Latinos In The Industry
 
October 8, 2009 ANNOUNCEMENTS    NEWS    JOBS & OPPORTUNITIES
 
 
Announcements
 

NALIPsters in the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

The 13th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) will present the best of Latino filmmaking from October 11-16 at the Mann Chinese 6 Cinemas in Hollywood, including many films by NALIP Members. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see these great NALIPster films on the big screen!

Films with NALIP members involved are listed below, with NALIPsters' names in bold. Screening dates and times have recently been announced and are also listed. Click on BUY TICKET to purchase a ticket to any of the screenings. For more information about the festival visit the LALIFF website.

NARRATIVE FEATURES

DON'T LET ME DROWN
UNITED STATES

At the center of Cruz Angeles's compelling first feature are Lalo (E.J. Bonilla) and Stefanie (Gleendilys Inoa), two high school kids living in Brooklyn. Lalo comes from a Mexican immigrant family that struggles financially. His father (Damian Alcazar), formerly a janitor at the World Trade Center, now works at Ground Zero cleaning up debris while his mother (Yareli Arizmendi) tries to hold the family together, her father (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) is overwhelmed by the loss and cannot control his anger. In the midst of their family turmoil and exactly one mont after the WTC attacks, Lalo and Stefanie meet at a birthday party, and although they start off on the wrong foot, the ice melts, and their budding friendship becomes a clandestine romance. Don't Let Me Drown features an elegantly poignant story, layered characters and standout performances. The tectures of the city and the lives of the families are shaded with a wistful sense of struggle but the heart of the film is a refreshing and honest love story.

Director Cruz Angeles (NALIP 2009 Estela Award Winner)
Screenwriters Cruz Angeles, Maria Topete
Producers Maria Topete, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy, James Lawler
Executive Producers Virgil Price, Ian McGloin, Jamie Mai, Charlie Ledley
Director of Photography Chad Davidson
Cast E.J. Bonilla, Gleendilys Inoa, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Yareli Arizmendi, Damian Alcazar, Raul Castillo, Adrian Martinez
Film Language English and Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Wednesday October 14 @ 9:30pm BUY TICKET


LA SOGA

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

La Soga is a film of such raw energy and ragged beauty that these elements alone would justify its viewing. Beyond this, though, it contains a story both timely and timeless, brutal and elegant, for what is at stake is the redemption of a man's soul. In a poor neighborhood in Santiago, Dominican Republic, where the streets are run by "boomerang" drug dealers (thugs who have been deported from the United States back to their homeland), a modest butcher struggles to raise his sensitive ten-year-old boy, Luisito (Fantino Fernandez). After witnessing the murder of his father by a vicious New York criminal named Rafa, Luisito meets General Colon (Juan Fernandez), head of the Dominican secret police. Colon preys on the boy's desire for revenge, transforming him into a heartless killer. Twenty years later, Luisito (Manny Perez) has risen to become Colon's top assassin, perpetually kept in control by the general's promise to deliver his father's killer, who has fled to New York. Into Luisito's emotionally hollow world comes Jenny (Denise Quiñones), a childhood sweetheart. Unaware of his occupation, Jenny falls again for Luisito, and the tenderness she shows him rekindles his dormant conscience. As his eyes begin to open to the corruption around him, he struggles to cope with the actions of both his past and present. Recrimination, guilt and fury bubble up until he is forced to risk his life in order to alter its path. [Click here to read the review in Variety]

Director Josh Crook
Screenwriter Manny Perez
Producers Manny Perez, Josh Crook, Jeffrey Crook
Executive Producer Patrick Pope, Jose Miguel Bonetti, Henry Mu, Celines Toribio
Cast Manny Perez, Denise Quiñones, Juan Fernández, Paul Calderón, Fantino Fernández
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Thursday October 15 @ 5:00pm BUY TICKET


AMAR A MORIR
MEXICO-COLOMBIA

Mexico City, the present: Alejandro Vizcaino is the sole heir to the assets of Vizcaino Incorporated, a vast banking empire built by his father Ricardo. But Alejandro's father is oppressively controlling, his business practices and his cronies are highly corrupt. When Alejandro can take no more, he, in an act of rebellion, drag-races along a Mexico City street. A terrible accident happens, one that shakes him to the core, one that makes him realize he must escape the world into which he was born. Risking the loss of an unimaginable inheritance, Alejandro flees down a Mexican highway, takes a wrong turn, and is stranded in a poor, remote, beachside community where nomadic surfers go to surf. It's there he sees Rosa, a local girl, beautiful as an exotic rose, who rides by on a bike and disappears into the night as suddenly as she first appeared. For Alejandro, it is an inexplicable, ineffable love at first sight. But it will be a love for which Alejandro will have to fight, and fight hard, for Rosa lives under the controlling grip of El Tigre, the local drug lord who is feared in all the town. Alejandro plots Rosa's escape, and together they take flight in a race for their lives, as El Tigre follows in mad pursuit. They feel no fear, for whatever happens, theirs, they know, is a lifetime love that will be to the death, amar a morir.

