Latinos In The Industry
  May 2, 2008  

NALIP 2008 Latino Producers Academy Now Accepting Applications!

NALIP believes that a Producer is the creative originator of films, a self-starter who recognizes ideas that have artistic or commercial merit. Producers must have passion, sensitivity for story and audience, plus the organizational ability and practical smarts to put together a project then guide it to and through the marketplace. NALIP is committed to nurting the next generation of American Latino independent filmmakers. Our Latino Producers Academy™ is in its Sixth year, and provides each invited Fellows the practical skills and knowledge to accomplish their personal goals and realize their dreams as filmmakers.

NALIP invites you to participate in the 2008 Latino Producers Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It offers professional development activiites designed to identify public television and independent narrative's next generation of creative producers and directors. NALIP believes that the best filmmakers enhance their production skills and their own creative energy by working and interacting with others. So the LPA curriculum encourages formal learning opportunities under the guidance of experienced mentor/professionals, facilitates relationship-building in a business based on relatinoships, and offers exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences around each creative project.

The 2008 LPA Invites Applications from Documentary Producers in two categories:

1. Documentary producer/directors with projects in development or production who have proposals and sample tapes, are invited with their producer/director partners

2. Documentary producers with projects in post-production who have rough cuts are invited with their editors

PLEASE NOTE: The 2008 LPA for Documentary Producers will take place from August 5 to August 14

The 2008 LPA Invites Applications from Narrative Feature Producers And DIRECTORS in two categories:

1. Feature producers (including producer/directors or producer/writers) with projects in early stages of development that have viable scripts ready for packaging and advancement towards production; prior NALIP program participants must have advanced drafts

2. Feature producers and their directors who have scripts in advanced stages of development with a package or ready to package (e.g. budget, executive summary, attachments, etc.); prior NALIP program participants must have advanced drafts

PLEASE NOTE: The 2008 LPA for Narrative Feature Producers will take place from August 12 to August 22

The 2008 LPA includes hands-on practicum for Producers at all stages of their professional development. Documentaries in post-production will have opportunities to re-cut and score sequences with intensive mentoring on their rough cuts and completion plans. Feature projects with directors will work with crews and casts to rehearse, shoot, cut and score scenes from their upcoming production. Documentary and Feature projects in development will benefit from comprehensive skills development with an opportunity to return with a rough cut or director in a future year.

This program is competitive and highly selective. It is open exclusively to NALIP members and/or New Mexico residents, and only to filmmakers with produced work on which they played a key creative role. All Accepted Fellows are invited on full scholarship: materials, lodging, meals and local transportation provided by our supporters, plus honoraria for documentary editors.

Applications are evaluated by a professional panel that considers the viability of each project, the type and quality of your prior work, your creative plans and commitment to a career in producing & media leadership, plus your potential to benefit from the Academy curriculum and opportunity.

Click here for the full application -- DEADLINE JUNE 2, 2008 --

2 NALIPsters Awarded Prestigious Rockefeller Media Fellowships

Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the recipients of its 2008 Media Arts Fellowships; the Fellowship program was founded and is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. This year, TFI awarded $715,000 to 22 innovative filmmakers and media artists including two NALIP Members: former membership coordinator Daniel Carrera and LMM 2008 filmmaker Hugo Perez. Tribeca Film Institute CEO Brian Newman along with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Alan Berliner awarded the Fellowships at a ceremony at the New York Academy of Art to some of the most promising and respected independent filmmakers working today.

Awarded to filmmakers and media artists whose work is innovative, creative and pushes boundaries, the Fellowships provide support to 22 filmmakers and media artists each year. The Fellowships offer financial support for artists working in the narrative, documentary, experimental, installation and computer-generated media genres. The Media Arts Fellowships recognize the artistic excellence of 20 film, video and new media artists in the United States with cash awards of $35,000 each. The program also awards two additional Fellowships of $7,500 each to emerging film and video artists.

