INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Re-considering the Re-enactment - NALIP Board Member Maria Agui Carter's Rebel
This is part a series of articles that we will be offering our readers in the new year. Click on Talk Back to discuss with other NALIPsters!
Article by NALIP Mentor Fernanda Rossi
Re-enactments, dramatizations, and subjective reconstructions are often frowned upon without further consideration on ethical, aesthetic and budgetary grounds. They raise questions about the veracity of the events portrayed and evoke images of cable docucramas rather than creative documentary filmmaking. All in all, they leave funders unsure if such controversial storytelling techniques are worth the risks.
Maria Agui Carter, a filmmaker from Boston with a resume that spans over 20 years, decided to embrace the challenge; in the process, she took dramatizations a few steps beyond our preconceptions. Rebel explores the memoirs of a Cuban woman, Loreta Velazquez, who dressed as a man to fight in the American Civil War and who was subsequently attacked as a prostitute and liar by a prominent Confederate historian. Even though researchers have found many archival records about her, she had been successfully erased from official history, and only one photograph of Loreta has been identified. To fill in the visual gaps, Maria decided not to resort to shots of disembodied hands writing with feather pens in dim light or to re-enactments of battles in national parks. Instead, she chose the daring route of creating fully developed scenes with trained principal actors—on one occasion even letting the actors speak!
Is that fiction filmmaking? Maria insists that every historical retelling uses the imagination to interpret events, but that her film is guided by scrupulous historical research and is about the act of creating historical narrative. Dramatizations then? Yes, but not the type we’re used to scorning. Still, when Maria and equally experienced editor Bernice Schneider came to New York to doctor their film, I suspected that the main problem would be the juxtaposition of those narrative scenes with the interviews. I was so wrong! To my utter surprise, the narrative scenes flowed perfectly well with the interviews of experts. The structural issues we had to work on were subtleties of the narration and the final scenes, never an aesthetic clash between storylines.
Call for Entries: All Roads Film Festival
The All Roads Film Project is now accepting film entries for the All Roads Film Festival 2009 to be held in Los Angeles, CA; Washington, D.C.; and Santa Fe, NM. All Roads is a National Geographic program created to provide an international platform for indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture artists to share their cultures, stories, and perspectives through the power of film.
* Dramatic Feature $40
* Long Documentary $40
* Short Documentary $20
* Live Action Short $20
* Animation $15
* Music Video $15
Two Ways to Submit:
* In the interest of conservation, we encourage everyone to submit online through Withoutabox.
* You may also submit by downloading and mailing in entry forms via PDF.
Submission deadline: March 31, 2009 (postmarked)
* Los Angeles
July 17–19, 2009
* Washington D.C.
July 24–26, 2009
* Santa Fe
Call for Entries: peermusic Latin Scholarship
The BMI Foundation, Inc. has announced the opening of the 6th Annual peermusic Latin Scholarship, a competition for young songwriters and composers. Established by music publisher Ralph Peer II and generously funded by peermusic, a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded for the best song or instrumental composition in a Latin genre.
Famed Latin rock superstar Juanes is proud to stand behind a contest that supports and encourages young Latin musical talent. "This contest is an amazing opportunity for young composers/lyricists to compete against the best talent in the USA and Puerto Rico and earn money to further their education. I am glad to be a part of something that promotes and celebrates the emergence and growth of Latin musical talent," says Juanes.
According to Porfirio Pina, Director of the competition, the program is open to students between the ages of 16 and 24 who are enrolled in any college or university located in the United States and Puerto Rico. All words and music must be original. The postmark deadline for entries is February 20, 2009. Competition rules and applications are available online at www.bmifoundation.org
Founded by Ralph S. Peer in 1928, peermusic is a global network of music publishing companies operating from 33 offices in 27 countries. With well over a quarter of a million titles in the company's catalogue, and songs that vary from country, blues, jazz and pop to Latin, concert and rock & roll, peermusic is the largest privately owned company of its kind in the world.
Deadline Approaching: Cine Las Americas
Cine Las Americas announces the new dates for The 12th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival: April 22 - 30, 2009. In order to better integrate the festival's program into the local film events calendar, the official dates have been moved back to their traditional April schedule. The 12th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival will take place in Austin, Texas, once again bringing the best of Latino and indigenous cinema.
The festival's call for entries is currently open. The new festival dates will not affect the deadlines for submissions to our Call For Entries, which will remain January 30, 2009 (early deadline) and February 12, 2009 (late deadline). The deadline for Emergencia Youth Film Festival has been extended to February 12, 2009. For more details about the call for entries and to obtain an entry form please visit www.cinelasamericas.org
Cine Las Americas International Film Festival showcases contemporary films from North, Central, South America the Caribbean and Spain. Works made by or about Latinos and native groups of the Americas are eligible to participate.
This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
American Latino Launching Syndicated Sitcom "Treviño"
American Latino Syndication, a fully-owned division of LATV Networks and producers of the nationally syndicated shows American Latino TV and LatiNation, announces the launch of a new scripted comedy, Treviño. The series is set to debut via broadcast syndication this Fall. The half-hour weekly program stars comedian Steve Treviño, 28, who hails from South Texas and has written for such established comedians and TV stars as George Lopez (The George Lopez Show) and Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia).
“The show is a completely fresh take on cross-cultural humor, and relies on Steve's ability to make you laugh whether he's playing himself or any of the other characters he portrays on the show,” said David Morales, co-Creator and Executive Producer of Treviño. “From our writer, Michael A. Ajakwe Jr. who wrote for the Fox hit Martin, to our director Leonard R. Garner, Jr. who directed on NBC's hit Just Shoot Me, our creative team has experience moving standup comics like Martin Lawrence and David Spade on their paths to scripted TV stardom. We all believe that Steve is on that same track to success,” continued Morales, who is also Vice President of American Latino Syndication.
The national debut of Treviño marks the first time since syndication's heyday in the late 1980s that an original sitcom has premiered in broadcast syndication. This groundbreaking project is also the first time that an American Latino comedian has starred in a first-run syndication series.
“Scripted entertainment is a logical next step for our successful model of targeting the largest, underserved market today (U.S. born, American Latinos) with culturally relevant, crossover friendly content” stated Robert G. Rose, Founder of American Latino Syndication. “Treviño complements our existing programs while offering our affiliates first-run, scripted entertainment to premiere on their stations. We feel strongly that this program offers the stations a potential new revenue stream that they so desperately need in these economic times. As syndication has shrunk, we've grown.”
“Bringing out a new show at this time may seem like a risk, but this creative team has put together a project we could not pass up,” says Howard Bolter, President and COO of LATV Networks. “We are convinced that now is the right time for a fresh young American Latino perspective to be heard and Treviño delivers like no one else does.”
American Latino Syndication will screen the pilot presentation at Booth #1103 at the NATPE convention in Las Vegas, January 27-29. Steve Treviño will be on hand on Tuesday, January 27th and Wednesday, January 28th to greet potential affiliates and the press. Go to www.Trevino.tv for more information.