Call for Theatrical Works: The ONE Festival
Caicedo Productions Corp officially announced requests for submissions for their annual The ONE Festival, now in its 9th year, which showcases non-published theatrical works by solo artists. Submissions are currently being accepted until February 1, 2014. The festival seeks the best of local New York City based and international actors for a one person performance where nightly audiences vote for their favorite festival participant. The program responds to the need for sharing new voices of emerging playwrights, while encouraging intercultural understanding and public interest. The festival is designed for multi-ethnic audiences and is staffed by experienced and skilled directors, producers and writers.
The winner will receive a $1000 cash prize and a full theatrical production of the winning solo show. Only finalists with 100 votes or more will qualify for the cash prize. The performance with the highest votes will be the ONE winner!
"With the Latino artistic community increasingly witnessing disparities in its representation, especially as writers, this program has significant importance in the universe of our industry" claimed veteran actor Nelson Landrieu, LATEA's executive director. Though targeting Latinos "The ONE Festival" is open to ALL emerging writers/performers, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. The Festival's beauty is demonstrating the creative talent from all walks of life, added Veronica Caicedo, the festival's CEO/Founder and an accomplished independent filmmaker and director/producer in theater.
The only criterion for submission is that the written piece be a non published theatrical work. Submission guidelines for The ONE Festival 2014 can be found on The ONE Festival website: www.theonefestival.com
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to Direct 'The Jungle Book' for WB
By Justin Kroll, Variety
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is eyeing his first big tentpole feature: He's entered discussions to direct "The Jungle Book" for Warner Bros.
"Harry Potter" scribe Steve Kloves will produce while Callie Kloves penned the script.
The pic would be a live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book that followed Mowgli, an orphan boy who was raised by various jungle animals and protected from the ferocious Tiger, Shere-Khan.
Jon Berg is overseeing for WB.
Gonzalez Inarritu seemed very intrigued by the property, but Warners wanted to first meet with him and make sure he was the right fit before offering him the gig.
The news comes at an interesting time as Disney has begun talks with Jon Favreau to direct their "Jungle Book" movie. Since the film is in the public domain, neither studio has exclusive rights to it, allowing for multiple projects to be under way at once.
Universal and Relativity experienced a similar face-off when they had competing Cinderella projects ("Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Mirror Mirror") but given that the projects had different tones, the studios didn't see a conflict and both came out around the same time.
The same could be said with these two "Jungle Book" films since Favreau's past films have played on the lighter side while Inarritu's sway more on the adult side which may be the case here.
The CAA-repped Gonzalez Inarritu recently wrapped production on "Birdman," starring Emma Stone and Michael Keaton.
TV Guide Network's Docu-series "Tequila Sisters" is Not Another Show About Sexy Latinas
By Christina Rosas Anastasiou, Latin Heat Entertainment
The TV debut of the original docu-soap or series titled "Tequila Sisters" premieres December 10th on the TV Guide Network. The series revolves around the Marin sisters, who were born and raised in Orange County. Sisters Lauren, Cat, Jackie and Jen are completely independent with different viewpoints from their traditional Mexican parents. Unlike the stereotypes of some shows where Latinos are viewed a certain way; the Marin's will show a side of Latinos that traditional America has overlooked. I caught up with the Marin sisters, to give us their thoughts on the show.
LH: How are you feeling about the show airing soon? Are you nervous?
Cat: I'm scared, but also, excited. I don't know if I can handle seeing myself on TV. I am my worst critic.
Jen: It has not hit me yet. I really don't know what to expect.
Lauren: I'm more excited than nervous. We put our heart and soul into this show and to finally see it air, is going to be an amazing feeling!
Jackie: I am so nervous and so anxious to see the show. We haven't seen much of the final cuts, so we will be just as surprised as our viewers!
LH: You're making me nervous! Tell me how the show came about?
Cat, Jen, Lauren: Jackie actually met our now producer, Ryan at a party a few years ago. He reached out to her about two years ago and asked if we wanted to set a meeting to discuss a reality series.
LH: And here you are two years later! The show is based on your family and its Mexican traditions. Do you feel this show will give you a chance to demystify the generalization of Mexicans or Latinos living in the States?
Cat: Yes! I think people will realize we are all ordinary people.
Jen: Yes! I think it's a great chance to show that Latinos can break the stereotypes.
Lauren: Of course! And I think it will be a great opportunity for our viewers who aren't Mexican American to learn and experience how we were raised.
Jackie: The typical generalization of Mexicans living in America that I've noticed, are qualities such as strong, loyal, caring and very hard working. And I do believe you will see that on our show.
LH: Are you excited about coming into the spotlight at such a pivotal moment when Latinas are taking over entertainment?
Cat: Yes! It's about time.Viva Mexico!
Jen: Absolutely. There couldn't be a better time for the show to come out.
