Latinos In The Industry

NALIPster Among NYILFF Award Winners

The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) closed its 10th Anniversary as the premier Latino film festival in the country with a series of awards recognizing the best of the best in four distinct categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Short and the Cinelatino Audience Choice Awards for Best Picture and Documentary, bestowed on a director whose film has pushed the boundaries of creativity, vision and execution.

Among the award winners was NALIP member Daniel Maldonado, who took home Best Short for his film Lalo. A full list of winners is below.

LALO - Director: NALIP member Daniel Maldonado
Cast: Karina Bonnefil, Neftali Jurec, Billy Magnussen, Doua Moua, Giselle Rodriguez , Abigail Stucker.
Lalo, a NYC Mexican delivery worker on the brink of losing his job, is given one last run to prove himself. Naturally, a series of mishaps ensue. When his bike is totaled, he steals a little pink one belonging to a 10 year-old girl, who enters in hot pursuit to get it back. The next thing he knows, Lalo finds himself in a race to the death against a Chinese delivery-man and a pimped-out punk rock bike messenger.

In addition to winning the 2009 Best Short award, Daniel Maldonado also receives $500 film certificate from Kodak and software from AVID

INSIDE A CHANGE - Director: Rik Cordero
Cast: Ephraim Benton, Donte Bonner, Karen Chilton, Consequence, Darrell Vanterpool, Seth Stewart.
Chris Price is about to serve six months in prison for a first-time offense. When his mother invites him back home for her birthday, he finds his younger brother following in his footsteps and his older brother disowning him. Now, on his last night of freedom, he is forced to re-examine his life and find a way to bring his family together before it is too late.

In addition to winning the 2009 Best Film Award, Director Rik Cordero also receives $2,500 from HBO.

STAGES - Director: Meerkat Media Collective
In New York City's changing Lower East Side, a group of older Puerto Rican women are brought together with a group of inner city youths to create an original play from the stories of their lives. Over a twenty-week period, the participants confront stereotypes and examine their own histories, exploring themes of immigration, relationships, coming-of-age and growing older. Woven together, their stories take on new meaning, first as they are spoken across generations, and later when they are performed in a sold-out show. Responding to a political climate that assigns little value to community arts initiatives, "Stages" offers an intimate portrait of an unlikely ensemble, transformed by the liberating power of their own stories.

In addition to winning the 2009 Cinelatino Audience Choice Award, Meerkat Media Collective also receives $1,000 on behalf of Cinelatino, $500 film certificate from Kodak, and software from AVID.

EL REGALO DE LA PACHAMAMA - Director: Toshifumi Matsushita
Cast: Christian Huaygua.
In the Salar de Uyuni, there is a 13 year-old boy, Kunturi, who lives a life much like any other boy in his village. But when his grandmother dies and his best friend moves away, he decides to embark on a trip with the llama caravan. For three months, he travels throughout the "Ruta de la Sal," exchanging salt for other Andes products, reluctantly bearing witness to an animal sacrifice in the snow-covered peaks and interacting with the indigenous cultures seemingly untouched by modernity.

But when the caravan arrives at its destination, the town of Macha where the "Tinku" Festival is taking place, Kunturi's life will be changed forever. There he finds the most beautiful girl he could have ever imagined, Ulala. Kunturi and Ulala share the same dream: "to run together across the immense white sea that is the Salar de Uyuni, until they reach the end of the horizon."

In addition to winning the 2009 Cinelatino Audience Choice Award, Director Christian Huaygua also receives $1,000 on behalf of Cinelatino.

Cinelatino to Produce Original TV Movies with Argos

Cinelatino has announced that it has tapped Argos Comunicacion, Mexico's leading independent production company, to produce original television movies exclusively for Cinelatino. �

The first phase of the production deal consists of two television movies starring a mix of veteran and breakout actors from Mexico, including Marco Trevi�o (Capadocia, Malos habitos) and Elizabeth Cervantes (Fuera del cielo), among others. �Both movies fall into the genre of urban thrillers that feature strong characters and surprising twists. � �

These original productions, which the channel plans to continue creating, will complement its extensive library of critically-acclaimed and box office hits. �Cinelatino has the largest selection of Spanish-language movies available to the U.S. market will continue to acquire the biggest and best feature films from the top movie distributors. � �

