Latinos In The Industry


From a talk given by director Betty Kaplan at NALIP 2010 conference Closing Plenary - "Inspirational Successes." Click on Talk Back to discuss this article with other NALIPsters!

From where I started, to where I have gotten, and to where I am now in this industry, I seem to have come full circle...

When I started there was no financing for films, just an inner circle of very careful filmmakers in Venezuela who wanted to keep a tight lid on their little fund of financing, to the point that I sold everything I owned and came out to Los Angeles to seek financing for my first feature. But, before that, I had crawled my way into Public Television, where I was the first female director to walk onto a set. I worked with video using the film techniques I had learned at a crash course at New York University, financed by a boyfriend who wanted to leave me, producing images that were fresh and innovative and soon copied by our competing private commercial tv. I worked with tiny budgets. Sound familiar? No money, on video, leading the way...

Today you have so many more ways of being a one-man or one-woman band and telling your stories... the cameras are cheaper and better, and there are more ways than ever to get your stories seen: YouTube, Facebook, webpages, Google...

So I opened that rabbit hole and jumped in, and ended up doing the most successful mini-series ever made on Venezuelan television. They still run it today, twenty years later! But I was banging my head on the wall, trying to get my movies made. I had written three or four... and finally I said, "basta"... time to look for another opening.


Register Now for "Doing Your Doc" - Santa Fe, May 21-23

NALIP, CPB, the NEA and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in association with the Center for Contemporary Arts, the New Mexico Film Office, KNME, the Jean Cocteau Theatre, Latino Public Broadcasting, NBPC, NATV, ITVS, CAAM, and PIC Present

Doing Your Doc:

May 21-23 in Santa Fe, New Mexico
A Weekend Seminar in Santa Fe to Make Your Documentary Happen

Don't miss this unique chance to work with story consultant Fernanda Rossi, the Documentary Doctor, author of the book "Trailer Mechanics," plus receive project mentoring on your proposal, trailer or documentary idea. This intensive 3-day workshop is right for you, whether you are just beginning, have already shot footage on a documentary project, or are seeking finishing funds.

Doing your Doc is designed especially for media makers in the diverse communities of New Mexico, preparing you to receive production funding and apply to national professional programs while developing your unique stories and views.

Doing Your Doc: 3-day Workshop Fee
Early Registration by May 21 - $100; Student w/ Valid ID - $50. Includes lunches, workshop materials, handouts & private project mentoring session.
Register online here for DOING YOUR DOC - SANTA FE

For more information including a full schedule visit the Doing Your Doc webpage, or call NALIP at 310.395.8880

Call for Entries: Cinefiesta

Cinefiesta is the international short film festival held annually by The Film Foundation of Puerto Rico.

We are inviting you to enter and pass on this festival news to your friends and colleagues in creative industries who might be interested.

Click on this link to see the quick clip and go to the official website for information and submissions.

There is no registration fee to enter. Submission is ENTIRELY FREE.

Call for Submissions: The ATVF 2010 Festival/Forum

The mission and prime directive of the Access Television and Video Festival is right in our title: Access. Imagine gaining access to pros working in the broadcast business today. Now imagine getting personalized help and constructive support in taking your premise or short reel to the next level. As a finalist, you would have total access to feedback, schedule meetings with producers and begin to convert what you've been dreaming about into a full blown series ready for distribution on a television or web outlet.

The Grand Prize is a one year development contract with DRL MEDIA to fully develop your concept and ultimately bring it to major network, cable and Internet distributors. We'll also screen the finalists online as well as hosting an intimate private screening at a premier venue in NYC for those who are awarded a development deal.

Regular Deadline: May 24, 2010
For details and submission information, please visit the ATVF website.

And even if you don't make it to the final development phase, for those who are in the ballpark, we'll give a meaningful and constructive critique of your video. Maybe it's just a little tightening of a couple of edits or the needed addition of a montage that is holding the piece back. Maybe the music is telegraphing the wrong message. Whatever the reason, your experience at ATVF will give you a clearer idea of where your work stands in relation to the marketplace.

We were proud to award four development deals in 2009 to some undiscovered talent, maybe this is your year to break away from the wannabe pack and get the access you need to get your project to the screen.

The only thing left for you to do, is let us see your work!

  The Family Film Hollywood Didn't Want To Make
( - A new film The Perfect Game has many similar elements to The Blind Side except the sport is baseball, the story originates in Mexico and moves to the United States, the leads play Mexicans, and no A-List stars. FULL STORY

New 'Shrek' Film Premieres at Tribeca
(AP) - One thing hasn't changed with "Shrek": Puss in Boots still steals the show. The fourth and supposedly final "Shrek" film, "Shrek Forever After," premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday night at New York's Ziegfeld Theatre. 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

Boston Latino TV Covers NALIP 2010

This week's Boston Latino TV features special coverage of the NALIP 2010 conference! Click here to watch the video with highlights from the conference and the gala dinner.

