Latinos In The Industry

Doc Filmmaker Joe Berlinger Argues Important Appeal for Investigative Documentaries

Yesterday, a panel of three Federal Appeal Court judges heard arguments to determine whether Joe Berlinger will have to turn over to Chevron 600 hours of raw footage he shot while producing the documentary CRUDE. Chevron went to court to gain access to the footage to help in defending itself against a massive Ecuadorian class action lawsuit brought by workers and residents of the Amazon who are seeking redress for years of environmental pollution.

Michael C. Donaldson filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of Joe Berlinger, as well as 22 other industry organizations including NALIP, the IDA, and Women Make Movies, who saw the order to turn over the footage as a threat to the future of investigative documentaries. The judges heard from attorneys for Chevron, for Joe Berlinger, and for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs. The hearing, which was initially scheduled to last forty-two minutes, lasted an hour and forty minutes. About the only thing the attorneys could agree on in their oral arguments was that the fate of Berlinger's appeal was controlled by a 1998 case - issued by this same court - entitled Gonzalez v. NBC. In fact, the three-judge panel that heard Berlinger's appeal included Judge Leval who was on the panel for the Gonzalez case.

The judges have taken the case under submission, promising to issue their decision "expeditiously." Although one can never predict exactly what a court will decide, it's of Donaldson's opinion that the lower court's order to turn over the 600 hours of footage would be substantially cut - and that an additional step would be taken of putting restrictions on how the information gathered could be used by Chevron, i.e.: that it could not simply be used in the massive PR campaign Chevron has mounted, but that it could be used only in court or government proceedings. Additionally, Donaldson felt that the judges were prepared to confirm the test set forth in the Gonzalez case which stated that, in order for a journalist to turn over material that is non-confidential, the material at issue must be of likely relevance to a significant issue in the case and not be reasonably attainable from other available sources - a test that is extremely important to the documentary community.

Other potential decisions could include sending the case back to the trial court with some clear direction as to how to decide these issues, ordering the trial court to view the footage before Chevron is able to view it, throwing out the subpoena in its entirety, or issuing an order that combines one or more of the above options.

After the hearing, Donaldson - who authored the Amicus Brief for filmmakers - praised the International Documentary Association for recruiting co-signers like NALIP to their Amicus Brief. He felt that the voice of filmmakers was heard, stating "Everyone was extremely well prepared. The judges were attentive, interested and extended the arguments by asking extensive, well-informed questions. You can't ask for much more - except a decision that favors the filmmaker."

Call for Submissions: ITVS Open Call

The ITVS 2010 Open Call deadline is August 6. ITVS is looking for single public television programs on any subject, viewpoint, or style. They fund programs from all points of view that bring new audiences to public television and expand civic participation by bringing diverse voices into the public sphere. Please note that Open Call does not accept live-action drama (fiction) submissions.

ITVS has provided hundreds of programs to American public television. For this highly competitive fund, a program must feature content that matches the ITVS mission and excels in the art of storytelling

Open Call provides completion funds for single nonfiction public television programs on any subject, and from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video. Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories.

Open Call accepts:
- Single programs of standard broadcast length (half-hour or one-hour). In rare cases, when a filmmaker's skills, subject, and story structure warrant it, ITVS will consider programs at feature lengths.
- Works-in-progress (for nonfiction submissions), i.e. projects that have already begun production
- Programs that can be completed within one year of contract

Open Call does not accept:
- Proposals for completed projects seeking distribution
- Series proposals or fictional dramas
- Projects intended solely for theatrical release

There are two funding rounds per year: Aug. 6 is the final deadline for 2010. Applicants may apply with only one project per call. The entire proposal review process takes up to five months. Only one to two percent of Open Call applicants will receive funding. Open Call is not a grant; ITVS provides a co-production investment in the program.

Before you apply:
1. Make sure you are eligible.
2. Review what they're looking for and make sure your project matches our programming needs.
3. Find out what to expect after you apply and if your film gets selected.
4. Read the instructions in how to apply very carefully. Unfortunately, incomplete applications cannot be reviewed.
5. Gather the information you need for completing the cover sheet.

Good luck!

Call for Entries: The Indie Fest

The Indie Fest is an independent, top-tier international film awards competition. Our goal is to help independent filmmakers gain publicity and, when appropriate, exposure to distributors.

The Indie Fest is unique; it's an awards competition. Winners receive publicity as we broadcast the list of winners via press releases and to our email database of more than 24,000 filmmakers and industry insiders. Winning an Indie will help you get noticed. The Indie Fest has been very successful in introducing winners to distributors who can sell licensing rights around the world.

Entries are judged against high standards of excellence and against each other. The Indie Fest provides an equal chance of winning for all entrants, regardless of size and budget. Entries are judged on quality of craft and creativity. The Indie Fest is a showcase for cinematic gems and unique voices.

Deadline: July 30, 2010
Download the entry form at:

The Indie Fest's has seasonal deadlines/judging and grants awards as appropriate within four to six weeks after each deadline. Once each year the Indie Fest, in cooperation with its sister competition the Accolade, holds a festival to honor Indie Fest and Accolade winners. The event is designed specifically for the benefit of filmmakers and television producers. The public is invited on a space available basis. It is a time when filmmakers network with other filmmakers and see screenings of other filmmaker's work. Works in progress are invited so filmmakers can receive feedback from other filmmakers before completing their projects. Expert panels provide an opportunity for filmmakers to gain in-depth information about such topics as how to find a distributor. At the event a $1,000 cash prize is awarded to one Grand Prize Winner selected from among the Indie Fest and Accolade winners from the past twelve months.

