Latinos In The Industry

Call for Applications: Sundance 2011 Creative Producing Fellowship

The Sundance Institute Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship is a year-long program for emerging American producers ready to take their next project to the screen. The Fellowship focuses on supporting the next generation of independent producers to help develop their creative and strategic skills for a complex marketplace and encourage a holistic approach in their collaboration with directors and writers.

Fellowship includes:
- Feature Film Creative Producing Lab
- Creative Producing Summit participation
- Sundance Film Festival attendance
- Sundance Industry Meetings at the Festival
- $5,000 living stipend
- $5,000 pre-production grant
- Year-round mentorship from 2 industry Advisors
- Community building among Producing Fellows
- Year-round support from Sundance Institute staff

Deadline to apply: February 14, 2011
Click here for the Application and Guidelines.

Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film (no more than two narrative features total) and have a legally-optioned scripted narrative project in hand with a director attached. Candidates may not be the writer or director of the submitted project.

NALIP Joins is a networking site geared to bring professionals of color in the film, television, and industries together online. Sponsored by MTV Networks, Cast and Crew of Color offers chatrooms, shared music and photos, forums, individual or group event calendars, and much more.

Among the membership organizations that have signed up are NALIP, African American Women in Cinema, the Black Documentary Collective, The Black Filmmaker Foundation, Asian Cinevision, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, and Tribeca All Access.

We encourage our members to take advantage of this free online networking venue by visiting

ABC Gets 'Wicked' With Hayek

By Michael Schneider for Variety

ABC is getting back into the miniseries business, partnering with Salma Hayek to develop a new take on "Wicked." Erik Jendresen ("Band of Brothers") is writing the script; aim is to turn the book that inspired the long-running Broadway tuner into an eight-hour miniseries for the Alphabet. ABC Studios is producing, along with Ventanarosa Prods., the shingle run by Hayek and production partner Jose Tamez. Hayek, Tamez and Jendresen will exec produce.

The broadcast networks have mostly gotten out of the made-for-TV and miniseries biz, save for a few time buys and acquisitions, and have not been anxious to get back into the longform biz - ABC, for example, has had the four-hour miniseries "Ben Hur" on the shelf for many months but hasn't yet figured out where or when to air it. But "Wicked," a retelling of the "Wizard of Oz" tale from the Wicked Witch's point of view, may make a better fit for the Alphabet.

The mini is based on the 1995 book "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" by Gregory Maguire, which recast the witch as a hero fighting for her homeland. The book was turned into the wildly popular musical "Wicked," which hit Broadway in 2003.

The ABC miniseries will stick to the book and won't be based on the tuner, penned by Winnie Holzman and produced by Marc Platt and David Stone. ABC does not have any rights to the musical, which has been in development as a feature at Universal (which was also an investor in the Broadway show) via Platt's company.

Hayek is so far attached solely as an exec producer; it's unclear whether she would take a role in the project. At ABC, Hayek was an exec producer on "Ugly Betty." She and Ventanarosa are developing the adaptation of telenovela "Los Roldan" at the Alphabet as well. As for Jendresen, the scribe is also writing the drama script "Voyage to Mars" for NBC through Sony Pictures TV. He's exec producing "Mars" with Ross Fineman. Jendresen, who's repped by WME, wrote the bible and several episodes of "Band of Brothers" for HBO.

Film Independent's Directors Close-Up, Feb. 2 - Mar. 2

Now in its 10th year, Film Independent's Directors Close-Up offers an intimate look at the craft of directing straight from the visionaries behind the camera. The series will be held Wednesday evenings from February 2 - March 2, 2011 at The Landmark - West Los Angeles (at the Westside Pavilion).

This unique series lets guests hear first-hand from prolific film directors whose originality, ingenuity, and talent have set them apart as the leaders in their craft. Join us for five weeks of inspired conversations about the craft, the collaboration, and the art of filmmaking.

Confirmed speakers include David Ansen (Los Angeles Film Festival), Jay and Mark Duplass (Cyrus, Baghead), Nicole Holofcener (Please Give, Friends with Money), Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield), Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha) and more.

Click here for details and registration information.
Register by Friday, January 14, for early access rates.

  New ABC series 'Off the Map' Stars Jonathan Castellanos and Valerie Cruz
(Latin Heat) - From executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers (Greys Anatomy, Private Practice) and creator Jenna Bans (Greys Anatomy) comes a new uplifting medical drama that takes place in a tiny town in the South American jungle, featuring Latino talent including series regulars Jonathan Castellanos and Valerie Cruz. FULL STORY

Gael Garcia Bernal's 'Even the Rain' From Spain Is Oscar Bound, It's Plain (Maybe)
(The Hollywood Reporter) - Thirteen Goya Award noms could make Gael Garcia Bernal's new movie a foreign Oscar contender. Javier Bardem's Biutiful got eight. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Marketing Closer
We need a top salesperson/marketing closer to pitch an exciting new Latino reality show pilot and platform, including live events, radio show, and publications, to major networks (English and Spanish), as well as sponsors. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Casting: Leo Carrillo Voiceover
Looking for a male voice-over talent to play the voice of late actor Leo Carrillo for a small video project. 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

Rashaad Ernesto Green
NALIPster interviewed by indieWIRE about Gun Hill Road

NALIP member and 2011 Sundance Filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green was interviewed by indieWIRE about his film "Gun Hill Road," premiering in the Sundance Film Festival's U.S. Dramatic Competition.

