Monday, June 22, 2015

Tío Louie Reporta: Bilingual Theater in NYC & Dominican Film Festival in NY

HOLA is proud to present Tío Louie Reporta, where filmmaker and Executive Producer of Prime Latino Media, Louis Perego Moreno (also known as Tío Louie) interviews actors and multimedia-makers in the business.

In this edition, Tío Louie interviews actor Francisco Fuertes and director Ángel Gil Orrios of the play Abuse/Abuso, currently playing at the Thalía Hispanic Theater in Sunnyside, Queens, with performances alternating in English and Spanish until Sunday, June 28, 2015; and James Duarte, Chief Creative Officer of the Dominican Film Festival in New York. The interviews took place at the June edition of the Prime Latino Media Salón (presented by Tío Louie, HOLA and United Latino Professionals-New York) on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at Lima's Taste Ceviche Bar in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood.

Francisco Fuertes, in
character, in Abuse/Abuso.
He plays the role of a priest alongside Soledad López, formerly a lawyer in the story, who now plays an insurance agent in a theatrical production based on real events, which explores the sex abuse of minors in the Roman Catholic Church. A brilliant yet confoundingly, clever work where both sides present a compelling debate supporting their side of the argument. And while some people give their two cents (their opinions) on things, Tío Louie asks for ten cents ("Dime tus $0.10"), adjusted for inflation, after all.

•     What are your $0.10 that you would share with a director in optimizing an actor’s performance? Having worked on eight or nine theatrical productions with [director] Ángel Gil Orrios is that he gives you license to explore. He is so welcoming of new ideas and then allows you to build on it. Any new actors who work with him, I always tell them that they’re in for a treat. My advice for directors, based on what I’ve learned from Ángel: “Never be stuck on one version of what you want to do. Be open. Be prepared to share the creative process with your actor.
Ángel Gil Orrios, at right,
with actress Kathy Tejada,
at left, and actress-director
Silvia Brito, at center.
Spanish-born Artistic Director of Thalía Hispanic Theater, the only Hispanic Theater in Queens serving a Hispanic population of over a million. For more information about Thalía Hispanic Theatre, click here.

•     What spoke to you about this theatrical production, Abuse/Abuso? I believe theater should address social issues, not political ones, and I can separate the two. The theater has a social component that can alter social conduct – such as bad things that have been done wrong and can correct or prevent. I feel that this is the obligation that theater has in effecting social change.
·      What is your mission with the Thalía Hispanic Theater that is turning 40 years old and what is different about it from when you first took the reins 15 years ago? When the Cuban Artistic Director Silvia Brito passed the theater on to me there were only Spanish-language productions usually consisting of works by Spaniards. What’s great for me is that it’s my laboratory to do premieres and world premieres by great composers and playwrights from Spain and expanded that to include works from Latin America and by Latinos in the U.S. To me the key words are to first conduct research and then experiment. It’s about producing bilingual productions. Above all, it’s about producing original works. It’s also nice to discover talent. This is the magic of the work I conduct as a non-profit. We are not here to make commercial works or to solely make money.

James Duarte.
Chief Creative Officer for the past three years of the Dominican Film Festival in New York, also known as the DFFNY (now celebrating its fourth year); the festival takes place in northern Manhattan from June 24-28, 2015, and is comprised of 51 shorts, features and documentaries; a photo exhibit; a workshop and a master class. For more information, click on the DFFNY website by clicking here.

•    Why is it important to have this film festival? It’s critical to have one within the community and one that is flourishing. It’s one of the ways we have a stake in the New York City community. For me it’s an honor to hold such a position in an organization that is providing this outlet. It’s needed. Other Latino film festivals seem to be slipping away, especially [those] targeting young people. Yet, we’re seeing more niche-oriented ones springing up that are reflective of particular Latino nationalities. For instance, there’s an Ecuadorian Film Festival taking place. I am Dominican-Ecuadorian. These cultural platforms are needed. The more we showcase diverse cultures the better it serves as a platform for established and emerging talent that converge inspiring an audience that can be galvanized by arts and culture.

Louis E. Perego Moreno (Tío Louie)
Founder & Executive Producer of PRIME LATINO MEDIA, the largest network of Latino multimedia-makers and actors on the East Coast that hosts the PRIME LATINO MEDIA Salón, metro-New York's only monthly network gathering in which over 60 narrative & documentary filmmakers, programmers, casting agents, TV & digital media producers and actors have been interviewed. An interactive content producer and educator who for the past 33 years has owned Skyline Features, a bilingual (English- and Spanish-language) multimedia and educational production company developing documentaries, television programming and advertising commercials featuring Latinos, Blacks, Women, Urban Youth and LGBT. Produced 70 documentary shorts with 1,500 Latino and Black Youth. Producer/Director/Writer of documentary feature, Latina Confessions (2010) and airing on PBS nationally was co-producer on American Dreams Deferred (2012-2014).

[To see some photos from this event, click here.]

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