Latinos In The Industry

HBO Announces 2010 HBO-NALIP Documentary Grant Winner and Finalists!

HBO has teamed with NALIP and found the next great Latino documentary film. Social change has been the consistent undercurrent for HBO's critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary programs, with a myriad of issues presented in uncompromising quality and honesty. HBO created this $10,000 cash award for Latino filmmakers in 2009. They launched their contest for the second year at our NALIP 2010 national conference in April. The idea of this grant is for HBO to focus its lens on the Latino experience, and to support the growth of social commentary by Latino documentarians. Films were judged based on the uniqueness of their topic/subject matter, the professional quality of the film, and the structure, tone and style planned for presenting the topic to an audience

Out of the many high quality submissions this year, three finalists and a winner were selected by a panel of professional filmmakers, and the HBO Documentary Films executives.

Finalist Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê by producer Carolina Morales-Liu follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. This film has been invited around the world to festivals and screenings.

Finalist Justice for my Sister by producer Kimberly Bautista (LPA 2010) takes an intimate look at the disappearance and brutal murder of Adela Chacón Tax. She left home for work one day at the age of 27 and never returned. In Guatemala, her story is hauntingly familiar: 4,000 women have been killed there in a span of seven years. Her sister Rebeca is determined to see Adela's case through, until the killer Ricardo is held accountable. Kimberly is applying for completion funds, as she prepare to return to Guatemala next month for final shooting.

Special mention went to finalist Carmen Oquendo-Villar (LPA 2009) and her project The Needle/La Aguja. A semi-finalist last year, it was recognized by the HBO staff as a project that they would like to invite in for a meeting. Carmen is currently on leave from teaching at NYU and working further on the project in Puerto Rico. Her film is about retired nurse Quiñones, who has fled from Puerto Rico's homophobic western countryside to the city in order to escape harassment for his "effeminate manners," and who launches a business of providing "beauty treatments" that turn his clients into his own surrogate relatives.

And the grand prize winner of a $10,000 grant and registration to the NALIP 12th national conference in April 2011 is producer Betty Bastidas with her film DreamTown. It is a story capturing the lives of three Afro-Ecuadorians in their ardent pursuit of playing professional soccer. It is a story of striving for athletic success juxtaposed against the story of Ecuador's disenfranchised Afro-descendants, whose esteemed athletes have brought Ecuador to the top level of international soccer tournaments--the World Cup. The film is set in the impoverished backwater towns of El Chota Valley, and captures a region that, prior to the 2002 World Cup, was invisible to the rest of the world.

Betty tells us that the documentary was screened at the 2010 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival back in August and the Latino community responded very positively. Many people of different ages and backgrounds from sports fans from all over the world young and old came out and inquired when they could see the completed project broadcast or on DVD. They also had a great response to a rough cut version of DreamTown that was featured on Frontline World PBS back in June. Many bloggers commented on the project and showed excitement for its completion. Betty is currently applying to film festivals, and also doing a final edit on a longer version. Her goal is to reach a much wider audience via a distributor, public television or other TV network channel. Good luck, Betty! We hope the $10,000 helps!!

Mexico's Hit Series "Soy Tu Fan" Coming to mun2

mun2 announces US television premiere of Mexico's most buzzed about series, "Soy Tu Fan" (I'm Your Fan). The hour-long romantic comedy premieres Sunday October 17 at 10pm ET/PT and airs Sundays at 10pm ET/PT, exclusively on mun2 and subtitled in English.

A passion project for Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, the acclaimed Mexican stars of Oscar-nominated Y Tu Mama Tambien and Rudo y Cursi, "Soy Tu Fan" introduces viewers to a group of young friends searching for love, sex and themselves in Mexico City. Famed actress Ana Claudia Talancon (Tear this Heart Out) also serves as Producer and stars in the lead role as the romantically-challenged Charly.

Charly - young, attractive and freshly dumped by her cheating boyfriend, is on the rebound. Her best friends are busy trying to find the perfect relationship, split between a fear of commitment and finding the perfect man. They aren't helping. Unaware of her beauty, depressed by the break-up, and afraid of never finding true love, Charly finds herself moping around her apartment alongside her dog, drinking scotch with her grandma, and venting out to her therapist week after week. Charly's swinging soap star brother Diego (Diego Garcia) has problems of his own, namely juggling several groupies and keeping them a secret from his co-star and girlfriend.

