As a leading organization in the advancement of Latinx creators across many media platforms, NALIP has been a constant support in assisting content creators like writers, directors, producers and other industry professionals to find their passion and get their step in the industry. With the help of NALIP, many people have the ability to find their voice and voice their opinions.
The roundtable conversation will be conducted across the United States of many types of content creators that came from a variety of different types of background. They have became the inspiration all over the world in the media and other entertainment platforms. We hope you are inspired by these content creators’ stories as much as they have inspired us!
From its conception, NALIP has been motivated by the way in which content creators in public media play a vital role in society in that they help audiences engage in a broader and more nuanced view of the world. Throughout our 19 years at NALIP, we have honored filmmakers in public media through a variety of core programming such as our Public Media/Documentary Labs which dates back from our Santa Fe days to our more current initiatives such as the Beyond Graduate Digital Incubator. This round table discussion will explore the different ways in which NALIP has strived to create a community within the unscripted space in the past, ways in which NALIP is engaging with the speakers in present day, and what those who work in non-fiction landscape hope to see within the coming years as they develop new content in a changing industry
Pamela A. Aguilar is Senior Director of Programming and Development for PBS. She identifies, develops and oversees the production of original Primetime content in arts, culture, nature, science, history and independent film. She works closely with Latino Public Broadcasting, to develop the nationally broadcast documentary series, VOCES and with co-producing partners like VOX Media, the BBC, and with producing member stations like WGBH, WNET and TPT. Her latest project, No Passport Required with Chef Marcus Samuelsson (VOX), is a multi-platform docu-series that celebrates America’s diverse cultural mosaic. Other credits include, Big Pacific, narrated by Daniel Dae Kim (NHNZ), The Wonders of Mexico, narrated by Anthony Mendez, 9 Months That Made You (BBC), and the Emmy nominated In Defense of Food. Pamela a member of NALIP’s Diverse Women in Media Advisory Committee, a graduate of The New School University in New York City and hails from the Golden State of California.
Lorena Manríquez is an award-winning independent filmmaker based in Los Angeles. While living in Jackson, Mississippi, Lorena volunteered to serve as president of the board of the Crossroads Film Society in the early 2000s, and became inspired to make films herself. She began working on her first feature documentary, Ulises’ Odyssey, and was the recipient of a number of film industry fellowships, including the NALIP Producers Academy, the CPB/PBS Producers Academy, the IFP Rough Cut Lab, and Firelight Documentary Lab. Ulises’ Odyssey screened at international festivals, and had its broadcast premiere on PBS in 2015 on WTTW Chicago. Ms. Manríquez’ film Siqueiros: Walls of Passion was awarded two California Documentary Project grants by Cal Humanities, ITVS Diversity Development Fund, ITVS Open Call funding, Latino Public Broadcasting Public Media funding, and Firelight Media Next Step funding. She has directed and produced two short documentaries for Field of Vision: Hopewell (2016), featured in The New Yorker magazine website, and Here I’ll Stay (2017) for the ‘Our 100 Days’ documentary series in partnership with Firelight Media.
In addition to her work as a filmmaker, Ms. Manríquez is a Senior Professional Engineer at Shannon and Wilson Inc. in Los Angeles. She is a native of Santiago, Chile, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysics and Physics Engineering from Washington and Lee University, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Alan Dominguez (founding partner, Loco Lane Filmworks) recently wrapped production on a documentary short for the Beyond Graduation series in conjunction with NALIP, World Channel, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He also directed a short doc, Clever (2016) - about the journey of a former MS13 member and his current work with youth. The film has been shown throughout the US as well as the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico and was executive produced by Oscar winning documentary filmmaker, Daniel Junge. Domínguez also finished a short doc, Borderball (2016), about the difficult journey of Mexican-born baseball players to the Major Leagues in the USA. He also directed and edited Photos of Angie (2011), an hour-long documentary about the murder of Angie Zapata, a transgender teenager whose murder was the first successful prosecution of the murder of a transperson as a hate crime. He is also a film educator and founder of Loco Lane Filmworks, which produces content for non-profits, educational institutions, and political candidates.
