Monday, March 30, 2015

Urbanworld Film Festival 2015 - Call For Submissions


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS


Early Bird Deadline:  April 10, 2015
Late Deadline:  June 5, 2015


The Urbanworld Film Festival, the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind has opened it Call for Entries.  Known as the filmmaker’s festival, where it’s all about celebrating and supporting amazing independent film, Urbanworld will be hosted at AMC Empire 25 in midtown Manhattan, with Opening Night at the SVA Theater in Chelsea and will run for five days from September 23rd through the 27th. The festival will include narrative features, documentaries, short films, spotlight screenings and conversations, live staged screenplay readings, the Urbanworld Digital track focused on digital and social media, and Urbanworld Music, which highlights emerging talent in live performances during after party events.

Eligibility: The Urbanworld Film Festival celebrates and honors filmmakers winning across the following categories: Best Narrative Feature (U.S. Cinema), Best Narrative Feature (World Cinema), Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, and Best Screenplay.

The director of the film must consider himself/herself African American, African, Latino, or Asian. If the director is none of the above, the film must feature African Americans, Africans, Latinos or Asians in prominent roles or have an African American, Latino or Asian screenwriter.

CLICK HERE for full eligibility Rules and Terms.

Since its inception, Hollywood studios, indie film distributors, and established and emerging filmmakers have consistently chosen Urbanworld to premiere box office and award-winning hits. Urbanworld has been supported over the years by Founding Sponsor HBO and Presenting Sponsor BET Networks.

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Nancy Castro, shown at right, stars opposite Marlene Forté, Jayson Simba and Ethan Rosero in the short film Times Like These (written and directed by Lorena Gordon). The film is currently hitting the film festival circuit, where it will make its first international stop at the Madrid International Film Festival, which will take place in July in Madrid, Spain. For more information, click here.

Roberto D Jesús will be acting in the upcoming SEA production of Los Desertores (The Dropouts)Written by Radamés Gavé, Manuel A. Morán and Richard Marino, and directed by Morán, the musical will be presented in April and May at SEA's namesake theater, located in the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center (home to HOLA) in Manhattan's Loísaida neighborhood.

Mauricio Pita, shown at left, has been quite busy as of late. He booked an industrial for MIT and will be performing in the annual eco-playwriting theater festival known as known as Big Green Theater at the Bushwick Starr (located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn). In addition, the film Tú. Yo. Baño. Sexo. Ahora. (written and directed by Francisco Lupini Basagoiti and stars Pita and Francisco Fuertes) is hitting the film festival circuit, with stops in St. Louis, Missouri (QFest St. Louis Film Festival in April); Boston, Massachusetts (Boston LGBT Film Festival in April); Austin, Texas (Cine Las Américas International Film Festival in April); and San Diego, California (FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival in May and June). For more information about the film, click here.

Athena Alexis acted in the play The Posing Strap. Written and directed by David Elyha, the play had a March run at Polaris North Theater, located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. In addition, she stars opposite Jason Torres in the film 5 Días (written by Matthew Preston and directed by Nicholas Ortiz), which is currently in post-production and expected to hit the film festival circuit soon.

If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: Film Franchise With Most Latino/Hispanic Actors

The Fast and The Furious film franchise is a series of action films that focuses on street racing and heists. Produced by Universal Pictures, the series was established in 2001 with the eponymous first film, which has since been followed by five sequels, two short films that tie into the series, and a video game series. On April 3, 2015, the most recent installment, Fast & The Furious 7 (also known as Furious 7) will be released in theaters. Together, the film series has grossed over US$2.3 billion dollars worldwide (of which almost US$938 million was from the domestic gross), it has become the all-time biggest franchise in the history of Universal Pictures. Paul Walker, who has starred as Brian O'Conner since 2001, will mark his final film appearance in Furious 7 due to his death on November 30, 2013 in a single car crash.

The films in the series are as follows.

The Fast and The Furious (2001), directed by Rob Cohen
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), directed by John Singleton
Turbo-Charged Prelude (2003), a six-minute short film
directed by Philip G. Atwell
The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006),
directed by Justin Lin
Los Bandoleros (2009), a twenty-minute short film
directed by Vin Diesel
Fast & Furious (2009), directed by Justin Lin
Fast Five (2011), directed by Justin Lin
Fast & The Furious 6 (2013), directed by Justin Lin
Furious 7 (2015), directed by James Wan.

