NALIP In The News

NALIPsters Marvin Leemus and Linda Yvette Chavez Talk About the Creation of the New Netflix Original Gentefied

Image courtesy of Vulture

Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez had never sold a TV script or even set foot in a writers’ room when they visited network after network three years ago, speaking in Spanglish about brown love, familia, and the show of their dreams. Ten times, in front of some of the industry’s biggest players, they pitched their dramedy, Gentefied.

Over and over at their talent agency’s office, they had rehearsed the pitch — part autobiographical narrative, part stand-up act peppered with untranslated jokes — about an East L.A. neighborhood and the unabashed Mexican-American characters who live in it. They prepared so much they could talk four seasons into the show’s future if someone asked. The long hours paid off: By the time their heady pitch tour ended, the showbiz newcomers, who grew up as first-generation children of undocumented immigrants, had landed six offers, a feat that would make Hollywood’s highest-profile producers envious.

Produced last year at LA Hangar Studios in Boyle Heights, Gentefied was also filmed in landmark locations like El Mercadito and cultural centers such as Lincoln Park’s Plaza de la Raza, where Netflix held its premiere party on Thursday night. “The day we shot at the Mercadito, I got to sit and watch them film it, and I got so emotional,” Chávez said. “This is where I came with my family to buy things; now we’re here filming a show that I co-created, and I get to see my people filmed in this space.”

The same feelings poured out two weeks ago when Chávez took her parents to a screening hosted by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers at Netflix headquarters in Hollywood, a building she and Lemus visited many times over the past three years. On that night, the massive wraparound screen in the lobby was showcasing Gentefied.

Read the full article at Vulture

Call for Submissions: ‘The 2020 Latinx TV List’ Hopes To Uplift Underrepresented Voices on TV

The issue of on-screen Latinx underrepresentation is, at this point, nothing new. Study after study — not to mention controversy after controversy — reminds us that Latinos are prized as audiences but not given the requisite opportunities to thrive in the entertainment industry. On July 2019, The Black List — the annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays that has since also become an online hub for aspiring screenwriters everywhere — partnered with The Latin Tracking Board, MijenteNALIP, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Remezcla and UnidosUS to create the very first Latinx List for feature screenplays. That list ended up including recent Sundance film Blast Beat as well as three projects from up and coming Latina screenwriters.

This February, The Black List has partnered with The Latin Tracking Board, NALIP, Remezcla, and The Untitled Latinx Project to create a call for submissions for the inaugural Latinx TV List. Knowing the television landscape is just as eager for more stories for and about the Latinx community (think Gentefied, Diary of a Future President, and Pose) this new initiative will focus on one-hour and half-hour original pilots written by at least one Latinx writer and featuring a Latinx or Latin American character in a prominent role. It’s a chance for aspiring writers (no matter their experience) to get their work noticed and celebrated.

Read more at Remezcla 

The Black List Opens Submissions For Inaugural Latinx TV List


The Black List is partnering with The Latin Tracking Board, NALIP, Remezcla and The Untitled Latinx Project for the inaugural Latinx TV List. Interested writers and creators who are interested can submit to between now and March 18.

The Latinx List will focus on one-hour and half-hour original pilots written by at least one Latinx writer. The pilot must also feature a Latinx or Latin American character in a prominent role. Here are the requirements and guidelines for submissions:

  • Writers should be Latinos residing currently in the US – any country of origin or other status is fine
  • Any kind of story is eligible and will be considered
  • All scripts must have one Latinx character in a prominent, lead role
  • Scripts can be bilingual as long as they are written primarily in English
  • Half-hours and one-hours considered, no webseries please
  • All levels of experience considered for submitting writers
  • Writing teams are eligible as long as one member of the team identifies as Latinx
  • Scripts submitted should be as free from attachments as possible

Writers selected for the Latinx TV List will be notified this spring with a public announcement to follow.

Read more at Deadline

Warner Bros. Hosts Next Generation of Filmmakers for WB Studio Day 


Image courtesy of CSR Wire

This past weekend, nearly 200 high school students spent the day on Warner Bros.’ Burbank lot immersed in the company’s first-ever WB Studio Day. The gathering was an opportunity for those participating in the WB First Cut program and interested in production careers to engage more deeply with the studio and gain insight into various career pathways the entertainment industry has to offer. Through a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and nonprofit Ghetto Film School (GFS), WB First Cut provides filmmaking curriculum, skills and expanded industry opportunities to high school students. Now in its third season, the program first launched in 2018.

Their lunch break also included a nonprofit resource fair, giving students the opportunity to engage with organizations like Film2Future, Hollywood CPR, National Association of Latino Independent Producers and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, which provide education and training opportunities beyond the classroom experience.

Read more about this event at CSR Wire.

Is Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas a ‘person of color’? It’s complicated

If Antonio Banderas wins the Academy Award on Sunday for his leading performance in the Pedro Almodóvar film “Pain and Glory,” would it count as a win for people of color?

The question might have sounded puzzling even a year ago, but with ever-explosive debates on identity and authorship in popular culture (see the publishing industry scandal over “American Dirt”), the question of Banderas’ proper demographic designation became relevant with the arrival of the 2020 Academy Awards.

“Antonio Banderas has had a significant place in American film culture as well as in European film. We appreciate his enormous talent and history of playing complex characters; however, Banderas is in fact European and his Oscar nominated role is a character reflecting a Spanish perspective,”says Benjamin Lopez, Executive Director of NALIP. “From a US-based perspective, it is evident that our community has historically been underrepresented in Hollywood. Therefore, we need to prioritize solutions which can lead to a substantial increase of US-based Latinx stories and talent to be supported industry-wide and ultimately be recognized during award season.”

