Latinos In The Industry
June 16, 2011

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: What Comes First? Director - Actor - Producer

By Stacey Parks, Founder of Film Specific and an expert in the area of Film & TV distribution with over 15 years experience working with independent film producers. Talk Back on TuTube to let us know your thoughts!

There was an interesting discussion recently in the Film Specific forums started by a writer/producer looking to move their project forward. The person was asking how best to attach a name director, specifically how to get past the agent gatekeepers at CAA who represent the directors they are going after.

This is such a great question because I know so many of you are in the very same position - got a great script and need attachments to move the project forward / attract financing...

So what to do?

Well in this particular situation the film in question is budgeted in the $2 - $3 million range. And at this budget level there are 2 things much more important than bringing on a Director.


Call for Entries: A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline

A&E Network and the New York Television Festival are introducing the A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline, an innovative program seeking original unscripted television treatments from independent producers and production companies. Concepts and treatments should center on individuals or small groups that represent unique points of view.

25 semi-finalists will be presented to A&E development executives.

Five finalists, selected by A&E, will each receive notes on their projects and $2,500 to shoot additional tape. One winner, selected by A&E, will be awarded $10,000 and will participate in the production of the network pilot presentation. To be considered, producers must submit a short treatment (1-2 pages) along with a brief video introducing the subject(s).

The NYTVF accepts entries from June 20 through July 15, 2011. Free to enter. More info:

Deadline Approaching: The Good Pitch

The Good Pitch is entering its third year with a new partner and a new venue, but the same ambitious goal; to fast-track effective, world-changing partnerships between documentary film and the brand, NGO, philanthropy and media sectors.

The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, are delighted to announce that the touring funding and networking forum the Good Pitch will be returning to San Francisco in September 2011.

The Good Pitch is an invitation-only event, starting with an intensive two-day campaign development workshop for the filmmakers September 24-25, followed by a day-long live event on September 27, which brings together invited foundations, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, broadcasters and other media to expand the resources aimed at maximizing the impact of social-issue documentary. Filmmaking teams pitch their project and its associated outreach campaign with the aim of creating a unique coalition around each film to accelerate its impact and influence.

What: The Good Pitch San Francisco 2011
Where: Marines Memorial Theatre, San Francisco
When: 27 September 2011
Call for entries closes: Friday, June 17 2011, 12pm UK Time


The call is aimed at filmmakers of any nationality working on documentary film projects which tackle important global and national issues and enhance our understanding of the world. If you are a filmmaker and would like to apply,please click to download the Entry Criteria and Forum Rules document on the right before beginning your application.

We want to see that you have thought about what you hope to achieve with your film through an associated audience engagement campaign. Your campaign can take any form, possibly using social media platforms in its execution, and could seek to effect behavioral change, policy change and/or engage with the issues raised in new and interesting ways.

We are looking for projects at any stage from early production to completion, provided projects have not received a major festival screening; rough cut stage is ideal. The call is open to projects looking for completion funding, outreach funding, campaigning networks or a combination of these. There is no fee for applying or taking part in the Good Pitch SF 2011 but selected pitchers will be expected to pay for their travel to and from the event, and their accommodation once there.

For entry criteria and forum rules click here:

To Apply, click here:

Pitch NBCU, Hosted By IFTA

This August, NBCU executives will present their programming needs for the upcoming year at an upcoming event being hosted by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA).

The purpose of this event is to provide greater distribution opportunities for independent producers on NBCU's broadcast and cable networks, and Comcast Cable's VOD and online platforms. The event is a Development Meeting to be held in August 2011. Producers who believe that they meet the Business Qualifications outlined in the Questionnaire available for download here, and who are interested in attending the upcoming 2011 Development Meeting must complete this form and return it per the instructions. This opportunity is open to producers who have had at least three projects in development at (or have produced at least one (1) project that has been exhibited by) a broadcast network or a basic or pay cable entertainment network (or some combination thereof with respect to the development of three projects) within the past five (5) years? It also asks about capacity to deficit finance scripted or reality programming.

The deadline for submitting the Questionnaire is June 27, 2011. Please indicate that you were referred by NALIP and by Delia de la Vara, NCLR.

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Shahrokh Sheik, Esq. with IFTA at (310) 446-1055 or via email at

Glee adds Latino to Writers' Room

From an article by Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter

In the midst of its summer concert tour, "Glee" has added six to its writing staff for Season 3. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Allison Adler, Marti Noxon, Michael Hitchcock, Matt Hodgson and Ross Maxwell will join Glee executive producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchukand Ian Brennan in the writers' room beginning Monday when work starts on Season 3.

Aguirre-Sacasa is an American playwright, screenwriter and comic-book writer known to a wide audience for his work for Marvel Comics and for the HBO drama series Big Love. He was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a prominent Nicaraguan diplomat, and raised in both the United States and Nicaragua. He received his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University, where he studied playwriting under Donn B. Murphy, received a Masters Degree in English literature from McGill University, and graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2003. His recent credits include Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as a script doctor. On Glee, he will be a co-producer.

