Latinos In The Industry

LPA 2010 Documentary Fellows Awarded Mentoring Opportunities

NALIP is pleased to announce that two of our 2010 documentary Fellows were awarded scholarship opportunities as a result of their work at the LPA in Santa Fe this August.

Raquel Chapa will receive $150 towards a story consultation on her new short documentary project Open Season: On the Rights of Native Women with 'documentary doctor' Fernanda Rossi. She works hands-on to help filmmakers finish the film they dream of. She will help Raquel discover options that work for her film through the tools and methodologies she has developed to let her choose the solutions that are true to her vision.

LPA Fellow Carol Ann Short has been awarded a consultation with Carole Dean, author of Art of Film Funding, for her feature-length documentary project Hunger is Hurting Me. Carole has mentored and helped many films, and knows some of the pitfalls and some of the short cuts to funding documentaries. Her information is helpful when filmmakers are "stuck" or just want some guidance. She believes that filmmaking, even though it is a collaborative job, can be extremely lonely and brainstorming with someone can get a producer back on track and bring in those dollars.

NALIP thanks both Fernanda and Carole very much for their support of our program, our organization, and our filmmaker Fellows. We are also very grateful to our funders of social change documentary projects including Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Time Warner who are supporting the new NALIP national signature program, for Latino Artist Mentoring. LAM is a funded extension of the 10-day LPA that will provide at least one year's ongoing mentoring support to two LPA project production teams (5 Fellows total) in order to give these producer/directors strategic advanced work on their project. NALIP will commission the appropriate mentors, give them a stipend, match them with the Fellows, and satisfy the hopes and ambitions of even more Latino/a documentary producers and directors. These will include additional proposal, budget and trailer mentoring, a story consultation, fundraising and new media strategies, plus broadcast insight. We want to build a team that stays with each select project and Fellow, so the energy and practical wisdom of the LPA extends beyond the hothouse of those magical 10 days.

We want to congratulate Kimberly Bautista and Mike Flores whose project Justice For My Sister will be one of the first projects in the LMA program, as will Neyda Martinez, Laura Checkoway and Amir Minder, LPA Fellows on the new documentary feature Lucky.

Moctesuma Esparza Aims to Bring More Movie Screens to Latino Audiences

By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

On the walls of his office on the second floor of the Los Angeles Center Studios, veteran filmmaker and Latino activist Moctesuma Esparza displays posters from some of the dozens of movies and TV series he has produced in his career.

There are banners from the 1988 film "The Milagro Beanfield War"; "Selena," the story of the slain Tejano singer; and the HBO film "Walkout," about the 1968 Chicano student walkouts in East Los Angeles to protest school conditions and prejudice. The last one is a particular favorite.

2006's "Walkout," directed by Edward James Olmos, was based on the experiences of Esparza, who was an executive producer on the film that recalls his days as a leader in the Chicano student movement. "It's my life story," Esparza said.

The 61-year-old Angeleno is still shaking things up in L.A. and on the Hollywood stage. After years of working as a producer, Esparza decided in 2008 to launch his own film company, Maya Entertainment, to produce and finance Latino-themed films and multicultural movies overlooked by the major studios.

Esparza spoke with The Times this week about his film company and his plans to build a nationwide movie theater chain targeting underserved communities.

What inspired you to launch Maya Entertainment?

Hollywood has been a challenge for me. I've prospered. But I've had a lot of resistance in terms of being able to get Latino stories produced, whether it's for television or the big screen. I've hungered for the ability to be able to support other filmmakers and my own desire to show Latinos as part of the American fabric. Even today, where 1 out of 3 people in the major cities in the U.S. is Latino, we're still the most underrepresented population in mainstream TV and film.

So you formed Maya Entertainment to provide more opportunity for Latino filmmakers?

Absolutely. And I see that as a business opportunity. There is ample evidence that everyone wants to see themselves portrayed in entertainment no matter who you are and what your background is. But it's not happening, not yet.

Why is that?

People deal with what they're comfortable with, and with what they know. For whatever reason, this society, and this town, is still very segregated. There are very few people who are in the mainstream of Hollywood who have any real contact with folks east of La Cienega Boulevard.

Does that mean your films will mostly cater to Latinos?