Banderas’ identity notwithstanding, advocates of greater representation for Latinos or Hispanics say that despite the gains in recent years (including last year’s lead actress nomination for indigenous Oaxacan actress Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma”), much more needs to be done to move the needle overall. U.S. Hispanics “over-index” at the box office but remain woefully underrepresented in front of and behind the camera, industry players pointed out.

“I think it’s an off year for us,” said Benjamin Lopez, executive director of NALIP, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.

“We know the pitfalls, and the structural issues to build that pipeline of talent, which can lead to nominations not being forthcoming, especially in a year like this,” Lopez added. He also pointed to the Lopez snub, as well as to Kenyan-Mexican star Lupita Nyong’o (born in Mexico City, and a Spanish speaker) being ignored for Jordan Peele’s “Us.” “It’s disconcerting to know that inclusivity was not prioritized, especially on performances,” Lopez said.

Read more at LA Times

NALIP Featured In HipLatina Article!

Last year Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment released a report shining a light on the lack of Latinx representation in Hollywood. They found that only three percent of movies featured Latinx actors in lead roles from 2007 through 2018 in the 100 top-grossing films and J.Lo was the only Latinx actress over 45 to star in a film in the last 12 years.

“I think that people just want to be acknowledged and appreciated and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive. But I think that it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural.” Joaquin Phoenix went on to say.

He then made it clear that it’s on the powers that be to make a change and that it should go beyond just checking off a diversity list, it should be true inclusion and real diversity in order for any real change to be made.

Read more at HipLatina

Inside the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Events at Sundance

As part of their mission to discover, promote, and inspire Latinx content creators and diverse voices across media platforms, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) hosted a series of events during Sundance 2020.

One of the most compelling panels was called ‘Inclusion in Action’, sponsored by Coca-Cola, Skullcandy, and Latino Reel. NALIP is also an MPA multicultural creative partner. The panel began with a mixer including industry leaders. It featured moderator Laarni Dacanay, an award-winning entertainment and media corporate publicist and PR consultant for Comcast NBCUniversal. She engaged in a discussion with AMC Theatres VP Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Rotten Tomatoes, AWFJ, and AAFCA member film critic and actor Carla Renata, writer/director Emma Ramos, and NPR arts correspondent Mandalit del Barco, about successful proactive approaches to inclusion.

Read more at The Credits

NALIP Featured in Variety's Ultimate Party Guide for 2020 Sundance!

Heading to Park City?

From intimate dinners and cocktail parties to late night bashes (that end just in time to head to brunch), there’s plenty to keep this year’s film festival attendees out of the cold between screenings.

Here is Variety’s ultimate party guide for Sundance 2020: 

Sunday, Jan. 26

NALIP Brunch: Latinx in Action – Directors Upfront Panel
Angel Manuel Sto, Cristina Costantini, Michael Arcos, presented by WarnerMedia 150
Spur Bar & Grill, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

NALIP Signature Conversation with Mishel Prada
Presented by Starz
Spur Bar & Grill, 12-1 p.m.

Read the full list at Variety

Cine Sony & NALIP Unveil Second Voces Nuevas Short Film Contest

 Cine Sony and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers are teaming again to launch the second annual Voces Nuevas, their short film contest for aspiring filmmakers throughout the U.S.

Eligible filmmakers ages 18 and up who reside in the U.S. can submit short films ranging from from two to 20 minutes in length from now through March 8. Projects can be submitted here.

“Last year, Voces Nuevas had over 300 filmmakers submit everything from comedies to thrillers to dramas, confirming our belief that there is so much deserving talent out there,” said Jeff Meier, SVP and General Manager, U.S. Networks, at Sony Pictures Television. “We are excited to join forces with NALIP and once again provide a platform to show audiences the talent and creativity of emerging filmmakers.”

Read more at Deadline

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Launches Plan to Double Latinx Representation in Hollywood by 2030

Image Courtesy of Deadline

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced an initiative that will aim to connect Latinx talent, executives and creators with opportunities throughout the entertainment industry and double Latinx representation in Hollywood by 2030.

LA Collab is an initiative co-founded by Garcetti along with Beatriz Acevedo, founder of MiTu and president of Acevedo Foundation, and Ivette Rodriguez, president of AEM.

The collaboration kicks off with support from more than 50 industry leaders and organizations in Hollywood, including Eva Longoria, J.J. Abrams, Eli Roth, Devon Franklin, Jason Blum and Zoe Saldana. Initial funders include the Annenberg Foundation, WarnerMedia and Endeavor Content.

Other LA Collab’s supporters include:

  • Blumhouse Productions
  • Bad Robot
  • Hello Sunshine
  • Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
  • National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
  • Sundance Institute
  • United Talent Agency
  • Women in Film

Read more at TheWrap

Film & TV Diversity: What Changed In 2019 And What’s Next In 2020

Photo Courtesy of Deadline

"If there is a common thread with all the reports that came out in 2019 about diversity in Hollywood, it would be that while there have been strides for representation for marginalized communities in film and TV, there is still a long way to go" said by Dino-Ray Ramos. "It’s a familiar tune, yes, but also a song the industry needs to hear in order to move toward inclusivity."

Dr. Stacy L Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative have led the charge of releasing reports in 2019 that showed the gain and lack of within the entertainment industry. 

