Mayor Garcetti and Entertainment Industry Leaders Launch ‘LA Collab’ Initiative To Increase Latinx Representation in Hollywood

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First-of-its-kind effort will work to open doors to Latino creatives in
television, film, and digital media

Mayor Eric Garcetti has launched LA Collab, an unprecedented effort to connect Latinx talent, executives, and creators to opportunities in the entertainment industry — and double Latino representation in Hollywood by 2030.

“Latinos are a powerful force in L.A.’s culture and economy, and our trademark industry should tap into the diverse pool of talent in our own backyard,” said Mayor Garcetti. “On big screens or small, in front of the camera or behind it, our studios, actors, directors, and producers inspire the world with the power of their creativity and imagination — and LA Collab will elevate new voices and empower the next generation of Latinx creatives.”

According to a report by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Latinos represent nearly 25% of the box office. Yet a recent study by USC Annenberg showed that Latino representation has been stagnant over the past dozen years, averaging roughly 3% of all leads and co-leads in motion pictures.

In 2020, LA Collab will focus on reversing this trend by helping Latinx talent develop their skill sets and promoting collaborations with Latinx creators and top producers, filmmakers, buyers, showrunners, and industry allies.

Mayor Garcetti co-founded LA Collab alongside Beatriz Acevedo, founder of mitú and president of Acevedo Foundation, and Ivette Rodriguez, president of AEM. Together, they kicked off the initiative with support from more than 50 leaders and organizations, including Eva Longoria, J.J. Abrams, Eli Roth, DeVon Franklin, Jason Blum, and Zoe Saldana. Initial funders include the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, Annenberg Foundation, WarnerMedia, and Endeavor Content.

“The near invisibility of Latinos in Hollywood was the catalyst to rally Hollywood behind this crisis to create change together,” said Beatriz Acevedo, co-founder of LA Collab. “By facilitating unprecedented collaborations between the creative community, studios, buyers and other influential allies, LA Collab will ultimately drive exponential growth for the industry and our community.”

“As a Latina, I want to see more actors who look like me onscreen and behind the camera,” said actor, director, and producer Eva Longoria. “I started my own production company to create content from our community, and I became a director/producer to be in a position to hire people who look like me. With LA Collab, I want to open the door for many more Latinx creators and fuel the emergence of a better entertainment industry that elevates and celebrates the diversity and richness of my culture.”

Several other entertainment leaders from the founding coalition are supporting LA Collab’s mission by providing access and hands-on experience to emerging Latinx creative talent, including Eli Roth, who will support Latinx horror filmmakers via his digital platform, Crypt TV; and Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films and Pantaya, which will actively search for new bilingual voices for their scripted OTT and studio projects.

LA Collab has also secured the following deals for the Latinx creative community:

A finance development deal for a feature script with Endeavor Content
A scripted proof of concept deal with WarnerMedia’s 150
A development deal for a documentary with Shine Global
A podcast development/pilot deal with Southern California Public Radio’s LAist Studios
A blind digital pilot deal with pocket.watch

LA Collab has partnered with The Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC) to complete a report summarizing the group’s achievements over the course of its first year, and track the progress of Latino representation with the development of a first-of-its-kind Database of Latino Working Talent in Hollywood as a master tool for LA Collab’s success.

The LA Collab advisory committee will serve to support and amplify the initiative’s mission and projects. Members include:

  • Axel Caballero, WarnerMedia, VP, Talent Incubation and Artistic and Cultural Innovations
  • Deputy Mayor William Chun, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development
  • DeVon Franklin, Franklin Entertainment, President and CEO
  • Alexis Garcia, Endeavor Content, Partner
  • Ruben Garcia, Creative Artists Agency, Executive
  • Lorenza Munoz, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Managing Director of Member Relations and Awards
  • Marlis Pujol, Producer
  • Genna Terranova, Amazon Studios, Head of Programming and Audience Development
  • Mary Vernieu, Betty Mae Casting, President

Other LA Collab supporters include:

  • Blumhouse Productions
  • Bad Robot
  • FREE THE WORK
  • 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

For more information on LA Collab and a full list of partners, please visit lacollab.org.

About Evolve Entertainment:

LA Collab builds on Mayor Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund, a trailblazing effort led by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development to create opportunities for young Angelenos that have been historically excluded from the entertainment industry. In partnership with more than 100 entertainment companies and 23 community pipeline organizations, Evolve opens up professional pathways into film, television, music, and digital media by connecting Angelenos to paid internships and full-time positions, matching youth with industry mentors, and hosting panels, workshops, and events focused on professional development and education. Since its launch in 2018, Evolve has placed students into 364 paid internships and 33 full-time positions, and linked over 80 students with mentors.

 

 

Cine Sony, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Announce First Annual Short Film Contest for Aspiring Filmmakers

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Zoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures to Join Judging Panel for Voces Nuevas

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) announced the launch of Voces Nuevas, their inaugural short film contest for aspiring filmmakers throughout the U.S.  on November 13.

