Latinos In The Industry

NALIP Announces 12th National Conference: THE NEW NOW
Program Information and Registration Now Online

Early Bird Registration for NALIP's new national annual conference, THE NEW NOW: Defining the Future Together, has begun. Scheduled to run in Newport Beach, CA, April 15-17 at the Island Hotel, NALIP's twelfth conference will be the most important Latino media event of the year! The very best rates, Early Bird prices, run only this month, through February 23.

THE NEW NOW: Defining the Future Together is co-chaired by Coca Cola Vice President Rudy Beserra. He and the conference committee have planned an inspiring weekend for Latino content creators, and those interested in our media community. The focus is the bi-cultural, bilingual market that we represent, and that we want to access with our films, television projects, documentaries and new media work. Speakers, panels, plenaries and workshops will include practical, actionable information, insight into companies and metrics, case studies, and cutting edge new media strategies. In addition, the program includes networking events, a sneak preview of the new film America by Sonia Fritz and Frances Lausell, and a Gala Awards evenings on Saturday night.

Back again are special pre-conference events that provide deeper professional development opportunities. First and foremost, for performers, our special Latino edition of Backstage's Actorfest with strategic training workshops, and personal meetings with casting directors and managers. This runs Thursday, April 14. Also available, by signup, a return of the popular Reality TV Bootcamp, an in depth proposal/trailer workshop with ITVS's Richard Saiz, a special session on your package and project with Film Specific's rock star Stacey Parks, and Part 2 of Owning and Running a Business. Saturday night, NALIP presents our annual Awards to those who lead the way and change the world. In 2011 we will honor Gov. Bill Richardson, Sofia Vergara, and P.O.V/American Documentary plus two rising star filmmakers who receive our Estela Awards and grants, endowed by the McDonald's Corporation.

Program details, registration information, and NALIP's special hotel discount are all available online at Speakers, events, surprises announced daily. And don't forget: for producers and packages in advanced stages, completed films, or documentaries in post-production, apply by Monday, Feb. 14 for a spot in this year's Latino Media Market™. Get connected, one-on-one, with top studio executives, funders, distributors, agents, and mentors.

Check the THE NEW NOW website regularly for updates on program, speakers, celebrities and more!

Register today!

How Pantelion Films Lures Latinos to the Box Office
Pantelion Chairman Jim McNamara to be opening keynote at THE NEW NOW

By Malia Wollan, Fast Company

When film executive Jim McNamara goes to a movie theater, he has trouble walking past Latino teenagers without stopping to ask what movie they saw and why they chose it. Even more than the newest nubile starlets, it is these bicultural, bilingual teens from Miami to Detroit whom Hollywood studios want. Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States, and statistics from the Motion Picture Association of America indicate that they are big movie fans: In 2009, Latinos purchased 300 million movie tickets and went to more movies per capita than any other ethnicity.

Last fall, looking to attract the ever-growing number of Latino moviegoers, film studio Lionsgate partnered with Mexican media conglomerate Televisa on a new venture called Pantelion Films, which will release 8 to 10 movies a year, catering specifically to Latinos. With Pantelion, Lionsgate is attempting to replicate its success marketing Tyler Perry's films -- including the $297 million Madea franchise, featuring a crotchety matriarch played by Perry -- to African-Americans.

"Latinos don't see themselves reflected in Hollywood movies," says McNamara, former chief executive at Telemundo and Pantelion's new chairman, who was raised in Panama. His new company aims to change that.

Released at the end of January, Pantelion's first film, From Prada to Nada, focuses on two formerly rich sisters -- one of whom proudly quips "no hablo español" with an Anglo accent -- who are forced to move in with relatives in a scrappy, Latino part of East Los Angeles. While the movie is in English, many of the punch lines are in Spanish.

Hollywood's previous attempts to market Spanish-language and Latino-centric films have largely failed. Even though movies in Spanish like IFC's Y Tu Mamá También and Focus Features' The Motorcycle Diaries found success in the art-house market, they did not broadly appeal to the Latino population. Those teenagers McNamara chats up in movie-theater lobbies generally opt to see commercial blockbusters in English. Language is not the company's key strategy -- only about half of Pantelion's releases will be in Spanish.