In a report released in September, Smith and her team found that 2018 saw huge strides in diversity and inclusion in film — thanks to Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians.The percentage of characters from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups rose from 29.3% in 2017 to 36.3% last year.

In another research brief released by USC and Smith, the 100 top-grossing films of 2018 were examined. It found that 40 films in 2018 featured a female in a lead or co-lead role, an increase from 2017, which only had 32 films that featured a woman in the spotlight. Going off of that, 11 films in 2018 featured a woman of color or from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group in a lead or co-lead role — nearly three times as many films as in 2017.

Read more at Deadline

Read study probing an extensive analysis of Latinos in film presented by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment. 

Check out the Latinx List   released in partnership with The Latin Tracking Board, Mijente, NALIP, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Remezcla And UnidosUS. 

Meet the creator of one of the nation’s first major Latino-owned film studios

Growing up in Burbank as the son of Cuban immigrants, Ozzie Areu never dreamed of a career in Hollywood. The big film studios just a few miles away from his family’s modest home were remote walled-off compounds, so removed from the hustle and grind of his family’s day-to-day life that they felt like another world.

Areu wanted to be a cop. But as he likes to say, God had another plan. After taking on a job as a security guard at Warner Bros., he got the film bug.

More than 25 years later, Areu presides over one of the nation’s largest Latino-owned and operated film studios: a sprawling 60-acre site in Atlanta that he plans to turn into an inclusive media campus that champions Latino, women and other underrepresented groups in entertainment. Areu Bros. aims to venture across multiple platforms – not just motion pictures and TV, but digital streaming, music and gaming – with storylines that go beyond old Hollywood stereotypes and shallow tokenism.

“Our stories aren’t going to just be Latino stories or stories around women,” he said. “There will be some, but even in those stories, you’re going to need white American males and you’re going to need a little bit of everything. The most important thing is the substance and authenticity of the story.”

While it may seem startling to see a Latino in the Deep South play a leading role in advancing diversity in the entertainment industry, it makes logical sense, said Benjamin Lopez, head of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, a Los Angeles based non-profit that supports Latino writers, producers and directors.

Read more at Los Angeles Times.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In The Heights’ Trailer Celebrates Latinx Stories On The Big Screen

Image Courtesy of Slate

With “In The Heights,” Miranda and the cast are taking a rare step in a predominantly white Hollywood by centering powerful and gripping Latinx stories on the silver screen. 

A recent study from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California found that only about 3% of lead or co-lead roles in the top movies have gone to Latinx actors in the last 12 years. And Latinx speaking roles were nonexistent in almost half of the sampled films. The community’s small presence on the big screen is a harsh contrast to the growing Latinx population in the United States. Nearly 60 million Hispanic people live in the U.S., and they account for almost 17% of the population. 

“It’s a watershed moment to see Latinx folks on the screen and in positive roles,” Ben Lopez, the executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, told HuffPost. “We need support all the way through. We need a commitment from studios to say, ‘We are prioritizing communities of color. We are prioritizing these folks because they happen to reflect the audience that is avid consumers of the content we’re putting out.’”

“In The Heights” is a celebration of Hispanic and Latinx people in just one of the many U.S. neighborhoods where they have created a safe haven for themselves in a country that doesn’t always accept them.

“I felt that emotional connection to the material,” Lopez said of the moment he watched the trailer. “My family comes from Mexico, but what really represented was that it was P.R., D.R., Mexico —  I saw all those flags in that trailer. It’s finally our moment.”

Read more at HuffPost

"One Day At A Time" Star Isabella Gomez Speaks About Her Experience With Colorism at NALIP's Diverse Women in Media Forum


One Day At a Time is coming back for its fourth season in 2020 and fans are stoked! It would be an understatement to say how rare shows like ODAAT really are and how important it is for Latinx to be portrayed as full multifaceted people. One thing in particular that has made the sitcom so beloved is the progressive way it deals with everything from mental illness and gentrification to homophobia and racism.

These are things that might not seem too out of the box considering the times but ODAAT is touching on subjects that are still very much taboo in the Latinx community at large. A lot of that taboo has to do with cultural mores that are really just prejudice disguised as tradition. A lot of it has to do with hundreds of years of colonization and white supremacy. But in 2019 there have been so many internal conversations about identity brewing within the Latinx community that it can be dizzying to determine just how things are developing.

The complexities of race, ethnicity, and nationality within the Latinx community are — to put it simply — fundamentally misunderstood by pretty much everyone, especially when it comes to representation in Hollywood. Colombian born actress Isabelle Gomez, who plays Elena Alvarez on ODAAT says, she didn’t think her success on the show would also limit the roles she was seen fit to play.

Read more at HipLatina


Diverse Women in Media Forum offers hope mixed with practicality

A West Hollywood hotel banquet room full of aspiring industry players got a day of encouragement – along with, crucially, some practical advice – at the Diverse Women in Media Forum Thursday.

One of several such networking and panel events put on each year by the Culver City-based National Association of Latino Independent Producers, DWIM is especially focused on helping women of color learn how to get ahead in the (never easy to) movie and TV business.

“We want attendees to get two things,” explained Margie Moreno, a co-chair of NALIP’s board and one of the DWIM Forum’s creators. “To learn what people who went before them experienced, what worked and what didn’t work, especially when it came to advocating for more diverse content creation. The second, and equally important thing, is creating community. Only by finding other, like-minded voices that have the same goal in mind can you activate that community to do great things. This day, this conference allows people to be introduced to those other like-minded voices.”

