Latinos In The Industry

Open Letter to Our Public Media Colleagues

Dear friends

As 2009 begins, we call on our colleagues to reflect on our public telecommunications mandate and work together to realize its unfulfilled promise: a public media system that truly serves the diverse nation we have become. Unprecedented demographic changes are transforming every aspect of the United States. African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans make up half the population of the nation's largest cities and constitute its fastest growing market segment. Latino and Asian immigrants are putting down roots in rural and suburban America. Pacific Islanders are on the forefront in our increasingly pan-Pacific economy and culture. Native Americans are flexing their political and economic muscle, and America has elected its first African American president.

Caught up in a cyclical struggle for survival, our public media institutions have not kept pace with these changes. If we don't address the diversity gap in our system, we risk failure or irrelevance. Our system suffers from:
* A lack of diverse voices where decisions are made about the present and future of public broadcasting;
* Underemployment of people of color by the nation's public broadcasting institutions, stations, and major content producers;
* A lack of authentic and relevant programming created by diverse producers;
* A resulting lack of diversity among public television and public radio audiences.

In the language of the U. S. Constitution, we strive for political equality where no citizen's interest is disregarded because of race, religion, sex, age, political beliefs or place of birth. Our public media system is the nation's communications public square. It must be open to the full span of community voices, worldviews, narratives, frames, and lenses. Many of us entered the broadcast field to heed a public service calling articulated by the Public Telecommunications Act of 1967. Let us consider the vision:
* Public media shall serve the instructional, educational and cultural needs of the entire nation.
* Public media shall involve creative risk and address the needs of un-served and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities.
* Universal access shall be guaranteed through all appropriate distribution technologies.
* Freedom, imagination and initiative are necessary to the development and expansion of excellent and diverse programming.

These founding principles guide today's call to action. They set forth goals and objectives that are renewable, inspirational and attainable. We now have the bandwidth to build a public media system to serve America's increasingly diverse demographic while remaining vital and relevant to our core audiences. Reaching out to new constituencies while serving existing audiences is the imminent business challenge of the next decade. The challenge is more than a moral imperative: What's at stake is our ability to not just survive, but to thrive in the new media market.

Diversity = Sustainability

Up to now, we have operated via a centralized broadcast system providing content to local stations, which in turn serve local communities. Geography has been definitive. As our system restructures to reflect the changing media landscape, new constituencies will be based on other criteria: generational, linguistic, cultural, instructional, and yet-to-be-defined niche audiences. The delivery systems we develop must reflect this evolving landscape.

The commitment to embrace diversity as a core principle of our work requires that we engage more deeply with its complexity. In addition to race and ethnicity, diversity includes perspectives and identities generally underrepresented in our mainstream media due to geography, income and education levels, physical disability and sexual preference. We must identify and target the following sectors, whose dynamism and fluidity exemplify public media's future audiences.

America's younger and more ethnically diverse audiences are public media's great, untapped resource. Young viewers and listeners are multilingual and multicultural, passionate bloggers and voracious content seekers. The increasingly commercial Internet positions them primarily as consumers, but they are hungry to exercise their power of choice as global citizens and generators of media content in the new digital landscape. For example, young African American adults, especially college educated, are avid Internet users. They frequent alternative news sources online and download digital content, including radio and television programs, podcasts and interactive media. Our public media system must target these savvy post-broadcast audiences and provide a civic public interest sector in emerging broadcast systems, mobile media and on the web.

At the same time, the digital revolution has yet to make good on its potential to remove barriers. A large percentage of people of color, immigrants and low-income groups remain disadvantaged by the digital divide. Our public media system has a special responsibility to provide universal access to underserved, technologically disenfranchised communities that have not yet benefited from the new delivery platforms. Furthermore, we must develop user-friendly tools to optimize their involvement in public media services.

Digital technology offers flexibility to incorporate the linguistic, geographic, and ethnic diversity of America. A revitalized public broadcast system will be based on a more inclusive grid of stakeholders, and play a pro-active role educating diverse constituencies and audiences about how to participate in the new media.

