Latinos In The Industry

Ford Foundation Announces JustFilms Doc Funding Initiative

Beginning in 2011, the Ford Foundation is investing $10 million a year over five years in documentary projects that address urgent social issues and help us understand our past, explore our present and build our future. Our goal is to expand the community of emerging and established filmmakers who often lack funding to realize their visions and reach audiences.

What We Fund

JustFilms focuses on film, video and digital works that show courageous people confronting difficult issues and actively pursuing a more just, secure and sustainable world. Initiative funds will be distributed through three distinct paths:

- Partnerships with major organizations such as the Sundance Institute, the Independent Television Service, and others

- Collaboration with other Ford Foundation grant-making programs where the introduction of documentary film could help draw attention to an issue or advance a movement, and

- An ongoing open-application process that will help JustFilms stay attuned to fresh ideas and stories wherever they may emerge. (Details to come.)

Approximately one-third of JustFilms support is dedicated to finding projects through our open-application process. If you would like to seek a grant for your documentary project, you may do so through our Grant Inquiry process by following the instructions on our website.

At the end of the online application process, you are given the option to attach a document to the form. For documentary film and media support we request that a letter be attached that includes a brief description of your project and creative approach, the primary purpose of the film, the current stage of the project and whether any other funds have been raised for the film.

Deadline Approaching: Hot Docs Forum Project Proposals

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.

Online registration for Hot Docs 2011 is now open. Download our Hot Docs 2011 Registration Brochure for all the information you need on what to expect from this year's event and visit to register today!

Deadline Approaching: BlueCat Fellini Awards

The final deadline is approaching for the BlueCat Fellini Awards. To honor Fellini's uniquely creative spirit, and to provide each screenwriter a new screenwriting competition experience, during this special one-time contest, BlueCat will offer two script analyses for each screenplay. Your submission will be read by two different readers, receive two sets of detailed analyses, along with two sets of numerical scores used to judge your screenplay.

Further honoring the visionary Fellini, we are accepting Short Screenplays (5-40 pages) and Feature Screenplays (70-130 pages).

Five winners will be chosen, with each winner receiving a MacBook Pro plus Final Draft software, or the cash equivalent. Each winner will have the option to select cash for either, or both prizes. Finalists will be announced on April 15th, and the five winners will be awarded on May 15th. All analyses will be returned by April 1st.

The final deadline is Fellini's birthday, January 20th, at midnight PST. Entry fee is $60. Enter online here.

Women In Film LA Presents First Annual "Career Rehab"

Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF) is thrilled to announce the First Annual Women In Film Career Rehab, a day-long workshop designed to answer the tough questions behind how to achieve success in Hollywood. Hosted by Career Rehab Co-Chairs Madelyn Hammond (President, Madelyn Hammond & Associates/Former Chief Marketing Officer, Variety; named Hollywood's Job Whisperer by Nikki Finke) and Pamela Rodi (EVP, Marketing & Publicity, Myriad Pictures/Entertainment Industry Liaison, FIDM), the workshop is open to people of all levels who are looking to find a job or make a change and will feature career related panels and discussion groups with industry professionals.

WHEN: Sunday, January 23rd from 8am - 5pm
WHERE: Salon Studio, 4621 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

For additional information, please visit:
$100 WIF members; $175 non-members
NALIP Member Discount Code: info2147

Expert guest speakers will include:
Carla Mathis - Co-Founder & President, Body Beautiful
Cherie Crane - SVP, Media & Research, CBS Films
Cheryl Boone-Isaacs - President, CBI Enterprises/former President of Marketing, New Line Cinema
Cheryl Brooks - Social Media & Digital Consultant
Chris Oliver - Film & Television Food Stylist
Corey Nathan - Principal, Nathan, McDowell & Rose Executive Search
David Couper - Career Coach & Author, "Outsider on the Inside"
Dr. Miriam Reiss - Founder, Wisdom Coaching
Elaine Perliss - Hypnotherapist/former Paramount & Sony executive
Gary Shapiro - Consultant/former SVP Marketing, Sony Pictures
Gayle Nachlis - Executive Director, Women In Film
Iris Grossman - Talent Agent, ICM/former President, Women In Film
Ivy Kagan-Bierman - Partner, Loeb & Loeb, LLP
Jamie Geller - VP, Kenn Viselman Presents/former SVP Publicity, MGM
Jane Fleming - President Emeritus, WIF/Partner, Amber Entertainment
Judith Parker Harris - Author, Producer, Entrepreneur
Lisa Gewirtz - Singer-Songwriter/former entertainment marketing executive
Marion Rosenberg, O.B.E. - Producer & Manager/Executive Producer, "Revolutionary Road"
Risa Bramon Garcia - Film Director
Tracy Strann - Director, External Affairs, The Grammy Museum

