Latinos In The Industry

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Dear Theater Owners, Fear Not - You Are Not Going Anywhere

William Morris Endeavor exec and LPA Mentor Liesl Copland gave the keynote speech at Sunday’s Doc Conference at the Toronto International Film Festival. This is the speech that she delivered at the event.

I'm Liesl Copland from William Morris Endeavor's Global Finance & Distribution Group, and am honored to be here at the inaugural Toronto Film Festival Documentary Conference. When Thom [Powers] asked me to come and talk to you about what I think about all day long - where, in this CHANGED world are the revenues going to come from for specialty feature films - I got a little nervous. When I get going on this subject I feel compelled to share a lot of statistics about changing viewing patterns in consumer behavior... and that can get a little book-wormy. And it has been a good year/year-and-a-half for Key Notes, you know? "The Sky Fell", and indeed it did, Mark [Gill] was right and Ted [Hope] inspired us and we felt better - and yes, we still need Jim Stern's eggs. I agree with pretty much everything that all of them have said... But they're all so damned entertaining! It's intimidating.

So I don't tap dance and am bad at jokes, but what I might be able to do is pull off getting each one of you, the filmmakers, the creators of all this intellectual property we talk about all the time, to take the broad view of this very moment... This moment, right now is an important one. We have been living in the new media world for a while now (so let's first agree to call it "not-so-new media") and brave companies have experimented. But now is the time to figure out what is working and what isn't working. Why? I think our product is slowly being devalued.

Why do we have to do this in THIS room? Because we have the most to gain.

The specialty film sector is extremely content rich, and its audience is very committed. But right now the distribution model has been disrupted and every man or company is trying to figure out new models for himself. This is as it should be. Our economy is built on opportunism. But the logic at large in the sector is not cohesive, not consistent, and certainly not consistent with the premises that have made the movie business profitable in the past. Yes, independent film are still fiscally independent because there are a large number of financial sources who believe in it. But the old distribution model, which never really fit them anyway, has largely forsaken them. So we need a new one, and we need to embrace the technological revolution for the specialty movie business.


2009 ALMA Awards on ABC, Sept. 18 at 8pm

The 2009 ALMA Awards will air this Friday, September 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Eva Longoria Parker and George Lopez host the annual celebration saluting Latino artistic achievement in U.S. film, TV, music, and sports television.

NCLR (National Council of La Raza) the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization has revamped the 2009 ALMA Awards to showcase more Latino talent in more arenas than ever before. Among the major changes to this acclaimed show is the addition of a co-host, the actor, comedian, and talk show host George Lopez.

"If you like the ALMA Awards, you will love this year's show because we are bringing you more of what you love most, unique musical pairings and the best Latino entertainment," said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguia. "The ALMA Awards is one of the few opportunities in primetime to spotlight the Latino presence in entertainment, and we want to celebrate the impact Latinos had last year not only in film and television, but also in music and sports television."

"I am proud that we will be able to pay tribute to a record number of Latino performers and just thrilled to have one of the funniest men on the planet, George Lopez, as my co-host this year. If you know me and you know George, anything can happen so tune in!" continued host and Executive Producer Eva Longoria Parker.

The show will have a significant format change with specially produced packages highlighting Latinos in their entertainment field. One of the Latino performers in each category will be honored for Special Achievement.

For more information and a full list of nominees, visit the ALMA Awards website.

Call for Entries: Toronto Hispano-American Film Festival "Noche de los Muertos"

The 2009 Toronto Hispano-American Film Festival (THAFF) is now accepting indie horror feature length films and short film submissions for a brand new Latin horror venue called "Noche de los Muertos" (Night of the Dead), taking place on Friday, November 6th in Toronto.

The submission deadline is Friday, October 16, 2009 by close of business.

Latin Horror has teamed up with Toronto-based Crypt Club Productions Inc. in supporting THAFF create this historic showcase of Latin horror films as co-presenters. The Toronto Hispano-American Film Festival is Canada's largest and longest-running Spanish/Latin American film festival. Crypt Club Productions and LATIN HORROR are two rising and respected entities in the field of niche horror markets.

The aim of the "Noche de los Muertos" showcase is to present the best in Spanish/Latin American independent horror filmmaking honoring our culturally-specific celebration of Dia del los Muertos (Day of the Dead), traditionally observed on November 2nd, while advancing our mission of spreading the word about the genre of Latin horror on a national and internationl level.

Full application guidelines and submission details at:

Los Angeles Film Race 2009

The Los Angeles Film Race challenges local filmmakers to create an original short film (4 minutes max) in just 24 hours from Friday, September 25th to Saturday, September 26th. All of the completed films will premiere for the public a few days later on the big screen at the Writers Boot Camp Screening Room in Santa Monica, CA and the best films will advance into a nationwide competition for over $40,000 in cash and prizes.

Anyone may register, but space is limited. Get your team together and sign up today! Use the discount code FILMRACER for $10 off the entry fee.

To register or learn more, visit�the Los Angeles Film Race 2009 webpage.


