Latinos In The Industry

Open Letter: Latinos and the Kennedy Center Honors

The following is an open letter to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts submitted by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) & Being Latino, Inc. NALIP joins the following groups in support of this letter and the Latino artists listed in the letter below: Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Federation, Hispanic War Veterans of America, Labor, Council for Latin American Advancement, League of United Latin American Citizens, MANA-A National Latina Organization, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Association of Hispanic Federal Employees, National Council of La Raza, National Hispana Leadership Institute, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Institute for Latino Policy, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc., U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, United States-Mexico Cultural and Educational Foundation.

National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) & Being Latino, Inc.
Washington Square . 1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. . Tenth Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036
Office 202-293-8330

December 29, 2010

Mr. David M. Rubenstein
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F St NW,
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Leslie Moonves
President & CEO
CBS Corporation
CBS Headquarters
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188

Ms. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

RE: Kennedy Center Honors

Dear Messr. Rubenstein, Moonves and Ms. Kennedy Scholossberg:

The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) was founded in 1997, by actors Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales, Merel Julia, and Washington, D.C. attorney Felix Sanchez to provide both outreach and graduate scholarships to Latinos interested in careers in the entertainment and telecommunications industry. NHFA in partnership with Being Latino - founded by Lance Rios - the largest online Latino community on face book, have embarked on an impact project to address the glaring absence of Latinos on television and in film.

Since 1978, when the Kennedy Center Honors began, only 2 Latinos have received your prestigious honor: Placido Domingo in 2000; and Chita Rivera in 2002. After 32 years, 160 artists have received the Kennedy Center's lifetime achievement award. Gone are some of the true virtuosos of our community: Rita Hayworth; Fernando Llamas; Ricardo Montalban; Celia Cruz; Anthony Quinn; Raul Julia; Fernando Bujones; Kathy Jurado; Lalo Guerrero, Jose Ferrer; Luis Buñuel; and Jose Limon, who while they lived could have been honored with your award.

It is with great disappointment that we note how few U.S. and International Latinos have been singled out for your award. We note the following artists have made an enormous artistic contribution both within the U.S. and International stage. They are but a few who are more than worthy of your award.

Literature: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sandra Cisneros, Nilo Cruz, Isabel Allende, Victor Villasenor, Oscar Hijuelos, Junot Diaz

Music: Julio Iglesias, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Jose Feliciano, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades

Dance: Kenny Ortega, Amalia Hernandez, Rita Moreno, Priscilla Lopez, Jose Manuel Carreno

Actors/Film/TV: Cristina Saralegui, Sonia Braga, Rita Moreno, Raquel Welch, Edward James Olmos, Antonio Banderas, Hector Elizondo, Luis Valdez, David Valdes, Gregory Nava, Pedro Almodovar

We hope that this will be the last year Latinos are absent as honorees on your show. We note that a number of current Latino performers would undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to the above-mentioned icons of the Latino community, including: Jennifer Lopez; Marc Anthony; Jimmy Smits; Salma Hayek; Eva Longoria; Esai Morales; Shakira; Christina Aguilera; Adam Rodriguez; Los Lobos; Los Tigres del Norte; Javier Bardem; Benicio Del Toro; Lin-Manuel Miranda; Roberto Orci; Juanes; George Lopez; Penelope Cruz; John Leguizamo; Jessica Alba; Mario Lopez; Lynda Carter; America Ferrera; Rosie Perez; Eva Mendez; Sofia Vergara; Fergie; Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias; Don Omar; Alejandro Fernandez; Juan Gabriel; Los Lonely Boys; Ozomatli; and Luis Miguel to name but a few.

The Kennedy family has a long history of working alongside the Latino community, and valuing the contributions of the Latino community in building and strengthening our nation. From the moment the Latino community was first galvanized as a voting bloc in the 1960 presidential race electing John F. Kennedy as President of the United States, to the late seventies when Robert Kennedy worked with Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and other Latino leaders during the civil rights movement, and most recently as Senator Edward Kennedy fought valiantly to his final days working on immigration reform and health care reform, the Kennedy family have been allies, partners and true friends to the Latino community. It's time for the Kennedy Center Honors to carry forward the legacy of the family name extended in the Kennedy Center Honors, by also acknowledging and including the artistic contributions made by both U.S. Latinos and International Latinos.

We hope that you will move to address this matter and make the Kennedy Center Honors a truly modern day inclusive American Award event. We also welcome the opportunity to discuss with you any ways we can support your efforts to get there.

