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Nalip published The LLFS Short Film Directors in Their Own Words in Members 2016-10-19 18:51:55 -0700
Last week NALIP announced the short films that will be screened at this year’s Latino Lens Festival and Showcase on October 30th at the Avalon Hollywood. This week we bring you a closer look into the minds of directors, Lizette Barrera 'MOSCA', Esteban Arango 'BLAST BEAT' and Jorge “Jokes” Yanes 'TOYED', in an exclusive interview. We asked these content creators about their short films and the obstacles attached to being a short film director, the importance of organizations like NALIP and what the future holds.
NALIP: What did you hope to accomplish with this short? Why this movie? Why now?
Lizette Barrera (LB): “In MOSCA, I try to tell a complex and nonjudgmental story of Kari, who is a teenager trying to figure out her sexuality...What’s important about MOSCA is that is blends the usage of (mainly) English and Spanish. It depicts acculturated Latin@ in Texas. The film crew also consisted a majority of people of color and LGBT individuals. So why this movie? Not only is it personal for me, but as to everyone who worked on the film. MOSCA is a way for us to identify with others stuck in ‘The Borderlands’ and give ourselves a way to make our voices heard.”
Esteban Arango (EA): “With BLAST BEAT I wanted to capture the feelings of a generation that I haven’t seen on screen in an entertaining, hollywood-style narrative. The feelings of a generation of immigrants who stand on a blurry line of identity as Americans and Latinos.”
Jorge “Jokes” Yanes (JY): “It became my mission to bring it [TOYED] to the screen when one day, when I was moving from one home to another, I found the original story tucked in an old binder. From that point on my writing partner J.Bishop and I have been relentless to bring this story about a group of underdog kid artists fighting to be recognized, while being lumped in with the gang culture of the early 90’s.”
Lizette Barrera director of 'MOSCA'
NALIP: What are some challenges you’ve faced?
LB: “Being a Latina and – young – woman, I’ve always had to push harder for people to believe in my work, especially when my work deals with Latinx families and don’t carry the ‘stereotypical’ facade.”
EA: “I uprooted my whole life in Miami to relocate to LA last year in pursuit of my dream of making films. I knew it had to start with my short BLAST BEAT. We faced so many challenges to get that production together, all while adapting to a new environment in a new city. It was humbling from the beginning, doing the Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds, getting the attention of our actors to come and join our project, and shooting in LA, which can get so expensive, fast!”
JY: “I grew up in a turbulent time when nobody I knew ever made it out my neighborhood. It took a lot of will and some really great influences to break out of that mold. But specifically for the film the biggest obstacles we faced were finding locations that still had that 90’s feel, and casting the great kid actors with a very limited amount of time. Besides that we faced the mountain of obstacles that comes with every production and made it to the other side with something we are proud of.”
Esteban Arango director of 'BLAST BEAT'
NALIP: What are some of the challenges shorts filmmakers face these days in general?
LB: “Noticeability. Accessibility has gotten easier for short filmmakers, but finding distribution deals, credibility, and/or financing is tough.”
EA: “As a diverse filmmaker I feel lucky to be working during a time where finally the space has opened up for our stories. With that opportunity comes the challenge of creating work that is compelling, fresh, and that keeps pushing the boundaries of what is possible in filmmaking. If filmmakers are able to do this today, then more opportunities will come up.”
JY: “I think shorts are challenging because it is rarely a commercial endeavor so it requires a gathering of like-minded individuals to pool their limited resources and create. Although I do believe it is an incredible time to be a filmmaker. Today, you can make shorts that can actually capture an audience outside of just festivals. So testing the waters with a story and characters is easier than ever, but the financing is going to be skin in the game.”
Jorge "Jokes" Yanes director of 'TOYED'
NALIP: Why do you think organizations like NALIP are important?
LB: “Organizations like NALIP are extremely imperative for Latinx filmmakers to get their voices heard and get their work shown. We need these hubs to have as a support system, build alliances with one another, and become a familia, especially when we live in a world that generally doesn’t support voices from people of color.”