Lauren: It really is such an exciting time in our lives and to see how the whole experience will play out is so exciting!
Jackie: Extremely excited! I would be so honored to be mentioned amongst some of the great Latinos who have made such a huge impact in the entertainment industry.
LH: As sisters, you're driven and ambitious, do you ever get a dose of competition? Jen is the outspoken one and the oldest, what would you say you admire about her as an older sister?
Cat: Jen being the oldest sister, really it's her ups and downs. She has good intentions for us. She is really protective and it's like having three parents.
Lauren: We have never really been competitive with each other. We are each other's biggest fans and you can really see that quality in Jen.
Jackie: Only a healthy dose of competitiveness! Jen is definitely a strong person and a go-getter, just like my dad. She doesn't quit until she has what she needs or wants. I think that's a great quality. She's definitely a good role model.
LH: Can you tell me about your future plans that you have and what you expect from the show?
Cat: My future goals are to start a successful swimwear line. I would love for our Tequila Estileto to be a house hold name. And many more business opportunities with my sisters!
Lauren: I really enjoy acting. It's something I've always wanted to do since I was a little girl. I hope that with this show, it will open a lot of doors for me.
Jen: I am currently revamping a dog leash line that I created for my two Yorkies. In the future, I plan to have a complete clothing and accessories line for women and dogs.
Jackie: I do want it to be a huge success. I would be extremely happy if this show helped me get my foot in the door for a career in music. Singing is my passion.
LH: What words of wisdom do you have for Latinas who want to have it all?
Cat, Lauren, Jen, Jackie: Dream Big! Always stay positive and don't take no for an answer.
LH: Are you currently involved with any charities? If you aren't, what charities or organizations do you want to be involved in?
Cat, Lauren, Jen Jackie: We are involved with The Boys and Girls Club of East LA. We hope to become more and more involved with other charities as well.
The show premieres, Tuesday, December 10, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on the TV Guide Network.
Oscar Swingers: New Voters Could Impact Race
By Tim Gray, Variety
Will the new crop of Academy members be swing voters?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in July invited 276 new members; of this group, more than 100 represent the org's aggressive move toward diversity: women, foreign-born artists and people of various races and ethnic backgrounds. These new voices represent a small fraction of the 6,000 Academy voters. But they could make a big difference.
Last year's tie in the sound editing race (the work on "Skyfall" and "Zero Dark Thirty") was just the latest reminder that Oscar voting results can be incredibly close. One vote would have made the difference between a tie and a solo winner. So imagine the impact that 100-plus votes could make.
The day after the 2012 Presidential election, Republicans offered several theories for their defeat, including Marco Rubio's statements that the GOP needed to acknowledge changing demographics and do more outreach to specific groups.
Awards strategists should consider that as well. It would be an extension of a long practice, where one film company will hire multiple awards consultants to target various groups: The Bay Area voters, the London members, the over-65 folks, and so on.
Last year, the L.A. Times published a exhaustive demographic profile of the Academy, which surprised few pundits in Hollywood: According to their figures, the voters were 77% male, 94% white and predominantly American. In September, new Acad prexy Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety the Acad is reaching out to "different voices," meaning people beyond the standard demographic in terms of different gender, age, race and country/culture.
Will this bring about a change in voting results? Actually, the change has already started. As the industry has slowly (very slowly) expanded the workforce, that's been reflected in the Academy. In the past few years, best-pic nominations include such titles as "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "District 9" and French pic "Amour."
In olden times — i.e., 10 years ago — awards strategists would generalize about Academy voters, based on Oscar history, saying "They like these kind of films" or "They don't like that stuff." But when "Django Unchained" wins for original screenplay and "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" nabs best song, it's getting harder to talk about "typical" Academy fodder.
And this is a great thing. Academy voters always offer a few surprises, with nominations that were unexpected after the voting by guilds, critics groups and other orgs (AFI, the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Awards).
The 276 new invitations also represent a huge change in numbers. In 2004, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences changed their membership rules: Rather than sending out invitations twice a year, it became once a year, and the names of the invitees were made public. In the nine years since, the org has averaged 133 new invitations per year, but this year, the Acad invited more than twice that number.
So while the 276 voters remain just a fraction of the 6,000 total Academy members, the outcome of this year's race could swing in an unexpected direction.
The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be unveiled Jan. 16.
Entertainment Lawyer Q&A: Section 181 Film and TV Tax Deductions
By Brandon Blake, entertainment attorney at Blake & Wang P.A.
Question: I'm trying to fully understand the implications of the Section 181 Film and TV Tax Deductions expiring at the end of this year. We are planning on shooting a few days of our film in 2013 so that we can possibly offer section 181 tax deductions to future equity investors if section 181 does not get renewed.