As a reporter and documentary filmmaker, Chelo has worked for over two decades exposing stories of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Born in Spain, she worked in Japan in documentaries for NHK Enterprises and became Tokyo’s and then Los Angeles’ correspondent for Spain’s El Mundo daily. In 1995, she moved to California and in 2002, Canal+ Spain turned her first reportage on child trafficking in the Himalayas into the documentary film Tin Girls. She created several short documentaries, producing/directing Sol in America: A Modern-Day Tale of Sex Slavery, and producing Through the Wall, a short documentary about a family divided by the US/Mexico border, official selection at Doc NYC and winner of the 2106 Imagen Awards. As an impact producer, Chelo has presented the award-winning Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage documentary on sexual violence and trafficking she produced/directed at the United Nations, the European Parliament, colleges from Oxford to Yale, deported moms and refugees in Mexico, and prisons in Spain and California, to both survivors and perpetrators. Chelo is pre-production of a documentary on sexual violence offenders serving time. Her work has been published, among others, by Geo, El Mundo, El País, The Malibu Times, The Huffington Post, Documentary magazine, and The Guardian.
Iliana is a filmmaker based in Austin, Texas and Mexico City. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas by Mexican immigrant parents. A former Bill Gates Millennium Scholar, she holds an MFA in film production and directing from UCLA. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Steven Bochco Fellowship, the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fellowship and the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts Scholarship, among others. Her MFA thesis film, Child of the Desert, won Best Short Film and the Texas Award at the Oscar qualifying 2012 USA Film Festival. She was a 2013 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow and was selected for the 2013 TransAtlantic Talent Lab in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance-sponsored Latino Screenwriting Project with her script, Paper Birds Learn to Fly. Iliana has directed short documentaries, fiction shorts and a narrative fiction feature, Detained in the Desert, which had its world premiere at the 2012 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. In 2017, Firelight Media awarded her an Impact Producer Fellowship. In 2018, she was selected as a Berlinale Talent and most recently co-directed a short documentary, An Uncertain Future, with Chelsea Hernandez. The short has screened at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and won a Jury Award for Best Texas Short. It has also screened at the 2018 Aspen ShortsFest where it won the Youth Jury Award. Iliana is currently in early production of her first feature documentary, Julian.
Not only are Latinx producers prominent, loyal and important in today’s industry, but they have become one of the largest demographics in the society. They’re ability to tell a story and connect to their audience are unteachable. The stories that they created like Coco and Jane the Virgin are so relatable that it creates a deep impact on the audience and outside the Hispanic culture as well.
NALIP has been helping the Latinx producers by constantly building and promoting their content all across the media platforms. For over 18 years, NALIP continues to provide professor development, community building and mentoring to help start many content creators.
Emmy nominee Xan Aranda is an award-winning director, producer, and consultant with projects ranging from fiction and documentary film and TV to branded content, commercials, and music videos. Xan’s Emmy nomination was alongside Jill Soloway for Transparent’s This is Me, a collection of short films for which she served as Producer and Co-Executive Producer. With Mark and Jay Duplass, Xan developed and serves as an Executive Producer of HBO’s Room 104. She also produced Blue Jay with Mel Eslyn, starring Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. After its world premiere at the New York Film Festival and Lincoln Center, Xan’s directorial debut Andrew Bird: Fever Year screened in over 90 festivals and took home nine awards. Her clients have included Focus Features, Amazon, Epitaph Records, Starbucks, the U.S. Department of Education, and a wide variety of acclaimed independent content creators.
Jaime Dávila is President of Campanario Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production company that develops content driven by Latinos in front of and behind the camera. Since co-founding the company in 2013, Dávila oversees the day-to-day operations and manages the scripted, unscripted and digital content teams. Recent Campanario Entertainment productions helmed by Dávila include the docuseries Mexican Dynasties (working title) for Bravo that highlights elite families in Mexico City, the cultural mecca of Latin America, an untitled musical drama inspired by the legacy of Selena Quintanilla for ABC, the scripted drama Bandolero, directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical and Descendants), which uses music and dance to explore gentrification in East LA, and Laugh Factory en Español, a stand-up series with comedian and founder of the Laugh Factory Jamie Masada that celebrates the brightest in comedic talent from Latin America. Additional projects include Campanario Entertainment’s first production Camelia la Texana, a scripted Spanish-language telenovela that aired on Telemundo and Netflix Mexico.