Read more at Los Angeles Daily News

Gloria Calderón Kellett Sees Comedy as First Step to Improved Latinx Depictions

Gloria Calderón Kellett says her drive to create stories about the Hispanic community comes from wanting to provide more accurate representations of it in entertainment. 

"The constant demonizing of our community made me a writer because we need more accuracy out there," she said during the Diverse Women In Media panel hosted by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Pam Veasey, executive producer and co-showrunner of L.A's Finest, shared a similar inspiration at the panel. "I knew no one like me. I knew no one that looked like me so I decided to write," she told the panel's audience. 

Thursday's event by the NALIP, which also included guests such as Yun Lingner, executive producer on Shark Tank, and Isabella Gomez from One Day at a Time, continued the nonprofit's two-decade history of advocating on behalf of the Latinx community, which is the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. yet vastly underrepresented. A recent study by NALIP with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that a little over 4 percent of characters across 1,200 films between 2007 to 2018 were Latinx.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter following the event, the One Day at a Time writer and co-showrunner expressed how impactful organizations such as NALIP are to the Latinx community.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter

Isabella Gomez Says Auditions ‘Dwindled’ After ‘One Day At A Time’'

Actress Isabella Gomez claims she started receiving less auditions once it became known she was Latina after starring as Elena Alvarez in “One Day at a Time.” 

“It’s interesting because I am white passing. So, when I got here people didn’t know I was Latina. I was going out all the time, getting call backs all the time. Then I booked ‘One Day at a Time’ — which thank God. But, then people found out I was Latina. And then, the auditions dwindled and people don’t want to see me as much,” Gomez said at the NALIP Diverse Women In Media panel in Los Angeles, Calif. Thursday night.

Gomez continued to say that it has been an interesting transition, dealing with the fact that she “was getting accepted” as a teenager working in this business. But as she got older, on “such a common Latinx show,” she started to experience more rejection.

“I was like, I’m still the same person,” Gomez said. “These are the same casting directors. I’m still bringing the same amount of talent, if not more because I’ve been training and growing on the set. But, now because you know where I’m from, now it’s weird.”

The Colombian actress doubled down on her acknowledgement of her white passing status, sharing that it was a recent realization that she discovered during the second season of the show when her brother’s character Alex (Marcel Ruiz) is bullied because of his darker brown skin color and Elena realizes she doesn’t have the same experience, prompting her to connect more with her Cuban heritage. “I was like ‘Oh, that’s why! Then everything in my life made sense,” she said. 

More at Variety

National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) will receive AAFCA’s Salute To Excellence Award!

The 2020 AAFCA Special Achievement Awards Luncheon will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2020 in the Crystal Ballroom at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. 

NALIP is honored to be receiving AAFCA’s Salute To Excellence Award in recognition of its work to maximize diversity and inclusion for creators of color across the spectrum of entertainment over the last 20 years! Among the other awardees are Kenny Leon, Richard Roeper, Niija Kuykendall, Matthew Cherry, Deon Taylor, Elaine May and many more!

Check out all the awardees here!

AAFCA Announces Special Achievement Honorees For 2020!

National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Clarence Avant, Sherry Lansing, Deon Taylor, Kenny Leon and more are among the AAFCA 2020 Special Achievement Awards Honorees. 

“AAFCA Special Achievement Awards are given to individuals whose careers have impacted the entertainment industry,” said Gil Robertson, AAFCA co-founder/CEO. “They include a mix of individuals from various corners of the industry who have distinguished themselves in their work, making a powerful and wide-reaching impact. Many of them we celebrate for their long-term contributions while others are emerging figures who, in a relatively short time, have made immediate contributions while foreshadowing the promise of greater things to come.”

Read more about the honorees here, 

Latinos in Hollywood Are Becoming Rare, Study Shows

The statistical result of the Latinos participation in the Hollywood film is very bad. 4 percent only were made by Latinos out of 1,200 films. Meanwhile, 71 percent of those films hailed outside U.S. and 29 percent of them were American. The worst, out of 1,335 films examined by the researchers, one 1 Latina directed a film.

The study also shows that only 3 percent were Latinx producers and most them were men while 19 of them were Latina. Moreover, the executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Benjamin Lopez said that the Latinos in Hollywood has not been prioritized in the film industry and the result of the study of Smith must be a lesson for the film makers that there should be an immense value in collaborating with and investing with the Latino community.

Read more at Latin Post

NALIP To Receive Salute To Excellence Award From African American Film Critics Association

The African American Film Critics Association has just announced their award winners for 2020! The 2020 AAFCA Special Achievement Awards Luncheon will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2020 in the Crystal Ballroom at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. NALIP is incredibly honored to be receiving AAFCA’s Salute To Excellence Award in recognition of its work to maximize diversity and inclusion for creators of color across the spectrum of entertainment over the last 20 years! Thank you so much AAFCA, we are excited to continue this journey of inclusion in the entertainment field. 

Read more at The Wrap

Catch NALIP on "Inside the Issues with Alex Cohen" on October 29th!

Executive Director of NALIP, Benjamin Lopez, had the chance to sit with Alex Cohen on "Inside the Issues" to discuss the recent USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study about Latinos in Film. Make sure to catch the episode Tuesday, October 29th on Spectrum News 1 to learn more about the current state of Latinx representation in the entertainment industry and the steps that are being taken to ensure a more inclusive future! 

NALIP is Awarded at the Imagen Awards

Executive Director of NALIP, Benjamin Lopez, with Board of Directors, Barbara Matos and Alex Zahn.

