Latinos In The Industry
  February 7, 2008  

NALIP Conference 9 Opening Plenary on Saturday, March 8: Creating a Pan-Latino Cinema with Global Appeal

Is there a pan-Latino aesthetic in films from the U.S. and abroad whether they feature Latino characters or not?

Are there pros and cons to identifying with the Latino community in one's work?

Where do our creative sparks originate and do we think these sparks have anything to do with our culture of origin? 

Join us for this provocative Conference opening session.  Speakers include co-chair Frida Torresblanco, producer of PAN’S LABRYINTH, producer/actor Yareli Arizmendi (A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN), writer/director Sergio Arau of A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN and the upcoming PLAN B, NY Times columnist Mireya Navarro, documentary director/producer Phillip Rodriguez (BROWN IS THE NEW GREEN) and  film-TV director Rodrigo Garcia (NINE LIVES and the new HBO series “In Treatment.”).

Moderated by NALIP co-chair, playwright Elaine Romero.  Don’t miss the entire Conference program, full of creative conversations, engaging discussions and in-depth case studies.  All at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point, CA.  For all program & registration information, go to

Playing to Latino Audiences

By Roger Vincent, for the Los Angeles Times

Mathew Garcia of Boyle Heights goes to the movies about once a week, ignoring theaters in his Eastside Latino neighborhood and heading straight for the suburbs.

His favorite destination: nearby Alhambra, where he says he prefers the more up-to-date and comfortable multiplexes, often featuring big screens, surround sound and stadium seating. The theaters in his neighborhood are "smaller and louder," he said.

Garcia and moviegoers like him are the target of a new joint venture by well-known film producer Moctesuma Esparza and a Chicago real estate developer that aims to deliver first-class theaters along with restaurants and stores to inner-city Latino neighborhoods.

"As a producer, I know what a quality movie experience is," said Esparza, whose credits include "Selena," "Gettysburg" and "The Milagro Beanfield War."

Esparza's Maya Cinemas in a joint venture with developer Urban Retail Properties plans to build 500 screens in 40 locations over the next five years. Their first complex is operating in Salinas, Calif., and others are under construction or close to starting in Fresno, Bakersfield and Santa Fe, N.M.

Separately, Esparza plans to open a Maya Cinemas in Inglewood on his own with modern facilities and featuring first-run films in English and Spanish.

Theater operators in recent years have begun to recognize that ethnic neighborhoods are often underserved, said Patrick Corcoran of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners. African American and Indian enclaves also have been identified as rich with opportunity for theater builders.

The association estimates that the nation's 175 million moviegoers generally reflect the U.S. population mix with whites in the majority followed by Latinos and blacks. But, Corcoran said, "the most consistent movie viewers are Latinos."

One of them is James Rojas, who went to theaters every Saturday as a boy. Now a planner for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Rojas lives downtown and takes the subway to new high-tech theaters in Hollywood.

"I like the collective movie-going experience," Rojas said.

Esparza, who grew up attending Spanish-language movies in downtown Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s, traces the strong Latino interest in movies to the Mexican movie industry's rich past when its films competed with Hollywood fare.

Another factor, he said, is that the Latino population skews young, and young people in general are more likely to attend movies.

The average American is about 40 years old, Esparza said, "but the average Latino is 26."

Esparza and Urban Retail Properties plan to tailor their complexes to neighborhood needs and tastes. Theaters will have soundproof "crying rooms," for example, where parents can retreat with babies and still see the movie. People will be able to enter the lobby even if they don't have tickets so that they can meet up and parents can find their children with greater ease.

"The lobby should be open and friendly and ticket control should be in the theaters," Esparza said.

Movie selection will include family fare plus action and adventure flicks, Esparza said. "We're going to stay away from hard-core ugly violence."

The builders will also shell out for such upscale finishes as marble and stone along with plush seating because cutting corners could backfire, he said.

"We believe these communities have suffered substandard developments which become self-fulfilling failures," he said. "The development community in the past has not respected dollars spent" by consumers from inner-city neighborhoods.