Director Fernando Lebrija
Screenwriters Fernando Lebrija, Harrison Reiner (NALIP Mentor)
Producers Fernando Lebrija, Harrison Reiner, Miguel Angel Boccaloni, Matthias Ehrenberg, David Wisnievitz
Co-Producers Radu Ion, Paula Jaramillo
Cast José María De Tavira, Martina García, Alberto Estrella, Raúl Méndez, Craig Mclachlan, Mayra Serbulo, Silverio Palacios, Miguel Rodarte, Sergio Jurado
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Monday October 12 @ 9:25pm BUY TICKET


MORENITA
MEXICO

Homing pigeons, drug lords and the Virgin of Guadalupe all come into play in Morenita. Add familial ties and the testing of one's faith and the result is an extraordinary film. Mateo Cruz, desperate to save his family from a notorious drug dealer, causes absolute pandemonium when he kidnaps Mexico and Latin America's most adored religious icon, the Virgin of Guadalupe to get money for the ransom.

Director Alan Jonsson Gavica
Screenwriters Alan Jonsson Gavica, Annabel Oakes
Producer Ozcar Ramirez
Cast Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Mario Almada, Everardo Arzate, Michelle Marie Benoit, Octavio Castro, Freedom, Dagoberto Gama, Horacio Garcia Rojas, Ianis Guerrero, Jose Carlos Ruiz, Alfredo Sevilla, Pedro Weber "Chatanuga", Maya Zapata
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Tuesday October 13 @ 3:00pm BUY TICKET
Screening Time: Thursday October 15 @ 7:05pm BUY TICKET


EL PREMIO
PERU

Durant Alex is having an affair with his cousin Lisbet, a young woman married to a taxi driver who is involved in fraudulent dealings. When Alex and Lisbet are fired from the shop where they work, Alex turns to selling porn films in Lima's Polvos Azules market. Antonio, who is Alex's father, wins the lottery and travels to Lima to collect the money and visit the son he has not seen in years. Antonio has no idea how his luck will change the rest of his life.

Director Alberto Chicho Durant
Screenwriter Alberto Chicho Durant
Producers Jose Ramon Novoa, Elart Coello
Executive Producers Alberto Chicho Durant, Gustavo Sanchez
Cast Melania Urbina, Jose Luis Ruiz, Emanuel Soriano
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Wednesday October 14 @ 5:00pm BUY TICKET


EL LINCE PERDIDO (THE MISSING LYNX)
SPAIN

The film chronicles the misadventures of a group of animals as they avoid being kidnapped by an unscrupulous hunter hired by a benevolent millionaire, Noah. The eccentric old man, aware of the unstoppable destruction of nature, hatches a secret plan. To help, he recruits Newmann, a cold-blooded hunter. But even the most experienced hunter will face endless problems trying to capture our animal heroes led by Felix, a jinxed lynx who ultimately prevails by commanding a rag tag bunch of brave animals. The hunter and the preys confront each other in this exciting game of survival and unlikely friendship and heroism.

Directors Manuel Sicilia, Raul Garcia
Screenwriters Manuel Sicilia, Raul Garcia, Jose Enrique Machuca
Producers Manuel Sicilia, Marcelino Almansa, Juan Molina, Manuel Cristobal
Executive Producers Manuel Cristobal, Antonio Meliveo, Enrique Posner
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Monday October 12 @ 5:15pm BUY TICKET


DARK MIRROR
UNITED STATES

Dark Mirror is a supernatural thriller about a beautiful Latina photographer named Deborah. When she and her family move into a strange old house, her happy life is turned upside down. First, Deborah sees things - horrible visions, a hooded stalker -- that make her increasingly paranoid and housebound. She changes from confident professional woman into obsessed housewife. She even becomes frightened of her own camera. Every time she takes pictures of people, they disappear. One day, in a fit of anger, Deborah decides to use this power against someone; she photographs her sexy neighbor flirting with her husband. And it works! Her neighbor disappears. But Deborah realizes to her horror... she's also taken pictures of her own husband and son.

Director Pablo Proenza
Screenwriters Pablo Proenza, Matt Reynolds
Producer Erin Ploss-Campoamor
Cast Lisa Vidal, Lupe Ontiveros, David Chisum, Christine Lakin, Joshua Pelegrin, Tucker Smallwood, David Farkas, John Newton
Film Language English
Screening Time: Wednesday October 14 @ 11:45pm BUY TICKET


DOWN FOR LIFE
UNITED STATES

Based on a New York Times article, Down For Life depicts a fateful day in the life of a 15-year-old Latina gang leader 'Rascal', beautifully portrayed by first-time actor Jessica Romero. Leaving the gang, Rascal discovers, is much more difficult than joining. Her situation is further complicated by racial tensions between her Latina gang and a rival black girl gang, a frequent problem today in Los Angeles schools. Down For Life presents a raw, authentic look at a teenager's life in the ghetto. It was filmed entirely on location in Los Angeles, including at Locke High School where the original article and real-life story took place. It stars local youths who, in their first time in front of the camera, deliver powerful performances.