The films were based on a magazine article written by Ken Li entitled "Racer X." The screenplays were written by Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist and David Ayer (original film); Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (second film); Vin Diesel (Bandoleros short film); and Chris Morgan (Prelude short film, as well as third, fourth, fifth and sixth films), respectively.

The stars of the film series include Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Chris Ludacris Bridges, Thom Barry and Dwayne Johnson. In addition, Vin Diesel has been a producer on the following films in the franchise: Los Bandoleros, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & The Furious 6, and Furious 7.


The film series has spawned several racing video games for various systems. They include the arcade game The Fast and the Furious (2004, known as Wild Speed in Japan),and the PlayStation (and PlayStation 2) game The Fast and the Furious (2006). Several games have all been released for iOS (which are available on the iTunes App Store), for Android devices, for the PC (Windows OS), Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

But did you know of the numerous Latino/Hispanic stars who have been in the film franchise?

• Michelle Rodríguez, of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage, played Leticia "Letty" Ortiz in The Fast and The FuriousLos BandolerosFast & FuriousFast & The Furious 6, and Furious 7. A photo of her is also shown in Fast Five.

• Jordana Brewster was born in Panama to a Brazilian mother and an American father. She was raised in England, the U.S. and in Brazil. She played Mia Torretto in The Fast and The FuriousFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & The Furious 6 and Furious 7.

• Eva Mendes, of Cuban heritage, played FBI agent Mónica Fuentes in 2 Fast 2 Furious. She has an uncredited cameo at the end of Fast Five.

• Mo Gallini (sometimes credited as Matt Gallini) of Cuban and Lebanese heritage, played Enrique in 2 Fast 2 Furious.


• Roberto "Sanz" Sánchez was born in Cuba. He played Roberto in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

• John Ortiz, of Puerto Rican heritage, played Arturo Braga in Fast & Furious and Fast and the Furious 6.

• Laz Alonso, of Afro-Cuban heritage, played Fénix "Rise" Calderón in Fast & Furious.

• Leonardo Nam was born in Argentina and raised in Argentina and Australia to Korean parents. He played Morimoto in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.


• Mirtha Michelle, of Dominican heritage, played Cara Mirtha in Los Bandoleros and Fast & Furious.

• Elsa Pataky, was born in Spain to a Spaniard father and a Hungarian/Romanian mother. She played Elena Neves in Fast FiveFast and the Furious 6 and Furious 7.

• F. Valentino Morales, of Dominican and Italian heritage, played Malo in Los Bandoleros.

• Celinés Toribio was born in the Dominican Republic. She played Malo's Wife in Los Bandoleros.

• Tego Calderón, born in Puerto Rico, played Tego Leo in Los BandolerosFast & Furious and Fast Five.

• Don Omar, born in Puerto Rico, played Rico Santos in Los BandolerosFast & Furious and Fast Five.


• Luis "Trikz" Da Silva, of Portuguese heritage, played Diego in Fast Five.

• Joaquim de Almeida was born in Portugal. He played Hernan Reyes in Fast Five.


Noel Guglielmi, of Mexican and Italian heritage, played Héctor in Furious 7.

Ronda Rousey, of Afro-Venezuelan, Polish, English, and German heritage, played Kara in Furious 7.

Viktor Estrella was born in El Salvador. He played a Doctor in Furious 7.

Jorge Ferragut was born in Havana, Cuba to parents of Cuban and English heritage, played the Dominican Priest in Furious 7.

Romeo Santos, of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, played Mando in Furious 7.

Jorge-Luis Pillo, of Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican heritage, played a Cop in Furious 7.

Dwayne Johnson has expressed interest in future films in the series and stated that there are plans for a spinoff film featuring his character Hobbs, but that it would not be filmed or released until after Furious 7 is released. Paul Walker had stated that an eighth feature film was "guaranteed", with the studio also wanting ninth and tenth installments. However, Walker's death has left an uncertain fate for the franchise.

