Latinos In The Industry

Call for Nominations: The American Documentary Showcase

The American Documentary Showcase, funded by and as a cooperative program with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (BECA) of the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and administered by the University Film and Video Association (UFVA), is a curated selection of contemporary documentaries that is offered to US Embassies for screening abroad. The Showcase is designed to travel American documentaries and their filmmakers to international overseas venues, including U.S. Embassy organized events and U.S. Embassy supported international documentary film festivals.

The goal of The Showcase is to offer a broad diversified look at life in the United States and the values of a democratic society as seen by American documentary filmmakers. The Showcase is intended to demonstrate the role documentary plays in fostering understanding and cooperation among people.

Nomination Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2010
There is no entry fee.

With probable renewal of a grant by BECA to UFVA, we will be able to solicit nominations for approximately 15 new titles and filmmakers in the third round of the Showcase, which runs through December 2011. Filmmakers may nominate their own films. Student films of exceptional quality are welcome.

Qualifications for Consideration

Documentaries nominated can be of any length and style. They must have a release date no earlier than January 2008 and must be completed (and available on DVD) by September 2010. They must be made by an American citizen, focus primarily on American subjects (this can be Americans overseas, but the main emphasis must be on American citizens), and fit in to one, or preferably more, of the following categories:

Subject Categories:
The Democratic Process
Environmental, Nature, Our Planet
Ethnic & Religious Diversities
Innovation in Education
Music and Society (no concert film or music videos)
Popular Culture
Women, Families and Children
A panel of experts will recommend up to 15 nominated films for possible inclusion in the Showcase. BECA will make the final decision about inclusion.

There is no entry fee.

To nominate a film, four NONRETURNABLE DVDs must be submitted along with a short SYNOPSIS, CREDIT LIST and ENTRY FORM. Entries must be shipped PREPAID.

Selection and inclusion in the Showcase grants BECA, the DOS and the UFVA the right to use brief clips, photographs, and biographical data of filmmakers and their subjects for publicity and promotional purposes, including UFVA/DOS websites, podcasts and internet feeds. If a film is chosen to be included in the Showcase, the copyright holder further grants permission to the Showcase to make DVD duplicates and to screen the entire documentary, or portions thereof, at American Embassies and overseas venues selected by the Embassies, including foreign film festivals. The copyright holder also agrees to allow the Showcase to subtitle the film as deemed necessary by the Showcase.

All materials must be shipped/mailed with all charges prepaid to:
Betsy McLane, PhD
Showcase Director
3801 University Avenue
Suite 260
Riverside, CA 92501

For more information visit

Any questions not addressed above should be directed to:, or use the online Contact Form

Machete Opens in Theaters on Friday, Sept. 3

On Friday, September 3, at a theatre near you, meet Machete the first Hispanic action hero in American cinema starring Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert DeNiro, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal and many more.

After a violent shakedown from a notorious drug lord nearly kills him, Machete, a renegade Mexican Federale and tough-as-nails vigilante for justice, roams the streets of Texas, working as a day laborer. When Machete is hired by a crooked US Senator to execute a covert hit, Machete is double-crossed and forced to run from the cops and an endless stream of assassins. But what they don't know is that Machete is looking for them so he can settle the score.

Visit for a message from director Robert Rodriguez and stars.

For more on Machete visit

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Winners Announced

The 14th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) announced the award winners at its Closing Night Awards Ceremony presented by The Coca Cola Company with Fina Torres' Habana Eva taking home the Rita Award as Best Film; Jose Sanchez-Montes Gonzalez's Tiempo de Leyenda and Eduardo de la Serna's, Lucas Marcheggiano's and Adriana Yorcovich's El Ambulante sharing the award for Best Documentary; Alvaro Bechner's Mal Dia Para Pescar cited for Best Opera Prima; and Cristina Escoda's Alijuna named Best Short Film.

Cinelatino's Audience Choice Awards went to Marcel Rasquin's Hermano for Best Feature and Gilbert Gonzalez's and Vivian Price's Harvest of Loneliness for Best Documentary. Cinelatino sponsored prizes of $1000.00 to each of the winners.

