Sunday, October 14, 2012

Report: Prime Latino Media Salon - Hispanic Heritage Month Part II (October 2012)

On October 10, 2012, the New York chapter of National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Tío Louie (also known as Louis Perego Moreno) presented the October 2012 edition of his monthly event, the Prime Latino Media Salon. Taking place at the Obra Negra lounge in Casa Mezcal in Manhattan's Loísaida neighborhood, this month's edition had a focus on Latinas in the industry. Tío Louie had a "fireside chat," where he interviewed filmmaker/producers Betty Bastidas and Elizabeth Gardner and filmmaker/actor (and HOLA member) Elaine Del Valle.

This event was also served as a networking opportunity between filmmakers, actors and other Latino media movers and shakers. Many of the filmmakers in attendance were members of NALIP and many of the actors were members of HOLA (and some were members of both organizations).
First, Tío Louie spoke with filmmaker, producer and director Betty Bastidas. Born in Ecuador and raised in the U.S., she spoke about her award-winning documentary film entitled DreamTown, about Afro-Ecuadorian World Cup soccer players, who after finding international success, go back to their small village to give back to their community. She is currently in production for the film and is looking to have the film completed and distributed by 2013. She recently wrapped up another documentary for PBS on the high dropout rate for Latinos in the United States.
After a networking break, Tío Louie sat down with Elizabeth (Liz) Gardner, co-producer of the independent feature film Elliot Loves. The film (directed by G. Terracino) revolves around Dominican-American Elliot Ayende at two stages of his life: as a 9-year-old who iacts as sidekick and confidant to his barely-keeping-it-together single mom; and, as a 21-year-old looking for love in New York City. It is a comedy-drama that shows you can survive anything life throws at you. Gardner is also Co-Executive Director of the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF), which launched in 1999 and is now the premiere urban Latino film event in the country. She shared with the crowd in attendance her journey in working closely with Latino artists and how she “fell” into the Latino film market. She shared some tips on what independent filmmakers should be doing while working on their films. She is currently producing a psycho-thriller feature written by an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. For more information on the NYILFF, click here.
After another networking break Tío Louie brought up actor, writer and casting director Elaine Del Valle. A winner of the 2012 HOLA Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for her self-penned solo show Brownsville Bred, the HOLA member also played a strong supporting role in the feature film Elliot Loves (co-produced by Liz Gardner, see above). She spoke about how she got started as an actor. When she started, she did not know much of the business side of the entertainment industry. She was grateful for HOLA and its staff because that is where it all started for her. She was honored and humbled by the award she received for her solo show, which she continues to work on  throughout the city giving hope to others as she shares her coming of age story growing up “Brownsville bred.” For more information, click here, here or here.
The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) would like to thank Casa Mezcal and its staff, NALIP, Tío Louie and all those in attendance for making this event a successful one. To see photos from the event (taken by Tío Louie himself), click here. For more information about NALIP, click here. For more information about HOLA, click here.

Guest blogger José Roldán, Jr., shown at right, is an actor, writer and HOLA member, whose self-penned solo show, Father Forgive Them For I Have Sinned (directed by Dante Albertie), has been produced at Lehman Stages and Teatro LATEA (as part of The ONE Festival and LATEA Pride festivals) and will be performed on October 24, 2012 as part of the The United Solo Festival at the Theater Row Studio Theater in the theater district of midtown Manhattan. For more information, click here.

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