News & Updates

  • REPORTERO Receives an Emmy Nomination

    Posted by on July 17, 2014


    NALIP pleased to announce that REPORTEROby Bernardo Ruiz has been nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award! Nominated in the Outstanding Informational Programming—Long-Form category, they are in the company of some truly outstanding films, especially among the P.O.V. and PBS nominees!

    The film follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, more than 50 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when former President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country’s powerful drug cartels and organized crime.

    Since premiering in Mexico City in 2012, REPORTERO has screened in 28 countries and has been translated into five languages. In the U.S., it has screened in at least 39 cities through their partnership with P.O.V. In Mexico, the film screened in 12 cities through the itinerant documentary festival, Ambulante. REPORTERO recently finished a tour in ten Netherlands Embassies in Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle East. The film will also stream for free on from July 21st - August 25th, 2014. Make sure you check it out!

  • Booze, Better Food and Indies – How Theaters Are Luring More Hispanics

    Posted by on July 17, 2014



    In the final installment of TheWrap's Hispanic moviegoers series, a look at how chains like AMC are enticing Latino moviegoers with concessions and programming

    Earlier installments in TheWrap's series on Hispanic moviegoers examined their growing role at the box office and how Hollywood is marketing to the group. The concluding installment explores how theater chains are enticing Hispanic moviegoers.

    At AMC's 15 dine-in theaters, the chain offers a menu that features two dishes with chipotle peppers, three types of tacos, five kinds of quesadillas, a fiesta trio, a fajita chicken wrap and more than 20 specialty cocktails.

    Concessions are where theater chains make their money, and that menu has obvious appeal for the fastest growing moviegoing segment in the U.S. — Hispanics.

    “Our dine-in theaters, while not specifically targeting a certain demo, have a seasonal menu that would line up closer to a Hispanic moviegoing population in terms of food,” AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan told The Wrap.

    The chain's Dine In theaters also serve five types of margaritas, beer, wine and martinis. It's part of a growing industry push to upgrade concessions and serve meals and liquor alongside Twizzlers and popcorn

    “We are lobbying almost every jurisdiction in the United States to make it legal to serve alcohol in cinemas,” John Fithian, CEO of the National Assn. of Theater Owners, said at the Produced By Conference in June. “We want alcohol in the cinema.”

    One reason why is that concessions, including alcohol, overindex among Hispanics.

    “We want not just greater concessions items, but higher-end food service,” said Fithian, noting: “Alcohol margins are huge for us.”

    The move is good business for AMC, which movie executives agree has been the most aggressive and effective theater chain in its courtship of the Hispanic audience. Some of that is due to the heritage of its CEO, Gerry Lopez, a proud Cuban.

    But alcohol and tacos are only part of the movie-theater outreach to Hispanic audiences, which studies show view moviegoing as more of a family activity than other audiences. Theaters are also programming Latin-themed movies and forging ties with local businesses to better attract ticket buyers.

    Analysts say they could do a lot more.

    “Hispanic families tend to be more community and public-oriented,” Kate Perkins, an analyst or brand consultancy TruthCo, told TheWrap. “There is a lot of collective and community activity in the Hispanic community compared to the general market, which tends to be more individualized and privatized.”

    Perkins recently conducted research in neighborhoods such as Miami, Orlando and Fort Collins, Texas. She found that Hispanics families tend to go to open-air malls to socialize. Shopping and movies are part of the experience, but socialization is the primary motivation.

    Incorporating other businesses and local vendors could give theaters more of a community feel, and go a long way toward enticing potential moviegoers. Perkins’ colleague Linda Ong cited the Barclay's Center, the multi-purpose Arena in Brooklyn, which sports a barbershop and local food vendors, as an example.

    “One thing we know about movie theater food is you could be anywhere,” Ong said. “Escort me to any counter, I know what the options will be. Localizing food choices fosters a sense of public and community that is important.”


    AMC has used low-budget films to build a relationship with the Hispanic communities that live near its theaters through a program called AMC Independent. AMC VP of Specialty and Alternative Content Nikkole Denson-Randolph said the company searches for movies that would not typically receive theatrical distribution, or would get a limited run in an art-house theater or two.

    One recent example is “Water & Power,” an adaptation of a play about two brothers from a rough part of Los Angeles who are rising in California's political hierarchy. Edward James Olmos lent his name to the project, which AMC screened in May. 