Yes, they have a Latino theme. But we're also interested in what we call the 'new mainstream.' At this moment, a majority of everyone in the U.S. under 30 is a person of color. I'm reflecting my own career. Every movie I've touched one way or another reflects diversity, the world that I live in.

How many movies do you distribute a year?

This year we will acquire 30 movies and will finance four. Next year we'll acquire 50 movies and we'll probably finance six. We have our own marketing team, we have our own sales team. We're going to major wholesalers and distributors directly. We're in 10 million hotel rooms. We're in every single major retailer in the country, from Wal-Mart to Best Buy.

What made you decide to get into the movie theater business?

I grew up going to the movie theaters in downtown L.A. We'd go to the Million Dollar theater and we'd see Mexican movies, or I would go to the Orpheum and see Hollywood movies. When I was growing up there were 1,000 movie theaters in the U.S. that played Spanish movies and by 1990 they were all closed. I thought it was an opportunity to provide entertainment to a population that was deeply underserved.

We opened our first theater in Salinas in 2005. It's a mainstream cinema that supports the tastes of the local audience. We dedicate one of 14 screens to an art film or a documentary or a Spanish-language movie. We have the highest attendance of any theater in the county. A year ago, we opened a 16-plex theater in downtown Bakersfield in a redevelopment zone. We're beating everybody in the county on attendance.

What's your long-term growth plan?

500 screens in 40 locations is my goal. We want to be in every single location in the U.S. that has a significant Latino population.

Call for Entries: Big Break Movie Contest

Relativity Media's Rogue and AMC Theatres announce today the launch of the Big Break Movie Contest, which will provide filmmakers with previously undistributed feature-length films the opportunity to obtain exclusive on-screen distribution. Submissions will be accepted Aug. 16 through Oct. 15, 2010. Five finalists will be selected, professional trailers will be created for them by the Rogue team and debuted online at where the general public can vote. The winning film will be released across the country in 50 AMC theatres for at least one week as part of the AMC independent (AMCi) program. The winning movie will be announced Dec 20, 2010 and will tentatively be released in spring 2011.

The contest will be hosted at Contestants must first submit a DVD with the finished film and a short trailer, or a 2-minute excerpt from the film. Filmmakers should then visit beginning Aug. 16 to create a User Profile and upload trailers or excerpts.

Rogue will support the finalists with further editing and production, creating a professional trailer, as well as handling the marketing and logistics of the release for the winning title.

Entries are to be submitted to:
Big Break Movie Contest
c/o Rogue Life
PO Box 46247
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Contest Steps:

Step 1.
MAIL in a DVD containing your finished movie and a short trailer or 2 minute excerpt from the movie, to:
Big Break Movie Contest
c/o Rogue Life
PO Box 46247
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Step 2.
GO to from August 16, create a USER PROFILE and UPLOAD your trailer or excerpt from your movie.
Key dates
Submissions: Aug. 16th through Oct. 15th

5 finalists will be chosen. Relativity's team will create professional trailers for each finalist. These will be posted online at for movie fans to review and give comments.

The judges will announce the winner on December 20, with release occurring sometime in spring 2011.

Call for Submissions: Petaluma Community Access

Sent by former NALIP Board member Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez:

My good friend Thomas Harrigan is a program director at Petaluma Community Access in Northern California. He's looking to screen shorts, features and docs on his show. I recently screened my stickball documentary there and got great feedback. Let's use this opportunity to show our work far and wide.

INFO about PCA TV: PCA TV is a non-profit organization giving Petaluma residents a voice on cable television by providing them with media access, video equipment, facilities and channel time on Channels 26 (Public), 27 (Educational) and 28 (Government). PCA brings the community together, helping people share their unique viewpoints on current community events and important issues.

Mission: "Bringing Petaluma Home"
It is our mission to promote freedom of expression, foster quality and mentor excellence in the community use of television, radio, Internet and other forms of emerging media. We maintain a neutral space for all members of the community to participate in the development and practice of media democracy, media literacy and media empowerment. PCA provides access to modern tools of communication and information exchange for video productions and training that promote dialogue, public voice, diversity and an ongoing spirit of community service.