Through January 31, 2019, filmmakers age eighteen or over who reside in the U.S. are invited to submit short films from two to 20 minutes in length.

Judges reviewing submissions include actor and co-founder of Cinestar Pictures Zoe Saldana; Cinestar Pictures co-founders Cisely and Mariel Saldana; award-winning actor and producer Esai Morales; award-winning actress, producer and activist Lisa Vidal and senior creative executives from Sony Pictures Entertainment Worldwide Acquisitions and Screen Gems.

“Cine Sony is delighted to partner with NALIP to provide a platform to champion the talent and creativity of up-and-coming filmmakers in the U.S.,” Jeff Meier, Senior Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Networks, Sony Pictures Television, said. “On Cine Sony, we have a diverse array of entertainment content from comedies to action movies that reflects the varied interests of our Latino audience. With Voces Nuevas, we are continuing that commitment to showcase the diverse perspectives of aspiring content creators with different backgrounds and experiences.”

Voces Nuevas aims to discover and celebrate emerging film talent while providing a new resource for content development.

Entrants will compete for the chance to win $10,000 plus airfare and accommodations for up to five nights in Los Angeles for the opportunity to meet with Sony Pictures Television executives there.

The winner will also be awarded a scholarship to the 2019 NALIP Media Summit.

“NALIP is a prominent supporter of Latinx inclusion, a crucial and vital element in progressive entertainment and media. NALIP is thrilled to collaborate with the Cine Sony short film contest, ‘Voces Nuevas’. We believe this partnership will give Latinx filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films to a wider range of audiences,” Ben Lopez, Executive Director for NALIP, said.

“My sisters Cisely, Mariel and I are thrilled to be judging the first annual Voces Nuevas film contest,” Zoe Saldana said. “Every opportunity to amplify Hispanic voices and stories is a further step toward empowering a community that significantly contributes to the cultural vibrancy of America.”

Submissions for Voces Nuevas are open through January 31, 2019.

Please visit CineSonyVocesNuevas.com for contest rules, and more information on how to enter for free.

Follow CineSony on social media to get the latest on Voces Nuevas via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Cine Sony
Cine Sony is the home for Hollywood blockbusters in Spanish. Featuring uncut, box office favorites, critically acclaimed dramas, hit comedies, popular horror, adrenaline fueled action movies, family favorites and cutting edge music videos from Sony Music Latin artists, Cine Sony is the premier movie channel for the U.S. Latino audience. The network also offers on-demand content and an authenticated watch app CINE SONY through its distribution partners. Cine Sony is distributed by CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox Communications, DISH, and AT&T DirecTV, among others. For more information, visit cinesony.com.

About NALIP
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) is a national membership organization. NALIP stands as the premier Latino media organization, addressing for 20 years the most underrepresented and the largest ethnic minority in the country. NALIP’s mission is to discover, promote and inspire Latino content creators and diverse voices across all media platforms. For more information, visit NALIP.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laika’s MISSING LINK To Be Released Spring 2019

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LAIKA’S FIFTH FILM IS MISSING LINK

Stellar International Cast Boasts Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Ching Valdez-Aran and Amrita Acharia in Fun-Filled, Globe-Circling Extravaganza

Annapurna Pictures Sets Spring 2019 for U.S. Release;
AGC International Handling Foreign Sales

AP_Laika Missing Link

LAIKA, the animation studio behind the Academy Award® nominated Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline, announces its fifth and most ambitious film to date: MISSING LINK. The title, U.S. release date (Spring, 2019) and complete cast details were revealed by LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight as he prepares to meet with foreign buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. Missing Link will be distributed in the U.S. by Annapurna Pictures. AGC International, the sales and distribution division of AGC Studios, is handling international sales.

Missing Link is an artistic and technical wonder,” said Mr. Knight. “Led by our visionary director Chris Butler, LAIKA has once again blended fine art, craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology to achieve something we’ve never tried before: a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic,underscoringthe universal need to find belonging. Commingling keenly felt emotion, madcap humor, and retina-bursting visuals, Missing Link is a kaleidoscopic cinematic experience unlike any other. It’s the most striking thing we’ve ever done.”

SYNOPSIS: The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel’s last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America’s Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.

Zach Galifianakis is Mr. Link: the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast upon whom Sir Lionel’s dreams depend. As species go, he’s as endangered as they get; he’s the last of his kind, and he’s lonely. Proposing a daring quest to seek out his rumored distant relatives, he enlists Sir Lionel’s help in an odyssey around the world to find the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

Together with Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana), an independent and resourceful adventurer who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, the unlikely trio embarks on a riotous rollercoaster of a ride. Along the way, our fearless explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by dastardly villains seeking to thwart their mission. Through it all, Mr. Link’s disarming charm and good-humored conviction provide the emotional and comedic foundation of this fun-filled family film.

