Latinos In The Industry

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Two Perspectives On Film Festivals

By Jon Reiss, award winning filmmaker who has produced and directed three feature films, Better Living Through Circuitry, Cleopatra's Second Husband and most recently Bomb It, an in depth look at the explosion of graffiti culture throughout the world and the resulting battle over public space.

Below are two perspectives on film festivals that I wrote recently: "Didn't Get into Sundance - Don't Despair - A World of Opportunity Awaits" and "Lessons from the Lab: Advice to Films Heading for Their Festival Premiere."

#1: Didn't Get into Sundance - Don't Despair - A World of Opportunity Awaits

The Sundance Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival announced their recent slates several weeks ago. These announcements have traditionally been a nerve wracking/depressing time for independent filmmakers who, in the past, have put so much stock into premiere film festivals like Sundance. They have traditionally done this because it has been believed that a premiere festival can 1. Sell your film for lots of money (or at least enough to pay back your investors) or 2. Potentially launch your career (but normally only if #1 happened).

For the thousands of films that do not get into Sundance, or any other premiere festival, the world is a much better place than it was just five years ago. Here are 6 thoughts on the importance of getting into a premiere film festival for you films distribution and marketing strategy.


Call for Applications: Peermusic Latin Scholarship

The BMI Foundation, Inc. has announced the opening of the 8th Annual peermusic Latin Scholarship, a competition for young songwriters and composers. Established by music publisher Ralph Peer II and funded by peermusic, a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded for the best song or instrumental composition in a Latin genre.

According to Porfirio Pina, Director of the competition, the program is open to students between the ages of 16 and 24 who are enrolled in any college or university located in the United States and Puerto Rico. All words and music must be original. The postmark deadline for entries is February 11, 2011. Competition rules and applications are available online at

Founded by Ralph Peer in 1928, peermusic is a global network of music publishing companies operating from 33 offices in 27 countries, with well over a quarter of a million titles in the company's catalog, and songs that vary from country, blues, jazz and pop to Latin, concert and rock & roll.

The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 97% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.

New Day Films Accepting Submissions of Social Issue Films

New Day Films is currently accepting submissions from filmmakers with social issue documentary and fiction titles for non-theatrical distribution. We invite you to submit an application by the upcoming submission deadline (January 21st, 2011) to join our vibrant and creative film collective.

New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company providing award-winning films to educators since 1971. Democratically run by more than 100 filmmaker members, New Day delivers over 150 titles that illuminate, challenge and inspire. Collectively, New Day titles have won an Academy Award, 9 Academy Award nominations, 4 Emmys, and hundreds of awards at prestigious film festivals. Our films have been broadcast on PBS, HBO and other media outlets.

Who We Are

New Day brings together talented and accomplished filmmakers dedicated to both finding educational audiences for our films and earning revenue to support the independent filmmaking process. A vibrant, creative organization, New Day is a strong brand, which buyers have relied on for decades.

Distributing independent social issue films since 1971, New Day has developed a strong brand within the educational community, built a huge knowledge base on effective distribution and marketing, and grown revenues to over $1 million annually. When you join New Day you become part of a dynamic, democratically run collective of filmmakers.

What We're Looking For

We actively seek a diversity of voices among our members as well as in our film collection. Short and long-format documentary, fiction and experimental works are welcome. Your film must address a social issue. Those applying should be comfortable joining a collective, where members market their own films, work as a team and volunteer for tasks.

Please visit our website to learn more about joining New Day Films:

Applications Process

The upcoming submission deadline is RECEIPT by January 21st, 2011. Please contact Alice Elliott to request an application today.

If you have any questions, please contact Alice Elliott or call 212 -924-7151.

Deadline Approaching: Los Angeles Film Festival

The regular submission deadline for the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival is approaching. Select narrative features, documentary features, and short films participate in the Festival's three competitive sections, the winners of which are chosen by special juries. In the Short Film Competition, awards are given for Best Animated or Experimental Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Narrative Short. Feature films, short films, and music videos must have been completed after January 1, 2010.

Regular Deadline: January 14, 2011
Final Deadlines:
Short films and music videos: February 11, 2011
Feature-length narrative and documentary films: February 24, 2011

Click here for a full list of eligibility requirements and submission information.

