Latinos In The Industry
  December 4, 2008  

Register Now for "Doing Your Doc" - Miami, Jan. 9-11, 2009

NALIP, CPB, the NEA and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
In association with the Miami International Film Festival, Miami Light, Florida Governor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, Miami Beach Office of Film, Miami Dade College, WPBT, ITVS, NBPC, CAAM, LPB, PIC, NAPT, Florida Media Market, Women Make Movies & the California Arts Council Present


Jan. 9-11, 2009 in Miami, Florida

A Weekend Seminar in Miami to Kick-Start Your Documentary

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. 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.

"Doing your Doc" is designed especially for media makers in the diverse communities of Florida, preparing you to receive production funding and apply to national professional programs while developing your unique stories and views.

Doing Your Doc: 3-day Workshop Fee
Early Registration by Jan. 9 - $100; Student w/ Valid ID -- $50
Includes lunches, workshop materials, books & private project mentoring
At the door Registration -- $125; Students -- $75
Register online here for DOING YOUR DOC - MIAMI

Venue Address: Tower Theater, 1508 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

For more information including a full schedule visit the Doing Your Doc webpage, or call NALIP at 310.395.8880

Latino/a FIlmmakers and Themes Invited to Screen at Sundance '09

Among the roster of 64 competition features set for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, January 15 - 25th in Utah, the lineup announced on Wednesday includes some NALIPsters and films about Latinos. The 2009 Sundance Film Festival feature film lineup will include 91 world premieres among the 118 titles. The roster of short films will be unveiled next week.

Screening in the Documentary Competition is the new film by LPA Fellow/Estela winner Natalia Alamada. In The General (El General), Natalia paints an intimate portrait of Mexico through the story of her great-grandfather, Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles, one of Mexico's most controversial revolutionary figures. This will be the film’s World Premiere.

Also competing in the Documentary section is The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court by producer Paco de Onis, and director Pamela Yates. It is about a battle of monumental proportions that unfolds as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo faces down warlords, genocidal dictators and world superpowers in bringing perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice.

Screening in Dramatic Competition is NALIP-NY’er Cruz Angeles’ film Don't Let Me Drown, a "Romeo and Juliet"-like story about two Caribbean islands teens in the Bronx after 9/11. Developed at the Sundance Labs, the project written by Angeles and Maria Topete is about two Latino teens whose lives are affected by the attack on the World Trade Center. They discover that love is the only thing that keeps them from drowning. Starring E.J. Bonilla, Gleendilys Inoa, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Chavira, and Gina Torres, this wil be the film’s World Premiere.

Also in feature competition is Sin Nombre, by director/writer Cary Fukunaga, a Spanish-language drama set in the world of migrants trying to make it from Guatemala through Mexico on their way to the U.S. It tells the story of Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), a teenager living in Honduras, and hungering for a brighter future. A reunion with her long-estranged father gives Sayra her only real option at emigrating with her father and her uncle into Mexico and then the United States, where her father now has a new family.

Screening in the Premiere’s section is Rudo and Cursi (Rudo y Cursi), from Director and Screenwriter Carlos Cuaron, produced by Conference 9 co-chair Frida Torresblanco. It is about two siblings who rival each other inside the world of professional soccer, and stars Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Guillermo Francella. Sundance will be its U.S. Premiere

Cine Latino Inks Deals with Five Top Movie Distributors

Spanish-language pay-television channel, Cine Latino has finalized deals with five of the world’s leading film distributors, acquiring more than 90 new titles that include some of the most critically-acclaimed and biggest box office hits of recent years from across the U.S., Latin America, Mexico, and Spain.

Cine Latino has acquired major film packages from Sony, Disney, MGM, Lionsgate, and Gussi—the largest movie distributor in Mexico.

“We are the only Spanish-language movie channel in the United States to have contracts in place with five of the top distributors of Spanish-language film,” said Jim McNamara, chairman of Cine Latino. “Through our new acquisitions we have reinforced our position as the destination for the widest and most-current selection of Latino blockbusters available on the market.”