EA: “Organizations like NALIP are instrumental, I would say essential, for the industry because they safeguard upcoming talent and give them valuable exposure. But also because they unite a community of like-minded creators to keep pushing our message out as Latinos at the forefront of the new wave of multicultural cinema.”
JY: “They are important because they highlight voices that need to be shared and as Latinos in America we have an important voice. People should have access to them. NALIP is one of the few organizations that is listening and going to bat for us Latino’s, and every year it’s track record speaks for itself.”
NALIP: Where do you see yourself in five years?
LB: “I see myself having made my first feature, MOSCA. I would like to be working in the Casting Department to help change the game plan as well as making documentaries that urge for justice/reflection to individuals. I also hope to be a lecturer at a university to help minorities in film.”
EA: “I’d like to be creatively active, directing films and television. On a personal level, I could see myself as a dad… But I don’t know, that’s a scary thought right now.”
JY: “In five years I hope to be consistently delivering new and unique creative content filled with integrity on various platforms, from series to theatrical features, and raising a family as well as being a positive force in my community.”
Join us for a chance to meet and hear more from these short film directors, and other creators, at the Latino Lens Festival and Showcase on Oct. 30th at the Avalon Hollywood.
Nalip published Producer's Master Class with Mike Medavoy and Sergio Aguero in Members 2016-10-19 18:51:25 -0700
NALIP and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) are proud to announce that this year's Producer's Master Class will be led by powerhouse industry experts, Mike Medavoy (Producer, Phoenix Pictures), Sergio Agüero (Producer, Campanario) and David T. Friendly (Producer, Imagine, Friendly Productions). This will be a continuation and part of our master class series. All three panelists have produced Oscar nominated films and will share their knowledge with our NALIP members at the Latino Lens Festival & Showcase. This master class will focus on producing within the industry and the lessons they have learned along the way. We invite you, directors, writers, cinematographers and all content creators, especially the producers to #CreateWithUs and learn from masters of this industry. Jairo Alvarado (Producer, Circle of Confusion) will be on hand to present and moderate this session.
Joins us at the Latino Lens Festival & Showcase!
Learn more about each of these award winning producers below:Read more
Nalip published Call for Volunteers - Latino Lens Festival & Showcase in Members 2016-10-19 18:51:02 -0700
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) is seeking highly-motivated, creative, and can-do volunteers for the upcoming Latino Lens Festival & Showcase, to be held on October 30 at the Avalon Hollywood.
We’re looking to build an exceptional team of volunteers to make the Latino Lens Festival & Showcase a remarkable experience for all those interested in celebrating Latinos across all media! Get involved, meet new people, and discover all the Latino talent that surrounds you.
We have different areas you can contribute when joining our team:
Communications and PR
To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to: email@example.com. The subject headline must include your name and Latino Lens Fest VOLUNTEER.
According to the Indian Country Today Media Network, Alex Zacarias’ new documentary, “Taino Daca (I Am),” reveals “new truths about the history, survival and identity of the Taino people, the first indigenous contact for Christopher Columbus.” Zacarias’ 10-year project will be released this fall and, as Zacarias explains, has a universal story for many tribes, not just for Taino. “The intent of the documentary is to bring awareness of our Taino story that we might be able to engage with government,” he says.
The Puerto Rican director faced many challenges making the film but as the Network reports, “one of the biggest challenges Zacarias faced was documenting the story over a decade and following the documentary’s main character, Roberto Mukaro Borrero.” Borrero was a consultant on the film and says, “the film shares the reality that Taino are still here.”
“Sands of Silence” will be featured at the Awareness Film Fest 2016 this weekend. NALIP member Chelo Alvarez-Stehle’s film takes us on a 15 year journey to uncover the underworld of sexual exploitation and trafficking throughout Asia and the Americas. “The making of ‘Sands of Silence’ pushed me into a new journey of introspection,” says Alvarez-Stehle, “As I set to tell the story of our main subject, Virginia, who struggles to break the cycle of sexual exploitation in her family and her life.
“I saw my own story - in a very small way - in hers.”
