Latinos In The Industry

Network Television Diversity Report Cards: 2008-2009 Primetime

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of a national movement to change the face of television in this country. In 1999 - 2000, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, a group comprised of the National Latino Media Council (NLMC), the National Asian/Pacific American Media Coalition, the NAACP and the American Indians in Film and Television, persuaded the four major television networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, to signunprecedented Memoranda of Understanding. Before these memoranda were signed, we saw much fewer people of color on television than we do today.

The Memoranda serve to diversify the networks' workforce both in front and behind the camera and to open up procurement opportunities for people of color. These initiatives have incrementally increased diversity over the past ten years; however, the job is far from complete. In 1999, Greg Braxton, of the Los Angeles Times, wrote that out of the 24 new shows debuting at ABC, NBC CBS, and FOX, there was not one single person of color in a lead or regular role. Ten years later, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) reports the following breakdown of film and TV roles for 2008: 72.5% Caucasian, 13.3% African-American, 6.4% Latino-Hispanic, 3.8% Asian & Pacific Islander, .03% Native American and 3.8% other/unknown.

The 9th annual "Report Cards" summarize the progress and/or shortfalls of the networks' efforts to diversify their workforce and increase minority vendor contracts in calendar year 2009.


Call for Entries: CineFestival en San Antonio

CineFestival en San Antonio, the nation's oldest Latino film festival, is seeking films for its 32nd anniversary celebration, which will take place from February 4-7, 2010 at the historic Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas.

CineFestival is seeking the best Latino features, shorts, documentaries, animation, experimental films and youth works for its 32nd annual festival. The CineFestival submission postmark deadline is Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, and there's no submission fee.

For information on how to submit a film or to download the Call for Entries, visit

The four-day event, which kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, will feature screenings, workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, gala celebrations and musical performances. Innovative uses of new technology will also be highlighted through competitions, demonstrations of new cameras and software, and the involvement of youth filmmakers from video programs throughout San Antonio.

CineFestival will also feature the prestigious Premio Mesquite audience award and juried awards for Best Feature, Best Short, Best Documentary, and Emerging Artist.

For more information, contact Manuel Solis at

Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza, Dec. 11-13

Following a successful festival last year, the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza is back for its 5th edition! Hot on the heels of her most recent Imagen award, founder and writer of the award-winning film Real Women Have Curves, NALIP member and mentor Josefina Lopez, Festival Director Yolie Cortez and everyone at CASA 0101, are proud to announce the 5th Annual BHLIFE Film Festival taking place December 11th - 13th at CASA 0101, 2009 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033.

This year, BHLIFE is proud to be honoring and screening two films, A Crushing Love and Chicana, by renowned filmmaker and NALIP founding member Sylvia Morales, who has directed, written, produced and edited award winning and nationally recognized film and video work for the last 30 years. Her body of work includes, directing episodes from the three seasons of Showtimes' groundbreaking series Resurrection Blvd. and writing and directing for the Showtime series Women: Stories of Passion. Ms. Morales was also included in one of the producing and writing teams for the award winning series Chicano! The Mexican Civil Rights Movement for PBS. She also directed for the ACE and Emmy nominated six-hour series, A Century of Women, which focused on 20th Century U.S. women for Turner Broadcasting.

BHLIFE is a film festival that features the creative work of Latina filmmakers from the U.S. and South America. BHLIFE is the first film festival to focus on the works of Latina directors, it was created to build a network of Latina filmmakers and to increase awareness of the growing number of Latinas working behind the camera. These films constitute a body of work that act as a powerful statement against the stereotypical portrayals of Latinas on and off-screen.

Sponsors and contributors for this year's festival include, T52 Telemundo, Final Draft, Inc., Latin Heat Magazine and JOICO just to name a few.

For details on how to attend our festival or to get involved with BHLIFE, visit: Direct questions to Festival Director Yolie Cortez at You can also visit: or follow us on Twitter at

El Museo del Barrio Renames "Spic Up/Speak Out!" Poetry Series

By Julia, The Village Voice

El Museo del Barrio, the East Harlem museum of Puerto Rican, Latin American and Caribbean cultures, has abandoned its attempt to defang the word "spic" by using it in the title of their current hispanic poetry series.

The use of the traditional anti-hispanic slur for the Spic Up/Speak Out series has been hotly debated since its opening November 20th. Supporters, like participating neo-Nuyorican poet Emanuel Xavier, held that el Museo was creating a safe space to allow a discussion. "For me, it's about empowerment. Look at everything we have done and accomplished. And it is a play on the word. We are speaking out our truths and identities in very perfect English."

Opponents felt that the negative connotations of the word weren't redeemed by the setting. Poet Rich Villar of the Acentos Foundation, which promotes "latin@" writers, rejected the re-appropriation argument:

We didn't hear it from other Latinos. We didn't inoculate ourselves against its weight by hollering it from our cars, or our hallways, or our windows. In our homes, our parents never used it. Because our parents were chased by it, had it bounced off their skulls, found a fist at the end of it. Because we knew better. Because we were taught better.