  Tony Vinciquerra to exit Fox TV
(Variety) - With no major fires raging at the moment, Tony Vinciquerra figured now was the moment to jump. Vinciquerra said Thursday that he would depart as chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group next month after eight years overseeing the Fox network and most of its cable and international channels. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

2nd Story Editor/Field Producer
In search of of 2nd Story Editor/Field Producer for Latino Paranormal Reality Show to start now (Jan 10th on or about). GMT Films production for major studio and Latino network. 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

Guest Commentary: Holding the Television Networks Accountable to the Latino Community

By Alex Nogales

The National Latino Media Council (NLMC) issued its annual report cards last month grading the four major television networks on their efforts to diversify employment in front and behind the camera. At that time, I noted that while the networks improved upon their efforts to bring more Asian Pacific Americans and African Americans into the fold, their efforts to include Latinos decreased significantly. Indeed, ABC, NBC and Fox all received "D"s or "F"s in at least one out of the eight categories evaluated.

The first decade of this century was a turbulent one for American Latinos. As the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and other civil rights groups strove to improve the image of American Latinos as portrayed in the media, countless others took toward defaming and disparaging us. NHMC witnessed a violent surge in anti-Latino hate speech mid-decade after the historic immigration marches, followed by an FBI-documented 40% increase in hate crimes against Latinos.

I wish I could tell you that things will be better in 2011, but they won't. Anti-Latino measures are springing up all over the country, many of them based on the fear-mongering and misinformation that has become all too common on mainstream media, pushed by some supposed journalists, extremist commentators and even politicians.

At this time, it is more important than ever that we as a community be empowered to share our own stories fairly and accurately, that people outside of the Latino community be exposed to our rich diversity and significant contributions to this country. Without this exposure, Latinos remain in the shadows as second class citizens, instead of real individuals with feelings, values and aspirations.

Yet, at this important crossroads, the TV networks are failing us. As the 2010 census numbers come out, we learn that Latinos are the fastest-growing population in the country, yet our numbers in front and back of the camera are dropping. This makes no sense. Insofar as broadcasters are public trustees and supposedly smart business people, this is short-sighted, at best.

And as our elected officials and appointed regulators charged with examining, evaluating and adapting media and telecommunications policies carry on their duties in 2011, the failure of inclusion at the TV networks should and will be factored into their analyses.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has already pointed to the NLMC TV network report cards in her evaluation of whether Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, should be permitted to merge with NBC-Universal. In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Congresswoman Waters requested that Comcast file the Memoranda of Understanding it signed with Asian Pacific American, African American and Latino groups as amendments to its merger application and make the MOUs enforceable. The Congresswoman cited the report cards as grounds that Comcast must be closely monitored. We at NHMC agree that Comcast must be monitored to ensure that it is fulfilling its promises to diversify its ranks.

We will be a part of this process, building off the experience we have in monitoring the television networks. However, the Comcast-NBCU merger is not the only media policy issue to which the report cards are relevant.

This year the FCC will be undertaking a number of issues that could impact television diversity and media diversity on the whole. It will complete its quadrennial review of its broadcast media ownership rules - rules that, if weakened, could seriously diminish the diversity of programs that we see over broadcast television.

In addition, the FCC will have an opportunity to decide whether or not to collect EEO - equal employment opportunity - and ownership data from broadcasters, and whether to make that information publicly available so that we can hold our local broadcasters accountable in our communities. And, perhaps most importantly, in just a few weeks the FCC will approach its second anniversary of failing to act upon NHMC's petition for inquiry on hate speech in media; hate speech, unfortunately, is a common practice that could be less common if we had more than a meager number of ethnically diverse individuals owning broadcast stations.

Very often, policymakers are unconnected to how the policies they create impact the people. It is NHMC's job to remind them. So in 2011, we hope that the facts on the ground are considered, the report cards being one of them. Congratulations to Congresswoman Waters for being one of the first to do so.

Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), has a degree in film and television from UCLA and is an Emmy Award-winning television producer. The NHMC serves as secretariat of the National Latino Media Council, a coalition of leading national Hispanic organizations, which was instrumental in the signing of Memorandums of Understanding with NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox in 2000 and issues annual reports on progress being made to include Latinos and other people of color in their operations. He can be reached at

Kiki Melendez
NALIPster presents Latino comedy show for TV taping

NALIP member Kiki Melendez - creator of "The Hot Tamales Live" on Showtime - is presenting a television taping of a stand-up and skit comedy show in Spanish, "Kiki Melendez Presenta...Comedia En Vivo En Espanol!" Featuring some of today's top Latino comics from all over America (NYC, Miami, Los Angeles) the show includes Monique Marvez, Ludo Vika, Sara Contreras, Dyana Ortelli, Conrado Bonco, Edgar Rivera, and featuring Daniela Brazil's Samba show.

The comedy show and taping will take place on Sunday, Jan. 23 @ 7:00pm at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. All are invited, and feel free to pass the invitation along to others. Click here to RSVP by email.


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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.