The film will make it’s west coast premiere on Sunday, Oct. 16th at the L.A. Live Regal Cinemas in Downtown L.A. NALIP members can save on tickets using the code: 8675309. For tickets visit awarenessfestival.org.
Also featured at the Awareness Film Festival is Marisol Gonzalez’s “Children Behind the Wall.” The film exposes the cruel effects of the drug epidemic among children and young adults in Tijuana, Mexico. Gonzalez, who serves as the film’s producer and director, called upon accomplished Director of Photography Rachel Morrison, who lensed films like “Dope,” “Cake,” and “Fruitvale Station.”
“I’ve made it my mission to bring awareness about the harms of drugs from the perspective of children fending for themselves,” says Gonzalez. “We need to be compassionate and understand that people who use drugs are not monsters; they are our children, our parents, our cousins, our best friends.”
The film will be screened on Sunday, Oct. 16th at the L.A. Live Regal cinemas in Downtown L.A. There will be a Q&A following the film with the director. For tickets visit awarenessfestival.org.
Nalip published NALIP and CBS Engage in Diversity Dialogue with Adam Rodriguez and Wilmer Valderrama in Members 2016-10-19 18:15:51 -0700
In a conversation tackling the diversity problem in Hollywood, Wilmer Valderrama and Adam Rodriguez dove deep into their own careers to give a more personal point of view and insight on what it means to be Latino in the industry. In an intimate setting on Thursday night, hosted by CBS and moderated by NALIP’s Projects Director Ben Lopez, the two talented actors came together to talk about their roles in CBS’s leading drama series, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. They provided anecdotes, advice and hardships they encountered throughout their careers and the place of Latino content creators and artist in the future.
When it comes to rejection, Valderrama, who co-stars with Ashton Kutcher on Netflix's "The Ranch," finds the positive in it and “keep[s] it moving” something he credits to being Latino. He came to the U.S. at a young age without knowing to speak english but he worked, was persistent and patient. Both men grew up without having someone to relate to on TV “no one that looked like me” mentions Rodriguez, which made it more difficult to consider acting but “you just don’t quit” he says. Change is happening now, with actors out there on different TV series and in film, it has taken over 20 years but “these conversations use to happen outside of auditions for gangster #1” jokes Rodriguez and now they happen in studios and the hope is there “won’t be a need for these diversity discussion in the future”. It takes patience, but the work is being done, and as things are changing what we need to do is keep these conversations going, and “support one another” as both of these men do, Wilmer considers himself to be Rodriguez’s biggest fan. When asked by Ben Lopez about roles or characters writers should create both agree it should be about the story and Rodriguez looks for “characters [he] can root for”, irregardless of the ethnicity. Wilmer argues that Latinos live in the same world as everyone else therefore there is no need to make those characters so different, “it’s a lot more simple than what they make it”.
The themes of the night were inclusion, persistence, patience, community and support. Wrapping up the night with an insightful Q&A where the audience, touched on the issue of diversity including a 12 year old boy, who asked why studios always cast Anglo actors, to which both Rodriguez and Valderrama responded “we’re working on that”. Ben Lopez concluded the night by thanking the networks that are opening these doors and giving equal opportunities and reminding everyone that it is about the mentoring and promoting CBS’s #eachoneteachone. The important take away of the night for Valderrama was, “we are not alone”, both actors expressed how proud they were to be present in the dialogue and to represent Latinos.
Nalip published Netflix Continues to Tap Into the Latin American Demo in Members 2016-10-19 18:15:31 -0700
Photo Courtesy of Variety
While Netflix reduces their dependence on acquisitions and doubles down on their Latino and LATAM original content strategy, others such as Sony networks are also investing in Latinos, a key creative community and demographic.
Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Cesar Charlone (“City of God”), directs Netflix’s “3%” that’s set to launch Nov. 25th. Variety reports the series is a futuristic thriller set in a dystopic near-future Brazil. This is Netflix’s first original production “completely shot, produced and acted by Brazilians.” Created by Pedro Aguilera, the project stars Joao Miguel, Bianca Comparator, and Zeze Motta.