Tuesday, October 8th, NALIP was awarded with the Powerful & Influential Latinos in Television & Film Award from the Imagen Foundation.

Latinx Creators in Hollywood: ‘We’re Culture Makers’ 

On Thursday night at the AMC Century City 15 in Los Angeles, the Latino Media Fest Awards celebrated content creators who are helping to make the industry a more diverse and inclusive place.

The event was hosted by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, which for the past 20 years has advocated on behalf of the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. that also happens to be the most underrepresented in Hollywood. (According to a new NALIP study with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only four percent of the 100 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 were helmed by Latinx directors — and only three percent featured Latinx lead actors.)

“This is unprecedented,” NALIP executive director Ben Lopez told Variety before the ceremony, referring to the event’s focus on Latinx storytellers. “We believe that if you showcase them and give them time and exposure, they’re going to be able to launch themselves as global superstars. And that’s why NALIP is here — to be that supporting organization.”

Read more at Variety

Latinos in Popular Films Almost Nonexistent

It is no surprise that you rarely see Latinos in Hollywood movies. Hollywood has that door still tightly shut, save for stereotypical depictions and, every once in a while, an original character in an original story.

The 2019 study “Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen and Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies,” by the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and Wise Entertainment, examines the decades-long void and fills it with interpretation and recommendations.

A complex, interwoven set of issues drives the continued exclusion of Latinos in the industry. “The biggest challenge a lot of organizations and underrepresented communities face is accessibility to resources, whether it’s funding or relationships with industry stakeholders,” says Liliana Espinoza, production and development manager at NALIP. The organization is “working to bridge the gap between the traditional methods of success in the industry and the next generation of decision-makers. There are creative, elegant solutions to these challenges, and we know that collaborating with those who are passionate about making the industry more inclusive is the best way forward.”

Read the article at Women's Media Center

A Latino Media Festival is helping creatives realign a Hollywood that needs ‘more people who look like us’

The Latino Media Fest, taking place in Century City Wednesday through Friday of this week, offers practical encouragement for creatives, despite what looks like a bleak industry picture.

It’s widely known that U.S. Latinos are grossly underrepresented both in front of and behind the camera in Hollywood. A recent USC study confirmed, among other things, that only 4% of last year’s top 1,200 movies had Latinx directors.

One of that study’s co-presenters, the nonprofit National Association of Latino Independent Producers, is trying to improve that situation by putting on events such as the Media Fest, nurturing talent, facilitating scholarships and mentorships, and arranging access to producers, agencies, networks and studio executives.

“It’s a platform for filmmakers to not only showcase their short form content, but accelerate their careers,” NALIP’s production and development manager/projects director Liliana Espinoza said of the fest, which kicked off Wednesday at the AMC Century City 15 theater complex with afternoon seminars, a networking mixer and screenings of carefully curated short films. “It’s not by coincidence that we’re here in Century City, it’s strategic. We make sure that we are within walking distance of the major agencies.”

Read the article at Los Angeles Daily News

Hollywood Latinos vow to 'change that narrative,' fight harmful stereotypes

Award winning directors and producers vowed to combat the lack of Latino representation in the TV and film industry through the work they do in Hollywood.

Television producer, writer and director Gloria Calderón Kellett is one of them.

During Thursday's Latino Media Fest Awards, which celebrates content creators who are helping make the industry a more diverse and inclusive place, Calderón Kellett said that most of the roles being offered to Latino actors "are still wildly stereotyped."

"That leads to children in cages. That leads to fear-mongering in this country. It is all starts with the narrative. You guys, we have the power to change that narrative — it is so vital. And so important," she said.

Read more NBC News

Hollywood Has the Power to Combat Damaging Stereotypes About Latinos. Here's Proof That It's Utterly Failing

It’s time to confront the way we see and treat Latinos in America. As we grapple with the enduring effects of a horrific attack on Latinos doing their Saturday shopping, a government that locks Latino children in cages, and leaders and news media outlets who spin vile, racist rhetoric, it is clear something must be done.

But it’s not just those in the political sphere who have a role to play in combating the false and damaging narratives about Latinos in our society. Even our biggest, most popular stories exported around the globe — Hollywood movies — often erase and fail to show humanizing portrayals of Latinos.

It is no secret that fictional storytelling offers an opportunity to inspire and shape the views of an audience. Yet on Monday, a study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment found that across 1,200 of the most popular films released from 2007 to 2018, only 3% of protagonists were Latino, and Latinos made up just 4.5% of all speaking or named characters. This despite the fact that Latinos account for 18% of the U.S. population and 23% of movie ticket buyers.

Read the article: Time

New Study Spotlights Lack Of Latinos in Film On Screen and Behind the Camera

A new study titled “Latinos in Film: Erasure On-Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies,” spotlights the ongoing lack of Latino representation in the film industry. 

Released Monday (Aug. 26) by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, the report examined the prevalence of Latino characters on-screen across 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018, as well as the presence of Latinos working behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors.

According to the study, only 4.5 percent of all 4,268 speaking or named characters across the last 12 years were Latino and only 3 percent of films featured Latino leads or co-leads across the 100 top-grossing movies from 2007-2018. The most frequently hired Latino actors for a protagonist role include Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Eugenio Derbez, and Jessica Alba.

Read more at Billboard

Latino Characters Make Up A Tiny Fraction Of Characters On-Screen

A new study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative paints a dismal picture for Latino representation on screen and behind the camera.