In the first episode, Charly meets her biggest annoyance, Nicolas, who has become her biggest fan. He's not exactly her idea of prince charming - "I hate the way he dances, the way he talks, his shoes!" she admits to her therapist. She isn't sure he's what she wants. But he may just be what she needs.

Each episode takes viewers through a scenic, colorful tour of Mexico City. From the trendiest cafes and hottest night clubs to-date, to the cities oldest, most-visited landmarks and avenues, "Soy Tu Fan" showcases Mexico City as one of the series' rich and vibrant characters.

"'Soy Tu Fan' offers a unique, edgy take on relationships, sex and every-day life which fits perfectly with mun2's uniquely American programming," says Diana Mogollon, General Manager for mun2. "The series tells a relatable, entertaining and surprising story that viewers will identify with immediately."

"Soy Tu Fan" is produced by Canana Films, FOX and Once TV Mexico.

For an exclusive look at the first episode of "Soy Tu Fan," visit

  Latin Heat Hollywood Shorts: Outlaw Canceled, Esai Morales is a Daddy
(Latin Heat Online) - Although there was an outpouring of support for NBC's legal drama Outlaw this past week from fans and community organizations, it was to little too late to make a difference. FULL STORY

Oscar Watch: Foreign Language Frontrunners
(indieWIRE) - Anne Thompson names her lead contenders for the foreign language Oscar from the final list of 65 submissions. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Casting: Real People for HBO Doc Series "Habla" (San Antonio/Austin)
"Habla," the award winning documentary series produced for HBO, is working on its 9th special, and we are looking for Latinos in the area of San Antonio/Austin, Texas. 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

Evangeline Griego
NALIP Board Member's doc premiering at Hot Springs Doc. Film Fest.

The documentary God Willing, produced and directed by NALIP Board Member Evangeline Griego will have it's world premiere at the 19th Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival on Saturday, October 16th at 6:10 pm. It will screen a second time on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:25 both screenings will take place at the Historic Malco Theatre. God Willing will have its PBS broadcast in spring of 2011.

God Willing is a powerful exploration of a 35-year-old American religious sect known as "The Church" or "The Brotherhood." It also outlines the struggles of families whose children turn away from them to become "Brothers" and "Sisters" in the group, renouncing their past lives and the world - often, without ever turning back. Founded in 1971 by shadowy messianic figure Jim Roberts, the group has survived for decades as a separatist society that preaches a strict path to salvation, proselytizes for new members, adheres to strict ascetic values, subsists on discarded food and refuse, and shuttles its members from town to town, often on the run from concerned parents and family members who try to see or communicate with their children.

Jorge Meraz
NALIPster's doc Visa Dream airing on KPBS, Oct. 19 at 11pm

Visa Dream, a half-hour documentary short by NALIP member Jorge Meraz (Tijuana) and Steven Javitz (San Diego), will air on KPBS San Diego on Tuesday, October 19 at 11pm. The film follows an elderly couple from Southern Mexico who apply for a Visa in order to visit their children whom they have not seen in 16 years.

It is a touching film following a couple striving to do things the proper way so that they can visit their family in the United States. People who grew up all their lives in the US often don't realize some of the challenges people face in order to visit this country. Close to 6 million tourist visas are issued by the US worldwide every year. This Documentary shows the lifestyle, the emotions, and journey of a couple that goes through this very process.

The stakes are high. Ramon and Aurora, (the older couple applying for the visa,) have not seen their kids for 16 years. And just because they apply for a visa and have an interview, does not mean they are guaranteed the approval for it. Basically, it comes down to a "yes" or "no" from an immigration officer, as their relatives anxiously wait to hear the answer.

The film includes interviews with their family members, visa applicants, comments from private visa consultants who work filling out paperwork on a daily basis, as well as an interview with a United States Consular Officer. A Consular Officer does the actual interview with foreigners desiring to obtain a visitors' visa, to determine their eligibility.

Sandra Varona
NALIPster selected for 2011 Project:Involve

NALIP member Sandra Varona has been selected as one of the 33 filmmakers for Film Independent's annual diversity mentorship program, Project:Involve. The signature program is dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

The 2011 Project:Involve participants were selected based on the quality of their projects, their passion, vision, talent, and commitment to pursuing a career in the film industry. Click here for a full list of selected filmmakers.

The program runs annually from October through June, and selects filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and filmmaking tracks. During the nine months, participants will create a short film, receive one-on-one film industry mentors, access to production-based master workshops taught by top film professionals, career development training, and industry networking opportunities.


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