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Rhina Valentín, shown at right, will be performing at the Westchester Comedy Festival on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at Elements Food and Spirits, located in White Plains, New York. For more information, click here.

Omar Pérez and Lisann Valentín are slated to star in the webseries "Jillian's Peak" (written and directed by Charzette Torrence). The webseries is scheduled to start production in late 2015. For more information, click here or here.


Mauricio Pita and Francisco Fuertes star in the Francisco Lupini Basagoiti short film Tú. Yo. Baño. Sexo. Ahora. The film will be screened at the Havana Film Festival of New York (HFFNY), scheduled to take place on Friday, April 10, 2015 at the Quad Theater in Manhattan's West Village. For more information, click here.

Teresa Yenque, José Yenque and Coati Mundi are slated to star in An Artist's Emblem (written and directed by Michael J. Narváez). The feature film is scheduled to start production in late 2015.

If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Deadline Hollywood and Why It's Dead

[Originally Published on LatinoRebels.com]

Perhaps it was just a matter of time. Perhaps it was merely the representation of an old Hollywood system waking up to a new and cumbersome reality. Perhaps it was just pissed-off entitlement ready to take a massive media White Flight. Whatever it was, earlier this week Deadline marked its official and unequivocal demise as a source of anything valid. Yes, with a stroke of a few ridiculously backward paragraphs, and veiled and not so veiled reverse racism at its finest, Deadline TV editor Nellie Andreeva made sure that the Hollywood portal looked as dated and as zombie-like as the WordPress website it sits on.

Here is just a sample of Andreeva's piece:
But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered. "Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts," one talent representative said.
In one instance, after a number of actors of different ethnicities tested for two roles in a pilot this year, two Caucasian actors ended up being the top choices for the two remaining regular parts. However, because of a mandate from the studio and network, one of the roles had to diverse, so the pilot could only cast one of the top choices and pass on the other to fulfill the ethnic quota. "They need to say the best man or woman wins," one rep suggested.
Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers -- especially in the younger range -- is pretty limited. That has led to a feeding frenzy, with a number of straight offers locking in ethnic talent before they could be snatched by another pilot.
Later in her post, she writes this:
A lot of what is happening right now is long overdue. The TV and film superhero ranks have been overly white for too long, workplace shows should be diverse to reflect workplace in real America, and ethnic actors should get a chance to play more than the proverbial best friend or boss.
But replacing one set of rigid rules with another by imposing a quota of ethnic talent on each show might not be the answer.
So, maybe Deadline will still linger around for a few more years, publishing innocuous recycled updates and aged Tinseltown obituaries, but one thing will remain clear: Who can really take the site seriously?

Anyone who can claim with a straight face and an actual attempt at an argument that "too much diversity" in TV and media is a problem has to be suffering from segregation era withdrawals. For decades, the media establishment has misrepresented the cultural landscape in front and behind the scenes. The stories told and images depicted have often oscillated between stereotypical and borderline animations. It has perpetuated a dementia that mandates casts and crews must be monotonous and monochromatic. This has translated into pop culture, and buying and believing that this is the American mainstream. Nellie Andreeva not only drank the Kool-Aid, she pretty much did a million laps in it. Her reality, her belief system is one in which "ethnic" (her words used over 20 times) representation should be kept in check and controlled. 

The worst part of it all? Andreeva probably does not even realize the mental mess she has created. To question and to denounce the expansion of diverse representation in media can be equated to demanding certain communities go to the back of the bus. It points to a systematic failure by those that purport being the gatekeepers of culture to realize that the mainstream has never been about them and has always been about all of us.

According to The Latino Media Gap, a 2014 NALIP commissioned study, Latinos represent 17% of the population yet it would take 60 years for Latinos to fill 17% of lead roles in the top 10 features or shows. Even by then, the Latino population would have doubled and it would need to be further ahead to accurately represented. In other words Ms. Andreeva, sorry we are here to stay--get used to it.

You will see many more "ethnic" roles.
You will see many more "ethnic" shows and scripts.
You will see many more "ethnic" executives and decision-makers.

The sooner you accept it, the sooner you realize it, the easier it will be for you to remain gainfully employed in this business and the faster you can turn around the sinking Deadline ship.