Previously a development executive at Bravo, Dávila specialized in creating original series and adapting international formats. He spearheaded the development and green light of many hit shows, including Best New Restaurant, a food competition series starring Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, The People’s Couch, a hit reality series adapted from the popular UK format, and docu-series The Extreme Guide to Parenting, which he created.
Dávila received a Master of Science degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.
Deborah Calla, born and raised in Brazil, is a writer, producer, speaker, and activist. Among her film credits are: A Beautiful Life (writer/producer), Beat The World (producer), Lost Zweig (co-producer), Dream House (producer). TV: Carnival in Rio (Travel Channel, producer), Chicano Artists (HBO Latino, producer), Fox Club Kids (Fox Latin America, producer), Romeo & Juliet Redux (in development @ Freeform, writer), 500th Anniversary of Brazil (TNT, producer). Deborah has been the chair of the PGA for the past 14 years, is an advisory board member of the Geena Davis Institute and a member of the WGA. She is also the chair of the Media Access Awards, a yearly awards event started by Norman Lear which celebrates people in the industry who advance the portrayal and employment of people with disabilities. Deborah is a regular guest speaker at AFI, USC, Globo Network, among others. She also works as a script consultant and travels to such countries as Taiwan, Jordan, and Brazil to teach script development and production. She’s working with Ben Lewin on a TV series project and is pre-production on The Case of the 10.001 Women in Brazil.
Rodo Sayagues was born the 20th of February 1980 in Montevideo, Uruguay where he grew up. His father, a prominent lawyer, and his mother, an English teacher, were devoted art and culture consumers— inspiring their children to appreciate a variety of art forms; from classical literature and music to theatre and films.
At an early age, Sayagues developed a passion for cinema and music. First growing musical abilities, he studied classical guitar and eventually modern music. He founded several rock bands with which he played until early adulthood, achieving a career in the local Uruguayan music scene. Music forged his friendship with his long-time creative partner, Fede Alvarez. Soon, they discovered a shared interest beyond music and began shooting homemade short-films with a simple VHS camera.
Sayagues’s two passions eventually mixed, and he started shooting music videos for local rock bands, and in time, for more prominent Uruguayan musicians. Filming, which had been a hobby, gained real estate in his creative life. By 2007, Sayagues was directing commercials in the Uruguayan market, receiving several awards. Simultaneously, he and Alvarez were making more short-films for which they won many awards, both locally and abroad.
After graduating film school, he and Alvarez started pursuing their lifetime dream: making a real movie. They wrote a script called “CORNED BEEF,” which earned them a scholarship at the BINGER INSTITUTE in Amsterdam, Netherlands. There, they improved their script and attended screenwriting master classes. The script went on to THE ROTTERDAM, BERLINALE and MAR DEL PLATA film festivals, allowing Alvarez and Sayagues to further hone their writing and storytelling skill sets. It was during this time, the idea for the short-film “PANIC ATTACK” was born.
In November 2009, “PANIC ATTACK” was uploaded to YouTube and in a matter of days went viral. The short caught the attention of acclaimed filmmaker SAM RAIMI, who offered Sayagues and Alvarez a deal. After relocating to Los Angeles, they began working on a re-imagining of the cult horror classic, “THE EVIL DEAD.” The movie premiered at the SXSW Festival with horror critic acclaim and became a box office success scoring $100 million worldwide. Since the release of “THE EVIL DEAD,” Sayagues and Alvarez have continued developing high-priority, feature films with staple Hollywood studios including Sony, Universal, and MRC.
The duo quickly embarked on their next feature ”DON”T BREATHE” through Sony pictures, which went on to become a huge success both at a critics level and at the box office, raising 90 Million dollars domestic and 160 million worldwide. The film went on to win several awards, including the SATURN AWARD for Best Horror Movie in 2016. Rodo Sayagues continued working Along Fede Alvarez on the upcoming SONY release THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER WEB. A new installment on the GIRL WITH DRAGON TATTOO saga. In 2017, Rodo Sayagues and Fede Alvarez created BAD HOMBRE, a production company focused on producing high octane genre movies. Rodo Sayagues is also a dedicated musician, playing drums and guitar. He also teaches a screenwriting workshop once a year in South America and Europe.