The paradigm shift we describe is cultural and attitudinal as well as demographic. Public media's core audience is comprised of Sixties generation baby boomers who have seen the world and are hungry for global perspectives and diverse viewpoints in the media they consume. Public media must also provide fresh and original content representing the full range of traditions and cultures that make up our American mosaic.

To meet the complex challenges ahead, we must transform not only how we create and provide content. We need a new spirit of inclusiveness and collaboration that engages our ethnically diverse colleagues and taps the broadest range of intellectual and creative capital in our industry. Envisioning the future of public media requires flexibility, imagination, leadership and courage.

To address the new demographics on a strategic scale, we propose the following steps:
* People of color must participate in executive, visionary and creative decision making throughout the public media system.
* Program support and content must reflect our nation's full diversity, broadening the representation as well as perspective of all of public media's content.
* Diversity must be a core component in recruitment, hiring, training, and retention at all employment levels, but particularly in management and leadership positions.
* Effective strategies for the efficient redeployment of resources must meet the criteria of diversity, innovation and inclusion.
* Measurable standards with specific goals must be instituted, including an annual report card to evaluate and reward diversity and innovation in content, programming and delivery.
* Best practices must be developed and disseminated for cross-cultural community engagement and programming strategies.

We call on our colleagues to revitalize our public telecommunications mandate and make common cause to advance this blueprint for change. We commit to a sustainable vision of a public media system that fosters excellence and innovation; embraces diversity as a core principle in services and perspectives at every level of content (programming and production), engagement (education and outreach), and human resources (leadership, training, and management).

Patricia Boero
Latino Public Broadcasting

Ruth Bolan
Pacific Islanders in Communications

Stephen Gong
Center for Asian American Media

Florence Hernandez-Ramos
Latino Public Radio Consortium

Jacquie Jones
National Black Programming Consortium

Loretta Rucker
African-American Public Radio Consortium

Jaclyn Sallee
Koahnic BroadcastCorporation

Shirley Sneve
Native American Public Telecommunications

Loris Taylor
Native Public Media

Click here to download a PDF of this letter.

Deadline Approaching: 24th Annual Imagen Awards

The Imagen Foundation seeks to recognize and reward positive portrayals of Latinos in all forms of media, as well as to encourage and recognize the achievements of Latinos in the entertainment and communications industries. In keeping with its mission, The Imagen Foundation cordially invites all members of the entertainment and communications industries to participate in the 24th Annual Imagen Awards Competition.

Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2009 For more information on qualifications and categories, and to submit an entry for the 24th Annual Imagen Awards, please visit: Winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Imagen Awards Gala on Sunday, August 23, 2009, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

The Imagen Foundation works to create, promote, and enhance opportunities for all Latinos in front of and behind the camera and throughout the entertainment industry, and serves as a liaison between the industry and the Latino community by providing access, education and resources.

Deadline Approaching: Hollywood Film Festival The 13th Annual Hollywood Film Festival presented by Starz is accepting entries. The festival is looking for drama, comedy, and horror features, as well as docs, shorts and animations.

Deadline is May 31, 2009

HFF is proud to announce that their winner Craig Brewer, director of "Hustle and Flow" and "Black Snake Moan," was discovered by the Hollywood Film Festival with the world premiere of his first film "Poor and Hungry." Another HFF winner, director Robert DeFranco, sold his film "Telling You" to Miramax. Our winner Zoe Clarke-Williams got a directing job for an MGM film after we honored her. In addition, our winning documentarian Janine Hoskins sold her documentary "My Khmer Heart" to HBO.

Our mandate is to bridge the gap between Hollywood and indie filmmakers.

Last year's Hollywood Film Festival generated over 300,000,000 media impressions in a mix of broadcast and cable/network television, Internet, and print.