    The movie grossed just $82,312, but Denson-Randolph is more concerned about the message it sends. While Hispanics are more likely to see blockbusters than your average moviegoer, AMCi offers films that audiences might not see otherwise.

    “We're looking to bring content to [Hispanics] that is of interest; it helps build loyalty,” she said. “We've seen it work.

    “You train the audience to know this is your theater, you can find content you wouldn't find at other locations.” Some movies, she said, have done very respectable numbers, comedies in particular.


    AMCi's slate has included Spanish-language films, and Denson-Randolph would like to see even more of them. Yet there is only one well-financed domestic supplier, Pantelion, a joint venture formed by Lionsgate and Pantelion.

    Its biggest success to-date has been “Instructions Not Included,” a Spanish-language movie that grossed $44.5 million in the United States (and $99 million worldwide). That is the more than any other Spanish-language movie in U.S. history, and the fourth biggest total of any foreign-language movie in the United States.


    Eugenio Derbez, one of the most popular Mexican television actors, directed and starred in the film, in which he plays an Acapulco playboy saddled with a baby from a former fling.

    Pantelion targeted its campaign at the adult Hispanic audience, leaning heavily on the popularity of Univision. Derbez received a lifetime achievement award on “Premios Juvented,” an annual awards show, and appeared several times on various shows leading u to the movie's release.

    The movie played well with everyone — not just Hispanics.

    “Majors are making general market movies and trying to overindex and bring in more Latinos,” Pantelion CEO Paul Presburger told TheWrap. “We're going after the Latino market, and if we can get general market people, all the better.”

    Whether the success of “Instructions Not Included” portends greater returns for other Spanish-language films remains a subject of great debate. Several moviegoers surveyed by TheWrap at a Los Angeles theater this week said they would like to see more theaters show Spanish-language movies, while also expressing great affection for summer blockbuster movies.

    “That movie is more the anomaly than the rule,” Fabian Castro, SVP of multicultural marketing at Universal, said of “Instructions Not Included.” Castro is one of many executives who argue the emphasis should be on including more Hispanic voices in studio projects — more writers, directors, producers and cinematographers crafting stories for the small but growing pool of Hispanic talent.

    Hollywood has ramped up marketing initiatives toward Hispanic audiences but Latinos remain sorely under-represented on the big screen and behind the scenes.

    Presburger acknowledged the movie is an outlier, but believes there are other stars at Univision and in the Hispanic community that could deliver similar numbers. His principal concern is raising the average grosses across his slate to $10 million or $20 million.

    “Pulling Strings,” a movie that Pantelion released after “Instructions Not Included,” grossed $6 million in the U.S. Thanks to its $8 million haul in Mexico, the movie grossed $14 million in total – good enough for a project that cost $3 million.

    His biggest hurdle may be cost. While movies are still one of the cheapest forms of family entertainment, the cost has increased with the advent of large-format screens and the proliferation of 3D.

    Ticket prices hit an all-time high in 2013, according to NATO, averaging out at $8.13. NATO has since met with exhibitors to propose discounts during the week. Presburger said discounts are especially important to Hispanic households in which Spanish is the dominant language.

    “Pricing is a real issue for Latino families,” Presburger said. “Nobody has come to us and said ‘let's try something new on pricing, but it's an issue we could like to explore. We'll have more people seeing movies, which translates to more revenue.”

    And when has Hollywood every turned down more money?

    Check this out on the TheWrap.


    Read more of TheWrap's ‘Hispanics at the Movies’ Series

    How Hispanics Became Hollywood's Most Important Audience

    Hispanic Women Are This Summer's Most Avid Moviegoers (Exclusive Study)