“These 22 artists represent some of the most talented and forward-thinking artists creating independent media today” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Chair of the Tribeca Film Institute. “We look forward to their lasting and substantial contribution to independent film and arts.”

“We are honored to support such original artists and their unique projects,” said Brian Newman, Chief Executive Officer of the Tribeca Film Institute. “Whether it is a script that needs financing to begin production, or a completed film that needs funding for editing and promotional support, the Fellowships we award allow these talented individuals to contribute fantastic work to the independent media field.”

NALIP Fellowship winners are:

HUGO PEREZ (Emerging Artist)
Brooklyn, NY
Immaculate Conception is a narrative feature that re-imagines the Virgin Mary story within the context of contemporary Miami’s Cuban community. The story will be told primarily in Spanish, with baroque visual style and deadpan comedic tone.

Hugo Perez’s previous short narratives have been broadcast on HBO and Showtime, in addition to being screened at film festivals. His debut feature documentary Neither Memory Nor Magic recently premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival.

West Hollywood, CA
Invoking Dolores will be a feature length film that will explore the inherent spiritualism in the religious customs of rural Mexico through the story of Michael, a priest who returns from the US to his hometown in Mexico to follow the footsteps of Mexico’s leading exorcist.

Daniel Carrera’s short film Primera Comunion (First Communion) has screened at numerous international and national film festivals and has received several awards, including at the Guadalajara and Morelia Film Festivals in Mexico and the Directors Guild of America. He holds an MFA in Film Directing and Screenwriting from Columbia University.

Call for Applications: NATPE Diversity Fellowship Program

Now in its second year, the NATPE Diversity Fellowship Program provides a small group of emerging television and video content creators of color with the next step in their career development. Through a series of mentoring meetings, workshops, networking and educational opportunities, the Fellows are afforded a unique opportunity to make valuable contacts and gain real insight into the television industry.

Click here for more information about the Diversity Fellowship

Application process is now open. DOWNLOAD the application form.

This year we hope to grow the program from the 21 Fellows of 2007 to 30 or more. NATPE provides the Fellows with four nights accommodations, all entrance fees to LATV Festival events, special lunches, networking events, one-on-one time with a mentor and transportation. The Fellows are responsible for their own airfare and incidentals. The Fellows are chosen through a selection and submission process with support from key industry organizations whose mission is to support and promote diversity in the media, entertainment and television industries.

For more information, please contact Marjorie Goldberg at
or 310-453-4440.

NWCS Seeks Latin American Films for U.S. Distribution

New World Cinema Series (NWCS) is an exciting initiative to give Latin American films a bigger platform in US cinemas. In a year-long festival-like tour in 20 US cities, the series will show 6 of the greatest films recently produced in Latin America. NWCS was developed by the NY distribution company Matson Films and the production company Belladonna Films. They contracted us to be the point of entry for all Latin American films.

Here are two links to what some of the press has to say about this new distribution program: Variety article, Swissinfo article

We’re in the midst of doing the preselection. So please send us your films as soon as possible and please spread the word.

To learn more about NWCS and/or to download the submission form please go to:

Looking forward to hearing from you and to receiving your films.

NALIPsters' Film is Now Out on DVD

"Thieves and Liars" (Ladrones y Mentirosos) by Ricardo Mendez Matta and Poli Marichal, is now out on DVD, in Spanish with English (and also French) subtitles. Ricardo was a finalist for the NALIP Estela, and their film was Puerto Rico's official entry to the 2007 Academy Awards, after successful runs there and elsewhere. Check it out from Warner Home Video!





Santiago Tapia
LPA Fellow and LMM participant

Courtesy of Cynthia Littleton and Variety

"Surreal" is the only word that Santiago Tapia can summon to describe his experience during the past year since a friend sent him an article about a website called

Tapia (pictured left) was intrigued by the site's premise of challenging aspiring auteurs to create short films based on concepts and loglines suggested by the site. The finalists from a series of monthly competitions vie for the chance to have Filmaka fund the production of feature-length pic budgeted at up to $5 million.