We don't use the word because it's a throwback with no resale value. It is bankrupt. It is wack. It's the kind of word that conjures the cops from West Side Story. We will admit to the acronym: Spanish People in Charge. Yes, we still claim John Leguizamo. But we didn't use it for identifier, salve, naming, or renaming. We didn't invent it like we invented Nuyorican, Xicano, Latino. It was invented for us, like slavery and colonialism was invented for us. And we reject it.

El Museo says they're changing the title of the series because of complaints. Moving forward, the series will be called "Speak Up!/Speak Out!"

CA Arts Plate Fees are Charitable Deductions

A recent clarification from a state tax agency could be a significant boon for the arts in the state. California Arts License Plate fees are charitable deductions to the State of California for tax purposes, according to the Franchise Tax Board. The clarification comes just in time for the holidays and end-of-year charitable planning and serves as a platform to launch a goal of affixing one million new arts plates to California cars.

The recent clarification is especially helpful for businesses and residents looking to support arts statewide. Sales and renewals of the Arts Plate account for over 60 percent of the California Arts Council's budget. Currently the state's per capita investment in the arts is around 10 cents per person even with the Arts Plate funds, putting California in last place compared to other states in the nation.

Click here for information about how to order a California Arts License Plate.

"It's a crucial time for the arts in California," said Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Chair of the California Arts Council. "Our economy relies on creative minds, artistic organizations and innovative workers, yet our per capita state investment in the arts is the lowest in the nation. Individuals and businesses can help change that by buying Arts Plates, especially for the upcoming holidays and as part of end-of-year charitable donations."

"One million cars with California Arts Plates would mean close to $40 million for the arts," continued Feruzzi Shriver. "That would put California near the top in arts funding rather than dead last."

Whether the additional fees Californians voluntarily pay for Arts Plates were considered a charitable contribution to the State of California was in question for years.

The California Arts Council is the state agency that advances California through the arts and creativity, and the agency's programs emphasize arts for children and communities. The Arts Plate, designed by California artist Wayne Thiebaud, first hit the roadways in 1994. Since then sales and renewals of the plate have provided over $20 million for the arts in California. Fees for sales and renewals of the Arts Plate go directly into the Arts Plate Fund, minus the Department of Motor Vehicles' cost to fabricate and administer the plate.

For more information about the California Arts License Plate, contact the California Arts Council's communication director Mary Beth Barber at

MySpace Show 'Married' to SiTV
(Variety) - The future of "Married on MySpace" couple Elle and Tito will play out on SiTV. Endemol USA is spinning off the popular Web series as the reality show "Elle & Tito: The Married Life," which will air on the Latino broadcaster beginning in March. FULL STORY

Cynthia Cidre Set to Write Reboot of Dallas for TNT
(Latin Heat) - Cuban-born screenwriter Cynthia Cidre, creator of the short-lived but fondly remembered family drama Cane, has been chosen to write the new “reboot” of Dallas for TNT. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Program Manager at Grantmakers in the Arts (Seattle)
Grantmakers in the Arts - a national nonprofit membership organization of arts and culture - is hiring a program manager. 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

Luis Guerrero & Chris Lemos
NALIPsters co-executive produce Armored

NALIPsters Luis Guerrero and Chris Lemos were co-executive producers of their first film, Armored, which opened this past weekend through Screen Gems. Guerrero was long time assistant to NALIP founder Moctesuma Esparza; Lemos, also a writer, was teamed with Donald DeLine. The heist picture starring Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno and others was based on a spec picked up by Guerrero and Lemos.

The film is about a newbie guard for an armored truck company who is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $42 million. But a wrinkle in their supposedly foolproof plan divides the group, leading to a potentially deadly resolution.

Annette Murphy
NALIPster's film wins IFP's Adrienne Shelly Directors Grant

IFP has announced Christina Beck's Perfection as the winner of its annual Adrienne Shelly Directors Grant. NALIP member Annette Murphy (LPA 2009) is producing the film.

The $5,000 unrestricted grant to a female director alumnus of IFP's Independent Filmmaker Labs is given by The Adrienne Shelly Foundation in memory of actor and filmmaker Adrienne Shelly. This is the third year this award has provided support to one of IFP's talented first-time female directors; previous winners of the Grant were Dia Sokol (dir. Sorry, Thanks, world premiere SXSW 2008) and Eunhee Cho (Inner Circle Line, world premiere Rotterdam 2006).

Perfection is the story of Kristabelle, a woman in her thirties still living at home, who cuts herself to feel alive. She lives with her mother, who is also addicted to cutting through plastic surgery to maintain her youth. Through the help of a pot smoking young lover, a newly sober British comic and a little Chinese medicine, both women soon find that love can be more than skin deep. The film is currently in post-production and working towards a 2010 festival premiere.


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