If we continue to raise equity for our film in 2014, after our project has begun principal photography in 2013, can we offer these section 181 tax deductions to our investors who invest in 2014?
Answer: Like horror icons Jason and Freddy, Section 181 has been resurrected so many times in the following year that simply nobody believes it will stay dead. Flashing back to the start of 2013 with the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, the America Taxpayer Relief Act was passed at 2 am in late night negotiations. Well, the drama of the moment has passed but we did get Section 181 extended for one additional year.
However, there is good reason to believe that this might in fact be the last year for the Section 181 deduction, since the White House seems less and less able to press through additional "stimulus" measures and the various stock indexes are all at record highs.
According to the extended section 181 of the American Jobs Creation Act, this revised domestic film production incentive program, covering the first $15 million of costs of all productions -- will be in effect for qualifying productions commencing before January 1, 2014.
If this really is the last year for Section 181 then film and television producers should consider starting at least a few days of principal photography this year, as well as meeting the other criteria needed to preserve the opportunity to offer the section 181 tax deduction to qualifying investors.
Moreover, it is not enough to simply start principal photography, because as Section 181 is drafted it is actually a tax election that must be taken by the investment company. So therefore an investment company and offering needs to be set up in 2013 and there must be the proper election taken on the company tax return that is filed on March 15, 2014, to preserve the status of the production.
As with any federal tax deduction, the regulations can and do change and it is possible for there to be mid-year changes in tax policy. Contact an attorney before making financial, tax, or business decisions. Our firm has been handling securities, limited offerings and PPMs for film, television and music clients for more than 13 years. Feel free to contact us for a quote for affordable, high quality legal service.
- By Brandon Blake, Entertainment Attorney
About the Editor:
Brandon A. Blake is an entertainment lawyer and producer who works with Academy Award winning actors, directors and filmmakers. A complete biography is available online.
About the Entertainment Lawyer Q&A:
The Entertainment Lawyer Q&A does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is the information treated as confidential. Responses to selected questions will be made public and shared with our subscribers. All entertainment law information is informational in nature and is not intended to be acted on without entertainment lawyer counsel.
Louis C.K. Signs New FX Production Deal
By Tim Molloy, The Wrap
Louis C.K. has signed a new overall production deal to create or supervise shows for FX.
The deal, which doesn't affect his acclaimed FX comedy, "Louie," calls for C.K. and his Pig Newton production company to develop and produce television pilots and series for FX Networks, which C.K. would have the option to write or direct.
He would also serve as an executive producer on Pig Newton projects, and "Louie" executive producer Blair Breard would executive produce or produce.
"Working with Louis C.K. has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my career," said FX CEO John Landgraf. "I am thrilled that our relationship with Louis and Blair Breard will continue for the foreseeable future through this deal with FXP. So many incredibly talented artists want to work with Louis and follow down the independent and idiosyncratic creative trail he has blazed. I can't wait to see who he brings through our door, not to mention any new projects that he wants to create for us."
The deal between FX Productions was negotiated on behalf of C.K and Pig Newton by David Weber and Tom Collier of Sloane Offer Weber Dern LLP. He is represented by 3 Arts.
"Louie" returns for its fourth season in May.
15 Documentary Features Make Oscar Shortlist
By Tim Gray, Variety
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced 15 documentary features in contention for Oscar, from a huge category of 147 films that had originally qualified. The list includes "20 Feet From Stardom," the year's highest grossing docu; "The Armstrong Lie," "The Act of Killing" and "Blackfish" (pictured from left); as well as "Stories We Tell" by Sarah Polley, which won the N.Y Critics Circle Award today.
The semi-semi-finalists are, in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:
"The Act of Killing," Final Cut for Real
"The Armstrong Lie," The Kennedy/Marshall Company
"Blackfish," Our Turn Productions
"The Crash Reel," KP Rides Again
"Cutie and the Boxer," Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic
"Dirty Wars," Civic Bakery
"First Cousin Once Removed," Experiments in Time, Light & Motion
"God Loves Uganda," Full Credit Productions
"Life According to Sam," Fine Films
"Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," Roast Beef Productions
"The Square," Noujaim Films and Maktube Productions
"Stories We Tell," National Film Board of Canada
"Tim's Vermeer," High Delft Pictures
"20 Feet from Stardom," Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Productions
"Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington," Tripoli Street
It's a good list, with a wide range of topics, from "Tim's Vermeer" (a study of art, technology and creativity) to "God Loves Uganda" (American Evangelicals in Africa).
The Academy's list includes four of the five films competing at this Friday's Intl. Documentary Assn. ceremony: "The Act of Killing," "Blackfish," "The Square" and "Stories We Tell." The fifth IDA contender is "Let the Fire Burn," an acclaimed film that failed to make the cut with Oscar. Also omitted are Indie Spirit Award nominees "After Tiller" and "Gideon's Army," plus Producers Guild nominations "A Place at the Table," "Far Out isn't Enough" and "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks."