"When a movie is in Spanish, if a Puerto Rican is speaking Spanish, or a Mexican is speaking Spanish, it identifies them," Pantelion's chief executive, Paul Presburger, says of the language's countless dialects and geographically diverse slang. "Whereas when we do a film with Latino stars in English, it unifies."

Whether in English or Spanish, the new films will provide opportunities for Latino talent. "There are fewer Latinos in the movie industry per capita now than there were 50 years ago," says Kathryn Galan, executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. "We're still waiting for our Latino breakout stars."

In an effort to connect with this demographic, Pantelion will borrow tactics from other ethnically specific movie distributors. Lesson one comes from Perry, whose loyal fans count on seeing a few heavily branded Perry films a year. This steady stream of new releases has brought in more than $517 million in ticket sales since 2005 and made Perry a magnate. Pantelion staff also studied the successful distribution of Bollywood films.

Still, targeting an ethnic slice of society is fraught with potential cliches. In 2009, director Spike Lee likened Perry's films to "coonery and buffoonery" and asked how such fare persists when the country has a black president.

Pantelion will let the target audience decide if something is offensive, executives say. "African-Americans are going to see Perry's films; they're the ones enjoying them," Presburger says. Nonetheless, the Pantelion staff reads scripts with a careful eye for hackneyed images of Latino life and culture. "We get out of the stereotypes of narco kings and drug dealers and gang members," Presburger adds.

Some are skeptical that Hollywood can so easily shed those timeworn tropes. Charles Ramirez Berg, a professor of media studies at the University of Texas at Austin, has spent his academic career cataloguing the stereotypes of Latinos in cinema from silent films to today's box-office hits. At the top of his taxonomy are el bandito, the criminal; the floozy, whom Berg calls the "harlot with a flower behind her ear"; and the Latin lover.

"Stereotypes in film persist because they serve a function: They provide an efficient way to tell a story in under two hours," Berg says. "Now films are being made by and for Latinos, so the next question is, Will they break out of stereotypes or just repeat them?"

A version of this article appears in the February 2011 issue of Fast Company.

Call for Submissions: Creative Capital Grants

Creative Capital is the only national grantmaking and artist service organization for individual artists with an open application process. THE 2011 grant for Film/Video and Visual Arts is now open.

To be eligible to apply, an artist must be:
- A U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
- At least 25 years old
- A working artist with at least five years of professional experience

FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 1, 2011:
Open submissions for projects in Film/Video and Visual Arts. Download the 2011 Grant Guidelines for more information.

FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 1, 2012:
Open submissions for projects in Emerging Fields, Literature and Performing Arts

Click here for more information about applying and accessing the online Letter of Inquiry. Our selection process includes three steps: inquiry, application and panel review.

Call for Applications: Latino Film Fund

The Latino Film Fund is now accepting applications for its 2011 Development/Pre-Production/Production Seed Grant. Visit our website (Grants) to download a copy of the application and for FAQs on the submission process.

2011 LFF Cycle - Development/Pre-Production/Production Seed Grant
Cycle Open: Friday, January 28, 2011
Cycle Closed: Friday, March 4, 2011
Grant will be awarded August 1, 2011

The Latino Film Fund was created to promote the production of and appreciation for Latino-themed films. The Latino Film Fund's main goal is to support film projects that present truthful and unique portrayals of Latinos, both in the United States and overseas.

Call for Entries: Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival

The 2011 Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival (RRAFF) is back for its 8th consecutive year, returning to the Regency Academy 6 Cinemas in Pasadena, California. The festival will take place May 13 - 15, 2011 and will be presented in association with Latin Heat Entertainment. The Reel Rasquache Art and Film Festival is the only festival of its kind that focuses primarily on films from US Latino independent filmmakers, as well as art from Latino artists.

RRAFF is now accepting submissions for 2011 film festival. Call is for shorts, documentaries, full length features and animation.