Felix Sanchez
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts

Lance Rios
Founder & President
Being Latino, Inc.

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: 10 Tips to Designing 2011 - Your Best Year Ever!

By Suzanne Lyons, LPA Mentor with over 25 years experience in television and film and co-founder of Snowfall Films, Inc., Windchill Films, Inc., and the Flash Forward Institute.

Exercise #1: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD! - It is far into the future and you are receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. If someone were standing up to give an account of your career (or personal life) what would you want them to say? What was your contribution? What would you be most proud of? Where have you made your mark? What have you created? Why is the Entertainment Industry (or your industry) better now than it was before because of you?

Exercise #2: FIVE YEAR VISION: 2016 - Where do you see yourself in 5 years. What would fulfill you? What would excite you? (You can also do your personal life here as well). For example, for me my Five Year Vision is: have completed five more feature films; have a TV series on the air; have my children's book in book stores worldwide and a cartoon series based on the book in production; have a home in Nova Scotia as well as one here in Los Angeles; have excellent health.


Deadline Approaching: ITVS Open Call

Open Call provides completion funds for single nonfiction public television programs on any subject, and from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video. Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories.

Deadline to apply: January 7, 2011
Click here for details and application information.

There are two funding rounds per year, and the deadlines are typically in mid-January and early August. Applicants may apply with only one project per call. The entire proposal review process takes up to five months. Only one to two percent of Open Call applicants will receive funding.

Open Call is not a grant; ITVS provides a co-production investment in the program.

Deadlines Approaching: Hot Docs Forum Project Proposals & Film Submissions

Project Proposals Now Being Accepted for the Hot Docs Forum

Hot Docs is accepting project proposals for the upcoming Hot Docs Forum (HDF), May 4 & 5, taking place during the 2011 Hot Docs Festival, April 28 - May 8. Hot Docs Forum (previously the Toronto Documentary Forum) has earned a reputation as the most effective international documentary market in North America and an unparalleled source of the latest market intelligence.

Selected documentary producers publicly pitch their projects to over 150 key international broadcasters and financiers from Europe, Australia, Japan, the USA and Canada and to a gallery of accredited observers. For complete submission guidelines visit Deadline for submissions is January 21, 2011.

Film Submission Deadline Approaching

Hot Docs accepts Canadian and international documentaries of all lengths and subject matter. All Hot Docs screening programs are curated and all submissions will be fully considered by Hot Docs' programming team. The final submission deadline is January 14, 2011. For complete submission guidelines visit

Call for Submissions: College Television Awards

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the Television Academy Foundation have partnered to create the first-ever Focus on Diversity and Gender Equality in Children's Media Award. The honor will be presented at the 32nd College Television Awards Gala which will take place April 9, 2011 at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, Calif. Starting today, submissions are being accepted for all categories of the College Television Awards online here.

This new honor is sponsored by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, an organization devoted to the promotion of gender equality in children's programming. The College Television Awards recognize excellence in work by undergraduate and graduate students at schools around the country in the areas of video, digital and film production.

This new honor comes in the form of a $5,000 cash award to the student producer who best showcases diversity and gender equality in their submitted work. Eligible entries must portray a balance between male and female roles, demonstrate diversity, dispel stereotypes about male and female characters, and target children ages 2-11.

In addition to the Focus on Diversity and Gender Equality in Children's Media Award, as part of its regular program, the Foundation will present prizes at the event including: $2,000 to first-place recipients, $1,000 for second and $500 for third place in a variety of categories. Also, the Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship which was introduced last year will again be presented this year.

All College Television Award winners will be provided with unique entertainment industry networking opportunities and some will be invited to attend "pitch" meetings. The deadline for all submissions for the College Television Awards is January 12, 2011.

  Alejandro González Iñárritu - The Redeemer
(Planet Magazine) - Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Mexican film director working in Hollywood, is a man whose search for meaning is relentless. In all of his films, from the first hit, “Amores Perros”, to the latest, “Biutiful”, the protagonists search for meaning in an often meaningless and cruel world. FULL STORY