    10 Biggest Box-Office Hits Pumped Up by Hispanics This Summer (Photos)

    How the Hollywood Marketing Machine Tailors Campaigns for Hispanics

    Hollywood's Abysmal Record of Casting Hispanic Actors

    21 Non-Hispanic Actors Portraying Hollywood's Hispanic Roles (Photos)

  • Private Picnic With Hollywood Insider

    Posted by on July 17, 2014


    Christopher Pratt
    Founder, Primal Pictures

    Christopher Pratt (@futurePratt), founder of Primal Pictures, has sold more studio projects and has accomplished MORE personally in the last two years than in the previous 15 years combined, simply using his "strategies of personal transformation for creative success." He is now set to produce films at Universal Studios and Paramount. As a Hollywood movie producer, Christopher produced the 2010 Lionsgate feature film KILLERS, starring Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Rob Riggle, and Catherine O’Hara. He also produced THE AIR I BREATHE, starring Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Emile Hirsch, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Bacon, and Andy Garcia. Christopher produces George Wallace: LIVE – the smash hit comedy show on the Las Vegas strip at the Flamingo Hotel, running ten years straight. In addition to managing the entrepreneurial endeavor, he developed a line of merchandise and alternate revenue streams, which generated millions. He also has a background in managing writers.

    A Unique 1-Day Workshop
    For EVERYONE in Front of or Behind the Camera!

    Christopher will offer  PRACTICAL tools and  MOTIVATION 
    whether it’s to help you break in, move forward or make a transition

    Free admission

    (space is limited -- rsvps required – full name(s), profession, contact phone required when you rsvp)

    Date & Time: SATURDAY, July 19th from 11:30am-3:00pm

    Location: Griffifth Park (EXACT location will be emailed a few days before event ONLY to those confirmed)

    The last picnic had a huge turnout & everyone had a blast!!

    You bring your own picnic basket, blanket/folding chair & a great attitude!!   
    -  we provide the career enhancing information, great company &
    networking in a fun, informal setting… -

    Come & learn -- have fun & make new friends & connections!!

    RSVP DEADLINE: JULY 18, 2014 at 3PM— Email your RSVP to: [email protected]  or go here:


  • The Americas & Americans Festival at the Hollywood Bowl

    Posted by on July 17, 2014


    The LA Phil and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel once again bring the Americas & Americans festival to the Hollywood Bowl. Join the celebration of music featuring some of North and South America’s biggest jazz, salsa and classical stars

    Tickets as low as $20!


    Thu JUL 31  8pm

    Noche de Cine

    Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with guest artist Gustavo Santaolalla, present an evening of film scores from North and South America including music from Battlestar Galactica, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, many with film clips. A suite from Dudamel’s new film score caps the celebration.

    Media sponsor: 89.9 KCRW



    Wed JUL 23  8pm

    Gilberto Santa Rosa · Sheila E.

    “El Caballero de la Salsa,” one of the most prominent salsa performers, returns to the Bowl! Multiple Grammy®-winner Gilberto Santa Rosa’s pioneering music ranges from salsa romántica to ritmo tropical,improvisation to bolero. His canciones para el corazón will be sure to move you. Sensational star percussionist Sheila E.heats up the night with feisty Latin rhythms and effervescent pop.

    Media sponsor: Univision


    Fri & Sat JUL 25 & 26  8pm

    Gloria Estefan

    International superstar Gloria Estefanperforms her iconic hits as never before, as well as songs from her Grammy-nominated CD, The Standards, which features classic tunes from the Great American Songbook. Accompanied for the evening by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under conductor Thomas Wilkins, she will also sing with the talented musicians of YOLA (Youth Orchestra L.A.).

    Generously sponsored by Macy's (7/26)
    Media sponsors: 
    Los Angeles Magazine (7/25), Univision (7/26)


    Tue JUL 29  8pm

    Rubén Blades, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil

    Festive orchestral dances from Latin America with Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic precede the infectious Latin-jazz songs of Panamanian icon Rubén Blades.

    Generously sponsored by 
    Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts
    Media sponsor: Univision


  • NCLR Entertainment and Media track

    Posted by on July 17, 2014

    The NCLR Annual Conference kicks off this weekend, July 19-22, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Catch the exciting line up of FREE screenings and panels that are part of the NCLR Entertainment and Media track. It all starts on Saturday, July 19 at 10:45am with a special screening of the premiere episode of El Rey Network’s Matador, followed by a conversation with Robert Rodriguez and the cast and creative teams of Matador and From Dusk Till Dawn, including Gabriel LunaAlfred Molina, Roxann DawsonCarlos CotoDiego Gutierrez and Wilmer Valderrama.  Hear insights from industry insiders on panels covering Latinos and digital entertainment and diversity in front of and behind the screen. Check out the full list of screenings and panels. All events held in Theatre 411 in the LA Convention Center, West Hall.


