Latinos In The Industry

"Alex's Ramblings" included in this issue, read it in the From The Editor section!

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grants to NALIP
$45,000 grants will support "Doing your Doc" and the 2012 Latino Media Market

Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, today announced that NALIP has been recommended for two grants totaling $45,000 to support our regional documentary development workshops, "Doing your Doc: Diverse Visions, Regional Voices" with the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and the 2012 Latino Media Market, concurrent with our 13th national conference. NALIP is one of 1,145 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency's second round of fiscal year 2011 grants. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute more than $88 million to support projects nationwide.

An independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts advances artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts."

NALIP is grateful for the NEA's commitment to media artists, the organizations and programs that support diverse content creators on their path to greater productivity and success. The next "Doing your Doc" will be held in October, in Durham, North Carolina, with three more workshops to be scheduled between fall 2011 and spring 2012. Under our previous NEA grant, with additional support from CPB, we held workshops in St. Paul, Minnesota, Tucson, Arizona, Chicago, Illinois and, this past weekend, in Boulder, CO. The Latino Media Market accepts applications in December for the April 2012 meeting series for select producers of feature, documentary and unscripted television projects.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Your Audience & The Paradox Of Choice

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. As a Foreign Sales Agent since 2001 she has secured distribution for hundreds of independent features and programs worldwide.

In a recent newsletter I wrote called The Royal Wedding & Your Film, I talked about the importance of having your film distributed on multiple platforms, and therefore having it available to consumers 'how they want, when they want'. For example, there was no way I was waking up early to watch the Royal Wedding live when I could just as easily watch it later on-demand or on the internet at my convenience. (which is what I did!)

Someone wrote in after this newsletter and raised some interesting points about his own self-distribution strategy and went on to say that he prefers the terms "indie distribution" or "niche distribution" as opposed to "DIY" or "self distribution" which he finds unprofessional. He figures that a quality movie doesn't needs to be degraded by such terms and in the end, traditional distribution is going to make the movie available in the same places as an Indie distribution. From the audience's point of view, they don't care who distributes the movie, they just want it "how they want and when they want."


Network TV is Picking Up a Little Español

By Johnny Diaz, Boston Globe

On a recent episode of NBC comedy "30 Rock,'' Tina Fey's character held up a book called "Learn Spanish'' and declared that she would finally learn the language. Later on, as Fey's character performed community service in a park, she shouted in her novice Spanish, "Estoy hablando con mi amigo!''

On the CBS legal drama "The Good Wife,'' America Ferrera's character recently translated for lawyers during a teleconference call with a fictional Venezuelan president. Viewers followed along with the help of subtitles.

And on ABC's "Modern Family,'' actor Sofia Vergara regularly rolls her "r''s and improvises lines with her native Spanish.

Some of the more popular English-language prime-time network shows this season have declared, "hablamos español!''

As Latinos have grown into the largest minority in the United States (new census figures report that one in six Americans are Latino), so has the amount of Spanish on television shows trying to appeal to this growing TV audience.

After Mexico, the United States is the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking country. As the language becomes more widely used in everyday conversation among Americans, Spanish is also becoming more commonly spoken on the networks.

Viewers aren't just hearing small phrases such as "que sorpresa'' or "hola amigo!'' Show writers create dialogue in complete Spanish sentences featured in subtitles or sometimes not translated at all.

"The writers are cognizant of the fact there is a growing Hispanic audience out there. It's reality,'' said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit advocacy group that has been pushing the networks to elevate the presence of Latinos on their programs.

Each year, the group reports on the number of Latinos on- and off-camera as actors and writers. Last season, the four major networks had a total of 48 Latino actors as regulars on prime-time shows -- almost double the number from 10 years ago.

So as the actors better reflect the US population, they are speaking like them, too.

"The writers are reflecting what they see,'' said Nogales.

His group hosts an annual TV writers program, cosponsored by ABC and NBC, to help develop Latino writers for current and future shows. Participants spend five weeks producing a script for one half-hour comedy or a one-hour drama in English. So far, more than 15 graduates have landed writing jobs on network shows such as ABC's "Brothers & Sisters'' and CBS's "Criminal Minds.''