Director Alan Jacobs
Screenwriters Alan Jacobs, Trina Calderon
Producers Scott William Alvarez, Frank Aragon, Erika Armin, Robert Dolan, Peter Holden
Casting Rosalinda Morales (NALIP Mentor)
Cast Laz Alonso, Calvin Broadus, Kate del Castillo, Elizabeth Pena, Emily Rios, Danny Glover, Jessica Romero
Film Language English
Screening Time: Thursday October 15 @ 7:00pm BUY TICKET

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

CHILDREN OF THE AMAZON
BRAZIL

The genesis of Denise Zmekhol's documentary Children of the Amazon took root in 1993, when Zmekhol, then working as a photographer, shot images of two obscure tribes in the Amazonian jungles of Brazil. She felt deeply intrigued by the subjects at that time, but soon left. A decade and a half away from the locale wrought tremendously unfavorable changes on the region - including, most pointedly, the construction of a modern highway straight through the heart of it all. Finally, Zmekhol journeyed back into the jungle in 2008 to film and document the aftereffects of the roads on the tribal children. In the resultant film, Children of the Amazon, Zmekhol observes a bittersweet tale: though the said highway has effectively connected the tribal members to the remainder of Brazil, it has also forged connections to loggers and farmers, and destroyed the unique conception of "forest time" so prevalent in the tribal communities. The motion picture intercuts intimate and revealing interviews with tribal members, and Zmekhol's own poetic meditations on environmental destruction and renewal, before moving into a discussion of local grassroots efforts to protect the dwindling rainforests.

Director Denise Zmekhol
Screenwriters Denise Bostrom, Ellen Bruno, Olivia Crawford, Michael J. Moore
Producers Denis Zmekhol, Jane Greenberg
Film Language English and Portuguese / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Tuesday October 13 @ 5:45pm BUY TICKET


LATIN MUSIC USA: BRIDGES CHICANO WAVE
UNITED STATES

Valadez Mexican-Americans create their own distinct musical voices during the second half of the 20th century catalyzing the struggle for Chicano civil rights and ultimately propelling them from the barrio to the national stage.

Director John Jay Valadez
Screenwriters John J. Valadez, David Espar
Producer John J. Valadez
Co-Producer Laurens Grant
Executive Producer Elizabeth Deane
Senior Producer Adriana Bosch
Director of Photography Vicente Franco
Film Language English
Screening Time: Wednesday October 14 @ 9:35pm
Free Screening first come first serve


LATIN MUSIC USA: BRIDGES DIVAS AND SUPERSTARS
UNITED STATES

As studios focus on star-driven pop, Latino youth gravitate toward urban fusions-Spanish rap and reggaeton.

Director Adriana Bosch
Screenwriter Adriana Bosch
Producer Adriana Bosch, Joe Cardona
Film Language English
Screening Time: Wednesday October 14 @ 9:35pm
Free Screening first come first serve


NEW MUSLIM COOL
UNITED STATES

Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Perez left drug dealing 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim. Now he's moved to Pittsburgh's tough North Side to start a new religious community for African American and Latino Muslims, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to the streets through his uncompromising hip-hop music. Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and challenge himself. He starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his faith, discovering new connections with people from Christian and Jewish communities.

Director Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Screenwriter Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Producer Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Executive Producers Simon Kilmurry for American Documentary/P.O.V., Patricia Boero (NALIP Mentor) for Latino Public Broadcasting, Stephen Gong for Center for Asian American Media
Film Language English and Spanish / Subtitles English
Screening Time: Wednesday October 14 @ 5:20pm BUY TICKET


SHORTS PROGRAM: BORDER STORIES
Monday October 12 @5:00 pm BUY TICKET

THE BOOK OF THE BORDER
UNITED STATES / MEXICO

The Book of the Border is a film about the end of a family. A seemingly normal day in the life of a father, mother and daughter, split by the U.S./Mexico border, becomes the last one they will share as a family.

Director Andres Torres-Vives
Screenwriter Andres Torres-Vives
Producers Enrique Herrera, Xochitl Dorsey, Laura Irene Arvisu, Andres Torres-Vives
Associate Producer Karina Garcia Pardo
Casting Rosalinda Morales (NALIP Mentor)
Cast Isabel Chavez Maria, Rigo Sanchez Juan, Viridiana Serna Vizcarra Lucia
Film Language Spanish, English / Subtitles English


NIÑA QUEBRADA (BROKEN GIRL)
UNITED STATES

Niña Quebrada is the story of Lucena, a teenage girl who runs away from her family in Mexico for the love of a boyfriend who promises her a better life in Los Angeles. The reality, unbeknown to her, is that she has been sold into sex slavery. Against the backdrop of an illegal cockfighting ring, Lucena must fight for her life to escape the horrors of this nightmarish world of child prostitution and human trafficking.

Screenwriters Diana Romero, Danny Klein, Jen Kleiner Based on the Story by Diana Romero
Producer Diana Romero
Cast Yvette Yates, Ehecatl Chavez, Lily Tinoco, Geoffrey Rivas, Maria Diaz, Freddy Douglas, Rick Ferro, Shawn Williams, Ken Weiner, Lucki Wheating, Jessenia Quiroz, Jennie Espinoza, Ronald Remis, Gary Lamoin, Wayne Nickel, Gladys Otero, Cesar Espinoza, Jimmy May, Emily Nelson, Caroline Luat, Alex Bey
Film Language English, Spanish / Subtitles English


TIJUANEROS
UNITED STATES / MEXICO

Pedro is an aspiring photographer who must decide to pawn his camera for a gun when he photographs the murder of his best friend. Pedro is back in Tijuana from the US. When he arrives, Pedro is shocked to discover that his friend Emma is now with his childhood sweetheart Claudia and an aspiring narco trafficker. When a verbal argument turns for the worse and results in Emma's death, it sends Pedro on an episodic journey where he must confront his fears in a city he no longer understands and a woman who no longer loves him. Choice and revenge is at the heart of Tijuaneros - a story of life and death.

