NALIP Board Members, ED, Mentors on Imagen's 2nd Annual Most Influential Latinos List
A veritable "who's who" of Latinos in the entertainment industry was honored today at the 2nd Annual "Most Powerful & Influential" Latinos in Entertainment Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Presented by The Imagen Foundation and Inside Latino Entertainment magazine, the ceremony honored over forty industry producers, directors, and senior executives from film and television who have distinguished themselves this past year (see complete list below). Among those honored was Kenny Ortega, executive producer/director of the very popular Disney "High School Musical" franchise, including the current boxoffice hit "High School Musical 3."
"People tend to forget that, although Latinos have contributed to Hollywood from its earliest beginnings in front of the camera, behind the scenes Latinos have had a more difficult time in achieving executive-level positions. Now that we have progressed to find Latinos in decision-making positions at all the major entertainment companies, as well as producers and directors, it is imperative that we trumpet their talent and accomplishments of the past year," said Helen Hernandez, president and founder of The Imagen Foundation.
The Imagen (pronounced ee-mah-hen) Foundation first began as The Imagen Awards program, established in 1985 to encourage and recognize the positive portrayal of Latinos in the media. Later, as The Imagen Foundation, it expanded its programs and initiatives to further its mission to serve as a bridge between the Latino community and the entertainment industry in providing access, education, and resources to Latinos in the industry as well as those seeking careers in entertainment. More information can be found at their website www.imagen.org
2008 Most Powerful & Influential Latinos in Entertainment
* Jonathan Avila, Vice President, Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer - The Walt Disney Company
* Javier Avitia, Sr. Vice President, Business Affairs - CBS Paramount Int'l Television
* Arturo Barquet, Sr. Vice President, Production and Finance - Universal Pictures
* Patricia Boero, Executive Director - Latino Public Broadcasting
* Gary Bonilla, Sr. Vice President and Managing Director - Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group
* Emiliano Calemzuk, President - Fox Television Studios
* Carlos Carreras, Head of Latin Talent - United Talent Agency
* Lucia Cottone, Vice President, Series Development & Current Programming - Lifetime
* Ignacio Darnaude, Executive Vice President - Sony Pictures Releasing International
* Gilbert Davila, Vice President, Global Diversity & Multicultural Market Development - The Walt Disney Company
* Christina Davis, Sr. Vice President, Drama Series Development - CBS Entertainment
* Guillermo del Toro, Director, Producer, Writer - Cha Cha Cha Production Company
* Raul de Quesada, Sr. Vice President, Assistant General Manager - Fox Sports en Español
* Moctesuma Esparza, CEO, Chairman, Producer - Maya Entertainment Group
* Angela Mariana Freyre, Sr. Vice President & Deputy General Counsel - The Nielsen Company
* Jean Fuentes, Sr. Vice President, Human Resources - Fox Television Studios
* Kathryn Galan - Executive Director - NALIP
* Lino Garcia, General Manager - ESPN Deportes
* Rodrigo Garcia, Director/Writer
* Phil Gonzales, Vice President, Communications - CBS Entertainment
* Christy Haubegger, Lifestyle Director - Creative Artists Agency
* Jackie Hernandez, COO - Telemundo
* Silvio Horta, Executive Producer/Creator – "Ugly Betty"
* Alejandro ?Iñarritu, Director, Producer, Writer - Cha Cha Cha Production Company
* Margaret Lazo, Sr. Vice President, Human Resources - NBC Universal TV Network and Cable Entertainment
* Roberto Llamas, Chief Human Resources & Public Affairs Officer - The Nielsen Company
* Raul Mateu, Sr. Vice President and Managing Director - William Morris Agency
* Javier Maynulet, Sr. Vice President & CFO - NBC Universal Television
* Robert Mendez, Sr. Vice President, Diversity - Disney/ABC Television Group
* Edith Mendoza, Vice President, Comedy Series Development - CBS Entertainment
* Belinda Menendez, President - NBC Universal Int'l Television Distribution
* Cesar Millan, Television Personality ("Dog Whisperer") - Cesar & Ilusion Millan Foundation
* Paul Montoya, Exec. Vice President, Media Sales - CBS Television Distribution
* Peter Murrieta, Executive Producer - The Disney Channel
* Armando Nuñez Jr., President - CBS Paramount Int'l Television
* Emanuel Nuñez, Motion Picture/Film Finance - Creative Artists Agency
* Kenny Ortega, Director & Choreographer - Kenny Ortega Company
* Marla Provencio, Exec. Vice President, Marketing - ABC Entertainment
* Eduardo "Piolín" Sotelo, Radio Personality - Univision Radio
* Nina Tassler, President - CBS Entertainment
* Claudia Teran, Sr. Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs - Fox Cable Stations
* Ligiah Villalobos, Writer/Director
Eduardo Diaz Named New Head of Smithsonian Latino Center
By Robin Pogrebin, The New York Times
Eduardo Díaz, the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M., has been named director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Smithsonian said on Thursday. Mr. Díaz, who will start the job Dec. 8, replaces Pilar O’Leary, who resigned in February after revelations that she had charged the office for personal expenses like salon, spa and gift shop purchases, solicited free tickets for the Latin Grammy Awards and stayed in four- and five-star hotels while traveling for business. In his current position, which he has held since 2005, Mr. Díaz has overseen what is reputedly the largest Latino cultural center in the United States, a division of New Mexico’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Daniel E. Sheehy, director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, has served as acting director since February.