Researchers analyzed the top 100 grossing films of each year from 2007-2018 and found that nearly half of the 1,200 movies in the sample failed to include even one speaking character identified as Latino. Overall, only 4.5% of speaking characters in the most popular movies from this 12-year period included Latino characters, with only 3% ― or just 15 movies ― featuring Latinos in a leading or co-leading role. The study showed that there had been no meaningful change in representation in more than a decade.

Read more on HuffPost

Latinx Characters Make Up Only 4.5 Percent of Speaking Roles in Top 1,200 Films, Study Finds


Of the 100 top-grossing domestic features from each of the past 12 years, Latinx characters make up only 4.5 percent of all speaking roles, according to a new report on Latinx onscreen representation in feature films.

In association with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and Wise Entertainment, USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released the report, titled Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies, which looked at the 1,200 top titles at the box office from 2007 to 2018.

Only 3 percent of the films studied featured Latinx leads or co-leads. Seventeen, or 49 percent, of those leading or co-leading roles were women, but five of those 17 roles were played by a single actress: Cameron Diaz. Along with Diaz, the most frequently hired Latino actors were Jennifer Lopez, Eugenio Derbez and Jessica Alba.

 Reach more on The Hollywood Reporter

This Diversity Report Proves What We Already Knew: Latino Actors & Directors Are Invisible in Hollywood

The bleak reality that the Latino community is underrepresented on the big screen has been a known issue for quite some time. Back in 2014, a report asserted that despite making up 17.1% of the total U.S. population, Latinos made up only 5.8% of speaking roles on TV and film. In 2016, we learned that Latino actors played only 2.7% of roles in the top movies of the year. In 2018, Latinos didn’t even merit a breakdown in a graph that showed how many nonwhite directors helmed the top 1,100 box office hits of the last decade. A new report is building on those aforementioned and finally going granular on the specific issue of Latino representation.

“Latinos in Film: Erasure On Screen; Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies,” from Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, is the most comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Latinos in film since Columbia University’s 2014 “Latino Media Gap” report. “At a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety,” said Dr. Smith, “we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment.”

 Read more at Remezcla

Films lag significantly in Latino representation, study shows

NEW YORK (AP) — Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population and 24% of its frequent moviegoers, yet they rarely see themselves on movie screens.

A new study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds that Latino representation in film lags significantly behind the U.S. population and that, over the last decade, the number of Latino characters in the most popular movies is virtually unchanged.

The report, released Monday and conducted in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, analyzed the 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 and some 47,268 speaking or named characters. It found that in that 12-year period, 4.5% of all speaking or named characters were Latino, and just 3% of leads or co-leads.

Over that time, the rate of representation has hovered between 3-6%, researchers found. In, 2018, there were Latino speaking characters in 5% of the most popular films — the same rate as in 2008.

Read more at PBS News Hour

J. Lo Is The Only Latinx Actress Over 45 To Hold A Lead Role In The Last 12 Years

You knew J. Lo was unique, but a new study puts her on a whole new level.
In over 1,200 top-grossing box office films between 2007 and 2018, only two Latina lead roles were played by an actor 45 or older. Both were Jennifer Lopez — and with a lead role in the upcoming blockbuster ensemble Hustlers, she’ll soon be breaking her own record.
This per a new report by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, tracking the erasure of Latinx people in film, on and off-screen.
The numbers are dismal. Latinx characters made up only 4.5% of the 47,268 total studied. Only 3% of movies featured Latinx actors in lead roles. Along with J. Lo, the most frequently hired Latinx actors included Cameron Diaz, Eugenio Derbez, and Jessica Alba, who between them held 16 of those 35 lead roles surveyed.
Across the 100 top-grossing films of 2018, 47 were completely missing a speaking or named Latino character, and 70 were missing Latinx women. Latina characters were also found to be more likely to be sexualized than their Black or Asian counterparts.

Read more Refinery29 

The Black List Launches The Latinx List With The Latin Tracking Board, Mijente, NALIP, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Remezcla And UnidosUS

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The Black List is expanding its scope of inclusion and representation in Hollywood with The Latinx List. The inaugural list, a roster of promising screenplays written by Latinx writers, will include literary adaptations, stories based on true events, the immigrant experience, and other narratives encompassing the Latinx experience.

The Latinx List is a collaboration of Franklin Leonard’s The Black List, The Latin Tracking Board, Mijente, NALIP, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Remezcla and UnidosUS. It will be officially unveiled at the 2019 NALIP Summit, which kicks off today in Los Angeles.

The newly launched Latinx List includes the stories The Black List and all aforementioned organizations would like to see onscreen. The stories about the Latinx community for the Latinx community continue to give shine to vital stories that promote the need for authentic representation in film that not only entertains but puts the lens on cultures. In turn, the stories can help change hearts and minds around the world

Read Full Article: Deadline

How ‘Vida’ Showrunner Tanya Saracho Became a Leading Voice for Latinx Creators

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When Variety’s Marc Malkin sat down for a conversation with “Vida” showrunner Tanya Saracho as part of the 2019 NALIP Media Summit, she admitted that her Mexican heritage wasn’t always a personal point of pride. In fact, she once attempted to erase the evidence: “When I came to this country, I was trying to get rid of my accent,” she said, explaining that her motivation was a desire to join the speech and debate team as a student in Texas. “I thought it was [about] accent reduction, like in speech therapy.”