Director Paul Bobadilla
Screenwriter Paul Bobadilla
Based on the Story by Chris Frazier
Producer Mamito Kukwikila
Executive Producer Jose Bobadilla
Cast Carlos Padilla, Giancarlo Vidrio, Yvette Yates, Al Cornel, Marco Perez, Martin Morales
Film Language Spanish, English / Subtitles English


SHORTS PROGRAM: COMEDY
Monday October 12 @ 7:15 pm BUY TICKET
Wednesday October 14 @ 3:00 pm BUY TICKET

EL TRIP
UNITED STATES

El Trip is an adventurous journey between four friends who live in Mexicali B.C. and travel across the border to see the premiere of the movie, "The Doors". Much to their surprise, they arrive a week early and decide to return to Mexico. Before they make it across the border, they are caught smoking weed in Fernando's VW Bus by the police and are faced with an emotional rollercoaster. After a chaotic close call, they make a mad dash to the border, and play their luck in Mexico.

Director Ventura Montoya
Screenwriter Ventura Montoya
Producer Ventura Montoya
Cast Hector Said Ochoa, Gerardo Sandoval, Miguel Garcia Rodriguez, Ricardo Garcia Ruiz, Nico Staub, Mario Armenta, Fernando Esquer, Cristina Burgos, Paloma Tarazon, Maria Yolanda Reyes
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English


EL TUX (THE TUX)
UNITED STATES

Chubby and shy Bobby Gomez jumps at the chance to be a last-minute escort for his dream girl, Suzy Lopez and her quinceanera, but when he can't find a tuxedo fast enough in his size, he's forced to borrow his father's very special tuxedo.

Director Paco Farias
Screenwriter Paco Farias
Producers Jennifer Stetson
Executive Producer Clay Westervelt
Cast Harvey Guillen, Shelbie Bruce, Daniel Mora, Monica Guzman, Robbie Bruce
Film Language English


SHORTS PROGRAM: CITY STORIES
Monday October 12 @9:35 pm BUY TICKET

RISING UP
UNITED STATES

Rising Up takes a look into the life of a Tee, one of the most renowned thugs of Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, after he is shot. Once Tee is back home from the hospital he must come to terms with his new status as the paralyzed gangster. The love, respect, and fear he once commanded are now in question. Will Tee be able to adjust to his new life or will insecurities tear him apart from the inside out.

Director Eduardo Letamendi
Screenwriter Eduardo Letamendi
Producer Eduardo Letamendi
Cast Ramses Jimenez, Phil Camacho, Christina De Leon, Ana Maria Alvarez
Film Language English, Spanish / Subtitles English


SHORTS PROGRAM: DRAMA/FAMILY
Tuesday October 13 @5:50 pm BUY TICKET

CLEATS
UNITED STATES

Each morning, shrouded by early morning fog, two pairs of hands sort through curbside garbage cans for bottles and cans. Hours before their full time jobs as housekeeper and mechanic, Sr. and Sra. Martinez rise at dawn to gather recyclables destined for the redemption center, building an inheritance one nickel at a time for their son at Harvard University on scholarship. A story about one immigrant family's unflagging belief in the American Dream, Cleats is a short film inspired by a true story of sacrifice and dignity, where a family's humble yet heroic acts help make each other's dreams come true.

Director Maria Agui Carter (NALIP Executive Board Member)
Screenwriter Maria Agui Carter
Producer Sarah Schenck
Director of Photography Edwin Pagan
Cast Christian Ortega, Brenda Garcia, Ted Mejia
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English


DEATH RATTLE
UNITED STATES

A young man looks back on his senior year while living in a small South Texas town, were gossip can sometimes be a curse to some and a blessing to others.

Director A.J. Garces
Screenwriter Amparo Garcia Crow
Producer A.J. Garces
Executive Producer Amparo Garcia Crow
Cast Alejandro Rose Garcia, T.J. Gonzaleaz, Amanda Vaez Philips, Myrna Cabello, Anna Maria Garcia
Film Language English


SHORTS PROGRAM: DRAMA/LOSS
Tuesday October 13 @ 9:20 pm BUY TICKET

HACIA LA VIDA
UNITED STATES / MEXICO

While on the job as a funeral crier for hire, Soledad, an older woman meets Salvador, a young man who is there to mourn the death of a woman he never met... his own mother.

Director Fidel Arizmendi
Screenwriter Fidel Arizmendi
Producers Fernando Ruiz de Luna, Fidel Arizmendi
Executive Producers Pablo Barroso, Fidel Arizmendi, Fernando Ruiz de Luna
Editors Jesus Silva
Cast Lupe Ontiveros, Alejandro Edda, Eliana Alexander, Lidia Pires
Film Language Spanish / Subtitles English


THE MEMORY OF WHEN

UNITED STATES

Rebecca is in orgasmic bliss with Thad. Suddenly, he is not there. She is on the phone with her best friend who tells her to move on with her life and not to push her friends aside. Later, the phone rings. It echoes throughout Rebecca's empty rooms in her apartment. She looks out her window. She remembers blissful times eating breakfast with Thad the day they went to the beach. She then throws out her mementos of that day, or does she? She once again thinks of a nice meal with Thad. Suddenly, she starts to cry in the dark at the dinner table, set for two. His ghostly image appears. She smiles. He disappears again.