Universal Picks up the Dominican Hit Musical In The Heights
Universal Pictures announced today that it has acquired the rights to produce a feature film based on "In the Heights," a multi-generational and multi-ethnic musical by Tony Award® winner, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes. "In the Heights" has exhilarated audiences both on and off Broadway since February 2007 and won four Tony Awards® this year including Best Musical, Best Choreography, Best Orchestration and a Best Original Score Award and Best Actor nomination for Miranda. "In the Heights'" original Broadway producers, Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman, will executive produce and Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the Tony nominated book for the show, will be writing the screen adaptation for the film.
Set over three days in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, "In the Heights" is an exhilarating musical journey into one of New York's most vibrant communities, where the lives of three generations come together in an unforgettable story of hope and self-discovery.
"'In the Heights' is a musical rich with storyline and characters that transcend the setting in which they are cast to entertain and speak to audiences from all walks of life," said Donna Langley, President of Production for Universal Pictures. "We are thrilled to be working with Lin-Manuel Miranda to bring this fantastic story to the big screen."
Twenty-eight year-old Miranda, who wrote the music and lyrics and currently stars in the show, first conceived "In the Heights" while in his sophomore year at Wesleyan University. "In the Heights" is the story of a vibrant and tight-knit community of New York's famed Washington Heights neighborhood. The music pulses with the hopes and dreams of three generations as they struggle to forge an identity in a neighborhood on the brink of transition.
"Nearly nine years into my journey with 'Heights,' I remain constantly humbled by all the opportunities we have been given. I am thrilled to work with Universal and help bring this story to millions of people around the world," said Miranda.
Maya to Produce/Distribute American Tragic Starring America Ferrera
Maya Entertainment, a vertically integrated, entertainment company targeting the growing U.S. Latino market, announced today that it will produce American Tragic (working title), a heart-felt drama starring “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera.
Ryan Piers Williams, who wrote the American Tragic, is slated to direct the film and Heather Rae (Frozen Rivera) will serve as producer on the film. Sergio Aguero (Y Tu Mama Tambien, No Reservations) will executive produce along side Ferrera, whose company, Take Fountain Productions, will receive production credit.
"Ryan has written a very compelling film that will surely resonate with both Latino and mainstream audiences," said Jeff Valdez, who co-chairs Maya Entertainment along with Maya founder Moctesuma Esparza.
The film follows a young man, James (newcomer Ryan O'Nan), as he returns home from a tour of duty. Having not found the direction and purpose he sought from the service, James hurls himself back into an old small town life that no longer fits. Despite the support of his wife (America Ferrera) and his mother Melissa Leo (Frozen River, 21 Grams), he is unable to settle in. James turns to a buddy for help and together they travel the country in search of redemption. Thinking that the war was behind him, James comes to realize that the fight for his life has only begun.
Key to the movie's appeal is its stellar cast, including Ferrera who has received wide praise for her starring role in Ugly Betty and award-winning veteran actress Leo whose performance in American Tragic has won her critical acclaim. Also on board is June Diane Raphael, who is the lead in Year One with Jack Black, and joins the cast as James' sister Susie.
"When our production team along with Heather described the film and told me America was on board it took us all of one day to fast track the film into development and pre-production," remarked Jeff Gonzalez, COO and CFO of Maya Entertainment. "This will be the second film of America's that Maya distributes as we recently distributedHow the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer'."
"This film brings together exceptional talent and a moving story - Ryan Williams has a distinct vision for this powerful drama. I am honored to be a part of it and thrilled to be working with Maya Entertainment," added Rae.
"Ryan has written a memorable story with compelling characters that are attractinggreat talent," commented Aguero.
Williams is represented by agent Gayla Nethercott at Buchwald and managed by Gina Rugolo at Rugolo Entertainment. Ferrera is represented by manager Jon Rubinstein at Authentic and agent Elyse Scherz at Endeavor. Jodi Peikoff was instrumental in negotiating the deal with Maya on behalf of Williams and Ferrera.
Production on American Tragic will begin in New Mexico in February '09 with a projected Fall '09 release.
Special Presentation of La Lupe, Queen of Latin Soul and Filmmaker Discussion
The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, the Latin American Institute, and the Center for the Study of Women will present a special free screening of founding NALIP member Ela Troyano?s La Lupe, Queen of Latin Soul (2007) on Wednesday, November 12, 4:00?6:00 p.m., in 314 Royce. La Lupe?Lupe Yolí first gained fame in the 1950s in her native Cuba. In the 1960s she moved to the United States, where she became known for her campy, emotional performances of Latin music. She made several successful albums with Tito Puente, recording classics such as "My Way,? “Fever,” and “Going Out of My Head.” This captivating one-hour documentary draws on interviews and archival footage to present a vivid portrait of La Lupe’s rise to fame and her subsequent decline. Ela Troyano, who will discuss her work after the screening, is a New York-based, Cuban-born filmmaker whose films and performances have been shown throughout the United States and at international festivals. Campus parking can be purchased for $9 at the entrance to structure 4 or at any parking kiosk; closest available parking is in structure 5. For further info contact: (310) 825-4571.