In another unparalleled move, Cine Latino has assembled the largest showcase of Pedro Almodovar films ever to be presented on a Spanish-language service. Titles include Volver, a Golden Globe nominee and winner of Best Actress and Best Screenplay at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival starring Penelope Cruz; La Mala Educacion (“Bad Education”), one of Almodovar’s most serious works starring Gael Garcia Bernal; Todo Sobre Mi Madre (“All About My Mother”), an Oscar-winning film starring Penelope Cruz; Matador (“The Bullfighter”), an award-winning film with Antonio Banderas and Assumpta Serna; and Atame! (“Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!”), a love drama starring Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril. The Almodovar films will be available exclusively on Cine Latino.

“Cine Latino is the only channel in the U.S. where you will be able to find these award-winning movies by the most internationally-acclaimed Spanish filmmaker of our time,” said McNamara. “No Spanish-language channel has ever been able to deliver the quality and diversity of programming that we are now able to offer.”

Among the more than 90 recently-acquired titles include some of the best-selling recent theatrical releases of the Spanish-speaking world from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States. The new movies feature today’s most popular and celebrated Latino stars, including Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Ruben Blades, Ana De La Reguera, Ana Claudia Talancon, Kate Del Castillo, Aaron Diaz, among many others.

Sample newly-acquired titles include:
• El Crimen Del Padre Amaro (“The Crime of Father Amaro”), the Oscar-nominated, highest-grossing film in the history of Mexican cinema, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Ana Claudia Talancon.
• American Visa, based on the best-selling book in Bolivia, starring Damian Bichir and Kate Del Castillo (from “La Misma Luna”). Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2006 Ariel Awards in Mexico.
• Niñas Mal (“Charm School”), one of the most popular Mexican movies of 2007 starring four of Mexico’s favorite young actresses: Camila Sodi, Martha Higareda, Ximena Sariñana, and Maria Aura.
• Secuestro Express (“Express Kidnapping”), the critically-acclaimed, box office hit from Venezuela, starring Mia Maestro and Ruben Blades.
• Bluff, a comedic thriller from Colombia that was presented at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, starring Víctor Mallarino, Veronica Orozco and Carolina Gomez. Bluff was the highest-grossing Columbian movie of 2007.
• Cansada de Besar Sapos (“Tired of Kissing Frogs”), one of the highest-grossing Mexican films of all time starring Juan Manuel Bernal, Itatí Cantoral and Pedro Damian.

Cine Latino has also assembled a wide collection of Latino-themed Hollywood films, including Mel Gibson’s Oscar-nominated film Apocalypto about the declining period of the Mayan civilization, Peter Sollett’s award-winning film Raising Victor Vargas about a teenager growing up in the Lower East Side of New York, and the Puerto Rican film Yellow starring Rosalyn Sanchez as a classically-trained dancer who moves to New York to follow her dream of success.

“As the leading Spanish-language pay channel in the U.S., we are committed to delivering the best, widest selection of films for our viewer and making Cine Latino the premium entertainment destination for Hispanic audiences,” said McNamara.

With more than 3.5 million cable and satellite subscribers, Cine Latino is the leading Spanish-language premium film channel in the United States. Cine Latino offers the most current Spanish-language blockbusters and critically-acclaimed titles from Mexico, Latin America, Spain, and the U.S.

Wildfire Films Officially Launches in Austin

Wildfire Films, LLC, an Austin-based film production company, officially launches today. Wildfire Films was created from four separate production and film companies located in both Austin and LA that will now provide full-service development and production for feature films, television and new media. It is taking an active role in the development of the Texas film industry, with productions that will include a number of films that will support the diverse cultures the state offers.

Wildfire Film’s executive team has over 25 years of experience in the production of films for Hollywood. Anton Diether is a writer whose miniseries Moby Dick and Cleopatra received two Golden Globe and five Emmy nominations. Mark Hacker has written and been story editor for major studios including Warner Brothers, 20th-Century Fox, MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. Leon Rodriguez has over 30 years of production experience for Sony, CBS, BBC and recently directed Sony/BMG’s feature film Double Tap. Jesus Carrera is a production designer, known for his artistic vision in films such as 20th-Century Fox’s blockbuster Dragonball.