Other surprising omission include "Letters to Jackie" (Bill Couturie, letters of sympathy after JFK's shooting); "The Unknown Known" (Donald Rumsfeld, exposed); "Inequality for All" about the economy; "Casting By," about Hollywood casting directors; and "Muscle Shoals."
The Acad's documentary branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees. Nominations will be announced Jan. 16, in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Oscars will be presented March 2.
Three Latinos Make Playlist's 'Breakout Directors Of The Year'
From The Playlist
Every year, film buffs get themselves in a lather over the latest from their favorite experienced directors. The calendar is marked for the next Spielberg, I'll be there opening day for Scorsese's latest, I am all about Spike Lee, etc. But the real pleasure in being a film fan is stumbling upon the undiscovered, lifting a rock and uncovering a new talent, a new voice, with a brand new vocabulary for us to learn. The Scorsese films will be there for us to discover and rediscover whenever we want. In 2013, however, there was only one Shaka King picture, there was only one Lake Bell joint.
What's exciting about catching a filmmaker with their debut or breakout movie is seeing the birth of a new cinematic language. Not every filmmaker has all the pieces in place so quickly: Brandon Cronenberg's "Antiviral" was one of the year's clunkier debuts, but it was considerably more polished than the early experimental fare from his father David. Even the more modest debuts could foretell the filmmakers that will be running Hollywood a decade from now. And when the earlier films are as accomplished as the ones featured in the following piece, it paints a rosy picture for the future of the industry, one we just don't get to see very often.
Here are a few fresh and emerging faces in filmmaking who provided 2013 with some of its cinematic highlights. If you haven't seen these films yet, make sure you rectify this soon.
[Three Latinos made the list and are highlighted below. Read the full list online here.]
Sebastian Lelio ("Gloria")
You often see the phrase "celebration of life" as a way of describing a film or book, and it never really makes much sense. Every time we take a breath, it's a celebration of life. Every time we kiss someone, it's a celebration of life. We really don't need to gather together and actually celebrate life because we go around doing it every day of our lives. That being said (caveat time!), Sebastian Lelio's "Gloria" is a celebration of a specific person's life, so it certainly makes sense that one would be so ebullient about the subject matter. The Spanish-language picture, Lelio's fifth, was quickly snapped up for an Oscar-qualifying run by Roadside Attractions, and it's easy to see why. The title character, a middle-aged woman a decade removed from a divorce, remains oblivious that she's consistently the last one at the party, drinking herself to the bottom of a glass each and every night. It's mere happenstance that a chance meeting with an older man gives her the opportunity to be an important part of someone else's life, but of course there are various challenges. From Gloria's perspective, her time is being wasted by a schleppy Romeo who doesn't have his affairs in order. But "Gloria," slyly, is also about the compromises we make when we're with someone else, when love and affection is no match for chance, opportunity and circumstance. Lelio could have made an oppressive, downbeat picture, but "Gloria" is packed with spicy humor and a playful spirit that never lets Gloria (as played by an excellent Paulina Garcia) become a victim.
It can be intimidating making your big screen debut on a studio level, but that didn't stop Fede Alvarez ("The Evil Dead") and Andres Muschietti ("Mama") from making an impression, and while their films slightly falter in the third acts, they've deservedly become in-demand names with the studios.
Call for Applications: NALAC Fund for the Arts
The NALAC Fund for the Arts is the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures' flagship grant program that supports the creation and presentation of important and innovative artistic works in every discipline and region of the country. Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 cycle.
NALAC Fund for the Arts provides a variety of grants to support U.S.-based Latino artists and arts organizations in the development, creation, presentation and sustainability of artistic excellence, as well as the opportunity to participate in activities that contribute to professional and organizational growth. NFA remains the only national funding source solely dedicated to supporting Latino artists/ensembles and Latino arts and cultural organizations.
In response to the expressed needs of the field, NALAC made structural changes to broaden the NALAC Fund for the Arts:
- Large Organization Eligibility - The most notable change in the NFA grant program expands funding eligibility to large Latino arts organizations with operating budgets over $1 million dollars. This program expansion will allow NALAC to provide critical funding to some of our largest pioneering Latino institutions that continue to present the highest quality artistic talent, educate, innovate and serve their communities in meaningful ways. With this new direction, NALAC hopes to solidify existing collaborations and strengthen national networks and services for the Latino arts field.
- Deepen Financial Impact - In order to deepen financial impact of the NFA grants, NALAC increased the number of Master Artist Grants, and added fixed award amounts in each grant category.
- The NFA for Latino Artists and Ensembles will provide up to fourteen awards at $5,000 each for Project Grants and up to three awards at $15,000 each for Master Artist Grants.- The NFA for Latino Arts Organizations will provide up to eight awards at $5,000 for small organizations and up to four awards at $15,000 each for mid to large organizations.
