Latinos In The Industry
  March 3, 2009  

Funny is Money: NALIP 10 Panel on Comedy Opportunities for Latinos

If a comedy project works, it has a great chance to be a success. Who are the up and coming Latinos legends? How do comedy writers, producers and talent break through? Where do HBO, Comedy Central, CBS and others find funny talent they can trust? What is the path to Def Comedy Jam or the Daily Show? And how have superstars like Marlon Wayans taken great ideas, comic characters and key collaborations to blockbuster status?

Hear from HBO Senior Vice President Nancy Geller, producer of funny from SCTV through “Politically Incorrect” and “The Chris Rock Show,” Marlon Wayans and SiTV founder Jeff Valdez among other comedy experts who will share their secrets…and some laughs at NALIP 10 on Friday, April 17. Be there!!


This is part of a series of informative articles that we are offering our readers. Click on Talk Back to discuss with other NALIPsters!

Article by Marvin V. Acuna

I recently hosted a tele-seminar which afforded aspiring screenwriters from all over the world the opportunity to listen to an insightful and stimulating discussion about screenwriting as a business. Following the discussion, the screenwriters were given the opportunity to ask questions as it pertained to their personal challenges – it should be noted that all the agents, managers, and producers that participated on the call and responded to the questions were established veterans with at least 20 years plus of professional expertise.

Among the copious number of questions presented and addressed in this forum, the following question prompted me to share my thoughts here.

"I've emailed a number of managers and agents seeking representation, but have not heard back from anyone. What's the trick to securing a good agent or manager to represent me and my screenplays?"

The trick?

There is no trick. The answer lies in your introduction, your very first writing sample, and most importantly, drum roll please…your logline.

As an aspiring writer there are a vast number of tools that can aid you in the pursuit of representation. I will focus your attention here on one - the query letter.


Call for Entries: Cinefiesta

Cinefiesta 2009 has opened its submission process. The Film Foundation, Inc. and the Puerto Rico Film Commission are now accepting entries for its seventh annual short film contest scheduled for August 2009.


There is no entry fee.

Go to our web page read our rules and if your short complies with them, fill the submission form. You can also go to and submit your shortfilm.

Check the rules to see the format in which we want to receive the shorts.

Call for Entries: FEST - International Youth Film Festival

FEST - International Youth Film Festival Portugal announces the opening of the call for entries of the official competitive section in the festival, aimed for directors up to 30 years of age. The festival will take place in between the 21 and 28 of June.


There is no entry fee.
Entry Form and details available at:

FEST - International Youth Film Festival, is now one of the most important cultural events in Portugal, with all year TV Coverage. FEST – Training Ground which is a parallel activity of the festival, has received in Portugal participants from all over the world in its previous edition, and is set to guarantee a very good environment for the festival , as well as all the condition for all people interested in following the event.

The categories are in competition are:

. A - Fiction
. B - Documentary
. C - Experimental
. D - Animation
. E - Music Videoclip

And alternatively the Silver Castle competition for Feature films from Directors on its first or second work

Deadline Approaching: Cowrite Contest

In association with Benderspink, Cowrite is developing a community-created screenplay. Every other week the best 10 page submission will be added to the developing story until the script is finished and ready to be sold. The first 30 pages of the Cowrite community-sourced screenplay are now posted on the Cowrite website.

Visit to submit your version of the next 10 pages of the Cowrite screenplay for a chance to win some quick cash and prizes.

The deadline for your next ten pages of the Cowrite screenplay is quickly approaching:
EXTENDED DEADLINE: 11:59 PM EST, Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - $14

OVER $35,000 in cash and prizes
$3,000 in cash and prizes awarded to a writer every other week
Grand prize: one of the 11 winners will be hired to do a paid rewrite
All winners will share in any script sale

Cowrite has partnered with The Los Angeles Film Festival, iScript, and software companies Final Draft, Inc. and Jungle Software, all of which will supply prizes to each of the eleven winners.

Free Seminars for Performers

Two free seminars in March for performers. Live demos, tips, handouts & door prizes from Argentum Photo Labs. Learn more about the business and marketing tips & tools you need to thrust your performing career in the right direction! Also, get an inside scoop on important tax information that you absolutely need to know as a performer. Seminars this month will be held in North Hollywood and Burbank, CA.