Bursting with humor, heart, and a profound message of acceptance and finding one’s place, Missing Link is written and directed by Oscar® nominee Chris Butler (ParaNorman). LAIKA’s head of production and Oscar® nominee Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings) is producing with Mr. Knight, who earned an Academy Award® nomination and BAFTA win for his directorial debut on Kubo.

“It was a constant source of delight to witness how our game and captivating cast imbued these larger- than- life characters with distinct personality,” said writer/director Chris Butler. “Hugh lends Sir Lionel a giddy schoolboy enthusiasm bubbling beneath the surface of his suave English gent; Zoe brings an unflappable ardor and a witty playfulness to Adelina, and Zach’s performance as Link is not only laugh-out-loud funny, but a beautifully nuanced balance of innocence and vulnerability. It was a treat to be able to join this eclectic gang of adventurers on their journey across the world.”

In addition to Jackman, Saldana and Galifianakis, the estimable voice cast boasts a roster of internationally renowned and award-winning actors from all corners of the world. Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility), Stephen Fry (The Hobbit), Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Matt Lucas (Alice In Wonderland), David Walliams (Little Britain), Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones) and Ching Valdes-Aran (Nurse Jackie) bring their extraordinary talents to this globe-trotting spectacle.

“It’s only now with our fifth film that as a team we have the experience, the know-how and the collaborative confidence to even attempt a movie of this size and scope,” said producer Arianne Sutner. “We created 110 sets with 65 unique locations to achieve the film’s scale, majesty and geographic beauty. I couldn’t be more in awe of our LAIKA crew members. Their endless reserves of imagination were pushed to the limit during the production of this ambitious movie, and we ended up soaring past those limits.”

WATCH: New Trailer for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a second trailer for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR!!

It was announced on March 1st that the film would be released in theaters a bit earlier than originally expected, so the new trailer has arrived with perfect timing! The Marvel Cinematic Universe will unite to try and defeat Thanos, but the newest trailer shows our beloved superheroes in some trouble!

SYNOPSIS: Two years after the Avengers were torn apart during the events of Captain America: Civil War, Thanos arrives on Earth to collect the Infinity Stones for a gauntlet that will allow him to bend reality to his will. The Avengers must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him before his onslaught of destruction puts an end to the universe.

Did you watch the trailer yet?? If not, what are you waiting for?! Click below and let me know what you think!

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in theaters April 27th.

Movie Review by Kristin: THE WORDS

The-Words-Australian-movie-poster[1]Hey there, movie lovers!

After binge watching The Punisher over the past week, I remembered hearing about this movie that Ben Barnes was in a few years ago and decided to check it out.

THE WORDS was released back in 2012 and stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons and Ben Barnes.

SYNOPSIS: Rory Jansen, a struggling writer, aspires to be the next great literary voice. When he discovers a lost manuscript in a weathered attaché case, he realizes he possesses something extraordinary that he desperately wishes he had created. Rory decides to pass the work off as his own and finally receives the recognition he desperately craves. However, he soon learns that living with his choice will not be as easy as he thought as he faces a moral dilemma that will make him take a hard look at the man he has become.

I actually enjoyed watching this movie. As a writer, I often find myself questioning my own writing abilities. I can’t tell you how many times in a day I sit and ask myself if I’m good enough to pursue this as a career. I’ve read pieces written by others and I wish I had half of the imagination that they had to create such works of art. The truth is that it all depends on who is reading your work. So, that aspect of the movie really intrigued me. I knew how Rory Jansen felt on a personal level.

While there wasn’t any action in this movie, there was heart and relatability. It may not be for everyone – especially those who are unaware of the trials and tribulations that come along with being a writer. It’s not my favorite movie in the world, but I’m happy I was able to watch it.

Bradley Cooper plays Rory Jansen and does a great job! He’s charming and determined to find his place in the literary world, which is definitely not as easy as one might think. I don’t agree with plagiarizing a novel the way that he does, but I don’t think his intention was to actually have the manuscript published. We all find inspiration in the most random of places, so I think Rory was retyping the manuscript in order to find his own inspiration within this story that he fell in love with. When he saw how excited and proud his wife was, he ran with it.

I enjoyed the concept of a story within a story here as well. I don’t know that the point of it all was as cut and dry as I was expecting, but I overlooked that. It was also a bit disappointing that Ben Barnes’s character as the Young Man barely had any lines. His role was instrumental in the telling of the story, but he’s a fabulous, underestimated actor and I wish they would have given the man some more lines! In any case, even with very few lines, he delivers a fantastic performance. One can even argue whether he is the main character of the story.

Perhaps the movie could have made a stronger impact if it had been just a little bit longer. It leaves the audience with so many unanswered questions and I think tying up a few of them might have been more effective.

As I mentioned, this wasn’t my favorite movie, but if you’re a writer I would recommend watching it. If nothing else, just as a reminder that even through all of the rejection letters and silence from literary agencies and magazines, success can be found in the most unexpected places. Also, don’t plagiarize . . . that’s not cool!