Latinos In The Industry


By Marvin V. Acuna
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Michael Jackson mania was in full swing when I was in the seventh grade. I even wore the infamous "Beat it" jacket. I was a HUGE fan and did not have any shame in my expression of that fact.

During one of the family visits to the flea market I stumbled upon a promotional button shop. Now, it may have been there for years, as the flea market was a family tradition. But on this particular day, the buttons on sale seemed invisible, and the machine making them seemed to illuminate in the background. It was as if it called my name.

I could not believe my eyes nor the truth I would learn. The promotional button shop could take any image and convert it into a button.

I returned with one of my favorite images of Michael Jackson and made a button. The Cheshire cat had nothing on me. I paraded around the flea market floor space with pride. It was a cool pin.

On Monday I dressed for school. Morning rituals and then, as I walked out the door, I placed the final touches on the school attire. My button!

It seemed to happen overnight, but doesn't all success? As I navigated the corridors of the school and the playground of the small campus, many students commented on my unique button.

Then it happened. I was offered money for the button. More money than I had paid for it. Can you say profit? Not sure I could, but I knew how to count. I was already taking algebra. Math was my subject. The numbers made sense to me: a business opportunity was born and a natural salesman emerged.

I would now spend free time cutting images from any periodical I could get my little hands on and make new Michael Jackson buttons. The routine of the flea market was no longer simply a family trip, but a business trip to my wholesaler.

That aforementioned tale was brought to the forefront of my memories last night after viewing the documentary Michael Jackson's This Is It.


Call for Submissions: Openfilm's Get It Made Competition

Openfilm's Get It Made Competition is a quarterly online challenge for filmmakers who want the chance to win the opportunity to produce their dream project with Openfilm. First Quarter submissions now open! April 15 - June 30, 2010.

Criteria: A live-action or animation that is 40 minutes or less, and based on a feature length concept.

Prizes: $50,000 cash and a $200,000 financing contract

Openfilm will accept submissions throughout the year to the quarterly competitions; see the competition schedule for specific dates. There is a non-refundable $35 submission fee. Openfilm reserves the right to use still images and show short clips of any submitted films to promote the competition. Visit Openfilm for details.

  Inarritu, Leigh bound for Cannes
(Variety) - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Biutiful," a Spanish-language drama toplining Javier Bardem, and Mike Leigh's latest slice-of-life ensembler, "Another Year," are set to premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. FULL STORY

Weinsteins to Take Back Miramax
(The Hollywood Reporter) - It looks as if the Weinsteins have managed to fashion a winning bid in the Miramax auction and will take back operating control of the company they founded in 1979 and sold to Disney for $80 million in 1993. FULL STORY

Jeremy Ray Valdez "Coming Out" in La Mission
(Latin Heat Online) - Jeremy Ray Valdez's performance in La Mission is strong and nuanced, and he couldn't be happier to have had an opportunity to work with brothers Benjamin and Peter who he says are consummate gentlemen and exceptionally talented. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Open Casting Call for Songwriters
The Nationwide Search to find America's next great songwriter has begun! They must be able to perform their songs (play an instrument, sing, etc...) to prove they're the next Hitmaker. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Casting: Horror Feature
Fire Born Films is casting Jerry Angelo's Untitled Horror Film, a feature that will be shooting Summer 2010. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Casting: Music Video for Mexican Singer
We are currently casting several Hispanic roles for a music video for Mexican singer. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION
Production Van For Sale
Selling a Ford E350 Extended Van only used for two productions, "Buscando a Leti" and "Silent Shame." FULL 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

Cine Las Americas Announces Festival Line-Up

Cine Las Americas has announced the full festival line-up for the 13th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival which runs April 21 - 29, 2010 in Austin, Texas. This year, more than 100 films from over 13 countries will be showcased at the festival, including an unprecedented number of new releases highlighting new and prestigious productions from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States.

Several films by NALIP members will be screened, including:
Cleats (NALIP board chair Maria Agui Carter writer & director, Edwin Pagan cinematographer); Death Rattle (Amparo Garcia Crow writer and producer); Don't Let Me Drown (Estela 2009 winner Cruz Angeles writer & director, Yareli Arizmendi and Adrian Martinez in the cast); Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ile Aiye (Carolina Moraes-Liu director); Morenita (Ozcar Ramirez producer).

The 2010 festival will open on April 21 at 7:00 PM at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, with a special presentation of Amorosa Soledad (Lovely Loneliness, Argentina, 2008) directed by Martin Carranza and Victoria Galardi.

As part of celebrations of the Bicentennial of the Mexican Independence, and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution, Cine Las Americas is honored to host Mexico as the invited country of honor in 2010. The 13th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival will feature a great selection of contemporary independent Mexican cinema, including the US Premiere of La Profecia de Los Justos (2009), starring Ana Claudia Talancon, Diego Martin, Raul Mendez, Pedro Armendariz, Jr., and Federico Luppi.

Also, as part of the Mexican Bicentennial celebrations, the festival will feature a special retrospective of the works of Nicolas Pereda, one of the most notable new talents of Mexican cinema.

In addition, the festival will showcase "Crafts, Humors and Stories of the Mexican Independence and Revolution," a collection of short animated films created in honor of the bicentennial and centennial celebrations in Mexico this year.

The festival will close on Thursday, April 29, with a screening of Chamaco (The Kid, 2009) directed by Miguel Necoechea and starring Martin Sheen, Kirk Harris, Alex Perea, Danny Perea, Gustavo Sanchez Parra, Raul Mendez, Michael Madsen.

For festival details and a full list of films, please visit the Cine Las Americas website.


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