Director Gary Perez
Screenwriter Gary Perez
Producers William Mueller, Marta McGonagle
Executive Producer Camillia Sanes
Cast Patrizia Milano, Ed Trucco
Film Language English


LPA Fellow Reports on new West Coast Documentary and Reality Conference

WestDoc: Documenters and Merchants of Reality

By Chelo Alvarez-Stehle

Diversity, global, international... Are these terms too revolutionary for some of the American networks?

You may have discovered how some in the cable industry view these concepts if you attended WestDoc, a gathering of professional reality seekers that has sprouted in the shade Hollywood. As an alternative to the traditional and well-established documentary conferences in North America, all of them focused on the East Coast (ReelScreen, SilverDocs, IFP, HotDocs), WestDoc wants to make the "LeftCoast" a breeding ground for the many talented filmmakers who wander the labyrinths of this city's entertainment industry trying to get their creative ideas on screen.

"I fly to Cannes to meet someone who lives 20 minutes from me," said co-founder Richard Propper, CEO of Solid Entertainment. "I realized that there is not a single event for documentary filmmakers on the West Coast, except for the film festivals--but they are not a specialized conference about filmmaking. This event, where people are touchable, provides a basic infrastructure and framework to sell ideas."

Held in Santa Monica, CA, Sept. 14-16, not far from the NALIP headquarters, The West Coast Documentary and Reality Conference was an unpredictable attempt at bringing two very distinct sects of non-fiction filmmakers face to face: the documenters of reality on one hand, and the merchants of reality on the other. (Their only commonality being the 'non' in non-fiction).

The casually attired independent documentary filmmakers seemed to enjoy the chance to mingle with the slicker looking network and production company executives that attended the event, if only because of the cash they could potentially bring to their projects. But there is no guarantee that mixing passionate, and often starving documentary filmmakers, who portray the Dickensian reality of our time, together with reality TV producers, whose unscripted shows have more to do with the wave of TV-voyeurism (the big brothers and survivors) or wannabe millionaires (from losers to idols minus the slum), will make a good cocktail.

John Ferriter, Worldwide Head of Non-Scripted Television, William Morris Agency (WME), and a panelist at the "On the Future of Reality TV" session, said, "We think of reality TV as a four-letter word, "c-a-s-h". We like to call it "alternative TV", because it has a better ring to it, but it is not alternative anymore." It has, in fact, become a global fad, its popularity increasing probably due to socioeconomic factors.

"This is an unlikely marriage of the totally creative and the reality business", admitted Propper. "Most producers are lacking the professional savvy to make deals... don't know how to open the door", he said, as a reason to bring production company executives together with independent filmmakers. However, not everyone shared the idea. Documentary filmmaker Adrian Belic (BEYOND THE CALL), a panelist in the Alternative Distribution session, encouraged the audience to go and do it all themselves. "If you have been able to make your film a reality, if you are capable of assembling a crew and producing a film, if your creativity brought you this far, use your creativity to distribute your film. You can do it."

The panel next door had Robert Greenwald (RETHINKING AFGHANISTAN) defending the same core idea when he encouraged filmmakers to get the free software for house party fundraising and distribution that can be found at bravenewtheaters.com, a website which poses the question: "As a filmmaker, are you going to take control of your own destiny? Or are you still waiting for some corporate big-wig to do the work for you?"

"The idea for the conference was conceived 16 months ago over 10 lunches with co-founder Chuck Braverman [documentary producer/director (CURTAINCALL)] whose films I represent," said Propper. "That was when the economy was OK. Suddenly, when the hard times hit, all sponsors backed off." Then, only three weeks before the conference, some of the sponsors decided to give their support. Others, such as HBO, the documentary gargantuan, were notably no-shows.

PANELS, SIT DOWNS
Executives from Sundance, PBS/ITVS, National Geographic, History Channel, Discovery, Bravo, MTV, Planet Green, Fox Reality, among others populated the sessions. "We have 30 panels and also night screenings", said Propper. "ReelScreen, which I helped establish, is a networking conference with some 10 panels."

One of the most popular sessions was "How to get on PBS if your name is not Ken Burns." Richard Saiz, Senior Programming Manager for ITVS, the largest funding agency for documentary films, and the only Latino panelist in WestDoc, quickly attempted to deconstruct the myth. "We're not about Ken Burns", said Richard Saiz. "Forget about Ken Burns, you don't need him. This is about you. You are connected to the communities." Saiz, a passionate advocate for public television, went on to formulate the magic words--which he prefers to call "the holy trinity"--to get ITVS to open their coffers to fund your documentary: "Premise, Theme, Story".

New Media, a boat that non-fiction filmmakers of the digital age cannot afford to miss, was the one theme that was absent from the conference. Saiz addressed it at the PBS panel, emphasizing the importance of developing transmedia or platforms for a documentary project instead of focusing exclusively on the one-hour program. He described ITVS' Project 360, a recent multiplatform exhibition and promotion initiative, through which all documentaries previously funded by ITVS are invited to apply for additional funding to develop a new media platform. Eric Luskin, VP of Premium Service & Syndication, American Public Television, said, "Having a new media strategy today is as important as having a broadcast strategy." When asked about the missing new media theme, Karin Martenson, Director of Programming for WestDoc responded, "The conference's main objective is to increase filmmakers' access to distribution channels, provide concrete information/the "HOW-TOs" of the business, and the intersection of codependent worlds. We considered it, but New Media was too large to be included in this conference. Probably next year..."