Each complex will also include restaurants and stores, said Ross Glickman, chairman of Urban Retail Properties. The centers will cost a minimum of $75 million each and some could cost "well above" $100 million, he said.

One of the largest centers -- expected to occupy more than 600,000 square feet -- is being planned in Chicago, where Urban Retail Properties is based, Glickman said.

He predicts that such projects will attract other builders and retailers that want to be near the center. "These kinds of developments can shift the center of gravity" in inner-city neighborhoods, Glickman said. "I think there is a tremendous amount of upside for everybody."

There are challenges, however, said real estate investment fund manager Bobby Turner, who works with former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson on mixed-use developments, including theaters in urban African American neighborhoods.

With the economy stuttering, many national retailers are reducing their number of stores and may not be available, said Turner, managing partner of Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds.

"Consumer spending is shrinking," Turner said. And with the nation's credit market in disarray, "the biggest challenge is just financing."

But there are still many development opportunities in the inner-city neighborhoods that developers have mostly ignored for years, Turner said. "The urban consumer wants the same product the suburban consumer does," he said.

Urban Retail has ample backing from pension funds and Maya Cinemas is self-financed, Esparza said.

Urban Retail's developments include well-known shopping venues such as Water Tower Place in Chicago, Copley Place in Boston and Valencia Town Center in north Los Angeles County.

While the developers plan, Garcia of Boyle Heights will keep making his weekly journey to the big multiplexes.

"I like drama and some horror," said Garcia, an accountant at a paint store. "But no dumb-funny comedies."

New La Plaza Video Blog

NALIP Mentor and Conference 9 Speaker Joseph Tovares is the Executive Producer of La Plaza, the Latino production unit of WGBH Boston that offers viewers a vista onto the Latino community through a cross-platform presentation of award-winning documentaries, cutting-edge music programs, and provocative studio-based talk series.

La Plaza has a new online video blog on the topic "The Latino Vote '08 - Janet Murguía, National Council of La Raza."

Every four years talk turns to the Latino Vote. Will this be the year the “sleeping giant” awakes and decides who will get sworn in next January? Janet Murguía, the President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza thinks she knows how things will play out.

View the video blog online here!

American Latino TV and Latination Debut New Episodes

The award-winning, nationally syndicated TV programs, American Latino TV (ALTV) and LatiNation announced today that new episodes will air this weekend, February 9 and 10 in over 100 cities throughout the U.S. The groundbreaking, English-language shows will debut new episodes that continue their mission of celebrating American Latino culture for everyone.

On American Latino TV, "celebrating American Latino Pride," experience a day in the life of Chicano Style creator, Danny Gamez, a Latino entrepreneur whose vision came from his desire to represent all Latinos through fashion. In the Cine segment, Brazilian film Director, Tata Amaral, discusses her latest film, Antonia, a critically acclaimed movie focused on the struggles of a female Hip-Hop group trying to make a name for themselves while confronting poverty and prejudice. Later, American Latino TV gives viewers a look at the unusual yet creative characters of Crazee Comics illustrator, Samuel Vera. Then the show visits jewelry designer, Kathleen Gomez Grandfield, who dazzles us with the one-of-a-kind pieces she creates at her Texas boutique, Red Texture Jewelry. Lastly, American Latino TV takes us to Californiasnowboarder, Jamie Madrid, who is breaking stereotypes and turning the extreme sports world upside down to meet 13-year-old

LatiNation, "representing a new generation," takes viewers to meet Puerto Rican sculptor, David Cortes, who tells us how he got to the top of the toy industry. Also on LatiNation, Latino fraternities and sororities talk about their experiences. Then viewers will be astounded by the street magic of Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini and they will laugh out loud with the funny ladies of The Latin Divas of Comedy as they poke fun of Latina stereotypes. To close the show, LatiNation jams with Spanish rock band, Circo, whose members take a break from touring to tell us about their massive success.