Free "Tax Tips & Performer Tools" Seminar
Friday, March 6th (12:30PM-3:00PM)

Free "Tax Tips & Performer Tools" Seminar
Wednesday, March 11th (7:00PM-9:00PM)

NAPT Unveils New Website

Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) has unveiled a new website to aid filmmakers with production resources. It also tells PBS viewers what is currently on public television. The new site also allows filmmakers and musicians with a venue to post their latest work, among other features.

The new home page with a fresh look and new logos also places all of NAPT's products and services - and VisionMaker Video - under one umbrella to create a more uniform and consistent image of NAPT products.

The new website is part of NAPT's three-year plan to improve relationships with individual PBS stations, develop more marketing materials for producers and improve national visibility and reputation of NAPT.

To view the site, go to



Early Bird rate expires Monday, March 9. So register soon for NALIP 10: A Decade of Influence!

Take advantage of the best rates, scholarship opportunities, and more.


Harrison Reiner Story Development Workshop

Back by Popular Demand: Harrison Reiner’s Unique Story Development Workshop

ONLY at NALIP 10: Deadline is Wednesday April 1, 2009

Interested in sharpening your development skills? Do you have a project that needs an accelerated burst of development? The NALIP Story Development Workshop may be the special weekend intensive that you are looking for.

This rigorous workshop is taught by CBP-Paramount Television staff story analyst, and Latino Writers Lab mentor, HARRISON REINER. He has just produced and co-written the Santa Barbara Film Festival winner AMAR A MORIR. The Story Development Workshop runs concurrent with the NALIP 10 Conference, and is a favorite of all who take it. The program offers you a short, personalized curriculum that engages your creative thinking and, through collaborative dialogue and exercises, helps you take an emerging story to the next level.

Admission is limited to 10 writers and is by invitation only! Do you have a treatment, story idea or early draft? Why not apply to participate?

First, you must register for the Conference at Then, you will submit a full resume, and a writing sample of 20-30 pages (screenplay, stage play, short story, treatment or manuscript -- beginning with page 1). No technical writing please: evidence of the study or practice of screenwriting is needed.

EMAIL YOUR RESUME AND WRITING SAMPLE BY APRIL 1, 2009 to with “H Reiner Story Development workshop APPLICATION” in the subject line.

You will be notified by NALIP if accepted, and provided a workshop schedule.

Register by Tuesday, March 9, 2009 to take advantage of our Early Bird rate! More information at

Frances Negrón-Muntaner
NALIP founding board member awarded grant to study Basquiat

Scholar, filmmaker, and writer Frances Negrón-Muntaner - a NALIP founding board member and Conference 10 co-chair - has been awarded a grant by The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program to pursue research on artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The proposed project aims to examine the question of influence in relation to Basquiat's art. To date, criticism has largely focused on how Basquiat's turbulent life shaped his art, and how canonical white male artists and/or male African-American athletes, musicians, and other cultural producers have influenced his work. Yet, throughout Basquiat's career, he repeatedly said that his art “came from her,” referring to his mother, Matilde Andrades, who was born in New York of Puerto Rican migrant parents. In the proposed research, Negrón-Muntaner will further explore Basquiat's assertion, and in the process excavate who was Matilde Basquiat, what is artistic influence, and how artistic bonds can be reproduced between generations of Afro-Caribbean peoples in New York.

The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program is designed to encourage and reward writing about contemporary art that is rigorous, passionate, eloquent and precise, as well as to create a broader audience for arts writing. Representing a range of genres from scholarly studies to self-published blogs, the selected projects are united by their dual commitment to the craft of writing and the advancement of critical discourse on contemporary visual art.




Banderas Joins Woody Allen Film
(Variety) - Antonio Banderas has been added to the lengthening cast of Woody Allen's next pic, a still-untitled project set to roll this summer in London, according to producer Mediapro. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Open Casting Call: Feature Film MMA Kid
Non-union feature film MMA Kid is holding an open casting call this Wednesday, March 4 for several male and female roles of various ages. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

DP in Peru for Personal Doc
I am an award winning filmmaker who is looking for a DP based in Lima, Peru or interested in going there to shoot a personal documentary. 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

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