For next year's edition, the founders also expect to rent theaters in Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade, set up an online 'job exchange', and create online components to allow attendees to do some networking before the event.

Most of the panels were very well attended though, according to WestDoc event manager Tamara Krinsky, "people went more to the how-to and distribution workshops than to the more creative ones, perhaps because of the economy".

The Sit Down workshops offered opportunities for Q&A sessions with a particular network/broadcaster. In the Sit Down with The Documentary Channel, founder Tom Neff revealed to a packed room that after years of supporting independent documentary filmmakers (the channel accepts all genres, all lengths) with no ties to corporations, they are now accepting their support. "We encourage associate sponsorships for documentary films. A sponsor would bring in a minimum of $150,000," said Neff. But the corporate links go further. When Exxon recently commissioned the channel to produce a documentary, Neff hired a well-know documentary filmmaker to direct it and developed a multi-platform marketing initiative designed to highlight Mobil 1, "the world's leading" synthetic motor oil brand. When a reporter asked, "How are you going to ensure that you will be fair to an independent filmmaker approaching you with a documentary film that portrays one of those corporations in a bad light?", Kate Pearson, Senior Vice President of Programming, answered, "We deal with corporate sponsorships while maintaining the integrity of our company. We tell the corporations upfront that we were founded by an independent documentary filmmaker and need to keep our integrity."

The conference had some 425 attendees. However, even though NALIP was a 'Cooperating Partner" to the conference, there were very few NALIPsters in sight. (The registration cost was an issue for many independent filmmakers, in spite of the discounts offered to partnering organizations, but volunteering was a good option to circumvent the expense). And there were some Latino producers--even some whose projects had been selected for the PitchFest event that closed the conference, such as Suzan Beraza's entertaining and eye-opening BAG IT--who had never heard of NALIP.

NALIPster Tony Estrada, a Dine documentary filmmaker whose current work-in-progress on his Navajo heritage is entitled "The Land Where Eagles Fly," and who drove over 14 hours from Santa Fe, NM, said, "It is not so much the ethnic, but the geographical divide between the entertainment industry distribution hubs that a conference like this can bridge. It is especially important for those of us living in between N.Y. and L.A. to get out of our small towns and attend these conferences instead of keep working in our isolated environment".

PITCHFEST
At the lunch table on the first day, a group of executives were condescendingly admitting among themselves that they were there to give WestDocs a chance, but were not sure they were going to stay for the duration of it. However, the conference was well attended up to the last minute and the atmosphere was lively and conducive. The PitchFest event, a great opportunity for eight selected projects to be presented to a group of commissioning editors--which took place on the third and last day of the conference, was highly attended.

Producer Lidya Smith's documentary series THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO was one of the projects selected for the conference's PitchFest. It is an inspiring film with stunning cinematography that invites people to discover a pilgrims' route in Spain that attracts people from all over the world, both young and old, many of whom describe the pilgrimage as a life-transforming experience. Smith felt the networking opportunities were great, and the panels useful, but it was "disappointing" to watch the cable network executives' reaction to the projects during PitchFest. Many in the audience shared her feelings, especially when panelist Jose Swift, director of development of WeTV who used to work for the Travel Channel said, "The Travel Channel would not likely be interested in your documentary, because most Americans do not have passports." To which Smith later remarked, "Yet they are bringing their viewers a series on the Worst Drivers in America!"

About Chelo Alvarez-Stehle: Chelo Alvarez-Stehle has been a contributor for El Mundo daily and other magazines in Spain, Japan and the U.S. She is a multimedia producer based in Los Angeles whose latest project is SOS_SLAVES: Changing the Trafficking Game.


Call for Entries: Global Film Initiative Production Grants

In its continuing effort to promote original filmmaking by individuals from around the world, the Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce a call for the Winter 2010 cycle of its feature-film production grants program. Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2010, and decisions will be announced in March 2010.

Global Film Initiative production grants are awarded twice a year, in winter and summer, to filmmakers whose work exhibits artistic excellence, authentic self-representation and accomplished storytelling. The granting program furthers the Initiative's mission of contributing to the development of local film industries while offering audiences a variety of cultural perspectives on daily life around the world. Monies received through the Initiative's granting program are used to support completion of film production, and to subsidize post-production costs, such as laboratory and sound mixing fees and access to modern editing systems.

This year, the Global Film Initiative will award production grants of up to $10,000 each to select applicants during its winter granting cycle. These funds are made available following the Initiative's evaluation of an applicant's completed screenplay and early film-footage, and may include a pre-sale option for exclusive U.S. distribution of an applicant's film by the Initiative. Individuals may submit more than one film for consideration per granting cycle but please note that only applications from qualifying countries or regions will be considered and that production grants are not available for documentary or short films.*

The Global Film Initiative strongly believes in supporting narrative storytelling traditions from around the world and invites all qualified applicants to submit their work for granting consideration. For Applications & Guidelines, please visit: www.globalfilm.org/granting.htm

Application deadline: January 15, 2010

*The Global Film Initiative accepts grant applications from countries in the following regions: Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia (excluding Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand).