Nogales said that's helping the networks add a Latino sensibility to their programs.

"We are adding to the writer field, but incrementally it's a very small number,'' said Nogales, who estimated there are overall 120 writers per TV network. But he added that the increased use of Spanish on the network "is progress. There is a big bilingual population and the writers are trying to get viewers to cross over to see what their shows are all about.''

Robert Thompson, professor of TV and popular culture at Syracuse University, said that more Americans have become more comfortable with everyday Spanish and that is seeping into network television.

He credits children's shows such as "Dora the Explorer'' and "Go, Diego, Go!'' for teaching a new generation of young viewers and their parents basic español .

"English-speaking Americans every now and then hear someone else speaking another language such as Spanish and you're seeing that on television,'' Thompson said.

In new shows such as the ABC medical drama "Off The Map,'' the main characters speak Spanish because it makes the setting more realistic. The program follows a group of young doctors in "la ciudad de las estrellas'' (the city of stars), a small town in a South American jungle that is home to a small, understaffed "clinica .'' In each episode, doctors and patients switch back and forth between English and Spanish. The more common phrases involve a doctor asking patients, "Te duele algo?'' which translates as "what hurts?''

But some older popular shows such as CBS's "CSI: Miami'' incorporate Spanish because it adds authenticity to where the characters work and live. Miami has a large Latino population.

Network officials and producers said that having more bilingual actors allows them to put their skills to good use for story lines, which then help deepen characters' backgrounds.

Ferrera, who is Honduran-American, used Spanish this season on "The Good Wife'' for a multi-episode arc. She played a bilingual undocumented immigrant graduate student who landed a paid internship with the show's law firm. She also became a potential love interest for a campaign manager played by Alan Cumming

Earlier this month, NBC's "Law & Order: SVU'' featured a Latina nanny praying in Spanish as detectives interviewed her. One of the show's detectives is played by Mariska Hargitay, who speaks Spanish.

Producers try to incorporate Spanish to reflect New York's large Latino population, which includes Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. When an episode involves a Latino character or story line, those scenes will often feature Hargitay.

"It's important to be inclusive... . We want it to be as real as possible,'' said executive producer Neal Baer. "It really helps that she [Hargitay] speaks Spanish,'' said Baer, noting that Hargitay won an Emmy for best actress in 2006 for an episode called "911'' in which she spoke Spanish to calm a Honduran girl who had been kidnapped.

Baer said the show will add subtitles so that viewers can follow what the characters are saying. His writers also check with the actors such as Hargitay to make sure the Spanish sounds correct.

"She knows what she's saying and if it doesn't sound correct, she tells us,'' he said. "We were more aware that this country is multilingual and we should be acknowledging that.''

Over on "Modern Family,'' show creators modeled a lot of the character of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett after Vergara, the actor who plays Ed O'Neill's wife. Like Vergara, her character is Colombian and speaks with a strong Spanish accent and has a teenage son named Manny.

Show producers have given Vergara flexibility to improvise her character's Spanish outbursts and mispronunciations.

"The show itself is presenting a more realistic mosaic of American life today,'' said Bill Fine, general manager of Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV (Channel 5) and chairman of the entertainment committee for ABC Television Affliates Association Board of Governors. "There's something to it that she's a Hispanic character on television that has caught on with the public. There is a realism in there that makes people laugh.''

Take Your Career and Project to the Next Level at PitchCon

NATPE PitchCon (June 9th and 10th) is the premiere Hollywood destination for independent content producers. This high-caliber 2-day event is a catalyst for launching you to the next level of your career. We offer industry panels, master classes, hands-on advice and access to a network of influential media execs. PitchCon features the well-respected Pitch Pit where you can pitch your show ideas in guaranteed 1-on-1 meetings with 50+ top level agents, broadcast, cable, digital and studio development executives.