Austin is home to a number of film companies and producers, including Robert Rodriguez and Terrence Malick, and Wildfire Films is committed to bringing together Texas and LA’s most talented and renowned film executives to cultivate a rich and diverse list of film and television projects that will touch all cultures and ethnicities.

Wildfire Films has developed partnerships with Fred Roos Productions, Starz Media, ten leading production companies and eight top studios. The company will also take an active role in the Texas Motion Picture Association and Austin Producers Association. The executives of Wildfire Films are strong supporters of the Texas Film Incentive Proposal designed to create incentives for more films to be produced in Texas.

“Texas is a great location for the film industry,” said Elizabeth Avalon of Troublemaker Studios. “The executives of Wildfire Films have made a commitment to improve the Texas Film Industry and help build the community they love. By selecting Austin as the location for Wildfire Films, the company can create films with a great depth of transparency, which is typically difficult to achieve in Hollywood.”

Wildfire is currently co-producing and developing The Gus Garcia Story (16 Minutes) with Academy Award-winning producer Fred Roos and Overture Films; two projects with Humble Journey Films; an update urban feature version of Les Miserables and Mama’s Boys, starring Whoopie Goldberg and Blair Underwood. In addition, Wildfire Films is working on projects with Starz Entertainment, HBO, Creation Studios, NBC, CBS, Troublemaker Studios and Pinewood Studios Group in London.

Leon Rodriguez’s career has spanned over 30-plus years in the entertainment industry. Leon has produced and directed multi-camera shoots for such clients as Stevie Ray Vaughan, PBS, BBC and Polish filmmaker Mariusz Kotowski. Leon recently wrote and directed Double Tap, a film starring Daniel Baldwin and Pepe Serna, currently distributed by Sony/BMG and internationally distributed through Aspect Films out of London, UK. Leon got his start in the Austin entertainment industry in the late 1970s working for Eddie Wilson, owner and founder of The Armadillo World Headquarters and current owner of Austin’s Threadgill’s restaurants.

With 20-plus years of experience in the film industry as a department head in set construction, art, designing and producing, Jesus “Chuy” Carrera has an extensive list of credits that includes feature films, television series and national TV commercials. In 2007, Chuy worked on Kings of Appletown with Academy Award-winning writer/director Bobby Moresco. His most recent project, the highly anticipated $100 million feature Dragonball, is currently in post-production for 20th-Century Fox. A carpenter by trade, Chuy has earned the reputation of being able to create anything out of any material.



Ben Lobato
NALIPster featured in Chivas Regal 18 "Spirit of Success" ad campaign

NALIP member Ben Lobato (LPA 2004) is currently featured as a success story in the Chivas Regal 18 "Spirit of Success" advertising campaign in November and December. Chivas 18 is proud to provide vital community support through “Espíritu De Progreso Latino,” a national movement highlighting the strong Latino values and work ethic, and their pursuit of progress.

In this month's issue of Hispanic Magazine, you'll be able to read a full page 'advertorial' in which he reveals the 3 Keys to Ben's success (such as: set a goal, figure out what you don't know, and go work for the person who does know). The advertorial is available for download here as a PDF, or click here to read the Full Story.

The Spirit of Success: Ben Lobato

Ben Lobato grew up in a very manly household in southern California -- with two brothers, boxing, karate, lots of time in Tijuana, and six years in the military. It would be the ideal background for his current job as a writer for the hit CBS series, “The Unit,” a show about an elite, top-secret military unit. Ben recognizes he is in a dream job. “This job has given me the chance to work with some of the most talented people in Hollywood, like David Mamet and Shawn Ryan. It’s a unique opportunity to learn and grow as a writer and filmmaker.”

Ben’s film career appears to have been a series of rare, almost miraculous, opportunities. “I had been a soldier for six years; then two weeks before being shipped off to Iraq, I got a serious respiratory infection which ended my military career.” That led Ben to return to his undergraduate passion of writing and filmmaking, pursuing a Masters from NYU and joining NALIP’s Latino Producers Academy. NALIP helped him land a competitive writing fellowship at Disney Studios, where he was also able to work with executives at Buena Vista Studios. His mentors suggested he try television writing, and soon, with the help of other TV executives, he was able to land his coveted writer’s position. “I set my course of action, but someone always seemed to be helping me, mentoring me to the next level. I have the same commitment to help others too.”