The Global Film Initiative is a U.S.-based not-for-profit organization specializing in the support of independent film from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Founded in 2002 to promote cross-cultural understanding through the language of cinema, the Initiative awards numerous grants to deserving filmmakers from around the world each year, and supports a touring film series entitled Global Lens. For more information about the Global Lens film series and Global Film Initiative programs, please visit: http://www.globalfilm.org.

Call for Entries: San Diego Latino Film Festival

Media Arts Center San Diego is seeking films and videos for 17th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival (March 11-21, 2010). Musically themed films, comedies, family films, and animated films are strongly encouraged.

SDLFF will take place March 11-21, 2010 at the UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center located in beautiful San Diego, California. Last year's festival was attended by an audience of 18,000 actively-engaged film lovers, filmmakers, actors, programmers, distributors, industry representatives and journalists. The San Diego Latino Film Festival has used the unique geographical and cultural position of the San Diego Border Region to make the festival a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and U.S. Latino features, shorts and documentaries.

Deadline for submissions to the festival is November 05, 2009.
For details and submission information please visit the official website.

The 2010 San Diego Latino Film Festival will include expanded opportunities for participating filmmakers and their films/videos to take the spotlight. The following is just a taste of what filmmakers and attendees can experience by participating at the upcoming San Diego Latino Film Festival:
- 155 feature and short films to be screened;
- Over 120 guest filmmakers and actors;
- SDLFF Awards Competition;
- Workshops/Seminars with industry representatives and filmmakers
- Cine'mation showcase;
- SDLFF's "Top Ten to Watch";
- Celebrity Guest Curator;
- "Tributes" to acclaimed filmmakers/actors;
- Concerts @ the Fest;
- Pre-Fest Launch Parties;
- Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Night Gala Celebrations;
- The SDLFF Awards Ceremony;
- Free Student Outreach Screenings;
- "Meet the Filmmaker" Dialogues; and,
- SDLFF's Annual "Border Vision" Sidebar.

NALIP Discount for Indie Film Financing Seminar

NALIP members are invited to receive a discounted rate for the upcoming seminar Bankroll Your Film by author/producer Tom Malloy.

Tom successfully financed 3 films using the techniques from his new book, Bankroll. Tom is an actor who produced films as a way to further his talents. He wrote his first script and produced The Attic for $550,000.00 and immediately after he raised funds for The Alphabet Killer, $2,100,000.00. Since he is a dancer and an actor he wrote Love N' Dancing and raised $10,700,000.00 and he did all of this in four years.

This financing seminar is Saturday, October 24, 2009 from 9:30 AM till 4:30 at 130 South La Brea, The Lost Studio. We will have a free continental breakfast waiting for you.

NALIP members get a 15% discount off the $79.00 price with discount code GRANT, and when you purchase by 10/13 you also get Tom's new book, Bankroll, free.

For more information and to register, visit the seminar webpage.


Once you enroll in the class you receive a PDF file of a business plan. We want you to input your information and bring it to the class. Tom will go over this thoroughly the morning of the class. Even if you have a business plan, you can see what he used to raise over $15,000,000.00 and you may want to add some of Tom's information to your plan.


Sundance Pass and Ticket Package Registration Ends Friday

Sundance Film Festival Pass and Package Registration ends October 9 at 5pm MT.
Register online now to purchase a Festival Pass and Ticket Package. Registration is not first-come, first served. Don't miss your chance to receive a purchase timeslot.

Click here to learn more about How to Get Tickets.


 
 
News
 

Adrien Brody to Battle 'Predators' in 'Reboot' of 1987 Film
(New York Daily News) - 20th Century Fox and Robert Rodriguez have cast Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody in the lead of the sequel/reboot to the "Predator" films. FULL STORY

 

 
 
Jobs & Opportunities
 

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


 
 
From the Editor
 
Editor
Alex Mendoza
Alex Mendoza & Associates
AMARTE Design & Digital Printing
9513 Longden Avenue
Temple City, CA 91780
alexmend@aol.com


Co-Editor
NALIP
1323 Lincoln Blvd., #220
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-395-8880
membership@nalip.info
 
 
Spotlight
 

Margarita de la Vega-Hurtado
NALIP Board Member Speaks on NPR About ARAYA

It is said that the restoration of Margot Benacerraf's brilliant 1959 tone poem ARAYA, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film's first showing at the Cannes Film Festival, will change the face of Latin American film history. Although it shared the Cannes International Critics Prize with Alain Resnais' Hiroshima, Mon Amour, ARAYA was never picked up for widespread distribution. Rarely shown, this masterpiece was largely forgotten by the film world. Milestone's North American theatrical premiere and worldwide release in 2009 will give audiences the chance to rediscover Benacerraf -- a powerful and distinctive voice in the history of cinema.

NALIP Board member Margarita de la Vega-Hurtado, former ED of the Flaherty, shared her thoughts in yesterday's segment on NPR's "All Things Considered." Listen to the segment online here.

She comments on the beautiful restoration and urges you to request ARAYA come to your city!