Get visibility in Hollywood's backyard. For details and application information please visit


Almodovar, Cruz Give Men Their Due in Embraces
(AP) - With his latest Penelope Cruz collaboration, the Cannes Film Festival entry "Broken Embraces," Pedro Almodovar strikes some equality between the sexes and says he plans to feature more men in future films. FULL STORY

Trio Invited to Searchlight's Wedding
(Variety) - Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera and Carlos Mencia have signed on to star in an untitled family wedding project for Fox Searchlight. FULL STORY

Maya Sees the Light with Reyes' Ministers
( - Maya Entertainment has taken the US rights to Franc. Reyes' crime thriller The Ministers, starring John Leguizamo and Harvey Keitel. FULL STORY

Redford Brings Sundance Offshoot to New Mexico
(New Mexico Business Weekly) - Sundance will partner with the Department of Cultural Affairs and the New Mexico Film Office to create and expand upon training programs in film, the arts and the environment targeting American Indian and Hispanic filmmakers. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Crew Positions on Low Budget Feature
Ultra Low Budget SAG Feature seeks crew positions in several department. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Drama Scripts for Male Pre-Teen Lead
StoneKap Productions Ltd. are looking for completed feature-length family-friendly drama or fantasy scripts which involve a 10 to 12 year-old male lead in one of the main roles. 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

Don't Miss DOING YOUR DOC in Harlem, May 29-31

Join us in Harlem, New York, May 29-31 for our NALIP signature program Doing Your Doc: Diverse Visions, Regional Voices. 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.

Register online here for DOING YOUR DOC - HARLEM

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. Click here for more information!

Almudena Carracedo
NALIPster's Made in L.A. to receive the Hillman Prize in Broadcast Journalism

NALIP member Almudena Carracedo (LPA 2004, Estela) and Robert Bahar's documentary Made in L.A. will receive the 2009 Hillman Prize in Journalism in the category of Broadcast. Presented since 1950, The Hillman Prizes are among the most prestigious awards given to journalists, photographers, writers and public figures whose work fosters social and economic justice. Past winners include prominent figures in their field, as well as young journalists or publications that have yet to receive adequate recognition.

"The Hillman Foundation is dedicated to promoting the role that journalism and the world of ideas play in making a difference in the lives of ordinary people. These awards are proof that journalism, at its best and most professional, can change the world," said Bruce Raynor, president of the foundation.

The award ceremony will be held May 27, 2009, 5:30-8:00 PM, at the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City. For more info about the Hillman awards and the winners visit the official webpage. For more information about Made in L.A. visit

Gabriela Yepes
NALIPster's film winnes at American Pavilion in Cannes

Danzak, a film written and directed by NALIP member Gabriela Yepes, won the Best Student Short Film category at the Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, Saturday May 17th. Danzak was selected among 400 other shorts from all over the world.

The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase atCannes supports upcoming filmmakers by screening their films at ThePavilion during the Festival while providing an opportunity for thesefilmmakers to connect with the global audience at Cannes.

Danzak is about Nina, a 10 year old girl whose life dramatically changes when her father and Scissor Dancer master asks her to fulfill his last wish. Inspired on a short story by Peruvian writer Jose Maria Arguedas, the "Agony of Rasu Niti."

Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
NALIP member appointed co-chair of Intellectual Freedom Committee

NALIP member Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca was appointed co-chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the New Mexico Library Association. Dr. Ortego is a long-time member of the American Library Association and its Intellectual Freedom Roundtable.

Dr. Ortego is Scholar in Residence and Chair of the Department of Chicana/o and Hemispheric Studies at Western New Mexico University in Silver City. His film credits include North From Mexico (narrator and film consultant with Harold Flender), Nadine (Sandwich Board Man), Dancer, Texas (Principal), and a host of television commercials. He is recipient of the Patricia and Rudolfo Anaya Critica Nueva Award from the University of New Mexico for his contributions to Chicano Literature. His work on Backgrounds of Mexican American Literature (University of New Mexico, 1971) was the first study in the field.

Deborah Calla
NALIPster launches The Love Project Inc.

NALIP member Deborah Calla, a writer/producer, has just launched her new project, a multimedia website called The Love Project Inc. Check out the amazing stories, photos and videos and leave your comments at


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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.