Post, Telemundo Partner in Hispanic Effort With Jencarlos Canela
( - After telenovela star and singer Jencarlos Canela signed an autograph for a MediaVest exec with the words "think positive" in Spanish, a fully integrated U.S. Hispanic marketing platform for Post Foods' Honey Bunches of Oats followed. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Marketing Interns for Pantelion Films
Pantelion Films - a joint venture between Lionsgate and Televisa that will target the fast-growing market of Hispanic moviegoers and release 8 to 10 movies per year - is seeking bilingual interns to assist in all aspects of Marketing. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Third Editor for Gay Latino Documentary
We are looking for a motivated and driven individual to join our team of editors that will help to finish editing the documentary on the lives of three young gay Latino men that share their stories of inequality, struggle, identity conflict, and oppression. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Full Time Publicist
GBK, a successful gift suite & event company is adding a PR division and is looking for an experienced PR professional. 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

How to Nail a Dictator

By Paco de Onis, Producer

As I was musing about the past year of filmmaking and outreach that we've been doing at Skylight Pictures, it occurred to me that much of the focus of what we do, as well as the actions of the human rights heroes that appear in our films, plus the sustained and committed work of all of our outreach partners in the field, could be described as: how to nail a dictator. Whether it's all the "granitos" (grains of sand) coming together in the amazing story of the 30-year quest for justice depicted in Granito, or the use of The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court in a grassroots campaign to bring Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to justice, the common theme is people pushing for societies governed by the rule of law and respect for our shared humanity, and part of that process is to nail the dictators. Our film State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism was based on the work of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and many of their findings illustrated in the film helped to convict former authoritarian President Alberto Fujimori for human rights crimes - he is now in prison facing a 25-year sentence. So I invite you to continue reading, and to see how documentary films and social media tools are being used in the pursuit of dictators.

Granito to Premiere at Sundance Film Festival

As 2010 draws to a close, Skylight Pictures is applying the finishing touches to our new documentary, Granito, just in time for the film's world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Granito is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala's past and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation's turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. Granito's central characters are connected by the Guatemala of 1982, then engulfed in a war where the military's genocidal "scorched earth" campaign exterminated nearly 200,000 Mayans. In the present-day, Granito's characters become integral to the overarching narrative of wrongs done and justice sought that they have pieced together, each adding their granito, their tiny grain of sand, to the epic tale.

To accompany the release of Granito we have developed a transmedia project called Granito: Every Memory Matters (G:EMM), for which we have developed a mobile application that will serve as a "memory collector", in an extended outreach and engagement campaign that will restore the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide. To learn more about the G:EMM project click here.

Granito's world premiere at Sundance will be part of an all-new "Documentary Premieres" category which is dedicated to showcasing "films on big subjects and new works by master filmmakers" (we are honored!). For screening dates click here.

For more information abour Granito click here.

African Campaign Against Impunity

Skylight Pictures is in the midst of a multiyear outreach campaign in Africa using The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court focused on educating and raising awareness about the activities of the ICC. The campaign was boosted this year by the distribution of over 600 film screening kits in French and English at the ICC Review Conference in Kampala in May/June, where we engaged with delegates and human rights organizations from across the continent. The screening kits were designed in collaboration with 160 African civil society organizations that banded together to start a continent-wide Campaign Against Impunity, opposing the African Union's declaration of non-cooperation with the ICC. In addition to this wide-net approach, the campaign has also targeted three specific ICC cases (Kenya, Uganda, and the DRC), where we have partnered with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) country offices to train journalists, legal practitioners, and human rights workers on how to use the film in their work. We have also recruited three fantastic individual outreach forces (Apoti Makove in Kenya, Padjo Lokeka in the DRC, and Jimmy Otim in Uganda), and are translating the film into seven languages for maximum reach. Working with our partners in this way, with people on the ground who are invested in the cause of pursuing justice in their own countries, for their own communities, our providing this media tool in local languages is greatly enhancing the impact of their work. In Kenya, the Swahili version of our screening kit has proven to be a key media tool for the sustained efforts of civil society in challenging impunity for the post-election violence. We are encouraged by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's summons last week calling for six Kenyan political figures to appear at The Hague this month, further evidence that supporting international justice any way we can is an important and fruitful mission.

Our work in Africa is just one element of a larger project to increase capacity and information sharing around international justice that takes place on IJ Central. IJC was conceived in the early stages of The Reckoning campaign and has since grown into a network of over 1000 students and professionals. As well as aggregating global news on international justice and mapping a live global Twitter feed of people discussing international justice, IJC has an exclusive feature called "Ask the Prosecutor" where members can engage with Luis Moreno Ocampo, asking questions and receiving video answers from the Chief Prosecutor of the world's first permanent International Criminal Court. IJC also features video blogs from international justice events, an original media from Skylight Pictures.


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