'That '70s Show' Actor Turns Director
(KATC) - Miami-born actor Wilmer Valderrama, perhaps best known as Fez on the long-running Fox sitcom "That '70s Show," is adding the role of director to his portfolio. FULL STORY

Gogol Bordello Non-Stop Documentary
( - In Gogol Bordello Non-Stop - a lo-fi, high-energy documentary about New York City’s most notoriously entertaining band - filmmaker and fan Margarita Jimeno follows the band on a five-year journey from underground legend to international phenomenon. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Casting: Short Film by Sundance Award Winning Director (SF)
Sundance Award Winning Director, Eric Escobar, is casting for a new short film to be shot in the San Francisco Bay Area in early October. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

From the Editor
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NALIPsters Produce Latin Music USA, Airing on PBS

Airing next month as part of PBS' Hispanic Heritage Month programming is Latin Music USA, a four-part series that documents the rise of American music forged from powerful Latin roots and the influence of Latin music on jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll - and on American culture.

Several NALIP members were producers and crew on the series: senior producer Adriana Bosch, producer Pamela Aguilar, producer John Valadez, and production manager Salme Lopez. Also involved with the project were executive producer Elizabeth Deane and producer Daniel McCabe. Jimmy Smits narrates.

In English: Mondays, October 12-19, 2009, 9-11 p.m. ET on PBS
In Spanish: Tuesdays, October 13-20, 10 p.m.-12 a.m. ET on V-me, the national Spanish TV network
Premieres online October 13 (English) and October 14 (Spanish) on

Series Description:
A highlight of PBS' Hispanic Heritage Month programming is Latin Music USA. From Latin jazz and mambo to salsa, Tejano, Chicano rock, Latin pop and reggaeton, the four-hour series tells the story of the rise of new American music forged from powerful Latin roots and reveals the often overlooked influence of Latin music on jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll - and on all of American culture. It's a fresh take on America's musical history, reaching across time and across musical genres to embrace the exciting hybrid sounds created by Latinos, musical fusions that have deeply enriched popular music in the U.S. over more than five decades.

Melitta Tchaicovsky
NALIPster's doc screening at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

Never Again? directed by Brazilian born NALIP member Melitta Tchaicovsky will be screened at the Reel Sisters of the Diapora Film Festival and Lectures Series in New York on September 27th at 2:00 p.m.

The documentary addresses issues that are at the core of the ethnic cleansing taking place in Darfur, Sudan since 2002. Containing interviews and footage of survivors from displacement camps in Chad and Sudan, refugees and activists, Never Again? lends insight on what is really going on in the region, revealing why this tragedy has been going on for so long and why the international community have not been able to do enough to stop it.

Reel Sisters is co-sponsored by African Voices Magazine. The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival is supported, in part by: Council Member Inez E. Dickens, 9th C.D., Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council, The New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Brooklyn Arts Council.

For film listings (dates/times) and information for the Reel Sisters of the Diapora Film Festival and Lectures Series, please visit their website.

NALIPster's film wins at two more festivals

NALIP member Vagabond's film Machetero won awards at two more festivals this summer: Best International Feature Film at the International Film Festival Thailand, and Best First Film - USA at the International Film Festival Ireland.

The island nation of Puerto Rico has been a victim of imperialism for over 500 years. It was a colony of Spain for 400 years and has been a colony of the United States for the past 111 years and is the oldest colony in the western hemisphere. Throughout that time there has always been a resistance movement that has often times been violent. Vagabond's award winning debut feature film Machetero uses the colonial condition of Puerto Rico to explore issues of terrorism and the cyclical nature of violence that it brings.

Machetero was written, produced and directed by Vagabond and stars Isaach De Bankole, Not4Prophet, Kelvin Fernandez and Dylcia Pagan.

Vagabond had this to say about winning the award for Best Feature Film - USA, "We screened on September 12th to a packed house. September 12th is Don Pedro Albizu Campos' birthday, the Puerto Rican independence leader who studied chemical engineering and law at Harvard and where he was introduced to the Irish Republican struggle. Albizu went to Ireland and met with Irish Republican leader Eamon De Valera. Albizu was an advisor to Eamon De Valera on the Free Irish State Constitution so winning this award on this day in this place took on a special meaning.

"It's was really overwhelming to being screening in Ireland at the 1st Annual International Film Festival Ireland and the response that Machetero received in Ireland has been one of constant glowing praise. The experience has been a humbling one. I wanted the film it to be about the anti-colonial struggle in Puerto Rico but we also wanted to tie that struggle to the larger context of imperialism and exploitation around the world. It was no easy task but when we completed the film we felt that we had accomplished it. The award in Ireland confirms that we were able to create a film about the colonial situation of a small Caribbean island nation doing battle with a larger imperial power and still create a film that could resonate well beyond those circumstances to the point where audiences are seeing something of their own struggles in this film. Audience members in Ireland couldn't seem to stop raving about the film after the screening and after the awards dinner. It really is quite an honor and I feel completely humbled by the experience."


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