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  • VOD and the future of film distribution

    Posted by · July 16, 2014


    'Snowpiercer' RADiUS-TWC Tilda Swinton, left, Chris Evans, Luke Pasqualino, Ah-sung Ko and Kang-ho Song.

    On June 27, a bold new sci-fi film opened in theaters. Critics raved. Fanboys exulted. Word-of-mouth was overwhelmingly positive. No, it wasn’t “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

    Upon its release, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer” appeared to have the trappings of a summertime theatrical hit. It had a grabby premise (haves and have-nots battling it out on a train hurtling through a post-apocalyptic landscape). It had wall-to-wall action (sword fights, fistfights, gunfights). It had a major star (Chris Evans of the “Captain America" and "Avengers" franchises) and a compelling, daring actress (Tilda Swinton).

    There was just one bump in the road to potential box office glory: “Snowpiercer” opened in only eight theaters. Yes, eight. That's 4,225 fewer than “Transformers" debuted in the very same day. 

    Well, if you've been frustrated — or perhaps just bewildered — that you haven't yet been able to see one of the most acclaimed films of the summer (Rotten Tomatoes' score: 94%), it’s about to get a whole lot easier. Just two weeks after hitting theaters, “Snowpiercer” will be available as of Friday on VOD, much earlier than a theatrically released film normally would be. 

    The “Snowpiercer” release pattern has certainly been an unusual one, but the film’s distributor,  Weinstein Co.'s boutique division Radius-TWC, says it’s all been part of a carefully orchestrated strategy aimed at bringing the movie to the widest audience possible. At a time when Hollywood is struggling to work out where movies are heading in the digital age — a subject that director Christopher Nolan tackled this week in a much-discussed Wall Street Journal op-ed piece — many will watch closely to see how that strategy pans out.

    Prior to the release of “Snowpiercer,” some speculated that the film’s theatrical release may have been curtailed due to a behind-the-scenes dispute over the cut of the film. But Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn says that, from an early point, the company honed in on the idea of giving the film (which remains in its original, director-approved cut) a platform theatrical release paired with an early VOD debut.

    “ ‘Snowpiercer’ fits this [strategy] perfectly because it’s in the gap between what constitutes a wide release and a specialized release,” Quinn said. “We expect for it to work theatrically, and we expect it to work on VOD. We hope that they can enhance each other.”

    Indeed, “Snowpiercer” has performed well in theaters, albeit in its relatively limited release. The film, which expanded to 250 screens in its second week and will reach 354 screens this weekend, has grossed $2 million and boasted strong per-screen averages. (Internationally, it has earned more than $80 million, the majority of that in South Korea.)

    By releasing “Snowpiercer” on VOD ahead of the typical schedule, Radius-TWC risks short-circuiting the movie's theatrical performance. Exhibitors are, understandably, reluctant to keep screens available for films that are playing in people’s living rooms. But Quinn, who ultimately would like to expand "Snowpiercer" to about 600 screens, argues that, in this case, the early VOD release represents a way to reach more potential viewers while buzz around the film is still strong.

    “The motto at Radius is ‘a screen is a screen is a screen,' ” Quinn said. “We’re screen-agnostic, and as consumer habits change, film audiences today are becoming screen-promiscuous. Starting Friday, 85 million-plus consumers will have access to 'Snowpiercer' on VOD. The film will be more widely available than every other film on screen this weekend combined. One way or the other, we’re going to find you somewhere.”

    For many cinephiles, the shift toward VOD, with many independent releases being simultaneously released in theaters and on iTunes and other on-demand platforms, has been an uncomfortable one. While it unquestionably makes many films more widely available than they would otherwise be, watching a movie on a TV, laptop, tablet or phone is hardly the same as seeing it in a theater. Some argue that releasing films this way diminishes film as an art form and results in movies being, as Nolan wrote in his essay, "thrown in with other endeavors under the reductive term 'content.' "

    For his part, though, Quinn believes that, given the rapid shifts we're seeing in technology and entertainment consumption, experiments like the “Snowpiercer” release are exactly what is needed to safeguard the future of movies as we've known them. 

    “I believe theatrical and VOD can coexist,” Quinn said. “My favorite restaurant started offering home delivery, but I still go eat there. We absolutely believe in the theatrical value of our movies. But there has to be more nuance and more innovation [in film distribution] in the service of making the industry more competitive. The more competitive it is, the better the content will be. You have to tailor a release strategy to each movie. It’s not one-size-fits-all.” (Indeed, Radius-TWC took a very different tack last year with its Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” keeping that film in theaters for months.)