- Streamlining Application Process - NALAC has streamlined the application process into a downloadable form and an easy to access online submission.
For more information about NALAC Fund for the Arts: http://www.nalac.org/nfa
Scripps Networks Interactive Creates PSA for NALIP
As a part of our on-going partnership, Scripps Networks Interactive has created a wonderful PSA for NALIP that you can view on our website or our YouTube channel.
A link to this video will be sent to SNI's vendors, partners, and clients. For each view, Scripps will donate $5 to NALIP with a maximum donation of $5,000 (views of the PSA on the NALIP website or YouTube channel do not count towards donation).
Thank-you, Scripps Networks Interactive for your support!
Product Placement Expo, Jan. 30 in Miami
Got a film, TV or digital project in development? Check out the Product Placement Expo for brand integration assistance! Speak to product placement specialists and advertisers who represent brands.
If you're looking for interesting or innovative products to put in your movie, join us as exhibitors showcase their creations to producers in hopes of those products being integrated into a film or TV series.
Come for NATPE... stay for the Product Placement Expo!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Miami Airport Convention Center
777 N.W. 72 Avenue
Miami, Florida USA
1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Register at www.ProductPlacementExpo.com
Colombia Takes Lead in Latin American Tax Incentives
By Peter Caranicas, Variety
When producer Mike Medavoy was pondering where to shoot "The 33," the feature centered on the 2010 mining accident in Chile that left 33 men trapped underground for 69 days while the world followed their plight on TV and social media, he faced several choices. One was to shoot the film entirely where it took place: Chile.
Another was to split the shooting between Chile and Colombia; Chile offers no tax incentives, while the Colombian government recently passed a law that lets producers save up to 40% on production and post-production services and an additional 20% on lodging, transportation and meals if they hire local production service companies.
For producer Robert Katz of Half Circle, the banner producing "The 33," the decision was a no-brainer. He says the movie will save a significant chunk of change by shooting partly in Colombia. In addition to the government incentives, he says, "rates in Colombia are very competitive for crews, as are other costs. It's much less expensive to shoot there than in the U.S., and even Chile, and it makes all the difference on whether you can make the movie or not."
"The 33" is now in pre-production, and shooting is slated to start Nov. 25, with production almost evenly split between the two South American countries. Patricia Riggen will direct an ensemble cast that includes Antonio Banderas.
As different jurisdictions vie for a slice of the worldwide production pie, some territories are outdoing each other in the race to attract film producers. Led by Colombia, Latin America has introduced some of the most aggressive programs.
And in Colombia, those efforts have paid off, according to Joe Chianese, exec VP of Entertainment Partners, the production payroll firm that also advises producers on state and national incentive programs and calculates comparative budgets based on shooting locations. "The incentive is barely a year old, and I've gotten maybe two dozen phone calls from people looking at Colombia," says Chianese. "The country has a perception issue dating from the '80s drug-lord culture, but the film commission has done a good job of changing those perceptions."
Chianese notes that other parts of Latin America — helped by more favorable exchange rates, growing economies and improving public safety — have also emerged as major shooting destinations. This includes Brazil, the largest Latin territory. And in the Caribbean, where Puerto Rico has long lured productions from the U.S. mainland with tax breaks and scenery, the Dominican Republic has also thrown its hat in the ring, bolstered by a newly built soundstage complex courtesy of U.K.-based Pinewood Studios.
On the other hand, Mexico, which also offers incentives, is today afflicted by drug wars the way Colombia was a decade ago. Despite scoring some recent gets, such as the Matt Damon starrer "Elysium," "the country is truly suffering from a safety issue," Chianese says.
"A lot of the kinds of movies that used to go to Mexico are now coming here," says Colombian film commissioner Silvia Echeverri. "We had to pass through the same history." Her office supports the year-old incentive program with tours inviting producers from the U.S. and elsewhere to visit Colombia and learn first-hand what resources are available, including production service companies, crews and locations.
But there are also limits to Colombia's incentives and resources. Consultant Jason Resnick, whose clients include film distributors and Colombia's Proimagenes film promotion agency, notes that the new incentive applies to features but not to TV series. "Colombia has a robust TV industry," he says. "If the incentive applied to television, all the local TV production companies would start applying for it."
Another shortcoming: Colombia has no large, sophisticated soundstages that could house major feature productions.
"We don't have huge studio areas needed for big films," commissioner Echeverri acknowledges. "But if a film is not huge we can offer TV production space in Bogota. But we mainly offer our crews and locations."
Call for Submissions: Jerome Foundation
The Jerome Foundation offers grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and to fiscal sponsors applying on behalf of artists for the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists in New York City and Minnesota.