The plan originally was for "Glee" to introduce additional writers midway through the recently completed second season, but with a production-heavy schedule involving music supervision and choreography as well as planning the summer concert tour, Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan wound up writing all 22 episodes, with Murphy and Falchuk also directing several installments.

Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter in May that Season 3 will focus on new freshman characters and that he planned to include more serialized stories.

  Two Thirds of All TV Homes Now Have an HD Set
(Broadcasting & Cable) - The new Cross Platform Report from Nielsen has found that HDTVs are now available 75.5 million homes, about two thirds of all homes, a 20% bounce over last year, and that video viewing has increased across all platforms. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Casting: Leads in Film Set in 1960s Brazilian Jazz Scene
Lead actors and actresses are needed for a dramatic film titled Insensatez, which takes place in Brazil in the early 1960s and is about the burgeoning Bossa Nova Jazz scene. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

From the Editor
Alex Mendoza
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Natalia Almada
NALIP Estela awardee wins Alpert Award

The Alpert Award in the Arts provides unrestricted, annual prizes of $75,000 to five engaged, independent artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts. Initiated and funded by The Herb Alpert Foundation and administered by California Institute of the Arts, the Award rewards experimenters who are challenging and transforming art, their respective disciplines, and society. This year, our Natalia Almada (LPA 2003, Estela winner) was recognized as the 2011 Film/Video Recipient. Congratulations!! Check out her work, and that of the organization online here.

Sonia Fritz
NALIPster's film screening at San Antonio Film Fest

América, the Puerto Rican film directed by NALIP member Sonia Fritz (LPA 2007, LWL 2008) starring Lymari Nadal and Yancey Arias, will be screening at the San Antonio Film Festival on Friday, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Auditorium of the Instituto Cultural de Mexico. Sonia Fritz will present the film.

The film, shot in Puerto Rico and New York, is based on Esmeraldas Santiago book America's Dream. The story is set on a beautiful Caribbean island where Americas life is anything but peaceful. When their daughter runs away, America's abusive lover unleashes his rage against her. Leaving everything behind, America escapes to New York City hoping for a new life. There she works as a nanny for a wealthy family. She befriends three nannies a Mexican, a Colombian and a Dominican and with their help and support from relatives in the Bronx, America is determined to bring her daughter back to her. But her past haunts her. America must confront her terror to protect her dream.

Other cast members are: Yareli Arizmendi, Edward James Olmos, Tony Plana, Rachel Ticotin, James Callis, Teresa Hernndez, Maris Alvarez, and Monica Steuer. America was produced by Frances Lausell with support from the Puerto Rico Film Commission.

Theo Rigby
NALIPster's doc Sin País (Without Country) wins Student Academy Award

The short documentary film Sin País (Without Country), directed by NALIP member Theo Rigby, has won the Bronze medal in the Documentary category of the 38th Annual Student Academy Awards. The film addresses complex immigration issues by focusing on the story of one family, as they are ripped apart by deportation.

The Mejia family settled in California nearly twenty years ago, after escaping a violent civil war in Guatemala. In 2007, Immigration agents raided their house and eventually the Mejia parents were deported back to Guatemala, leaving their two teenage children in the California.

With striking imagery and intimate access, Sin País explores the complexities of the Mejia's new reality of a separated family - parents without their children, and children without their parents.

Sin País will screen in the prestigious AFI/Discovery Channel SilverDocs Film Festival in Silver Spring, MD, on June 23 at 12:00pm, and June 26 at 9:00am.

Sin País has also been accepted in over 15 film festivals including: IDFA, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Ashland Film Festival, United Nations Association Film Festival, Boston Latino Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival and the Santa Cruz Film Festival.

Theo Rigby, based out of San Francisco, made Sin País as part of the Documentary Film MFA program at Stanford University. His short films have won awards and screened in festivals worldwide - his film Close to Home was a National Finalist in the 37th Annual Student Academy Awards.

Paco de Onis
NALIPster's doc Granito screenin opens Human Rights Watch Int. Film Fest

Producer and NALIP national conference speaker Paco de Onis' documentary Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, directed by Pamela Yates, makes its long-awaited New York debut as Opening Night Film of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (HRWIFF).

This is the filmmakers' third film in a row to open the HRWIFF in New York, their home town, and they write: Our focus on HRWIFF and all the other festivals of the growing Human Rights Film Network is of paramount importance to us, as we are human rights activists as well as filmmakers. We make our documentaries to engage wide audiences around inspiring stories of courageous people defending human rights and overcoming huge obstacles placed in their path by powerful forces of impunity - their stories show us how we can each contribute our grain of sand, our granito, to achieve justice and restore dignity. So for those of you will join us this Friday and Saturday at our screenings we look forward to seeing you at this HRWIFF celebration of human rights. For those of you can't make it this time, stay tuned for our New York theatrical release in September, followed by Los Angeles and other cities around the country. To keep up with Granito: How To Nail A Dictator news we invite you to 'like' our Facebook page.


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