Sessions will cover topics including Humiliation, Betrayal and Shame, Speed Pitching, How to Brand Yourself, Unusual Jobs to Consider, The Biggest Interview Mistakes and To Hell and Back (how to pull yourself back up after hitting bottom).

  SnagFilms Snags $10 Million in Funding, Expands to Fiction Films
(All Things Digital) - SnagFilms, the online video distribution site for professional documentaries, has nabbed $10 million in funding from Comcast’s investment arm and New Enterprise Associates, and will also now be distributing fictional independent film releases. FULL STORY

For Hollywood, It Was a Tough 2010
(Los Angeles Times) - Sales of DVDs, CDs, video games and theater tickets all declined in 2010, and swift changes in technology will make it difficult for Hollywood to capture pre-recession levels of revenue. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Line Producer for Budget & Sales Agent for Foreign Sales Estimates
Looking for a Line Producer with experience in foreign films, for a movie shooting in Colombia. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Casting: Notable Latinas for a PSA
Seeking Latina actors and other recognizable/notable women of color for a PSA targeting young females-of-color in our inner cities. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Costume Designer for Play
Love Letters to Women, a play at Casa 0101 by Ryan Husk, created by German Michael Torres, Directed by Hector Rodriguez (Detained in the Desert) is in need of a costume designer who has a vision and can jazz up our characters. 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

Jaime Escallon-Buraglia
NALIPster's LWL & LMM film El Jefe opens in theaters in Colombia

Breaching the stereotypical elements in most Colombian comedies, the hilariously dark film El Jefe opened this weekend in Colombia. An LWL and Latino Media Market project directed by NALIP member Jaime Escallon-Buraglia (LWL 2007), El Jefe revolves around Ricardo Osorio, a cynical and cutthroat Human Resources Manager who delights in the abuse of his subordinates as well as his repeated lack of fidelity toward his wife.

Through Osorio, Escallon provides a satirical commentary on the psyche of the average middle class citizen. Based on the novel Recursos Humanos (Human Resources) by Antonio Garcia, El Jefe features Marcela Benjumea, Jimmy Vasquez, Ramses Ramos, Waldo Urrego, Hugo Gomez, Gustavo Angel, Marco Antonio Lopez, Valentina Gomez, Mirta Busnelli, and Marcela Bustamante.

Click here to read an article about the film, or click here to read an interview with Jaime Escallon-Buraglia (both articles in Spanish).

John Valadez
NALIP LPA Mentor invited to present The Longoria Affair as part of new State Dept. Doc Showcase

By John Anderson, The New York Times

Kim A. Snyder's "Welcome to Shelbyville" is a melting-pot movie, asimmer with social issues: immigration, racism, unemployment, intolerance. Its examination of the clash between Somali Muslims and rural Tennesseeans does not sugarcoat the kinds of conflicts that have bedeviled the country for centuries; it questions, in its way, what America means. And it's been shown around the world by the United States State Department.

Propaganda is not what it used to be. As it enters its third round of bringing nonfiction American films to underserved foreign audiences, the American Documentary Showcase, a project of the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has been full of surprises -- some for the audiences, some for the filmmakers.

"I was shocked when they picked 'Street Fight,' " said the director Marshall Curry, whose 2005 film recounts the hard-fought 2002 mayoral contest in Newark between the entrenched Sharpe James and the unknown Cory Booker. "I thought: 'How did this happen? Who's going to be fired when they finally see this list?' "

It's a list that in 2010 included "Which Way Home," Rebecca Cammisa's tale of freight-train-hopping children smuggling themselves into the United States; Michael Tucker and Petra Eperlein's "How to Fold a Flag," about the American government's neglect of Iraq War vets; and David Novack's "Burning the Future: Coal in America," about open-pit mining in Appalachia.