The Jerome Foundation places support for the creative artist at the center of its grantmaking and gives funding priority to programs and projects that are artist-driven.
The Foundation promotes artistic excellence, affirms that excellence is determined by a broad and diverse range of aesthetic criteria, and seeks quality or the potential for quality in each grant it makes.
The Foundation welcomes the opportunity to be pushed beyond its own boundaries of understanding and experience, and seeks to be open and inclusive. It affirms that the Foundation’s Board members, staff, and grants programs shall be consistent with the pluralistic society in which the Foundation operates.
Jerome Foundation upholds the right to freedom of expression; searches for new ideas, individuals, and organizations; and encourages artistic exploration and risk-taking.
The Foundation accepts grant applications year-round. Apply online here.
Latinos Attend More Movies Than Anyone Else But Are The Least Represented On Screen
By Kathleen Miles, The Huffington Post
Hollywood studios appear to be missing the mark when it comes to representing one of their biggest consumers on the big screen.
Latinos go to more movies than any other group, including whites, and yet they play only 4 percent of roles onscreen, according to a new study by the University of Southern California.
"Studios are always looking for the next big thing. If they looked at the statistics, they'd see this is it," said Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
Across the 100 top-grossing films of 2012, Latinos (who constitute 17 percent of the U.S.) are the most underrepresented group, with only 4.2 percent of speaking roles, according to the study.
And yet Latinos, on average, attended 9.5 movies in 2012, more than Asian (6.5 movies), African-American (6.3) and white audiences (6.1), according to Nielson's market research. In terms of movie tickets sold in 2012, whites (78 percent of the U.S.) bought 56 percent of them, and Latinos (17 percent of the U.S.) bought 26 percent, according to a Motion Picture Association of America report.
While overall attendance of new releases in 2012 was on par with attendance in 2011, Latinos are the only group who went to more movies in 2012 than they did in 2011, when they saw an average of 8.5 movies, according to Nielsen. Part of the reason for large Latino ticket sales is that they are, on the whole, significantly more likely to go to movies with family and friends, according to Nielsen.
The lucrative "Fast & Furious" films, set largely in Latino East Los Angeles, have been cited as evidence of the kind of revenue that a dedicated Latino fan base can generate. Latinos were credited for almost a third of the earnings for the latest in the series, this spring's "Fast & Furious 6."
And yet, Sanchez said, the studios are still wary of using Latino actors lest it affect a film's revenue. "With big budget films, studios take the actors who their research says deliver an audience," he said. But as Latinos have had fewer opportunities to take top roles, the research is lacking. Thus, Sanchez said, studios only take a chance on Latino actors in low-budget films.
And what few roles do exist often perpetuate stereotypes, the USC study claims. For example, it found that Latina actresses are more likely than African-American, white or Asian actresses to be depicted in sexy attire or partially naked.
As with "Fast & Furious," Sanchez said, "even if there are Latino roles, the movie's generally told through a white person experiencing a Latino environment. You don't see stories truly told from a Latino perspective."
But the industry has noticed the demographic in theater seats, even if it's not putting Latinos on the screen. Studios have started advertising more heavily to Latinos, especially via websites and in Spanish language media, according to Clara Rodriguez, who studies Latinos in the media as a professor of sociology at Fordham University.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S. by locations, is looking at where Latinos live when deciding where to build theaters, The Wall Street Journal reported. One such theater is currently under way in San Antonio, Texas.
"Your certainty of return on your investment is greater in a Hispanic-populated area than anywhere else," AMC Chief Executive Gerry Lopez told the Journal.
Sanchez contends that that return on investment could be even greater "if films had individuals that Latinos could connect to."
Stacy Smith, the author of the USC study and an associate professor at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism, agreed, adding that mis- and under-representing Latinos in film could have widespread negative effects.
"Spending time with these popular films may send a message that only certain groups and certain stories are worth being told," she said. "When these movies are exported to international audiences, this becomes a global concern."
Save the Date for NALIP's 2014 National Conference: NALIP Media Summit
NALIP Media Summit. Fifteen Years. Trendsetting. Trailblazing.
Save the date for our 2014 national conference.
June 5-8, 2014
Sheraton Universal Hotel, Los Angeles, CA
Prime Latino Media Salon Holiday Fiesta, Dec. 3 in NYC
NALIP-NY, Tio Louie, HOLA and ULP invite you to join us in celebrating the Prime Latino Media Salon's annual Holiday Fiesta. Tuesday, December 3 from 6-10pm at the Bleecker Heights Sports Bar in NYC.
As we begin to wrap up the year, take stock of what transpired and assess what lies ahead; let's count our blessings and industry networking relationships forged this year and over the years - 'cause heaven knows we can't do it alone. So you can only kick off a new & good year, the way the preceding year ends. Join us to ring in the old & welcome prospects for 2014 in full Latino style!