Winners or the 14th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival:

Best Feature Film (RITA AWARD)
Sponsored by: Deluxe Laboratories

Director: Fina Torres
Country: Cuba/Venezuela/France

Honorable Mention
Director: Tatiana Gaviola
Country: Chile

Best Documentary
Sponsored by: Fuji Film

Director: Jose Sanchez-Montes Gonzalez
Country: Spain

Director: Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yorcovich
Country: Argentina

Honorable Mention
Director: Consuelo Alba, John Speyer
Country: United States/Mexico

Best Opera Prima
Sponsored by: Final Draft, Showbiz Software, Movie Magic

Director: Alvaro Bechner
Country: Spain/Uruguay

Honorable Mention
Director: Humberto Hinojosa Ozcariz
Country: Mexico/Spain

Best Short Film
Sponsored by: Final Draft, Showbiz Software, Movie Magic

Director: Cristina Escoda
Country: United States

Honorable Mention
Director: Aina Calleja
Country: Mexico

Honorable Mention
Director: Juan Francisco Viruega
Country: Spain

Honorable Mention
Director: Yancy Arias
Country: United States

Best Animated Short Film
Sponsored by: Final Draft, Showbiz Software, Movie Magic

Director: Rafael Cardenas & Raul Cardenas
Country: Mexico

Cinelatino Audience Choice Award: Feature Film
Sponsored by: Cinelatino

Director: Marcel Rasquin
Country: Venezuela

Director: Fina Torres
Country: Cuba/Venezuela/France

3rd - GO FOR IT!
Director: Carmen Marron
Country: USA

Cinelatino Audience Choice Award: Documentary
Sponsored by: Cinelatino

Director: Gilbert Gonzalez, Vivian Price
Country: USA

Director: Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yorcovivch
Country: Argentina

Director: Ray Telles
Country: USA

Best Director
Sponsored by: Final Draft, Showbiz Software, Movie Magic

Anna Muylaert (E PROIBIDO FUMAR)
Country: Brazil

Honorable Mention
Yousef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, Victor Teran (BEDROOMS)
Country: United States

Best Screenplay
Sponsored by: Final Draft, Showbiz Software, Movie Magic

Roberto Fontanarrosa & Rodrigo Grande (CUESTION DE PRINCIPIOS)
Country: Argentina

Honorable Mention - Actor
Country: Colombia

Best High School Film
Selected by BAFTA

Director: Franchesco Ramos
Country: USA

Maya Indie Film Series Comes to California

The Maya Indie Film Series arrived in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose on August 27 and runs through Thursday, September 2. The series, which debuted last summer, will bring six critically acclaimed, Latino-themed films to the top eight U.S. markets. Each film will have a rotating screening schedule throughout the Series.

The six films in the series include: The Kid: Chamaco, a bilingual drama about a Mexican boxer starring Martin Sheen, Alex Parea, and Michael Madsen; Backyard, a Mexican thriller starring Jimmy Smits, Ana de la Reguera, and Joaquin Cosio; a family film about Roberto Clemente starring Ray Liotta and Rory Culkin called Chasing 3000; a Brazilian comedy, In Therapy, starring Lilia Cabral and Jose Mayer; Michelle Rodriguez and Juan Fernandez star in Tropico De Sangre, based on the true story of the Mirabal sisters; and Solo Quiero Caminar, a thriller starring Diego Luna and Jose Maria Yazpik. The Dry Land, starring America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Ryan O'Nan, and Melissa Leo will play in select markets as a bonus feature.

More details are available at

Mann Theaters Hollywood
6925 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
Click here for tickets

Gaslamp Stadium
701 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
Click here for tickets

Camera 7
1875 S. Bascom Ave
Campbell, CA 95008
Click here for tickets

  Jimmy Smits the Rogue Outlaw
(Latin Heat Online) - On a recent set visit to the new Jimmy Smits' NBC series Outlaw I felt like I was right at home. On this certain episode half the cast was Latino, beginning with the series star (and co-executive producer) Smits. FULL STORY

Robert Rodriguez Back To El Mariachi-Style Action With Machete
( - Rodriguez tells CineMovie he self-financed the exploitation film starring Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Steven Segal and an unlikely leading man Danny Trejo, in order to make Machete on his own terms. FULL STORY

'Modern Family,' 'Mad Men' top Emmys
(Variety) - "Modern Family" - the show that may have saved the sitcom - may have also rescued the Emmys. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

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

Frances Negrón-Muntaner
NALIP Founding BOD Member and Advisory Board Member interviewed about Latin America, filmmaking

By Antony Adolf for

Dr. Frances Negrón-Muntaner of Columbia University is a world-renowned scholar and filmmaker. She has been named as one of the nation's "100 Most influential Latinos" by Hispanic Business. Born in Puerto Rico, her work spans several fields, including mass media, literature, cultural criticism, migration, and politics. Antony Adolf of had the opportunity to ask Dr. Negrón-Muntaner about her work in relation to pressing crises in Latin America and the U.S.