Judging is a three phase process. Like most traditional festivals, the first round of judging takes place internally and is a screening to find those productions that have outstanding craft, i.e., cinematography/videography, sound, editing, etc. Many films wash-out during phase. Those productions that survive are evaluated to find the films that excel at storytelling, entertainment and communication. Entries judged to be potential Best of Show winners may be sent to outside judges for additional review. Judging standards are high and selective.

Please take a look at the Indie Fest website, so you'll better understand the Competition. On the website you'll find lots of original content of interest to independent filmmakers including articles about indie-friendly distributors.

Go to for rules and entry form.

  America Ferrera Tops Imagen Noms With 3
(The Hollywood Reporter) - "Ugly Betty" alumna America Ferrera emerged a triple nominee as nominations for the 25th annual Imagen Awards were announced Thursday. FULL STORY

Maya Indie Film Series to Tour Eight Markets
(The Hollywood Reporter) - The Maya Indie Film Series, presenting the Mexican boxing tale "The Kid: Chamaco" and five other Latino-themed films, will appear for one-week engagements in the top eight U.S. markets, beginning with Dallas on July 23. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Director of Photography for Low Budget Feature
Ultra low budget feature entitled "Palabra de Dios" a psychological thriller seeks director of photography. 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

Gilbert Dávila
Corporate multicultural market development expert joins Si TV board

Sí TV, the first and only English-language network for the Latino community, announced today that Gilbert Dávila, one of the country's leading authorities on multicultural marketing, has joined the network's board. The announcement was made by Michael Schwimmer, Sí TV's chief executive officer.

Schwimmer said, "Gilbert's well-known expertise in multicultural marketing, brand management and strategic planning will prove invaluable as we ratchet up our efforts in all these areas and continue to grow our distribution."

Dávila said, "Sí TV is ideally positioned to capitalize on the enormous growth of America's English-dominant and bilingual Hispanic population; growth that will dominate the results of the U.S. Census 2010. Sí TV knows how to engage this influential audience and is becoming a powerful vehicle for marketers to reach them. I look forward to working closely with Michael, his management team, and my fellow board members to help Sí TV maximize its great potential."

Dávila is the second high-profile executive to join the Sí TV board in two months. In May, Javier Saralegui, who served as president and chief operating officer of Univision Online and President of Galavision for a combined 20 years, was named to the network's governing body.

For over 20 years, Dávila has provided his expertise in multicultural marketing and business development to companies including The Walt Disney Company, Sears, Coca Cola USA and Procter & Gamble. Davila was also publisher of Sears' Nuestra Gente Magazine - the magazine of largest circulation among Latinos -- and most recently served as founder and publisher of Disney en Familia magazine.

Dávila serves on the board of the Association of National Advertisers, where he is a founding member and current chairman of the ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Committee. Davila is also chairman of the Business Advisory Board for the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Jessica Ortiz
NALIPster competing on vh1's "Scream Queens 2"

NALIP member Jessica Ortiz was one of the ten chosen out of thousands to be on vh1's Scream Queens 2, which will air on Monday, August 2nd. In the show, ten actresses will get the chance to win a breakthrough role in Saw 3D, the next film in Lionsgate�s iconic Saw horror franchise. Click here to see Jessica and the other contestants, or visit the show's webpage to watch a short trailer.

Jessica Ortiz, born in California and raised in the Bronx, New York, began dancing Mambo at the age of nine. Instructing her first class at fifteen, Ms. Ortiz began her international performance and instruction of Mambo at age sixteen. Her passion for dance led her to pursue her desire for acting. Studying at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City, she learned the Sanford Meisner's technique. She performed her first live audience experience in the play, Muneca, written and directed by Christina Soto.

Yvette Yates
NALIPster joins Eva Longoria Parker & Maria Conchita Alonso in new comedy

NALIP member and up-and-coming actress Yvette Yates is making her mark in Hollywood in a new comedy Without Men, a battle of the sexes film based on the international bestseller "Tales From the Town of Widows" by James Canon.

The impressive cast for this independent film also stars Eva Longoria Parker, Maria Conchita Alonso, Judy Reyes, Kate Del Castillo, Monica Huarte, Oscar Nuñez and Christian Slater among others. Written by Gabriela Tagliavini, the film is set in a remote Latin American jungle (filmed in Santa Barbara) where Longoria Parker's character leads a group of women to fend for themselves after their men leave to fight in a civil war. A battle of the sexes ensues when the men return to reclaim their power.

"Everything about being part of this film, including the opportunity to work with such a talented writer, director and gifted cast, was an incredible experience, both personally and as a professional actor," said Yates. "Even though there was non-stop laughter on the set, the film's message is empowering and sends a positive message about women and societal roles."

Yates stars as one of the leads, Virgelina, who plays the virginal daughter of Maria Conchita Alonso's character, who pretends to be heartbroken when her fiance, Jacinto, is led away by the guerillas. Even though she didn't like him, she begins to miss her fiance. Despite her longing for a man in this now female-dominated town, Virgelina begins to understand herself as an equal among equals, so that when Jacinto does return, she rejects his arrogant, chauvinistic manner.

With a notable set of film credits including lead roles in, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (based on the best-selling book), Flights of Fancy, Ambush, Respiracion, Tijuaneros and Niña Quebrada, for which she was nominated for an Imagen Award for Best Actress and won Special Mention at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, Yates continues to make her mark in Hollywood. Additionally, Yates' portrays one of the characters in Rockstar Games' wildly popular video game, Red Dead Redemption.


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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.