Date & Program Schedule: Tuesday, December 3, 6-10pm
Host: TIO LOUIE/Louis E. Perego Moreno, President, Skyline Features
FREE ADMISSION/RSVP required: holidayfiestaplm.eventbrite.com
Venue & location: Bleecker Heights Sports Bar, 296 Bleecker St @ 7th Avenue (enter thru FIVE GUYS Burger Joint and take stairs up). Cash bar. Food can be ordered and brought up from Five Guys, John's Pizza or Soy Sake: Asian vegetarian food
Complimentary Holiday portraits: Photos by Yahtsy
Why Hollywood's Business Model Is Bad News for Creativity
By Edward Jay Epstein, The Wrap
Once upon a time, six decades ago, when the big Hollywood studios had their stars under contract and owned most of the large theater chains, they made nearly all of their profits from selling tickets at the box office.
Hollywood is now a very different enterprise. Almost all the profits of major studios, such as Warner, Disney and Fox, come from publicizing, branding and licensing entertainment properties across the world, including DVDs, streaming, inflight entertainment, cable television, pay television, games, amusement-park rides and toys.
Each major studio also earns money from licensing out the rights to a library of feature movies, animated shorts and TV series. The lion's share of studios' profits these days come not from theaters but from television.
For this system to work, the studios need international blockbusters in the multiplexes that can serve as locomotives to pull their licensing packages through Asia, Europe and South America. Blockbusters are most easily found in sequel-friendly action features (e.g., "The Fast and the Furious"), comic-book-based movies ("X-Men," "Iron Man") and animated features ("Toy Story," "Ice Age").
As Lynda Obst lucidly explains in "Sleepless in Hollywood," her fascinating memoir-primer on the movie industry, the current business model is bad news for producers who want to make more creative movies.
Obst, the author of the bestseller "Hello, He Lied" (1996) and producer of a such films as "Flashdance," "The Fisher King" and "Sleepless in Seattle," is well positioned to report on the decline and fall of what she sardonically terms "the old abnormal" — the period between 1980 and 2005 when she and her colleagues made original, dialogue-driven films.
She is still on a first-name basis with the key players in Hollywood's "old abnormal," and they tell many of their own horror stories. James Gianopulos, a top executive at Fox, tells her that the studio will go on forever cloning sequels to the animated feature "Ice Age."
He explains that the crucial foreign audience is familiar with — and likes — the "Ice Age" characters, giving the franchise the vital virtue of, as Hollywood calls it, "preawareness." As Obst points out, the problem with such international franchise movies is that they consume studios' limited budgets, largely crowding out the dialogue-driven movies that she and her colleagues want to make.
"Could we have dreamed that the music would stop?" she writes poignantly, after it becomes clear that studios were no longer willing even to hear pitches from creative insiders of the "old abnormality" who weren't attached to franchises. Although it is a sad tale of economic displacement in the dream factory, she tells it with humor and flashes of brilliant insight.
She also proposes her own happy ending: Studios could cut down on their budgets for franchises, use internet marketing and make their profits on droves of low-budget, dialogue-driven movies, such as "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which, she says, "has made over $117 million worldwide and cost only $10 million pre-Oscars, without any prior awareness and marketing outside of word of mouth." This sounds hopeful, but is it?
Unfortunately, as Obst knows from reading her own distribution reports, such numbers are grossly misleading. The $117 million that "Marigold Hotel" supposedly "made" isn't what the film or its distributor (Fox Searchlight) earned; it is the gross revenues of the theaters. From that gross revenue, the theaters pay the distributor a "rental" charge that varies between 30 percent and 50 percent of the revenue amount. (China pays as little as 20 percent.)
Even then, from the share that the distributor receives in rentals it must pay out the costs of worldwide advertising, local taxes, prints of the film, custom clearances, dubbing and re-editing for local audiences.
In the case of most films with a theater gross of less than $150 million, these costs consume the entire amount of the rental payments from theaters—so a film may claim to have made millions of dollars when it has really made nothing (though it may receive further revenues, over time, from DVDs, airline showing, video streaming and TV sales). The problem with small movies is that they get a correspondingly small distribution fee, the main source of their profits.
So, alas, as much as the old abnormality might benefit from moving money away from blockbusters and toward more low-budget films, Hollywood itself is unlikely to give the idea a green light. In 2012, after all, the current business model provided the big studios with record profits.
So why change what works? Sure, low-budget movies can turn a profit, but they can't provide the oceans of revenues necessary to pay Hollywood's enormous overhead. Nor can they provide the global blockbusters necessary to fuel the studios' licensing machinery.
I wish that Obst had included the distribution reports on the films she herself produced. They would show the money that came in and the money that went out on each film, and the tally might have given greater weight to her anecdotal observations.