As the leading independent production company in Mexico, Argos is known for producing the highest-quality feature films and television series that have run on Azteca and Telemundo (Nada Personal, Demasiado Corazon, Mirada de Mujer, Ladron de Corazones, Gitanas, Los Plateados, etc.) that feature top Latino talent, including Manolo Cardona, Humberto Zurita, Lorena Rojas, Ana de la Reguerra, and Dolores Heredia. �They are also responsible for producing Capadocia for HBO Latino America. �In addition to television, Argos has produced a number of critically-acclaimed blockbuster movies, including Sexo pudor y lagrimas, Ladies� night, La habitacion azul, Lucia Lucia, and Fuera del cielo. � �

The first of the two Cinelatino-commissioned movies began production this week and will air this fall. The channel has plans to continue to expand on its original content production in the coming years.

Call for Entries: Writers for Puerto Rico Film Projects

Alquimia Films is an innovative content-development company - founded by Roberto Buso-Garcia, a former chief film evaluator and Manager of Film Programming for HBO Video, HBO Latino and Cinemax - intended for the Latino Film industry. A key component of Alquimia Films' mission is to identify emerging and established screenwriters and match their unique talents and voices to financial opportunities around the world.

To this aim and sponsored in part by the Puerto Rico Film Commission, Alquimia Films announces its first "Call for Entries" initiative; a campaign to seek screenwriters who have a direct connection to Puerto Rico.

Writers who are not themselves connected to Puerto Rico but would like to be part of writing teams with selected Puerto Rican screenwriters are invited to submit as well.

Full details for this initiative can be found by visiting


Roberto Bus�-Garcia (Founder) holds extensive experience in film acquisitions and independent production. His seven-year tenure as chief film evaluator and Manager of Film Programming for HBO Video, HBO Latino and Cinemax provided him the opportunity to analyze thousands of films and screenplays. Scouting for talent and films, he represented the company in prestigious films festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, San Sebastian, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.� Roberto was essential in the acquisitions of such projects as the Spanish-language series Epitafios and Capadocia as well as dozens o f feature length films including award-winning Y tu mam� tambi�n, Sea Inside and Maldeamores. Roberto has served as a member of the jury of the Colombia Film Fund, the Puerto Rico Film Fund, the HBO-sponsored short film competitions at the New York Latino Film Festival and the American Black Film Festival and the Puerto Rico International Film Festival.�

Erica Motley (Consultant, Financing and Distribution) is a film acquisitions and development executive, who was formerly the Head of International Acquisitions at United International Pictures (the international joint venture between Paramount, Dreamworks & Universal). While there, she was an integral part of the UIP worldwide sales team. In this role, Erica evaluated scripts, acquired films and provided financial projections for each country�s manager. She began her film career as an international acquisition executive at HBO. She later joined Fox where she launched channels and negotiated deals with film studios, international sales agents and independent producers. Erica is currently a film consultant in New York where she packages projects for international producers and advises on film business plans and investments. Some of her clients include: The American Film Company (THE CONSPIRATOR, Robert Redford), Cine Mosaic (THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, Mira Nair) and Tribeca Enterprises (Digital Distribution Consultant).

Soldanela Rivera (Project Director and Publicity) has extensive production and marketing experience in the film, theatre and music=2 0industries. For the last fifteen years, she has specialized in handling national and international campaigns geared towards the Hispanic market in the United States. Soldanela has worked with notable Latin entertainment industry luminaries and veteran producers like Marc Anthony, Henry Cardenas, Celia Cruz, Jennifer L�pez, Blanca Lasalle, MANA, Victor Manuel, Ricky Martin, David Maldonado, Ralph Mercado, Ismael Miranda, Johnny Pacheco, Tito Puente and Danny Rivera among others. She was directly involved in the development of �The Life and Music of Celia Cruz� and the publicity campaign for �El Cantante.� Soldanela Rivera is currently overseeing the Hispanic Division of Falco Ink, a leading public relations agency in the United States dedicated to the film and television industry.