Not every film is so obviously weighty. "No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos" is the story of the emigre cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, who helped revolutionize Hollywood's visual aesthetics. But when James Chressanthis, the film's director, took it to Russia, and viewers there learned that both subjects had fled the Hungarian revolution of 1956, it provided a certain wake-up call. "As one kid told me, 'We didn't learn this in school,' " Mr. Chressanthis recalled.

When Ms. Snyder visited Nigeria (filmmakers are usually "deployed" to one location, while their films can travel elsewhere), she did a radio show, where the host asked, "How do you ensure that your film's morals are up to standards?"

She said: "Basically it was a censorship question. I had to think about it, and answer carefully. I didn't use the word 'censorship,' but I said, 'Well, as independent filmmakers we don't go through that process.' I might have said, 'We have freedom of speech.' I mean, we're talking about really fundamental stuff here. It was his assumption that there must be a body that determines what's morally and ethically sound. As cynical as you might be, you walk away thinking, 'We're pretty damn lucky.' "

Which is precisely the point. The showcase might go about airing our dirty linen in the world's backyard, so to speak, but the subtext is American freedom of expression. The strategy epitomizes the co-option/attraction technique of the kind of "soft diplomacy" embraced even during the late innings of the Bush administration. (The first showcase grant, for $400,000, were made in 2008, although its first slate of films toured in 2009; the program is currently budgeted at $600,000.)

According to the State Department the showcase epitomizes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's devotion to "smart power," or the pursuit of foreign-policy goals via whatever tools one has at hand, including the arts. The program -- an echo of cold war efforts like Radio Free Europe, which courted Soviet satellite nations with American culture -- is a more subtle strategy than one might ordinarily credit to a monolithic entity like the State Department. But "occasionally government bureaucracy can do something right," Maura Pally, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said with a laugh.

The engagement has had payoffs. "We're actually changing lives out there," said Betsy McLane, the project director for the showcase and a former president of the University Film & Video Association, which administers the program for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She said that when "Through Deaf Eyes," a film about the history of being deaf in the United States, was shown in Ecuador in 2009, "the deaf audience said: Oh my gosh, we can form an organization, create schools for our deaf, we can be empowered, look at the example in that film. And they did." Some reactions reflect a kind of enlightenment. "When I took 'Street Fight' to Israel," Mr. Curry said of his film, about warring black politicians, "we showed it at a Jewish film school, and afterwards a couple of students came up and said. 'You know, the whole conflict in the United States between African-Americans is so similar to the conflict we have between the Ashkenazi and the Sephardic.' So here's this story that seems to be very specific to the United States, and Newark, and people are seeing it and relating it to their own systems." He laughed. "There's no community so small it can't be cut in half and hate each other."

But there's also nothing like film, Ms. Pally said, "to instigate dialogue and start conversations that people wouldn't be comfortable having in another situation." Toward that end each showcase delegation includes a filmmaker and one or two film authorities who are supposed to expand on the films being shown.

Being put in the position of national spokesman is not something the filmmakers have had to worry about, nor have they been censored by the State Department. When Ms. Cammisa was planning to go to Honduras with "Which Way Home" (her field producer, Sascha Weiss, ultimately went in her place), she said, the Arizona immigrant-identification law had just been passed. "I said to them, 'Look, the question we're going to get from all the people is about the Arizona law, and we're going to have speak freely about it,' and they were O.K. with that. They didn't censor us at all. It was great."

Mr. Chressanthis, who is a visual artist as well as a filmmaker, will be returning soon to Vladivostok, where he showed "Laszlo & Vilmos." "I'm as critical as the next person of the government," he said. "But as I told the audiences there, of course these films are critical. But that's what it means to have a democracy. I said quite directly to them that the strength of a democracy is its ability to absorb such criticism. If your system can't absorb this criticism, it's not a democracy."

Gloria Amadeo
NALIPster publishes memoirs, "Hasta el Final

NALIPster and singer-producer-writer Gloria Amadeo, sought-after mother of "heartthrob" Menudo lead singer Miguel Cancel, has launched her long awaited memoirs "Hasta el Final" from Puerto Rico. The book documents the price of fame, the chilling episodes and discrimination of her schizophrenic homosexual brother, and the career decisions that left the family divided. Compelling and inspiring, the book is available at Borders Puerto Rico and at Gloria is a member of NALIP (acknowledged in her book) and CEO of Amadeo Entertainment.


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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.