But in an industry in which even extras must sign non-disclosure agreements — as I found out when I was an extra in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" — she is simply playing by the rules. Even so, "Sleepless in Hollywood" is a great read that illuminates what is really shaping today's movie business.
Additional Cast Announced for El Rey Network's "From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series"
By Bel Hernandez, Latin Heat Entertainment
A full cast list has been announced for the first El Rey Network series, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, which is based on the 1996 film by the same name. In addition to the previously announced casting of Robert Patrick and Jesse Garcia, DJ Cotrona and Zane Holtz, Mexican actress/singer Eiza Gonzalez, Jacob Fuller, Madison Davenport, Don Johnson and Brandon Soo Hoo have been announced.
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, currently shooting in Austin, TX is written, produced and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Ten episodes are on ordered with audiences getting the first look in mid December when the series debuts on El Rey Network.
Eiza González the Mexican actress/singer who's star rose playing the title role in the Mexican telenovela Lola…Erase una vez, plays the role of Santanico Pandemonium. An established talent in her native Mexico, Gonzalez has starred in over six telenovelas and has several films to her credits. Much like her predecessor Salma Hayek, a Mexican telenovela actress, who in the role of Santanico Pandemonium shot to stardom in the U.S., this just might be the role that will launch Gonzalez career in the U.S. Already U.S. audience know her as the lady into whose arms Liam Hemsworth ran into right after he ended his engagement with Miley Cyrus. Gonzalez is definitely on the U.S. audience radar now. Not to mention that CAA has already signed her, so the future looks bright.
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series is a supernatural crime saga which revolves around two brothers (originally played by Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney); two bank robbers chased by the FBI and a Texas Rangers played by Don Johnson and Jesse Garcia respectively. The brothers, being the unpredictable bad guys that they are, take their former minister (Patrick) and his family as hostages and the chase is on. With an added element of Aztec mythology and new characters not in the original movie, there is probably enough to keep audiences engaged for the 10 episodes and beyond, should the audience demand it of course.
Doing Your Doc: How to Successfully End Your Pitch
Internationally renowned author, speaker and story analyst Fernanda Rossi answers the following question for our NALIP members in anticipation of the upcoming program Doing Your Doc to take place in Tucson, AZ, December 6 to 8, 2013. In addition to a full day workshop on pitch, logline, synopsis and demo, funders and industry professionals will be in attendance for lectures and one-on-one mentorship sessions. All info and registration online here.
Q: How do I end my pitch so I don't get a blank stare from the person listening?
Fernanda: Most producers and directors know how to start a pitch. Few know when—or rather, how—to stop talking to avoid that awkward silence that may follow. In that moment, the producer may panic and start talking again—starting either to ramble or to repeat herself. In other cases, the listener breaks the silence with, "Interesting," delivered in that passion-killing monotone.
Rambling or trailing off or going in circles can also happen without that awkward silence. The pitch reached its natural peak and resolution, yet the story seems to have started all over again or to have lost its way in a sea of unrelated comments and anecdotes.
To avoid the above, it's better to commit to a definite plan. Unfortunately, many think that the best way to commit to an ending is to announce it: "And that's the story." They might as well say "The End"—that at least might get a chuckle. Equally self-defeating is putting the listener on the spot: "So, whatcha think?"
Ideally, the end of the pitch has a strong resounding final sentence that invites applause—if pitching to an audience—or a soft landing that naturally gets the listener asking questions—if pitching one-on-one. For example, reveal the intention of the character, which will be explored further in the actual film. Or revisit the premise with a twist. You can also ask a gentle question that doesn't sound like an IQ test but rather invites the other person to comment.
Whether a grand finale or a soft closing, the ending of a pitch marks the beginning of a dialogue—a dialogue in which active listening becomes more important that any word said so far.
About Fernanda Rossi: Internationally renowned author, speaker and story consultant Fernanda Rossi has doctored over 300 documentaries, fiction scripts, and fundraising trailers including the 2009 Academy Award® nominated The Garden by Scott Hamilton Kennedy. In addition to private consultations, lectures, and seminars worldwide, she has served as festival juror and grant panelist. Ms. Rossi shares her knowledge and research of story structure and the creative process in columns and articles in trade publications. She is also the author of the book Trailer Mechanics: A Guide to Making your Documentary Fundraising Trailer now in its 2nd Edition. www.documentarydoctor.com
Recent Cinema from Spain Series, Nov. 21-24 in Miami
The third edition of the Recent Cinema from Spain Series, produced by EGEDA (Audio-Visual Producers' Rights Management Association) and The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, will be returning to Miami, FL to host a four day Spanish film event celebrating the diversity of contemporary Spanish cinema.
Held at The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, the series will showcase six of Spain's most recognized films of the year: A GUN IN EACH HAND, SON OF CAIN, COMBUSTION, THE BODY, THE LAST DAYS and HOLD UP.
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