Call for Entries: Vistas Film Festival

The Dallas-based Vistas Film Festival, which promotes great cinematic works by or about Latinos, has issued a "Call for Entries" to directors, producers, screenwriters and actors worldwide.

The 10th annual festival is set for Sept. 17 to 21, 2009 at the Angelika Film Center at Dallas' Mockingbird Station.

Each year, the Vistas Film Festival draws some 2,800 film lovers to celebrate and relish in the talents of Latinos on the big screen. The 2009 event will feature about 40 exceptional films from throughout the United States and Latin America. Some of the submissions introduce the audience to emerging independent filmmakers and other entries come from prominent filmmakers.

The 10th Annual Vistas Film Festival promises to be the most entertaining and interactive ever. For the first time, the audience attending the screenings will be asked to vote for their favorite films. A "V" statuette will be presented to the top films. Participants also can attend sessions such as "Coffee with a Director" and mingle with filmmakers at opening and closing night parties.

The Vistas Film Festival prides itself in being accessible to all promising filmmakers by not charging an entry fee to those submitting their work. To be selected, the film must be of high quality and must be by or about Latinos.

To submit a film or documentary for consideration, please download and complete this form. Send the form electronically to and also mail a printed copy of the form with the film in DVD or VHS format to: 716 Wayne St. Dallas, TX 75223. While we prefer a DVD for screening purposes, the theater can accommodate these formats: VHS, SVHS, DVHS, DVD, Beta SP, Digibeta, 16mm, 35mm.

Thank you,
Anna Marie Macias�
Assistant Executive Director, Vistas Film Festival

Chita Rivera Honored
(Variety) - Stage vet Chita Rivera will pick up a Presidential Medal of Freedom later this month, one of 16 recipients of the award that honors contributions to world peace, culture and other U.S. interests. FULL STORY

"Battlestar" Flies High With TV Critics
(The Hollywood Reporter) - Long snubbed by the Emmys and Golden Globes, "Battlestar Galactica" got some love from the Television Critics Association during the weekend. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Crew for Reality TV Show
Well established production company is crewing up for a reality television show. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Crew for Feature Film
We're currently crewing up for a feature under 1 million to be shot on the RED ONE camera, starting immediately. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Crew for Online Web Series
Ritmo y Blues Films is producing the online web series "Ganas" about a retired major league baseball player turned sports agent, and is looking for a crew of quality people to collaborate in continuing the success of the show. 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

LWL/LPA Fellows Have San Antonio Premiere of Dream Healing

Dream Healing, a feature film written, directed and produced by NALIP's own Dora Peña (LPA 2003, LWL 2003) and produced by NALIP member Manuel J. Peña, will have its premiere screening in San Antonio on Saturday, August 8. Q and A following the film.

We are so proud of Dora as she worked hard in realizing her dream. Sleepless nights... blood,sweat and tears... she did it out of love for her craft, love of her family, with immense faith and true to her soul. Dora has the formula.

Dream Healing is the story of a clairvoyant girl, Clara, whose ability to heal insomniacs is being exploited by her greedy aunt Marta. When a recently divorced father and son Omar move in next door, Clara and Omar spawn a friendship that causes events beyond their control to set in motion, revealing a dark secret within the community.

Dream Healing
Starring: Jesse Borrego, Gabi Walker, Evie A. Armstrong, Valeria Hernandez, Viviane Vives, Bleu Wenzel, Louisette Zurita and other outstanding actors

Date: Sat.,, August 8, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Santikos Palladium
17703 W. IH-10
San Antonio, TX

For details visit

T.J. Collins
NALIPster's feature wins prize at Long Island International Film Expo

The feature film Willets Point - by writer, director, producer and NALIP member T.J. Collins' (LPA 2009, LWL) - recently premiered and received several nominations at the closing night ceremonies of the 12th annual Long Island International Film Expo.

Out of the 165 films in competition,
Willets Point won the Audience Award for the evening and T.J. Collins received $500 from the Long Island TV and Film Foundation. One of the film's several other nominations included Best Story and lead actress Lorraine Rodriguez received a Best Actress in a dramatic role honorable mention.

T.J. is in the above photo with Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray) who presented the award. To view the trailer for Willets Point, visit


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