- They need to fill out the submission form attached to this link:
- Disregard the required length, but I do need to know the TRT.
- I don't want chapters, but I can get around that.
- All of the shorts, docs and features from your group will stay in a library and copies for members will NOT be available. Meaning: Most of the shows that are put on air by the general public are placed in a library and copies are available to members. I won't make ANY copies of the shows from your group available.
- The shows will be placed on Channel 27, in the Indie Spotlight series that runs from 10PM-midnight.
- I can't watch every show so I'll need to know if there is any sex, violence, cursing etc. If so, I'll have to show it after 11PM. We don't censor anything, we just move it to a later slot.
- I will be the producer, which only means that I am sponsoring the show. In order to get a show on community access you either have to be a member or a member has to sponsor the show. This also means that I am responsible if something is objectionable and a member complains. But, like I said, we don't censor.
- Have them leave a bio, name, credits a short synopsis, imdb link etc that I can add to the Facebook, and calendar.

Thomas M. Harrigan
Program Director
Petaluma Community Access
205 Keller St., Ste. 102
Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 707-773-3190, fax: 707-773-4252

  Benjamin Bratt Named Best Actor at Imagen
(The Hollywood Reporter) - It was a big day for the brothers Bratt at the 25th Annual Imagen Awards luncheon ceremony Sunday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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Carmen Oquendo-Villar
NALIPster's doc featured in major newspaper

Last weekend NALIP member Carmen Oquendo-Villar (LPA 2009) and her documentary The Needle were the featured cover story in the Culture Section (Por Dentro) of the Sunday paper El Nuevo Día, a major newspaper in Puerto Rico. The article (in Spanish) is available for download here.

Sarah Vaill
NALIPster's doc screening at LALIFF

NALIPster Sarah Vaill will screen her one-hour Bolivian documentary Women With Altitude at LALIFF on Sunday, August 22 at 2 pm in the Mann Chinese 6, Theater #2. Sarah wrote and directed the film, which was edited by NALIP member Mabel Valdiviezo and co-produced by Sarah Vaill's twin sister Susan Vaill.

Women With Altitude tells the story of a women's mountaineering team, including Sarah, which sets out to climb three high-altitude mountains in the Bolivian Andes up to 20,000 ft. But they are not just seven young women - they are survivors and activists on domestic violence.

Additionally, on Sunday, August 22, from 2-3 pm, Sarah and fellow NALIPsters Carmen Marron and Isabel Cueva will be featured on a LALIFF panel called "Director's Roundtable" at the Renaissance Hotel. The panel features 6 new female voices sharing the road they took to get their films made. Sydney Levine of IndieWire will moderate.

James Garcia Sotomayor & Richard Caban
NALIPsters win Imagen Award

NALIP members James Garcia Sotomayor and Richard Caban were the recipients of the 2010 Best Theatrical Short Imagen award for their film Taught To Hate. James accepted the award at the 25th Annual Imagen Awards Luncheon held int the Beverly Hilton Hotel this past Sunday.

Taught To Hate will next screen at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival during the Shorts Drama Program II on Sunday, August 22 at 12 pm in Theater #2 at Mann Chinese 6 Cinemas.

Taught to Hate, a short film inspired by real life hate crimes, has also received the Films that Heal award at the Manhattan Film Festival, the Award of Excellence at the Indie Fest, and the Best Short Film award at the Broadway Int'l Film Festival in Los Angeles.

James and Richard have also Partnered up with the Welcoming Long Island campaign Committee, local residents dedicated to creating unity over division in regards to welcoming immigrants. By screening the film it is the Committee's hope to offer a positive and meaningful step toward unity by creating a discussion guide and other materials to help spark dialogue in communities around long island.

James Garcia Sotomayor, director and executive producer, and Richard Caban, writer and producer, created the film to explore the sociological basis of racial violence. The story follows a young teen, played by Brandon Hannon (Vito Spatafore Jr., Sopranos) as he is forced to deal with his attitudes toward immigrants. Arturo Castro stars as Antonio 'Richie', a young latino immigrant trying to make his way in America. The film also stars Helen Proimos, Nick Raio, and Lorraine Rodriguez.

CORRECTION: In the Name of Freedom screening time

Tuesday's LITI listed an incorrect location for the LALIFF screening of NALIPster Isabel Cueva's film In the Name of Freedom. The correct information is: August 22 at 12pm, Mann Theatre #2, Drama Program #2.


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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.