WETA and Latino Public Broadcasting Collaborate on PBS Series on Latinos in the U.S.
WETA Washington, D.C. and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) have formed a partnership to produce a multi-part documentary series for PBS chronicling the experience, influence and impact of Latinos on the American historical narrative. With the support of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), research and development work has begun on The Latino Americans, slated to be broadcast in fall, 2011.
The production partners view this project as timely and compelling, in light of the current debate over immigration issues today, a discussion being carried out in the halls of government and around kitchen tables across America. The influx of Latinos to the United States is nothing less than one of the largest flows of immigration in the history of the world.
The Latino Americans will consist of three, two-hour episodes, tracing the history of Latino immigration to the United States. Beginning with the founding of the country in 1776, The Latino Americans will illuminate the contributions made by Latino immigrants, and provide the historical underpinnings to the present debate surrounding immigration from Latin America.
“Latinos are already the largest minority ethnic group in the country, and are soon projected to be a majority of the American population,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA. “The nation needs a better understanding of the Latino American culture, the challenges the Latino community has faced, and the multi-faceted issues the Latino population presents our society today. This series will shed light on this important segment of the American fabric.”
“Latino Public Broadcasting is excited to be partnering with CPB and WETA in this landmark series,” said Patricia Boero, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting and co-executive producer of the series. “For the first time, the full story will be told: how millions of immigrants from the rich array of Latin American origins have shaped and been shaped by their adopted country. In producing the series and reaching out to all communities, we will bring to light the nuances of our different cultures and shared histories — and our profound interconnectedness. And the project will bring greater numbers of Latino and Latina producers and viewers to PBS.”
The Latino Americans will be supported by an extensive educational outreach and promotion initiative with bilingual components, designed to spark a meaningful dialogue on the relevant issues among all Americans and lend perspective and depth to Americans’ understanding of the Latino culture and contribution. The project will also be developed to reach out specifically to the Latino American community nationwide and the core PBS audience, and with considerable opportunities beyond the broadcast for the public to make use of the rich outreach content for years to come.
The chronicle of Latino history in America will trace three centuries of Latino immigration to the United States from the mid-18th century to today. The film will be populated by characters that bring a more intimate, human interest perspective to the broad sweep of Latino history.
The series producer of The Latino Americans will be Adriana Bosch, a veteran creator of acclaimed television for public broadcasting, including films for The American Experience on Fidel Castro, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Bosch will work with several Latino and Latina producers in producing each segment of The Latino Americans. The executive producers for WETA will be Jeff Bieber and Dalton Delan.
Latino Participants of 2008 Producers Institute for New Media Technologies
Nine documentary teams have been chosen to prototype innovative interactive, mobile, multimedia, and game projects to engage and build audiences for their social issue storytelling during the 2008 Producers Institute for New Media Technologies taking place May 30 – June 8 at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
Funded by generous lead support from the MacArthur Foundation and additional support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies connects independent producers and their socially relevant content to emerging models of storytelling and distribution. Through the Institute, documentary production teams from across the US and South America spend ten days at BAVC working with technologists, designers, and programmers to develop new models of participatory media. Mentors from leading technology companies, including Apple, Adobe, Google, MobiTV, Current TV, and others, work with teams to design and develop working prototypes, which are then presented to funding and review panels at the end of the Institute. More info > www.bavc.org/producersinstitute
Projects from the 2007 Institute included the creation of a virtual, 3D Guantanamo Bay prison in Second Life (now used by the ACLU), an interactive timeline and mobile content platform for award-winning documentary Calavera Highway, (produced by NALIP Board member Evangeline Griego) and a hate crime social network and Google map mash-up based on the national PBS broadcast series Not In Our Town.