Lobato considers himself an entrepreneur, not only for his stake in Del Desierto Films, but because he recognizes that successful filmmaking is not only creative, but financial. “My latest venture ties in a video game, graphic novel and an action film. It’s a cutting-edge concept to win an audience in the new millennium.” In all his projects, Ben sets his sites on accomplishing a successful balance of creative genius and business profit. As his history has shown, when Ben aims at a goal, he usually hits his target.

Ben’s 3 Keys to Success

1. Ask yourself: What is the legacy I want to leave behind? When you have the answer to that, then you won’t mind the hard work and sacrifices you make to get the job done, to accomplish your legacy.

2. Once you set a goal, figure out what you don’t know and go to work for the person who does know.

3. Humility and servitude - Set your ego aside, be humble, be willing do the hard work and even sacrifice for someone else’s glory their success may be the key to opening your door.

For more information about Ben’s story visit his page on the Espíritu De Progreso Latino website.

Chivas 18 is proud to provide vital community support through “Espíritu De Progreso Latino,” a national movement highlighting the strong Latino values and work ethic, and their pursuit of progress. Since 2007, Chivas 18 has partnered with non-profit organizations which help train Hispanic entrepreneurs and advance Hispanic business. From IT and financial management to planning and networking, these training and education programs have helped owners take their businesses to the next professional level. The National Association of Latino Producers (NALIP), for example, has dedicated their grants to presenting the Latino Producers Academy, an intensive training for film and media entrepreneurs. The program has resulted in the advancement of several award-winning Hispanic films currently in development and distribution.

Join the hundreds in the “Espíritu de Progreso Latino” movement, presented by Chivas 18. Share your inspiring pictures and stories of progress, and read a complete list of the Chivas Regal 18: 18 Golden Keys to Success at

Patrick Rooney
NALIPster's feature wins at St. Louis Int. Film Festival

Streetballers, a feature film produced by NALIP member Patrick Rooney, received the Audience Choice Award for Top Feature Film at the St. Louis International Film Festival. According to the managing director for the festival, Streetballers was the highest scoring movie in the history of the event. Read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's coverage of the awards here.

Noemi Figueroa Soulet
NALIPster's doc receives Honorable Mention from the Chris Awards

The Borinqueneers, a documentary produced and directed by NALIP member Noemi Figueroa Soulet, has been awarded an “Honorable Mention” award by the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, a.k.a. "The Chris Awards", one of the most prestigious documentary, educational, business and informational competitions in the U.S.

The annual film festival, the oldest of its kind in North America now celebrating its 56th year, is designed to encourage and promote the use of film and video in all forms of education and communication. The awards were presented at the 56th annual Awards Ceremony, Saturday, November 15, 2008 at the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio.



Lights, Cámara ... Action!
(NY Daily News) - Say the words “Spanish cinema,” and most New Yorkers will think of manly screen idols such as Javier Bardem or Antonio Banderas, but the next big thing from Spain may be the bald, childlike figure of Javier Cámara, the star of this year’s Spanish Cinema Now at Lincoln Center. FULL STORY

Benicio Del Toro Talks Che
(The Guardian) - Benicio Del Toro has been fascinated by Che Guevara, ever since hearing his name in a Rolling Stones song. Now he's playing him in a two-part biopic. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

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

Graphic Designers and Animators for Network Branding Project
United Front Design, located in Universal City, Los Angeles, CA is seeking experienced and talented on-air graphic designers and animators to work on a new network-branding project. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Casting: Extras for USC Graduate Thesis
USC graduate thesis project seeks extras to play mourners in "Remember Me In Red" on December 6 and 8. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Independent Film Distribution Study
A NALIP Boston member is working on a thesis about Indie Film Distribution. If you’re a film maker or a distributor, please help with this study by filling out a very short survey. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE

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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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.