Netflix also announced a 13-episode series from Mexican filmmaker Manolo Caro. Caro’s dark comedy remains untitled but will begin shooting early next year. The show centers around a family full of “dysfunctional secrets” and “explores the need to protect and forgive loved ones, no matter how uncomfortable.”
Mexico’s Televisa partnered with Sony Pictures Television to co-produce 65 episodes of “Blue Demon,” a TV drama based on the life of Mexican wrestler Alejandro Munoz Moreno. Earlier this year, Variety reported NBCUniversal’s Telemundo has “long followed a strategy of co-producing with major content companies over the years, including Mexico’s Argos, Disney, Fox, and Sony Pictures TV Latin America.”
Both projects are part of Netflix’s Latin American original productions that also includes “Narcos,” and will be available to all Netflix’s subscribers.
As more and more networks follow in the steps of Telemundo, Televisa and Sony, the real winners of this Latino and LATAM content are the viewers, who will see the diversity surge they’ve been calling for. Now, the only question is when will this diversity make the jump from steady play on streaming services to a returning audience on the silver screen.
The 2nd annual Panamanian International Film Festival L.A. is set to open on November 5 - 6, 2016 in Downtown Los Angeles. In its second year, the Festival has expanded to 11 films by International & U.S. Latino Filmmakers. The Festival will also feature industry panels, which NALIP will participate in, Q&A’s with filmmakers, and networking opportunities.
PIFF/LA is co-produced by The Viva Panama Organization(VPO) and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) along with the support of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP).“This two-day festival is designed to cast a spotlight on emerging film artists in Panama and the Americas while facilitating professional exchanges and networking opportunities,” said Carlos Carrasco, Festival Director. Carrasco, who was born in Panama, is known by global audiences for his roles in Speed and Taylor Hackford’s Blood In Blood Out.
PIFF/LA will take place at two Downtown Los Angeles locations: South Park Center, 139 S. Hill St. ($5 parking available at 1133 S. Olive St.), on Saturday, November 5th and Regal LA LIVE Stadium,1000 W. Olympic Blvd., on SundayNovember 6th.
To view the films being screened and for more information go to the official Facebook page.
To purchase your ticket via this link!
This year’s Latino Lens Festival and Showcase will feature a Showrunners’ Master Class, Presented by NBCUniversal, with show runner, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (The Carmichael Show, NBC) & veteran writer and story editor Benjamin Daniel Lobato (Queen of the South, USA Network).
The Showrunners Masterclass panelists will detail what it takes to become a successful show runner and show writer and the responsibilities attached to the title. They will discuss how to run a successful writer's room and how to influence a team. Other topics of discussion will include: developing the creative vision of a show, securing a show's ratings and seasonal progression and the increasing impact of diverse voices in television.
Benjamin Lobato is currently writing for Queen of the South (USA). Previous writing credits include: ICE (AT&T Audience Network), Shades of Blue (NBC), Gang Related (Fox), Against the Wall (Lifetime), The Unit (CBS), and Justified(FX); for which he, along with the writing staff, received a Peabody Award, and WGA Nomination for Best New Series. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and degrees in Media Arts and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. Before beginning his career as a screenwriter, he served as a member of the military’s elite Joint Counter-Narco-Terrorism Task Force.
Danielle Sanchez-Witzel serves as showrunner and executive producer on NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” and has also worked on shows like Fox’s “New Girl,” “The Millers” on CBS, and NBC’s “Whitney” and “My Name Is Earl.” Sanchez-Witzel is a graduate of Stanford University where she worked as a baseball play-by-play announcer for the university radio station. Additionally, Sanchez-Witzel worked in advertising for several years prior to receiving her M.F.A. from the UCLA Graduate School of Film and Television.
Nalip published NBCUniversal Presenting Sponsor for Latino Lens Fest & Showcase in Members 2016-10-19 18:12:18 -0700
NBCUniversal teams up with NALIP as presenting sponsor for this years Latino Lens Festival & Showcase 2016. NBCUni has worked with NALIP in the past and they continue to expand diversity in media. The Showcase is a place to engage with other creators and like minded people to receive great insight from industry professionals and learn how to slowly expand Latino content in entertainment industry. The second annual Latino Lens Fest & Showcase will feature the Emerging Content Creators Workshops, a series of Master Classes, Shorts presentation & exposure to content from up and coming talented individuals. Check out the rest of the scheduled programming at Nalip.org and don't miss out on any of NBCUniversal programs including ‘Superstore’ starring America Ferrera.