What set Filmaka apart from similar web short film ventures, in Tapia's eyes, was the company it keeps. Backing the venture was Deepak Nayar, producer of noted indies "Bend it Like Beckham" and "Buena Vista Social Club," and the list of boldface names he'd assembled to judge the monthly submissions: Colin Firth, Werner Herzog, Neil LaBute, John Madden, Zak Penn, Paul Schrader, Bill Pullman and Wim Wenders.

Tapia moved through the monthly rounds of competition and is now among the finalists waiting to find out Monday (This just in: Winner is 21-year-old Nuru Rimington-Mkali of London. Click here to see his winning pic "And I Refuse to Forget.") if they're getting a coveted greenlight from Nayar. But Tapia already feels like a winner, because his Filmaka experience has opened more than a few doors for the Boston resident, who's in the process ofFilmakasecretadvgrant moving to L.A.

For starters, Tapia's collection of Filmaka shorts were enough to convince actor Malcolm McDowell to appear in his final-round pic, "The Secret Adventures of Mr. Grant." (Pictured right. Click here to watch the short.)He's also been accepted as a directing fellow in the diversity mentoring program run by Film Independent. And he's the first home-grown Filmaka talent to be signed to the fledgling company's management division.

It's a far cry from where he was a little over a year ago, fresh out of Boston University with a MFA, having focused on film production. He ran a video production shingle from his living room, but other than getting a few gigs producing short vids for the website of his undergrad alma mater, Harvard (where he earned a degree in biology), Tapia wasn't overly burdened with work.

Tapia had no shortage of motivation but the structure and deadlines provided by the monthly competitionwas the prod he needed to get cracking, at first on his own dime, and then with a little bit of coin from Filmaka as he advanced through the final rounds.

"I loved the challenge of making films every month. That's what really got me into it. It was a chance to out there and do something," Tapia says. "It's one thing to call yourself a director, but you don't often get the chance to make anything. This opportunity was so exciting."

Finding constructive feedback from established directors popping up in his email inbox was mind-blowing too, Tapia adds.

The aspects of Filmaka that appealed to Tapia were in many ways the things that drew Sandy Grushow, former Fox TV Entertainment Group chairman, to sign on last year with Nayar's startup, first as a consultant and now as a partner with Nayar and president of the company.

FilmakasandygrushowGrushow (pictured left) was impressed by the names Nayar recruited, but he was even more impressed by the depth and breadth of the work flowing in from around the world. Grushow's roots in the marketing biz helped him see that there was real potential in the online community that Filmaka had assembled in less than a year in beta mode with zero promotion.

Now, Filmaka, based out of offices in L.A.'s Fairfax district, is starting to hum on multiple fronts. It serves as a forum for advertisers and others who want to reach the non-pro and semi-pro Filmaka users to tap into new veins of creativity. FX is running a contest with Filmaka to develop a new comedy concept, and a similar development contest is in the works with a sizable distrib on the film side. SAB Miller has put out the call via Filmaka for submissions for its beer commercials and other marketing materials.

In addition to its various contests, Filmaka is developing a slew of web-based programs with some of its users, some of them derived from concepts submitted as short films by users. In time, the hope is that these projects have traditional TV and film adaptations (one Filmaka hit, "Superhero," is at present being shopped as a series in the U.K.), but Grushow and Nayar also see value in building a digital studio with tons of proprietary content. Toward that end, they are talking with Web- and digital distribution partners about licensing Filmaka's content.

Another thrust of the venture is managing the careers of promising talents, a la Tapia, who rise through the Filmaka meritocracy. The company is in the midst of recruiting an experienced talent rep to run the management arm, Grushow says.