But Saracho has since emerged as an outspoken voice for Latinx representation in Hollywood, which is why she was honored with the Media Advocacy Award at the organization’s Latino Media Awards gala. Last year, Saracho signed a three-year production deal with Starz, and she’s currently working on season three of the series in addition to a new show titled “Bruja.” During her conversation with Malkin, Saracho recounted her journey from aspiring actress to playwright to TV writer (writing for mainstream hits like “Girls” and “How to Get Away with Murder”), which ultimately culminated in the opportunity to create “Vida.” “Me being here is an accident,” she said.

Read Full Article: Variety

National Association of Latino Independent Producers Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

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Ben Lopez has seen the future of the entertainment industry, and says it is the Latinx community.

“In the next 20 years, we’re going to be prioritized — because not only will we have the numbers demographic-wise, we’ll have the spending power,” says Lopez, the executive director of the National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. “Our content creators will be repped because [Latinx] executives are going to be in power at some point. I see us becoming — finally — visible.”

Lopez envisions a time when there is no need for NALIP. But as a 16-year veteran of the advocacy organization, he knows better than anyone how much work needs to be done to achieve parity for people of color in Hollywood.

To that end, NALIP’s 20th annual Media Summit will take place July 25-28. The event, held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, will feature 42 sessions overall from panels and workshops to the Latino Media Awards Gala, at which honorees include such actors as Mj Rodriguez (“Pose”).

Read Full Article: Variety

NALIP Latino Media Awardees Dedicate Honors to Children at Southern Border: "They Are Us"

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Director Gregory Nava said he knows what it's like to be separated from family at the southern border. He recounted losing his grandfather in the 1930s, who was deported to Mexico and how the event split his family apart. 

"We still suffer from the wound of that today," Nava said upon receiving NALIP's lifetime achievement award. "Children are being put in cages and all of us here are in those cages.... They are us."

Nava was one of the eight honorees celebrated at the NALIP Latino Media Awards on Saturday. Also receiving honors at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood were actresses Karla Souza and Mj Rodriguez, showrunners Gloria Calderón Kellett and Tanya Saracho, among others.

Read Full Article: The Hollywood Reporter

'Spider-Man' Actor Tony Revolori Talks Auditioning as a Latinx Actor: "I Had to Convince Myself Why I Deserved the Role"

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The National Association of Latino Independent Producers’ 20th annual Media Summit keynote luncheon kicked off Friday with board of directors co-chair Axel Caballero, HBO’s director of corporate social responsibility, declaring that “there is enough Hollywood money to go around. Trust me.” 

Caballero sat down with Television Academy Foundation's Karla Pita Loor to co-moderate the HBO Collabs + Fresh Voices panel, which featured three Latinx filmmakers who have received funding from NALIP: Henry Alberto, Marianne Amelinckx and Spider-Man: Far From Home actor Tony Revolori, who screened a teaser of his upcoming directorial debut, the short film Apartment.

Addressing an audience at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, the group discussed the importance of collaboration, with Alberto explaining that “Latinx communities come from a mentality there isn’t a place for us here.” Revolori agreed, drawing on his 21 years of experience as an actor in which he was often told he was “too Hispanic” to be cast in films and TV shows: “I remember going into my Spider-Man audition for Peter Parker, trying to convince myself why I deserved the role more than someone that was white.”

Gregory Nava Gives Fiery Speech About Detained Children After Accepting Lifetime Achievement Award

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The celebration of National Association of Latino Independent Producers’ 20th anniversary comes at a unique moment in history. It appears Latinos are starting to gain momentum, even if at times fleeting, within the entertainment industry, but at the same time the political climate continues to alienate and dehumanize us.

Both of these sentiments were present during the NALIP Latino Media Awards, the organization’s annual star-studded gala that culminates the Hollywood-based Media Summit where Latinos and allies working at all levels within the industry come together for panels, workshops, and networking.

At the ceremony, Oscar-winning production designer Eugenio Caballero, who was behind the detailed worlds in El laberinto del fauno and Roma, was among the honorees, receiving the Tech Arts Innovator Award. Breakout trans actress MJ Rodriguez, whose role in the Emmy-nominated FX show Pose has put her on the path to stardom, was visibly moved when accepting the Outstanding Achievement in Television Award and shared her joy at being embraced by the Latino community.

Read Full Article: Remezcla

These Latinx Actors and Directors Are Pushing the Boundaries of Gender in Movies & TV

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People of color are left behind.” The statement, uttered by trans filmmaker Kase Peña, could easily have summed up many of the conversations that took place during this year’s NALIP Media Summit. But within a conversation about on-screen LGBTQ representation it felt particularly apt. Moderated by Carlos Aguilar, the “In-Queer-ies” panel also included nonbinary actor Ser Anzoategui (Vida) and intersex filmmaker River Gallo. The conversation felt like a corrective to the kind of self-congratulatory back-patting that so characterizes discussions of the progress of LGBTQ representation we’ve seen in the last few decades. Yes, we currently have shows as diverse as Vida, One Day at a Time, Pose and Tales of the City with out-and-proud queer characters but that shouldn’t preclude us from having frank talks about how people of color continue to lag behind when it comes to booking and creating well-rounded characters on our screens. And, conversely, of how crucially such narratives shape the way many in our communities see us.