Benacerraf's film portrays a day in the life of three families living in one of the harshest places on earth -- Araya, an arid peninsula in northeastern Venezuela. For 450 years, since its discovery by the Spanish, the region's salt was manually collected and stacked into glowing white pyramids. Overlooking the area, a 17th-century fortress built to protect against pirate raids stood as a reminder of the days when the mineral was worth as much as gold and great fortunes were made in the salt trade. Benacerraf captures the grueling work of these salineros in breathtaking high-contrast black-and-white images. Her camera gracefully pans and glides to reveal the landscape and the people of the peninsula. All night, the Pereda family toils in the salt marshes. In the morning, the Salaz clan arrives to load and stack the crystals under the hot brutal sun. Down the coastline, the Ortiz family fish and tend their nets, while the youngest member, Carmen, collects seashells and coral.

When it first premiered, ARAYA was compared to Robert Flaherty's Man of Aran and Luchino Visconti's La terra trema. But according to the filmmaker, the film was never meant to be a documentary -- it was meticulously planned as a tone poem -- a composition in which cinematography, music, sound and language combine to create a moving and magical exploration of a desolate place and the remarkable people who lived there.


Alex Castillo
NALIPster costars on Monk, Friday at 9pm/8C

NALIP member Alex Castillo will make a guest appearance in the USA Network hit series Monk. The episode: "Mr. Monk Goes To Group Therapy," airs this Friday, October 9 at 9/8C on USA Network.

When Monk's insurance company refuses to pay for more individual therapy sessions, Monk joins Dr. Bell's therapy group, where somebody appears to be murdering his fellow patients. Alex plays the 'cat-loving pool man' in the beginning of the episode.


Danny Hastings
NALIPster debuts 6 music videos during summer 2009

Finding director and NALIP member Danny Hastings is as simple as turning on your television or visiting trendy music websites to watch one of the six music videos he directed this summer. Danny started with EMI Capitol - ICE H2O Records and rap artist Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan bringing Danny to direct Raekwon's first single off the sequel to his debut album Only Built For Cuban Linx2. The song, "New Wu" debuted on WorldStarHipHop.com and amassed 1.3 million plus hits on it's first day. Danny is also responsible for the album cover art for both albums by the same title.

Next came Atlantic-Bad Boy, where Danny Hastings was called to direct a music video for "MTV's Making the Band" group Day 26. Danny has worked with Diddy in the past as an Art Director on the first Ciroc and Sean John campaigns, and as a photographer on Diddy's cover for the single from The Godzilla Soundtrack, as well as shooting the covers for Bad Boy superstars 112, the Lox and G-Dep.

Over the next 2 months Danny Hastings found himself directing and editing 4 more music videos, all debuts for the respective artists: Tali & Messiah "AmorSintetico", Corey J "Rockin'", Royce "Corazon Sin Cara", and Katia "Girl Like Me".


LuisCarlos Davis
NALIPster's doc screens at Library of Congress

NALIP member LuisCarlos Davis' (LPA 2007) feature documentary 389 Miles: "Living the Border" will screened at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on October 7th. LuisCarlos Davis wrote, directed, and produced the film. 389 Miles: "Living the Border" is a human journey along the Mexico-Arizona border that presents the raw, daily lives of the various players involved and the complexity and multidimensional nature of the immigration phenomenon. For more information visit www.389miles.com


"In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina"

"In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina" is a concert hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama on the South Lawn of the White House that will be broadcast by PBS. The sixty-minute program, to be taped live by WETA Washington, D.C., on October 13, will celebrate Hispanic musical heritage and airs on the final day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET, on PBS stations nationwide. (Check local listings.) It will also be broadcast on Telemundo, the American Spanish-language television network, on Sunday, October 18 at 6 p.m. ET, and on V-me, the national Spanish language network partnered with public television, on Friday, December 25. The program, part of the WETA "In Performance at the White House" series, will include Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano, George Lopez, Thalia, Tito "El Bambino", the Bachata music group Aventura, and the Chicano rock band Los Lobos, with Sheila E. leading the house band. Further talent information will be announced in the coming weeks.

"WETA is thrilled to embark on this forty-second production of the 'In Performance at the White House' series," noted Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA. "One of our greatest national treasures is the rich cultural life of this country, and we are proud to join the White House in bringing this concert to all Americans."

"'In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina' will provide PBS viewers with a front row seat at what promises to be a very special evening. This program, together with our forthcoming 'Latin Music USA' series, underscores the important contributions Latino and Latina artists make to American entertainment and culture. It also reflects PBS's longstanding commitment to showcasing our nation's rich diversity," said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger.

"We are proud of our Latino culture and deeply honored that President and Mrs. Obama are welcoming our artists into the White House for this memorable 'Fiesta Latina', that all can enjoy through the PBS broadcast," commented Patricia Boero, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting. "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina" is a production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Latin o Public Broadcasting.

"In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina" will be the second "In Performance at the White House" program during President Barack Obama's administration. "In Performance at the White House - Celebrating the Music of Stevie Wonder: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize" was taped on February 25, 2009 and broadcast nationwide on February 26, 2009. The event celebrated musician Stevie Wonder's receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

"In Performance at the White House" has been produced by WETA since 1978 and spans every administration since President Carter's. The series began with an East Room recital by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Si nce then, "In Performance at the White House" has embraced virtually every genre of American performance: pop, country, gospel, jazz, blues, theatre and dance among them. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation's most famous home. Past programs have showcased such talent as cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, country music singer Merle Haggard, the United States Marine Band, soul and jazz singers Natalie Cole and Aretha Franklin, leading Broadway performers, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.


 
 
 

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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.