congress, including Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, who has presented scenes from the film to lawmakers in support of her introduction of the CARE Act, which would raise the minimum age of child farmworkers from 12 to 14.

Beyond the theatrical release, The Harvest/La Cosecha was screened at the San Antonio Film Festival on June 22 where it received the audience award for Best Documentary as well as Outstanding Filmmaker award for director Romano. The Harvest/La Cosecha will be shown in several different cities with MALDEF, and have special screenings at VivaFest in San Jose, CA, in September, the New York International Latino Film Festival in New York City in August, and for the Association of Latino Administrators and Supervisors in San Francisco in October.

Shine Global is also developing a free downloadable curriculum for teachers of grades 7-12. More information about the film and facts about America's youth migrant farm laborers can be found by visiting .

Theatrical distribution for The Harvest/La Cosecha was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Andrew Herwitz, President of the Film Sales Company, and on behalf of the distributor by Philippe Diaz.

The Harvest/La Cosecha is a production of Shine Global, Inc. in association with Globalvision, Inc., Romano Film and Photography, Inc., UnbeliEVAble Productions, EPIX and Planet Green. Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury: executive producers for Shine Global, Inc. Eva Longoria: executive producer for UnBeliEVAble Productions, Rory O'Connor: executive producer for Globalvision, Inc. and producer. Alonzo Cantu and Raul Padilla, Executive Producers

The Roy W. Dean Grants

DEADLINE: August 31, 2011

From the Heart Productions is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to funding films that are "unique and make a contribution to society". Started in 1992 by Carole Dean. This is a goods and service grant with donations close to $30,000.00.

For more information, please visit the Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants website at:

NEA Arts in Media Grant

DEADLINE: September 1, 2011

Grants are available to support the development, production, and national distribution of innovative media projects about the arts (e.g., visual arts, music, dance, literature, design, theater, musical theater, opera, folk & traditional arts, and media arts including film, audio, animation, and digital art) and media projects that can be considered works of art. Grants generally range from $10,000 to $200,000.

For more information, please visit the NEA website at:

San Francisco Film Society Documentary Film Fund

DEADLINE: September 2, 2011

The SFFS Documentary Film Fund will support riveting documentaries in postproduction distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach. A total of $100,000 will be disbursed annually between 2011 and 2013 to documentary filmmakers nationwide.

For more information, please visit the SFFS website at:

AFI FEST 2011 Short Film Submissions Close July 29th

Celebrating its 25th year in 2011, AFI FEST presented by Audi is among the most prestigious and highly anticipated Fall film festivals in the world. The festival showcases an expansive program of films that span the globe, featuring narrative, documentary and short films, including independent cinema from both master and emerging filmmakers. The festival's popular "Breakthrough" section highlights films found solely through the submissions process.


REMINDER: The 2011 NLMC Television Writers Program Submission Deadline Approaching

The National Lation Media Council Television Writers Program submission period is now open for those writers who can write at least one half-hour comedy or one-hour dramatic television script in English within a five-week period of time. The program will take place in Burbank, CA from October 8, 2011 to November 11, 2011.

Application packages must be submitted by July 29, 2011 and selected program participants will be announced September 7, 2011. Writing samples must be in English and television scripts are preferred.

Each selected participant is expected to complete at least one script by the end of the five-week session, which will then be read by network executives. Those writers whose scripts show promise will be interviewed and mentored by the network executives with the objective of placing them on a show. A stipend of $250 per week will be given to each participant. Flight, housing, and meals will be provided. The NLMC Television Writers Program is an intensive scriptwriters workshop to prepare and place Latinos in writing jobs for the major television networks. This project is modeled after the previously successful Hispanic Film Project. The television scriptwriters workshop is designed to familiarize participants with the format, characters and storyline structure of specific shows that are currently on the air.

This five-week, total immersion workshop is mentored and guided by former NBC V.P of Script Development, Geoff Harris. The workshop is conducted in Burbank, CA and a total of 10 writers are recruited nationwide from established network of NHMC chapters, other non-profit agencies, schools, universities, guilds and media organizations. The goal is that the writers garner the skills necessary to obtain employment in the industry. The NLMC Writers Program was created in accordance to NHMC's mission to improve the image of American Latinos as portrayed by the media and increase the number of American Latinos employed in all facets of the media industry. The program directly responds to the lack of diverse writers in primetime network TV with the idea that if there are more diverse writers present at the writer's table, more diversity will be reflected on TV.

For applicants to be considered, 2 packets with the following must be submitted:

  • Program Application
  • Resume/Bio
  • Writing Sample: (1) hard copy and (1) CD copy (each CD should have a copy of the script saved in PDF Format)
  • Notarized release forms
  • Statement of Interest (Explain why you want to write for television)

To download program application and release forms, click here.

  Latinos Leading the Mobile Web
(ClickZ) — Mobile is the fastest-growing platform in the world. In the U.S., for example, there are more than 290 million mobile subscribers. And this growth is not only about penetration. It's reshaping the way consumers use their devices. FULL STORY

Comic-Con 2011: What You Must Do — and See — in San Diego
About 130,000 people are expected at the four-day comics, movies and popular arts convention in downtown San Diego this year. Some of Hollywood's most important directors and biggest names will be among them. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Casting Call: Ultra-Low Budget Independent Sci-Fi Film (Los Angeles)
Now casting low-budget science fiction feature set to shoot in the Los Angeles area for three weeks in August. Auditions and callbacks will be held by appointment. Pay depends on role. 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

Joe Hernández-Kolski
NALIPster's new solo show opens July 29 in Los Angeles

Written and performed by Joe Hernández-Kolski, he describes his new work, "awake," as "a coming-of-middle-age story where he searches for the humor in tragedies that we all inevitably face...a story that is incredibly revealing, funny and relatable." It's part spoken word poetry, part comedy, part dance and all very real."

A two-time HBO Def Poet, Joe Hernández-Kolski is an Emmy Award-winning TV, stage and film actor/writer who is constantly in demand. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Be sure to check out the world premiere of "awake"on July 29, 2011 at the Bootleg Theatre located at 2220 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90057, (213) 389-3856.

For detailed information on Joe Hernández-Kolski and "awake," please visit

Florencia Davidzon
NALIPster's short documentary to screen at LA Shorts Fest

Writer/Director Florencia Davidzon's film, "As Usual Bill," begs the question, "Are we obsessed with beauty?" Los Angeles are taking care of their image every Saturday morning. Why? A personal film that searches for answers. What does your image say about you? Why do you care?

Florencia Davidzon is a Writer/Director born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently residing and working in the city of Los Angeles, California.

"As Usual Bill" screens Sunday, July 24 at 1:00 PM. Click here for details.

Alex Ferrari
LPA 2006 mentor's film to screen at Comic Con

Alex Ferrari's action packed, graphic novel style film Red Princess Blues is a twisted modern day fairy tale. ZOE, a young teenage girl, is lured into an after hours carnival tent by the sleazy rock-n-roll carney RIMO and gets more than she bargained for. It is up to the mysterious PRINCESS, the star of the new knife show at ROSCOE'S CARNIVAL & FREAK SHOW, to pull Zoe out of the wolf den that she has fallen.

Red Princess Blues stars Richard Tyson (Black Hawk Down), Rachel Grant (007 Die Another Day) and Academy Award Nominee Robert Forster (Jackie Brown).

The San Diego Comic Con Indie Film Festival takes place on:

Thursday, July 21
12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina


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