    Film distribution has always been as much art as science. We'll never know how "Snowpiercer" might have fared if it had been released on hundreds or even thousands of screens right out of the gate; it's certainly more offbeat and philosophical than your typical summer blockbuster, so it's quite possible that it could have become lost in the shuffle. 

    But however successful the "Snowpiercer" experiment ultimately proves, it has already shown us one thing: When it comes to Hollywood’s digital future, the train has left the station.

    Check this out at Los Angeles Times.

  • ABC’s Paul Lee Talks Diversity, Scheduling and Last Season’s Stumbles

    Posted by · July 15, 2014


    The diversity featured in ABC’s upcoming primetime lineup is no accident, ABC Entertainment Group prexy Paul Lee told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour.

    ABC has a high volume of shows that come from minority creators and showrunners, and shows that deal directly with racial and ethnic experiences, such as comedies “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Cristela” and “Blackish.”

    “It is a mission statement to reflect America,” he said. “In a way it’s not so much diversity as it is authenticity.”

    Lee emphasized that the shows were picked up on their merits, because they featured “authentic, relatable stories” from solid showrunners such as John Ridley (“American Crime”) and “Shonda Rhimes (“How to Get Away With Murder”).

    “We picked them up because they were great television… but they sort of for us unleashed a creative vein that was unmissable. We think these shows are deeply relatable (to broad audiences). When I watch ‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ or ‘Blackish’ or ‘Cristela’ — I am those families,” Lee said. “Great stories about great characters will resonate in the heart and gut anywhere in the world.”

    Lee also stressed the importance of having diversity among the creative stewards of ABC’s shows as well as among the network’s exec team.

    “To really pull this off, you need not just stars on air, you need the people who are telling the stories to truly reflect America as it is,” he said.

    As the discussion turned the question of whether network TV overall has hit a tipping point for reflecting the diversity of the audience, Lee stopped short of declaring it so but said that changes are inevitable. “Shows that seem to lack diversity actually feel dated. America doesn’t look like that any more.”

    ABC is coming off a rough season, but Lee was pretty unflappable in deflecting questions about programming and scheduling decisions last year and about the network’s high volume of strike-outs. Yes, critical fave “Trophy Wife” was a disappointment, but Lee indicated that there were not enough signs of growth to warrant a second chance.

    “In my job it’s hard when you have good shows that can’t find an audience,” he said.

    He accentuated the positive about returning comedy “The Goldbergs,” which is shifting to the Wednesday hammock berth between “The Middle” and “Modern Family” in the fall.

    “I personally believe ‘The Goldbergs’ is going to be discovered by a lot more people this year,” Lee said. “We’re very bullish about Wednesday.”

    ABC like every other network has been forced to experiment with scheduling patterns. Lee said ABC was taking a page from the cable playbook with plans for bifurcated winter and spring seasons of shows.

    “Scandal” will follow that pattern, with the new Viola Davis-Shonda Rhimes drama “How to Get Away With Murder” filling the gap period. Sunday fantasy drama “Once Upon a Time” will take a break at midseason to make room for the offbeat musical comedy “Galavant,” which also mines fairy-tale themes.

    Viewers “are now used to watching what you’ve been seeing on cable — complete launch of episodes without a break (for reruns). We’ll give you a fall finale and then a spring premiere,” he said.

    In other tidbits from the session:

    • ABC Studios has inked an overall deal with “American Crime” exec producer/showrunner John Ridley, who is also coming off an Oscar win for adapted screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
    • He acknowledged that summer reality show “Rising Star” has started slowly but he believes the show has cracked the complexity of live voting on both coasts. “I think you’ll see live voting roll through” the reality TV biz, Lee said.
    • Tunesmith Alan Menken has delivered an impressive songbook for “Galavant” but ABC has yet to finalize a plan for whether tunes from the show will be released on a regular basis a la “Glee.” “Alan Menken is a genius,” Lee enthused.
    • Fielding new multicamera comedies remain a priority for ABC. He called “Cristela” “a great swing toward a contemporary multi-camera sitcom.”

    Check this out on Variety.