For her work as a scholar and filmmaker, Dr. Negrón-Muntaner has received Ford, Truman, Scripps Howard, Rockefeller, and Pew fellowships. Major foundations and public television funding sources have also supported her work. Since the late 1980s, Dr. Negrón-Muntaner's work has been considered an important resource in addressing sexuality, colonialism, nationalism, and migration in Caribbean and Latino diasporic contexts.

Among her works is the 1994 award-winning film Brincando el Charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican, the groundbreaking edited collection Puerto Rican Jam: Rethinking Colonialism and Nationalism (1997), and Boricua Pop (Choice Award 2004), a collection of essays on contemporary U.S. popular culture.

Antony Adolf: Your work addresses Caribbean and Latino diasporic colonialism, nationalism, migration and sexuality. Could you tell us about high points and low points in your experience in these fields?

Dr. Negrón-Muntaner: Throughout my public life, I have had quite a few run-ins with dominant thinking on both the left and right. For instance, in 1997 I co-wrote a political reflection signed by six other academics and artists that argued that statehood could be a decolonizing option for Puerto Rico. This virtually made me an outcast in many cultural and intellectual circles for years. Among other things, I was accused of being a CIA agent. Most recently, when I wrote and criticized the unlawful detention of Jose Padilla as an enemy combatant, I faced not only incredulous stares from audiences but also at least one prominent journal rejecting my thoughts on the topic.

The fact that people who know better would resort to slander and/or censorship made me realize how easy it is for a community to turn against its own. This and other similar experiences also allowed me to see that intellectuals are no more enlightened than other people when they felt threatened. So, like Kermit the frog, I learned to be comfortable with being green.

Antony Adolf: What do you believe the future has in store for U.S.-Puerto Rican relations, and the future of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. within immigrant rights contexts? What is your report "from the ground," so to speak, as well as from within the academy?

Dr. Negrón-Muntaner: Puerto Rico is in the worst shape that I have seen it in my lifetime. One of the most telling signs of the crisis is that people, particularly among the young and educated, are leaving the island in great numbers. Demographers are already predicting that the 2010 census will reveal that the island experienced a decline in population since 2000 and that approximately 270,000 people have left Puerto Rico over the last decade.

Linked to this decrease in population is a sense of hopelessness that I have also never felt so strongly before. There is a saying that hope is the last thing to go and I am afraid that it is gone for many Puerto Ricans. In contrast to earlier migrations, where people returned during their retirement, people today are leaving never to return. People simply don't see a way out of what feels like a perpetual crisis.

When it comes to Puerto Rican politics, however, it is quite a risky proposition to predict outcomes. Puerto Rican voters are world famous for upsetting expectations. For instance, despite the fact that most Puerto Ricans would consider themselves cultural nationalists, in 1991 voters rejected the idea of amending the Puerto Rican constitution to protect Puerto Rico's culture and continued independent participation in international sports. The majority of voters surprisingly voted against the amendment because they felt it could be an obstacle to statehood. Yet, seven years later, a majority of voters rejected all presumably possible status options, including statehood, to determine Puerto Rico's future relationship to the United States. To Washington's amazement, Puerto Ricans chose the so-called fifth column, "none of the above."

So, the only thing that I could say is that if you look at trends since the 1940s, the only status option that grows in support, albeit slowly, is statehood. If the situation continues to deteriorate -- pushing Puerto Rico closer to becoming a narco-state -- and new migration experience produces a stronger sense of belonging to the U.S. than prior ones, it may be that the statehood trend will become a movement rather than an electoral franchise. But, you may not want to bet money on it. Many people feel so disappointed in politics that it may be the last place that they look to for solutions.

Antony Adolf: What, in your opinion, can realistically be done about narco-trafficking in Latin America?

Dr. Negrón-Muntaner: Due to the great complexity of the human relationship to narcotics -- the fact that for some they produce pleasure and a sense of freedom -- there will probably never be a perfect set of policies to address drug consumption and production. At the same time, there are a number of things that Latin American states can consider to address the narco-trafficking crisis.

Decriminalize consumption; facilitate access to medical and other support services; an persuade the U.S. to do the same. Almost any substance can become addictive and many legal substances are as addictive, if not more, than some illegal ones. In this regard, distinguishing substances as legal or illegal is arbitrary and not a very useful basis for policy-making. And while I do not think that addicted drug consumers should be forcefully medicalized, for those who wish to control or stop their addiction, access to mental health, social, and medical services will be more enabling than prison time.