For an exec who grew up in the traditional TV biz, even at a non-traditional shop like Fox, it's all very new and invigorating for Grushow. Instead of fighting with producers over another $500,000 per episode, the imperative now is to find those creative diamonds in the rough who can do wonders with a $3,000 stipend Filmakalogo to make a five-minute short.

"We're using the Web to build an online creative community composed of aspiring writers and directors from around the world who are capable of powering a new kind of studio -- a studio that has virtually no overhead and is capable of generating a vast amount of high-quality, low-cost content," Grushow says.

Grushow spent some time as a producer after exiting as head of Fox's network and TV studio operation in early 2004, but it wasn't the right fit for him. That experience has only heightened his respect and appreciation for those who do live to write, direct and produce something from nothing, for nothing (or next to nothing) money-wise.

In many ways his new mandate at Filmaka reminds Grushow of the time in the late 1990s when he headed the 20th Century Fox TV studio at the time it was on a self-imposed mission to become the town's No. 1 supplier of primetime series to the major nets. The key was betting on the right talent, and the right combination of talent, concept and distrib partner, Grushow says.

"Our competition engine (in Filmaka) is helping us to identify the best undiscovered talent from around the world. We're then monetizing that talent and the content that they’re generating across a variety of platforms, from the Web to mobile devices to TV to film to commercials to music videos," he says. "Setting up distribution partners, leveraging the value of our community, getting our content out on new platforms that pay license fees for our content -- those things combined with ad revenue is the new economic model (for Web-based content) that is starting to come into focus."

(Unfortunately Santiago was not the winner, but he was signed for representation by The William Morris Agency, Filmaka Management, and has a number of projects in the works.)

Jamie Martinez Wood
NALIPster posts trailer for book online

I just completed a wonderful book trailer that I produced for my upcoming young adult book, Rogelia's House of Magic. Rogelia's House of Magic, a coming of age novel about three Latina teens learning about magic and friendship under the guidance of a curandera, will be released on June 10. Click here to view the trailer on YouTube.

Kenneth Castillo
Receives distribution deal for series of shorts

After screening at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival last year, filmmaker and NALIP member Kenneth Castillo recieved a distribution deal for his series of short films entitled The Misadventures of Cholo Chaplin based on a character he created. For more info visit or the MySpace page.



Count Javier Barden out of "Nine"
(Variety) - Javier Bardem has stepped out of the lead role of "Nine," the musical that "Chicago" helmer Rob Marshall will direct for the Weinstein Co. FULL STORY

Foreign Finalists Announced For Student Oscar
(indieWIRE) - Five finalists were selected from 45 entries representing 29 foreign countries to compete for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2008 Honorary Foreign Film award in the 35th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. FULL STORY

Filmax Takes Int. Rights to Colombian hit Paraiso Travel
( - Simon Brand's film from Jorge Franco's novel had its US premiere at Tribeca this week; Filmax will screen the film in the Cannes market. FULL STORY (subscription)

Interview: Carlos Carcas, Faramarz K-Rahber
(indieWIRE) - Carlos Carcas' "Old Man Bebo and Faramarz K-Rahber's "Donkey in Lahore" are both screening in the World Documentary Competition at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. FULL STORY

Review: Lucia Puenzo's "XXY"
(indieWIRE) - Though it's as sullen and damp-grey as its morose 15-year-old protagonist, Argentinean filmmaker Lucia Puenzo's directorial debut "XXY" doesn't really get inside the mind of young Alex as much as watch her with an awkward combination of fascination and empathy. FULL STORY


Jobs & Opportunities

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

Northwest Film Forum Executive Director Position
Northwest Film Forum seeks an Executive Director to pilot the thriving, growing non-profit film organization. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Office Coordinator for Producer's Rep / Ent. Attorney
Tulchin Entertainment is searching for applicants with experience and exposure in entertainment law, international & domestic sales, distribution & financing, marketing, publicity, administration and accounting. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Family Drama Scripts
White Knuckle Films is looking for completed feature-length or MOW sweet, feel-good, family drama screenplays. 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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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.