Nalip published VR on the Rise as More and More Projects Are Picked Up in Members 2016-10-19 18:10:39 -0700
It is no secret that virtual reality is on the rise and the new generation of Latino content creators is embracing this technology. NALIP featured Google Cardboard at this year’s Media Summit where attendees were able to test the hardware and we continually look for opportunities to explore the platform in our programming. Sports Illustrated (SI) is following in the success of their first VR feature, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit VR Experience, with “Capturing Everest.”
SI acquires a virtual reality documentary series from Endemol Shine Beyond USA about four climbers summiting Mount Everest. “Capturing Everest” was shot on location over a two-month period in April and May of 2016, so reports Variety. In order to gather all the footage the production team used GoPro VR rigs including stationary, body-mounted and zipline rigs.
President of Endemol Shine Beyond USA, Bonnie Pan, said the company “wanted to find a way for this to live inside the SI brand” and therefore did not shop the series. Endemol Shine Beyond USA is the digital division of Endemol Shine North America. Endemol Shine partnered with NALIP this year for our Annual Media Summit where co-CEO Cris Abrego delivered a signature conversation on his life and ascension to his high profile position in one of the leading companies in media.
Variety reports the series will be available on Life VR, on iOS and Android, with programing available across Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus. It will also be supported as a 360-degree video on mobile devices and desktops.
NALIP continues to work on bringing this technology to our programs and events, like this year’s Latino Lens Festival and Showcase that will feature a VR Workshop presented by Holotrope. We hope that in doing so the Latino community will be poised to lead the charge on this futuristic frontier.
Watch the trailer for “Capturing Everest” here.
Nalip published Fede Alvarez to Direct Comic Book Thriller 'Incognito' in Members 2016-10-19 18:08:56 -0700
Image Courtesy of The Playlist
Fede Alvarez, who directed and co-wrote this summer’s box office hit, “Don’t Breathe,” has reportedly signed with Sony Pictures to direct “Incognito,” an adaptation of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ limited comic series of the same name.
The story follows “Zach Overkill, a super villain who is in the Witness Protection Program after testifying against a powerful hero, The Black Death,” reports Indiewire. “Though required to take a drug that eliminates his superpowers and work a nondescript mail job, Zach becomes restless and finds a way to regain his powers, forcing him to decide whether to use them again or stay in the safety of his regular job.”
Daniel Casey, who wrote “10 Cloverfield Lane” and James Franco’s film “Kin,” has been brought on board to work on the script.
Sony Pictures has not announced a release date for this film yet.
After the success of his low-budget film, which grossed over $140 million worldwide, it’s no surprise Alvarez has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after directors.
NALIPsters are excited to see what’s next for Fede Alvarez!
Nalip published For Your Consideration: NALIP Latino Lens Announces Film of the Year Nominations for Latinx and Latino International Film Categories in Members 2016-10-07 17:38:19 -0700
For Your Consideration: NALIP Latino Lens Announces Film of the Year Nominations for Latinx and Latino International Film Categories
This year NALIP’s current official members and a select committee of industry professionals will vote to select the winner in each category for Film of the Year. The two categories selected are:
The Latinx category features the best in US Latino and breakthrough Latinx filmmaking talent. These films could include a documentary, animation or feature. Get to know about the films in this category and the NALIPsters behind them:
‘La Granja’ (2015)is a film about three intersecting stories, promising young boxer, a barren midwife and a lonely kid with a bike all in pursuit of happiness and it’s unanticipated consequences during a difficult time in Puerto Rico. NALIP had the pleasure of screening Angel Manuel Soto’s film La Granja at last year’s Latino Lens Showcase, since then NALIP continues to support his career and film most recently screening at FICG in LA 6, where NALIP will be present.