Regulate the drug trade and enact comprehensive socio-economic reform. The illegal means and ways of narco-trafficking fuels much of the violence associated with the drug trade as it creates alliances between drug, paramilitary, and corrupt state organizations as well as offers a rationale for Latin American governments to militarize their societies and occupy communities. Moreover, decriminalization of the drug trade will likely make the trade less attractive as it would bring profits down and free people to pursue other options.

Yet, in taking steps towards regulating rather than criminalizing the drug trade, it is important to know that regulation will not eliminate all so-called organized crime groups. These groups will probably gravitate toward other products producing new forms of violence. This is one of the main reasons why states moving toward regulation will also need to consider policies that decrease economic inequality and social exclusion. Otherwise, many of the foot-soldiers that that are displaced by the drug trade and do not have other options, will sign up for the next big exploit.

Antony Adolf: How does the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) you helped found work with other groups with similar goals to advance common issues in the U.S. and Latin America? And globally?

Dr. Negrón-Muntaner: NALIP was founded in 1999 to address the still persistent discrimination faced by Latinos in the U.S. media industries and create opportunities for Latino media producers. Just to give a sense of why people felt a need for this organization, we can consider a stunning fact: Despite the dramatic increase in the U.S. Latino population since the 1970s, per capita, the number of Latinos working in the industry today is the same as four decades ago.

Given the bleak picture, the original impulse was to create an organization that focused on the U.S. But since its founding, NALIP chapters have sprung in several other countries, including Canada, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. In every context, NALIP has worked with the chapters to strengthen local communities so they can prevail over common problems such as lack of resources, infrastructure, and information.

At this time, I think NALIP is one of the most effective organizations serving independent producers of any background because it has been successful in creating the most important thing to any media artist: a passionate community what loves art and loves to see people succeed. This drive is so strong that if I was ever in any kind of jam in a city where I did not know anyone, the one phone number that I would like to have in my pocket is that of a local NALIP member. I am sure that s/he will get me out of it.

Antony Adolf: How has your academic background in sociology, anthropology and comparative literary studies shaped the choice and methods of execution of the projects you carry out as a filmmaker and scholar? What would you say to aspiring professionals in these regards?

Dr. Negrón-Muntaner: My multi-disclipinarity comes in part from my colonial upbringing. When you are trying to look into questions that are often ignored, dismissed or neglected by mainstream thinking, you become omnivorous. Disciplinary boundaries are not very important. You are hungry for anything useful and you will devour it when you find it. Also, when you look at things from what some have called the colonial divide, you tend to see through the seams of authority, including academic authority. So, you may attempt to address the limitations of one discipline with the insights of another.

Perhaps the biggest impact of this on how I approach my work is that I tend to immediately place texts in various contexts and bring together materials that are rarely linked together. I do not do this "on purpose" like the classic surrealists did. Rather, it is something that happens because having made it a habit to cross intellectual lines, I follow the trail to wherever it leads, irrespective of medium, discipline, and consequence -- which is something that I would recommend to anyone starting out.

Dr. Negrón-Muntaner has also served as a columnist for El Diario/La Prensa (New York), The San Juan Star, and El Mundo. She has been widely interviewed in print, radio, and on television in such venues as NPR, CNN, Univision, Variety, and The Miami Herald. At present, Dr. Negrón-Muntaner teaches at Columbia University's Department of English and Comparative Literature and at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Puerto Rico (1986), a master's degree in film and anthropology at Temple University, Philadelphia (1991, 1994), and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University, New Brunswick (2000).

Adrian Martinez
NALIPster cast in Will Ferrell film

NALIP member Adrian Martinez (LWL 2007, LPA 2008) has been cast in the film House of My Father, produced by and starring Will Ferrell. The film will be shot in Los Angeles starting in September.

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle
NALIPster's doc work screening at conference and media fest

NALIP member Chelo Alvarez-Stehle (LPA 2008) has been selected to screen her documentary work on sex trafficking at the National Sexual Assault Conference Film & Media Festival, Hollywood, Sept. 2. She will be screening a segment of her current documentary project Sands of Silence, a pre-prototype for SOS_SLAVES: Changing the Trafficking Game, a serious game on trafficking, as well as her short documentary Sold in America, during a 90 min. slot in which she will be establishing a dialog with the audience.


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