Projects selected for 2008 include stories from local, national, and international producers on a wide range of topics including gang violence, global warming, transgender issues and tolerance, the International Criminal Court, the death penalty, and African-American photography. Latino and NALIPsters participating include:
IN THE BALANCE: THE DEATH PENALTY GAME
Project Director: Susana Ruiz (lead developer of Darfur Is Dying, MTV's refugee game-for-change)
This game seeks to illuminate the flawed nature of the American prison system and the irreversible nature of the death penalty. It is based on an ongoing documentary project about six Kentuckians sentenced to life in prison as teenagers. The goal of the interactive project is to offer a range of perspectives and foster discourse about the complex and flawed methods of sentencing, incarcerations, and state-sanctioned death. Key features include: real data (interviews, stats & testimonials) shaping narrative content & game play, live data (via RSS) continuously affecting emergent aspects of the narrative, and an “Emotion On/Off Switch” to influence game methodology. The team wants to design mobile connectivity, a Wii platform, and tools for both activism and evaluation.
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE
Project Director: Paco de Onis
The ICC is the first permanent international tribunal set up to try individuals for crimes against humanity. The Reckoning is a documentary about the critical early years of the ICC as it issues arrest warrants in Uganda and puts two Congolese warlords on trial and shakes up the Colombian justice system. Through the Institute, the team will develop a social network, a casual game application for educational distribution, and a cell phone/text messaging tool to bring stakeholders into the network in order to increase understanding and awareness of the ICC, and generate a global discussion about international justice and the role it can play in deterring mass atrocities.
PARALLEL STORIES/HISTORIAS PARALELAS
Project Director: Marlene Velasco-Begue
Monica is a twenty-year old pregnant gang member from San Salvador who went to prison for murdering a girl from another gang. Hers is only one of many stories explored in this documentary/new media project about gang life, violence and intercultural identity. Parallel Stories will allow a global audience of at-risk young people to engage in a dialogue across borders and languages. At the Institute, the producers seek to develop a “youth and violence” pov in nontraditional ways and explore alternative modes of storytelling – prototyping webisodes & mobile downloads, a videoblog, and an embedded game interface.
Call for Applications: NLMC Latino Television Writers Program
The National Latino Media Council's Fall 2008 Latino Television Writers Program is now accepting applications. This program is not for beginners. It is for those writers who can write at least one half-hour comedy or one-hour dramatic television script in English within a five-week period of time.
The program will take place in Los Angeles, CA from November 8th to December 13th. Each participant is expected to complete at least one script by the end of the five-week session, which will then be read by network executives.
Those writers whose scripts show promise will be interviewed and mentored by the network executives with the idea of placing them on a show. Nine of our writers from previous sessions have already been placed.
Please note that writing teams are ineligible. The deadline for submissions is September 2nd. Scripts will be evaluated and program participants announced on October 16th.
A stipend of $250 per week will be given to each participant. Flight, housing, and meals will be provided. The program will commence on November 8th. If selected, you must be available to fly and stay in Los Angeles, CA from November 8 -December 13, 2008
Writing samples must be in English and Television scripts are preferred.
For writing samples to be considered, please submit the following:
- Program Application
- Writing Sample (1) hard copy and saved on a CD (PDF format)
- Notarized release forms
- A paragraph explaining why you want to write for television
To download program application and release forms, please visit http://www.nhmc.org/documents/Writers_Program/WP08.pdf
Writing sample must be post marked by September 2nd and sent to:
National Latino Media Council
55 S. Grand Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105
For more information please call Acasia Flores at (626) 792-6462
Mark your Calendars for NYILFF: July 22-27
We are in full swing preparing for this year’s festival and can’t wait to announce what already looks like an incredible line-up of films. Badge pre-sales begin in late May. Plus, we just shot our commercial and print campaign at HBO (awesome!). We’re excited about everything so stay tuned for more info. in the coming weeks and months.
Also, a reminder that the deadline for submissions for the HBO/NYILFF 2008 Short Film Competition has been extended to May 9. Enter now for a chance to receive $15,000 in funding to produce and direct on digital video (DV) an original short film narrative. Please visit www.NYLatinoFilm.com for more information and an application.