The first step to recovery is acceptance. You don't need to apologize. You shouldn't be ashamed, Ms. Andreeva--you just didn't know any better. Just in case and to make it crystal clear: we were and we continue to be the mainstream.

How about instead of questioning how your head is exploding with so much "ethnicity" around you, you embrace it and integrate it in your work. If you get to know us, you might actually like us. So come on over, we are having a big bad "ethnic" bash in June: Latinos taking over Hollywood. We will discuss this and many other exciting "ethnic" issues. You might learn a thing or two, Ms. Andreeva. Then you can take it back to your colleagues and try to revive your defunct Deadline site.


Axel W. Caballero is the Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Founder of Brave New Films: Inequality and Founder/Director of Metáfora: Política. For more information on Mr. Caballero, click here.





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Vladimir Ríos, shown at right in a "Despair" portrait, modeled for the photoseries "Despair" (photographed by Lester Blum). The photoseries will be on exhibit April 7-18, 2015 at the New Century Artists gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, and afterward, from April 28-May 30, 2015 in the Carter House Gallery, located in Redding, California. To see additional photos from the photoseries (and to buy prints), click here.

A plethora of HOLA members are featured in the latest entry in the Héctor Luis Sin Censura blog (created and written by Héctor Luis Rivera). Titled "Chismorreo: Cantata de Primavera", the blog mentions the latest work and goings-on of Manny Alfaro, Denia Brache, Edna Lee Figueroa, Ramón Hierro, A.B. Lugo, Joel Luna, Carlos Navedo, Julio OrtegaRaúl Rivera, among others. To read the blog, click here (the blog is in Spanish).

Raquel Almazán's play La Paloma Prisoner will be produced by Columbia Stages in April. Directed by Charlotte Braithwaite and produced by Aaron Simms, performances will take place at the Ford Studio at the Pershing Square Signature Theater in the theater district of midtown Manhattan. The production will star Éric Avilés, Liza Fernández, Zoë García, Zuleyma Guevara, Clara Lopera, Mariana Newhard, Jay Santiago, Mônica Steuer and Teresa Yenque. For more information, click here.

Pablo García Gámez and Gonzalo Paredes read the work of the late Chilean writer Perdo Lemebel in a tribute to the writer, who recently passed away due to laryngeal cancer. The tribute was produced by Centro Cultural Barco de Papel and took place at La Librería Barco de Papel, located in the Elmhurst area of Queens. For more information, click here. To see García Gámez reading Lemebel's poem "Manifiesto (Hablo por mi diferencia)" (which is in Spanish), click on the video below (caution: some strong language).


If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Caridad de la Luz (also known by her nom de poésie et de musique La Bruja), shown at right, will star opposite Elise Santora in the musical Betsy! Conceived and developed by Ron Short, Dudley Cocke, Beegie Adair, Rosalba Rolón and Desmar Guevara and directed by Rolón, the Pregones/PRTT and Roadside Theater co-production will take place in April at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, located in the theater district of midtown Manhattan. For more information, click here.

Group of the Arts (GOTA) is presenting Pablo Cabrera's ¡Por mi madre, que es verdad! An adaptation of Enrique Buenaventura and Tomás Carrasquilla's A la diestra de Dios Padre and the medieval legend of The Blacksmith and the Devil, it is directed by J. Edgar Mozoub and stars Telba Cavero, María Cotto, Enmanuel García Villavicencio, A.B. Lugo, Mozoub, Yvette Quintero, Héctor Luis Rivera and Raúl Rivera. Performances will take place in April at the Broadway Blackbox Theater, located in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood. For more information, click here or here.

Mike Smith Rivera (oftentimes known by his nom de clown Mr. Clown), shown at left, and Kelly Anne Burns (oftentimes known as her nom de clown Missus Clown) will co-host Last Call, a monthly "late-night cabaret mixtape", presented by and at Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), located in the theater district of midtown Manhattan. The latest edition will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015. For more information, click here.

J.W. Cortés will host the Fashion House of Hope Benefit Dinner and Fashion Show on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Gargiulo's, located in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn. 

If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?