Regular Deadline: Feb. 14 - $15 Shorts, $20 Features
Late Deadline: Mar. 14 - $25 Shorts, $30 Features

Submission forms can be downloaded online at

The focus of the 2011 Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival will be in the spirit of the first Chicano superhero, as embodied in Robert Rodriguezs groundbreaking film Machete. As a popular cultural phenomenon, Machete recasts such tired cliches as the "Latin Lover" and the "Spitfire." Turning the tables on Hollywood conventions of gender, ethnicity, class, labor, and religion, Machete offers a uniquely provocative vision of the Latina/o collective anti-hero, whose heroic abilities are only as strong as the community's empowering mobilization. The film intersects the performance careers of a virtual constellation of U.S. Latino entertainment industry established talent and rising stars.

The art component of the festival will be expanded to include a full art exhibition curated by artist and Rasquache Film Festival Art Director, Angela Maria Ortiz.

Publisher of Latin Heat Entertainment and Executive Producer of Let's Talk! Bel Hernandez will join John Ramirez as co-festival director.

CineFestival en San Antonio, Feb. 3-6

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, one of the nation's premier Latino arts institutions, presents the 33rd Annual CineFestival en San Antonio. The oldest running international festival in North America featuring Chicano/Latino/Indigenous film subjects at the historic Guadalupe Theater.

The four-day event, which kicks off Thursday, February 3, 2011, features screenings, workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and gala celebrations.

Television, stage and film actor Esai Morales will attend the Saturday night festivities to receive the "Emma Tenayuca Award for Activism in Media" for his work as one of the founders of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. The award will be presented at the Premio Mesquite Awards Dinner, hosted by Jesse Borrego, on Saturday, February 5, at 6 pm in the Progreso Building across the street from the Guadalupe Theater.

For schedule, passes, and other information, visit the festival's website.

  Freddy Rodriguez is in Chaos
(Latin Heat Online) - For me, the most encouraging fact about CBS’s upcoming comedic espionage series, Chaos, is the main protagonist happens to be a Puerto Rican American named Martinez. FULL STORY

Weekend Box Office: 'From Prada to Nada'
(Latino Review) - "From Prada to Nada" debuted with $1.1 million on only 256 screens. This film was a Latino version of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility." FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

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

Mark Pagán
NALIPster's short Raymond & Lina plays at Slamdance

NALIP member Mark Pagán's short film Raymond & Lina was selected and played to enthusiastic crowds at Slamdance in January. The film was shot on Super 16mm and follows a day in the life of 63-year-old Raymond Johnson as he makes life changes for eight-year-old Lina Overton. Raymond & Lina was shot in Washington DC with a cast of talented non-professional actors. The film is based on Mark's experiences as a social worker in South America, New York, and Washington DC.

Mark said, "we're thrilled to have such a response to the film and it means so much that the work of the crew and cast (largely made up of children) got so much notice!" Mark is continuing the festival run for the film while looking for a producer and beginning pre-production on a feature version of the film to be shot in Washington DC.

Edwin Pagán
NALIPster's website featured on Latin Nation

Nationally syndicated lifestyle program Latin Nation has profiled NALIP member Edwin Pagán (LPA 2008) and his website Latin Horror. The complete segment is now online and available for viewing. Click here to watch!

Latin Horror is the first English-language website dedicated to the genre of Latin horror and features the leading Latin/ Spanish/ International "dark creative expressionists" working in film and the arts.

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle
NALIPster interviewed by Telemundo about doc

In the wake of the Super Bowl, Telemundo interviewed NALIPster Chelo Alvarez-Stehle during a Human Trafficking Awareness event in Texas showcasing the filmmaker's documentary and new media work on the issue. Watch the news clip here. Read an article on the event here.

Chelo writes: Dear NALIPsters - Are we doing enough to proactively reach out to the Spanish language TV networks in the U.S.? I just had an experience in which I felt that I was the one Telemundo was really interested in interviewing because I speak Spanish... of course it helped that the event was showcasing my work. However, no matter how many English speaking high officials and others were around me, Telemundo only seemed to want to interview me about my work and my opinion on newsworthy issues. So I encourage everyone to reach out to them, they are hungry for Spanish-speakers working on issues of concern for Latinos. News clips are tiny, but they reach out to millions.


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