FMM Project-A-Thon Starts This Saturday (Miami)

The Florida Media Market has pushed the first Project-A-Thon meeting to THIS Saturday, February 9th. The last meeting is now scheduled for Saturday, March 8th. The times and location remain the same:

Time: 10am-5pm
Location: FMM Headquarters
25 SE 2nd Ave., Suite 1148, Miami, FL 33131

So come ready to learn, pitch and collaborate on the next batch of brilliant stories! If you have any questions, please contact us at (305) 372-4563 or via email at

Remember: Seats for the Project-A-Thon are going fast, so act now! Click here to register for the Project-A-Thon right away.

Pretendiendo (Ugly Me) Starring Bárbara Mori Opening in LA

The most Successful Latin American Film of All Time in Mexico is in LOS ANGELES Theaters, February 8.

A Romantic Comedy That You Can Not Miss!

West Side theatre opening première: Regent Showcase Cinema (La Brea & Melrose) and other 17 theatres in the LA area.

To View the Trailer and for Theater Listings Information Log to

Read about "Ugly Me" in the Los Angeles Times.

The Imagen Foundation Job Fair

13th Annual Imagen Entertainment Industry JOB FAIR FREE To The General Public.

Saturday, February 9th, 2008 - 9AM - 4PM
Double Tree Hotel - 924 W. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, CA 91016



Win Prizes at NALIP Conference 9
Buy your Loteria tickets online or on site

Need to hire a writer? Edit your short? Do some R & D? Could you use $2,500-$5,000? Try your hand at the NALIP Loteria!

Buy 2, 5, 10 tickets – just $10 a piece! The winnings could be yours.

Buy online – just log back in once you register, and pick your quantity.

Or buy them at the Conference.  Pick up your tickets at Registration. Prize Winners drawn at Sunday Keynote lunch

First Prize - All the cash!  Goes to one lucky the Sunday Closing Gathering.

Second Prize - Showbiz Budgeting, Scheduling and Contracts Software, books PLUS a 4 month supply of Corazonas Chips

Third Prize - Showbiz Budgeting, Scheduling, and Contracts Software plus a 2 month supply of Corazonas chips


Joaquin "Kino" Gil
Berger Time online

From the feverish minds of writer-director Dan Cohen, comedian Howard Berger and NALIP's own CGI gnome Joaquin “Kino” Gil, direct to your PC, or your phone, or your skull implant :

Berger Time
* The funniest combination of bad luck, weak principles and poor judgment since that guy Simpson... Homer, not OJ.
* Funny, in a hapless sort of way. Cool mix of actors and whimsical 3D animation.
*Silly, but addictive. Kind of like olives. The taste grows on you.

The cast is green-screened into --goofy-- CGI environments result of design, technology and hard production decisions to keep the budget workable and the look irreverent.

Click here to watch ALL THREE Berger Time webisodes on


Strike Winding Down?
(Variety) - With the WGA poised to call it a wrap on the writers strike as early as this weekend, Thursday sure felt like the last day of picketing in Hollywood. FULL STORY

Oscar Nominated Short Programs Open February 15
(indieWIRE) - Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International will release the ten Academy Award-nominated short films in two separate programs (live action and animated) nationwide on Friday, February 15, 2008. FULL STORY

Doc Filmmakers Join Forces for Cinelan
(indieWIRE) - Morgan Spurlock, Ross Kauffman, Eugene Jarecki, Jessica Yu and Steve James are among the filmmakers on board as advisors and contributors to Cinelan, the new short doc initiative being spearheaded by company CEO David Schrieberg. FULL STORY


Jobs & Opportunities

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

GM of Production & Distribution and/or Consultant
Top Mexican and Latin Movie Production company seeking GM of Production & Distribution and/or Consultant. FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Curator, Council on Foundations Film & Video Festival
The Council on Foundations, in partnership with Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media, holds an annual Film & Video Festival, and is seeking a curator. 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

Contact us at webmaster@nalip.infoTo post news, announcements, business data or job postings.

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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.