ACCESS: Get Access to 50+ decision makers from:
APA Talent and Literary Agency, BET Networks, Bravo, CAA, Fox Television Studios, FremantleMedia, Hasbro Studios, Lakeshore Entertainment, Lionsgate Entertainment, My Damn Channel, NBC, Paradigm, TBS, Telepictures/Warner Bros., TLC, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, and more... check out the complete list here.

NATPE PitchCon
Real tools, Real access, Real pitches... for Real Producers
June 9th - 10th, 2011
at The Roosevelt Hotel
Los Angeles, CA

Special Discount for NALIP Members
Register Here
Use your special promo code PCNALIP and get $70 OFF
Register by 5/20 and be eligible to win a $20 Starbucks card!!
That's just $275 (normally $345)

Call for Entries: International Short Film Festival

JarKat Productions announces its call for entries for the 4th International Short Film Festival "The Night of the Shorts" (4th FICNC). The festival's main purpose is to promote and exhibit innovative short films from around the world as well as to encourage short film production. The festival does this through providing competitions and awards, as well as feedback from filmmakers of all backgrounds. Most importantly the festival provides a meeting place and networking forum for all those who love short film.

The 4th edition of the International Short Film Festival "The Night of the Shorts" will take place at the UVK Multicines in the city of Lima, Peru from the 21st to the 28th September 2011.

The rules and entry form are online at

  Telemundo Signs 'Spanish-Language TV's Oprah,' Cristina Saralegui
(The Wrap) - Telemundo confirmed at its upfront presentation on Tuesday what had been rumored for several months, that it has signed Cristina Saralegui, known as the Hispanic Oprah Winfrey, to do a prime time talk show beginning later this year. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Editor for PSA in Support of Undocumented Students
We have just completed the filming for the California DREAMin PSA and are seeking an editor that will donate a day to help us edit the PSA in support of undocumented students seeking loans for education. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

From the Editor
  Compadritos y Comadritas,

Rarely I write about the many films I like, since I am pretty much biased towards the process, I don't trust myself on reviewing one. Pretty much, in my book, any finished film is a good film. It is a pleasant surprise when everyone that has seen one, agrees with my impression, as is in this case, Carmen Marron's GO FOR IT!

To save you time reading my ramblings, one single line:

My POV of the film is certainly influenced by my following so close its back-story, so I better focus on it, instead of trying to write a review.

Carmen Marron is the poster child of the many festivals, seminars and conferences she has attended to. A revealing article about her background story is in an excellent interview with Movieline.

I befriended Carmen about 8 years ago in a National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Conference. Like with pretty much all my friends and acquaintances, I can't remember the circumstance or person that introduced us, but I certainly thank it or them for doing so. Now, it is important to know that, previous to that year, Carmen never phantom or desired to turn into a filmmaker. She was content with her career as Guidance Counselor. She did not shot films when she was a kid; did not did drama in high school, did not attend film school; did not shot a short; I assume she didn't even mounted plays on her childhood bedroom. She had no time or inclination to see movies, she loved books though, she knew a good story or two . But, in order to reach her pupils, seemingly only attentive to media, she read a Screenplay-101 type of a book and wrote her first draft of GO FOR IT! and... unknown to her, the bug bit her.

Per her own account, she started as a volunteer on the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), just before attending her first NALIP Conference. Since then, Carmen attended as many festivals, seminars, conferences and, most important, watched as many films as she could. She got early on into the NALIP's Latino Writers Lab, where she started to polish her screenplay. Year after year she did everything needed to gain the knowledge and the contacts, crew, cast and resources needed. I could count on Carmen being on each NALIP Conference since. Then after, using all resources available and under the expert advisement that she should direct it herself, she plunged into the vortex in the middle of the pool of sharks.

So following guts, instincts, what she learned and, blessed by the blind courage that not knowing better provides, in 19 days, at a so low of a cost that I am sworn not to tell, she shot the film. In the kitchen of her home she puts it all together, and used her last centavos, in getting it professionally mixed and post.

Normally in an independent production, one individual absorbs many creative and business top positions, but usually this individual has some expert knowledge on at least one of them. Rare is when the hyphenated head of the film is a novice in all the tasks assumed. Exceptional is when the film ends up being very good (not just good, see above).