Read Full Article: Remezcla

How These Latino Filmmakers Won the Opportunity to Direct for TV for the First Time

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One of the ways the entertainment industry has tried to course-correct its biases against minorities when handing out directing and writing roles and responsibilities is through diversity initiatives. These programs sound great on paper: TV networks, say, get people from underrepresented communities to apply, presumably prove their worth, and get a chance to see firsthand what it’s like to produce a television show. But, Latinx creators need more from programs that are designed to give them a leg up; they need actual opportunities to go alongside such mentoring initiatives. This is precisely what the NBC Emerging Director Program is doing: on top of getting directors who are eager to move into TV to shadow episodic production and learn the ropes while on a specific show, they also get a chance to direct one episode themselves. It’s the latter opportunity that makes the program stand out from others across the industry.

Read Full Article: Remezcla

Cine Sony And NALIP Unveil Winners Of Voces Nuevas Short Film Contest

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Cine Sony, Sony Pictures Television’s premier movie channel for the bi-cultural U.S. Latino audience, and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) revealed the winners of the inaugural Voces Nuevas, a short film contest for aspiring filmmakers. The grand prize winner was Puerto Rico native Alejandra López, writer and director of La Capa Azul.

López’s short tells the story of Junior, a ten-year-old boy who must find medication for his grandfather in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. He puts on a blue cape made of the tarp that covers his roof and sets off on a journey to save his grandfather’s life. She received $10,000 and a NALIP scholarship and will attend the 2019 NALIP Media Summit (which kicks off today) where she will have the opportunity to meet with industry executives.

Read Full Article: Deadline

NALIP Will Celebrate Its 20th Anniversary With a Special Screening of ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’

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While the entertainment industry is now making moves toward elevating overlooked voices, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) has been at this for two decades. NALIP, an organization that promotes Latino talent in all areas of media, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with its annual Media Summit, which will take place in Los Angeles from July 25 to 28.

At the Dolby Theater in the heart of Hollywood, the NALIP Media Summit, which Remezcla is a media partner for, offers 42 sessions, including ones on pitching and the Latino Media Awards Gala. There, the organization will honor several Latinx talent that has made an impact. This year’s honorees are Selena director Gregory Nava, who is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award; Pose star Mj Rodriguez, who will take the Outstanding Achievement in Television Award; One Day at a Time showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett, the recipient of the Media Advocacy Award; Mexican actress Karla Souza, who will get the Lupe Ontiveros Award; production designer Eugenio Caballero will take home the Tech Arts Innovator Award; representing Latinx media is Pero Like, which will take the Digital Trailblazer Award; the African American Film Critics Associations (AAFCA) will receive the We Are Inclusion Award; Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be given the Lisa Quiroz Media Advancement Award; casting director Carla Hool will take the Industry Pioneer Award; and finally, Tanya Saracho, creator of Vida, will win the Media Advocacy Award.

Read Full Article: Remezcla

These Are the Creatives Working to Bring Us More Latino Superheroes in Movies & on TV

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Superhero narratives are powerful cultural artifacts that reflect a society’s values, and because of their major presence in film and television their role to create a more diverse industry is critical. Aware of this, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) put together a panel moderated by Gil Robertson from the African American Critics Association (AAFCA), where Kalinda Vazquez (Executive Producer of Marvel’s Runaways) and Venezuelan director Joel Novoa (Esclavo de Dios, Arrow) discussed the impact and significance of this profitable subgenre.

For Novoa, who is currently working on a TV adaptation of Richard Dominguez’s comic book El Gato Negrofor MGM Television, superhero stories can serve as vehicles to address relevant issues. “A superhero doesn’t have to be what we understand a superhero to be, the man or woman with a cape that flies around the world. A superhero could be a single mother who struggles with the police because she is being deported.”

Read Full Article: Remezcla

Watching ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ as a Teen Inspired Jorge Gutiérrez to Direct ‘The Book of Life’

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Radiating positivity just like he does on Twitter, Mexican artist and animator Jorge Gutiérrez(The Book of Life) stole the spotlight with his insightful remarks during a conversation at the NALIP Media Summit addressing representation in animation, particularly in content targeting young audiences.

Gutiérrez, who is currently working on a limited animated series titled Maya and the Three for Netflix, described the change needed in industry as trees that have been planted and are slowly growing. “The people at the top are still not as diverse as we would all love to see, but the gender change and the colors are going up,” he said.

According to Gutiérrez, we’re in a golden era where local stories can be global and audiences are eager to see points of views they hadn’t seen before, but also noted that we as a community need to stop believing anything is done for altruistic reasons. “Hollywood is a robot, and that robot feeds on money, so if you tell that robot, ‘Shame on you, you should have more diversity,’ the robot doesn’t care. But if go, ‘Hey robot, did you see how much money Black Panther made? How much money Wonder Woman made?’ Then the robot goes, ‘Tell me more.’” Gutiérrez maintains the only way to effect change is by forcing those in power to understand they are leaving money on the table if they don’t let creators make diverse content.

Read Full Article: Remezcla


Image Courtesy of Los Angeles Sentinel

The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) has announced that it will present the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) with their We Are Inclusion Award during the 20th Annual NALIP Media Summit, July 25-28, in Hollywood.

For the past two years, NALIP has put a laser focus on encouraging diversity in Hollywood through its #WeAreInclusion campaign.

That work is why NALIP has chosen to honor AAFCA. In a letter, NALIP Executive Director, Ben Lopez noted that the honor, to be accepted by AAFCA co-founder and CEO, Gil Robertson, recognizes “the cross-cultural impact [AAFCA] has had on emerging filmmakers of color” as well as Robertson’s visionary leadership to “distribute inspirational content, build an impactful membership, and hold dynamic events advancing diverse creatives.”

Read Full Article: Los Angeles Sentinel

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