After three years in prison, macho Enrique (Esai Morales) returns home to the Bronx and finds things changed. His wife, Angela (Judy Reyes), is distant, and his teenage son, Michael, has a newfound independence and identity that is beyond Enrique's comprehension. Unable to accept his child for who he is now, Enrique clings to his masculine ideals while Angela attempts to hold the family together by fiercely protecting Michael. Still under the watchful eye of his parole officer, Enrique must become the father he needs to be or, once again, risk losing his family and freedom.

The heart of "Gun Hill Road" lies in two places: a father's inability to escape the vicious cycle of his life, and the richly drawn character of Michael (newcomer Harmony Santana is unforgettable). Writer/director Rashaad Ernesto Green's first feature film is a complex family drama, told with gentle humor, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the environment that defines its inhabitants.

Responses courtesy of "Gun Hill Road" director Rashaad Ernesto Green:

From dispirited actor to inspired filmmaker...

I started out as an actor, attended grad school at NYU, and then stepped into the real world. It didn't take me too long to realize that there was a severe lack of roles for actors of color. As an African American and Latino artist, I wanted to be a part of stories and films that explored our cultures with more depth, complexity of characters and understanding of the world that creates them. I remember sitting in a black box theater in St. Louis reading "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." It said to view your life from the prospective of your funeral. I let it inspire me. When I imagined myself in the casket, listening to what others would say about me, I heard them speaking about someone who did not wait for others people to write the stories, but rather took the bull by the horns and created the stories I wished to see.

Director's own family crisis lead to film...

Inspiration for the film actually came from my family in the Bronx. "Gun Hill Road" is the story of a Latino father (Esai Morales) who returns home after three years in prison to discover his wife (Judy Reyes) estranged, and his teenage child exploring sexual identity and an alternative lifestyle in ways he can't possibly comprehend. I have a close family member who went through something similar, where the Bronx has shaped his sense of machismo pride and defined what it means to be a man; failing to provide him the tools necessary to understand his child's sexual revelation. I watched my family deteriorate over a period of three years due the conflict that arose between the love he has for his child and his inability to accept their differences.

Tackling a 'realistic' approach...

The most important factor in my work is to present a sense of truth and authenticity on the screen. In order to achieve this, I attempted to draw characters that were complex and multifaceted, as opposed to the usual stereotypes you might expect to see when representing economically disadvantaged Latinos in the Bronx. I cast a blend of actors and non-actors from New York, employed docu-style camerawork, and shot in densely populated areas that clearly reflected the world I wished to portray.

Finding Harmony and Sugar...

The greatest challenge was casting the role of Michael, the teenager in the film whose sexual transformation tears at the core of the father's belief system. I knew from the start I wanted to cast the role non-traditionally, i.e. outside of the normal means of finding talent through an agent or casting director. In order for the film to be successful, I needed to find the genuine article. The search was absolutely grueling. I pulled my hair out for weeks and kicked myself for writing myself into a hole. We stumbled in and out of 18 and over nightclubs at 3am, attended every youth organization and function you can think of. And eventually, we found Harmony. Newcomer Harmony Santana was working at a parade booth in Queens. She was the right age and type, showed up on time to the audition, had that special something I had been looking for, and was dedicated to learning the craft of acting.

One day I approached a man, Robert Salzman, who was sitting on a NYC subway car on a hunch that he had been through the prison system. He did, in fact, spend seventeen years of his life incarcerated, but had since been rehabilitated and employed as a bouncer for the last ten years. I wound up casting him for the role of Sugar opposite Esai Morales. On the day we shot the jail scene, which was actually filmed in an active NY State prison, Rob took a nap in one of the cells during a break. He woke up with tears in his eyes, because for the first time in his life, he didn't have to stay there. He could get up, walk out, and that was okay.

A movie for a Sundance viewer...

I believe Sundance audiences, especially, will embrace this film. I think audiences are starving for this type of story that presents characters we often see and wonder about in everyday life, but rarely learn of their humanity and common human experience. The film explores universal themes that I hope will affect audiences on a deeper level.

New York City based films that inspired Green...

I turned to films such as "Kids" and "Raising Victor Vargas" for inspiration while making "Gun Hill Road." Both films are New York City based stories that deal with inner city teens in a very authentic way. They are about real people in real situations, which for me, makes the film watching experience all the more rewarding.

And plans for the future?

I'm in the process of developing a project that centers on New York City teenagers and the underground poetry scene.

Diana Romero
NALIPster joins Maya Entertainment

NALIP member Diana Romero (LPA 2004) has been hired by Los Angeles based production and distribution company Maya Entertainment as Manager of Sales and Administration for international distribution. Romero will manage international sales and distribution at the company, which was founded in 2008 by producer Moctesuma Esparza.

She joins Maya from Sancocho Entertainment where she was Founder and President. Romero also wrote and produced the award-winning and Imagen-nominated Niña Quebrada. "I am excited to join Maya Entertainment and honored to be invited to be a part of this wonderful team of talented individuals and growing company," says Romero

Jerry Angelo
NALIPster producing Comics in Films Festival

NALIP member Jerry Angelo (LPA 2008) of Fire Born Films is producing Comic Con Albuquerque's 1st Film Festival, which will take place on January 15 and 16 at the Albuquerque Hilton Hotel. Click here for details. Filmmakers interested in being a judge at the festival should email Jerry.


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