Abby Ginzberg
NALIPster's film screening at Cine Las Americas

NALIP member Abby Ginzberg's film Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice will have its Southwest premiere at the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival on Sunday, April 25 at 3:00pm. This FREE screening, open to the public, will be at the Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street, Austin.

During his extraordinary life, Cruz Reynoso, the son of farm workers who became the first Latino to be appointed to the California Supreme Court, has been one of those rare individuals who are not only shaped by history-they make history. Sowing the Seeds of Justice paints a portrait of Cruz Reynoso, a man who felt the sting of injustice as a child and later, as a lawyer, judge and teacher, fought for over five decades to eradicate discrimination and inequality for all.

NALIPsters Bring New Play, Ojalá, to Casa 0101

NALIP mentor and award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer Josefina Lopez brings a new play to CASA 0101 written by NALIP member Jennifer Berry and directed by NALIP member Elizabeth Otero de Espinoza. Ojalá explores the cultural phenomenon of Mexican nanny-maids and the affluent white children they help raise.

Ojalá opens May 7th, 2010 and runs through June 6th, 2010. Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm. $15 General Admission, $12 Seniors / Students, $10 Boyle Heights Residents. Tickets are available at or by phoning 323.263.7684.

The word "Ojalá" is a Spanish word that means, "I hope so," "let' s hope so" or "God willing." Ojalá, the play, is the tale of two desperate women: Manuela, a brilliant Mexican immigrant and Kathrine, an impulsive and misunderstood socialite. Both jilted by the men they love, their lives collide as they are forced to live together and confront betrayal, captivity and loss, all as they tend to Hope, the little girl who will determine their future.

This play reflects the politics and place of Los Angeles's Eastside in the mid-1960s, as well as the lives of these two women and their vying communities. Ojala translates the constant, often strained dialogue between those of Mexican heritage and Whites as they strive for meaning and justice. It also reveals a generation of Whites and Mexican heritage women who have been influenced by the collision of these two cultures. The relationship that this play is based on helped inspire an editorial by Gregory Rodriguez, "Tell Mama About It," in the Los Angeles Times.

Ojalá is directed by Elizabeth Otero de Espinoza. Elizabeth is an award-winning playwright and film director and a Theater Arts graduate of the University of New Mexico and a recipient of the Kennedy Center's Si TV playwriting award for her play, Gas. Elizabeth has directed other plays at Casa 0101 including Thy Kingdom Come and Gas.

Cast of players- Claudia Duran, Jillann Gabrielle, Julia Sanchez, Sheila Korsi, Lindsay Lane, Pedro Lopez, Victor Lopez, Carmelita Maldonado, Diana Mera, Julie Sanchez, Dave Trejo, and Joel Zaldivar.

Playwright's statement by Jennifer Berry:

I came of age in Los Angeles at the beginning of the women's movement. Like so many privileged white children, I lived in two cultures. Manuela, my beloved nanny, helped raise me. I spoke Spanish with "Mana," English with everyone else. Though my family ate Crockpot casseroles, my favorite food as a child was chicken mole, my favorite treat was bunuelos. To me, English was the harsher language: more rigid, less fluid. When I spoke with "Mana," we entered a world that was like a beautiful and gentle secret garden where white adults never entered.

I loved my nanny and continued to have a relationship with her until her death in 2004. There are many others like me, White children who spent the majority of their childhoods in homes with women from very different backgrounds where life-altering relationships formed. I wrote this play because I wanted to honor Manuela, my real life nanny, for all the wonderful nurturing she gave me. Her integrity still provides me with my moral compass.

As Josefina Lopez says of the challenges exploring the intimate relationship between Latinas and Whites in Los Angeles, "Most non-Latino writers tend to rob Latina maids and servants of their dignity by portraying them as victims even though they have good intentions, so it was refreshing and touching to read a story written by someone who was not Latino who captured the authenticity and dignity of a Latina nanny. Manuela, the protagonist in Ojalá, is an intelligent woman, fluent in two languages, brave and with the conviction to live her life in a way that is true to her personal morality. I also felt that it was important to show with this play that women are powerful, especially when they work together."

Conscientious Objector Launches New Website

SETROC Entertainment has completed principal photography on Conscientious Objector, and has launched a new website for the project. The short film - which had many NALIPsters involved - is the directorial debut of the film's lead actor, screenwriter and executive producer J.W. Cortes and features the talent of production team members Martin Chavez, Michael Jasionowski, Edwin Pagan and Jamie Younghans.

Conscientious Objector tells the story of Jason Cruz, an Iraq war veteran arrested amidst allegations of murdering unarmed Iraqi children. The film was shot primarily in New York and features locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn which double for war torn Iraq.

Cortes, a former Marine and veteran of the Iraq war, states "I know we can't tell every story of every major war or dramatic event but I felt this was one that I could tell on the very simple premise that I lived through it." Co-producer and locations supervisor, Jaime Younghans, states that the film's visual authenticity makes it unique for a short film. "With a limited budget, we've created something that was initially innate and through a tremendous amount of perseverance and hard-work we relived Jason Cruz's story on-screen."


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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.