‘Hands of Stone’ (2016) is the legendary story of Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel and how both their lives were impacted by each other and their past and in their own way achieved redemption. Director, Jonathan Jakubowicz and lead actor Edgar Ramirez both did a compelling interview with NALIP where they expressed the difficulties and the process of creating such an inspiring film.
‘Lowriders’ (2016) a film by Ricardo de Montreuil is about a young street artist on East LA who is caught between his father’s obsession with the lowrider culture, his ex-felon brother and his own need for self expression. Ricardo de Montreuil recently attended and was a speaker at this past June’s NALIP Media Summit.
‘Don’t Breathe’ (2016) a film that currently has record breaking numbers at the box office is about a group of friends breaking into the house of a blind man only to find out he isn’t as helpless as he seems. NALIP is a long time supporter of Fede Alvarez and his work.
‘Memories of a Penitent Heart’ (2016) a documentary film by long time NALIPster Cecilia Aldarondo is about Miguel who dies of AIDS, his niece tracks down his gay lover and cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama. Cecilia Aldarondo was a participant in the 2014 NALIP Latino Media Market with this project and screened the film at this years Media Summit.
The Latino International category includes films receiving noteworthy attention prior to festival and award season. NALIP believes any of these films can be taken for your award consideration. Get to know the films nominated:
The Distinguished Citizen (2016) Argentinian film by Directors Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn about Mr. Mantovani, after refusing big and prestigious awards all over the world, Literature Nobel Prize winner, accepts an invitation to visit his hometown in Argentina, which has been the inspiration for all of his books. It turns out that accepting this invitation is the worse idea of his life.
Neruda (2016) A Chilean film by Director Pablo Larraín is about an inspector who hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the communist party.
Desierto (2016) A Mexican film Directed by Jonás Cuarón about a group of people trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States encounter a man who has taken border patrol duties into his own racist hands.
Alias Maria (2015) A Colombian film Directed by José Luis Rugeles is a vision of Colombia's inhuman armed conflict, seen through the eyes of a young and pregnant girl soldier.
Breadcrumbs (2016) Directed by Manane Rodríguez is an Uruguayan Spanish film that addresses sexual violence suffered by a group of inmates and how years later decide to report it.
Regardless of the winner, NALIP believes, all of the following films should be in your short list for award consideration. Members will receive a separate voting ballot. Your membership must be current and in good standing to participate.
Check out the trailers for each nominated films
Best Latinx Film
La Granja (2015) - Angel Manuel Soto
Hands of Stone (2016)- Jonathan Jakubowicz
Lowriders (2016) - Ricardo de Montreuil
Don’t Breathe (2016)- Fede Alvarez
Memories of a Penitent Heart (2016)- Cecilia Aldarondo
Best Latino International Film
The Distinguished Citizen - Argentina
Neruda (2016) - Chile
Desierto (2016)- Mexico
Alias Maria (2015) - Colombia
Breadcrumbs (2016) - Uruguay
Become a member at Nalip.org and be eligible to vote for your favorite!
Nalip published For Your Consideration: Latino Lens Festival & Showcase Announces Film of the Year Nominations for Latino International and Latinx Film Categories in Members 2016-10-07 07:22:26 -0700
For Your Consideration: Latino Lens Festival & Showcase Announces Film of the Year Nominations for Latino International and Latinx Film Categories
This year NALIP’s Current Official Members and a select committee of industry professionals will vote to select the winner in each category for Film of the Year. The two categories selected are:
- Latino International which includes cinema receiving noteworthy attention prior to festival and award season. NALIP believes any of these films can be taken for your award consideration.
- The Latinx category features the best in US Latino and breakthrough Latinx filmmaking talent. These films could include a documentary, animation or feature.
Regardless of the winner, NALIP believes, all of the following films should be in your short list for award consideration. Members will receive a separate voting ballot. Your membership must be current and in good standing to participate.
Check out the trailers for each nominated film
Best Latinx Film
Memories of a Penitent Heart
Best Latino International Film
Distinguished Citizen - Argentina
Neruda - Chile
Desierto - Mexico
Alias Maria - Colombia
Breadcrumbs - Uruguay
Become a member and cast your vote at Nalip.org