Then, following the strategies learned, she applied for as many festivals as possible. One after another, the many fest awards, started piling up. Soon the poster (that she herself planted tons in any film festival she was at) started running out of room for the garlands, you know the two branches thingies? Women in Film gave her an award for some "Most Uprising Star" category. Buzz builds around it and then GO FOR IT! is shown to an SRO audience at LALIFF last year. With many people left outside the fest schedules an additional screening of it for the next day. Someone that saw the film on the first showing insisted that Lionsgate sends acquisition execs to second screening. They do and... (how appropriate, que no?) the first festival she volunteers for is the same festival where she finds THEATRICAL distribution for her film.

Carmen, can I have the rights to YOUR life story?

Alex Mendoza
Alex Mendoza & Associates
AMARTE Design & Digital Printing
9513 Longden Avenue
Temple City, CA 91780

1323 Lincoln Blvd., #220
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Alex Ferrari
NALIPster's company handled post on Go For It!

NALIP mentor Alex Ferrari's (LPA 2006, 2008) company Numb Robot worked on Go For It!, currently in theaters nationwide. Alex worked on the film with writer/director and NALIP member Carmen Marron. Numb Robot did all the post production, color grading and visual fx for, and they are very proud of the finished film.

Go for It! is an inspirational hip-hop dance drama that follows Carmen, a rebellious young Latina living in Chicago, who struggles to overcome her fears and follow her dream to be a dancer. Please show your support for Latino filmmakers and Latinos in film - check local listings to see where Go For It! is showing near you!

NALIPsters in Short Film White, Airing on Futurestates

The short film White, directed by Latina filmmaker A. Sayeeda Clarke, features a cast that includes NALIP members Annie Henk and Sarena Kennedy, as well as Elvis Nolasco, Zabryna Guevara, Javier Molina, and Yetta Gottesman. White is airing online as part of the Independent Television Service's (ITVS) Futurestates series. The film has also screened at Tribeca All-Access, and has upcoming screenings at the Women of African Descent Film Festival, BamcinemaFest, and Brooklyn Bridge Park as a double feature with Spike Lee's Crooklyn.

Synopsis: In the world of White, global warming has accelerated and the sun has become a tangible threat to survival. Here, we find Bato - a Loisaida resident and expecting father, who must sacrifice his pride and his racial identity as he is forced to sell the new currency of this world.

Click here see the trailer and watch the film.

Miguel Mouchess & Nicole Ortega
NALIPsters' produced "Police Chicks" wins Best Web Series at Reel Rasquache

"Police Chicks: Life on the Beat," produced by NALIP members Nicole Ortega and Miguel Mouchess and written and directed by Carlos Zelaya, won Best Web Series at the Reel Rasquache Film Festival. The pilot episode is set in L.A.'s Eastside, the real Eastside. Two female undercover cops (played by Nicole Ortega and Miriam Peniche) strive to keep their city safe while battling gangsters, hipsters, traffickers and anything else that ends in ers. Webisode 2 is scheduled to premiere Summer 2011. Visit the series' Facebook page for release dates.


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The Latinos in the Industry e-Newsletter is a free service provided by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) with the generous assistance of Alex Mendoza & Associates (AMA) in an "as-is" basis for the education and information of users only. NALIP and/or AMA, their principal(s), employees, agents or representatives shall under no circumstances be liable for any loss or damage, including, but not limited to, loss of profits, goodwill or indirect or consequential loss arising out of any use of or inaccuracies in the information. All warranties expressed or implied are excluded to the fullest extent permissible by law. All comments and postings, including those by the Editor, are the responsibility of those individuals posting and no endorsement by NALIP and/or AMA should be inferred. Referral links and individual e-mail forwarding are permitted. NALIP reserves the right to withdraw or delete information or to discontinue this service at any time. All quoted, linked and/or referred information, as well as all copyrights and trademarks, are the property of their respective holders, used here under license and/or "fair-use" rules. © NALIP.