latina-film-making
Facebook

East Coast, West Coast Film Programs Aim To Change Hollywood's Diversity Problem

Long overdue. 

From the infamous #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to Hollywood’s problem with typecasting people of color into roles that fit their ascribed stereotypes, it’s no secret the film industry has a lot of work to do. In efforts to bring that inclusion into fruition, film programs in New York City and Southern California are aiming to bridge tinsel town’s race gap.

California’s Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project has created programs within 20 elementary schools and four junior high school districts, reports Remezcla. The institute was founded by Edward James Olmos, and hopes to incentivize children from all backgrounds to create stellar story telling.

“We’re providing students of color away for them to find their voice, because we don’t tell them what to write, we just show them how to write,” LIF Executive Director Rafael Agustin explains. “We don’t tell them what films to produce, we show them how to produce films.”

Though it’s not just catered for Latino students, LIF’s organizers want the Latinx influence to remain behind its initiative. “It’s a gift from the Latino community to all kids,” added board member Bonny Garcia.

On a more advanced graduate level, the CUNY Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema in Brooklyn is the first film school that offers low tuition, which caters to a diverse student body. It also doesn’t hurt that the school has some of Hollywood’s elite on board, with Steven Soderbergh and Ethan Hawke serving on the school’s advisory council—including indie director Jonathan Wacks as its founding director.

The new program started a year and half ago, and is expecting its first graduating MFA class in 2018. It’s refreshing to see how its graduates represent a melting pot of cultures; the institution’s current enrollment boasts a 45 percent "minority" student body. And this is probably the product of identifying the root of the problem.

“There’s certainly enough blame to go around about why there aren’t more women and more people of color at the top level of the industry,” Wacks told the New York Times. “You also have to recognize that it begins with film school. I’ve been to many film schools where if women were 20 percent of the population, that was a lot.”

From the Web

More on Vibe

Netflix Drops Preview Of 'Selena: The Series'

In a video that has amassed over 62,000 views since its Nov. 12 debut, Netflix posted a sneak peek into its upcoming Selena: The Series—Part 1. Within the 60-second clip, viewers witness actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano legend, preparing for a performance in one of Selena’s most iconic outfits.

Serratos has starred in hit series like The Walking Dead, Twilight, American Horror Story: Murder House, and more. In a statement published by Deadline, the show's production company Campanario Entertainment and its president/co-founder Jaime Dávila, praised Serratos for stepping into the "Dreaming Of You" singer's shoes.

“Selena is an inspirational figure who’s transcended generations. At Campanario, we’ve always known it was crucial for this series to find actors with the right mix of talent, charisma, and passion to honor Selena’s legacy and the story of her family,” said Davila. “Our casting director Carla Hool and her team have found an amazing cast to depict the Quintanilla family, and we’re sure fans everywhere will be captivated yet again by Selena’s incredible life.” On March 31, 1995, Selena was murdered, sparking a wave of tributes and films, such as 1997's movie starring Jennifer Lopez as the iconic vocalist.

The program, which chronicles Selena's life and career, is slated to premiere in 2020 with six hourlong episodes. Watch the preview above.

Continue Reading

Nicky Jam Drops 'Behind Nicky Jam's Intimo' Documentary Trailer

Apple Music released the trailer for a documentary on reggaeton superstar Nicky Jam. The visual precedes the release of his most personal album to date, Intimo. Judging by the trailer, Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo gives viewers an inside look at the 38-year-old’s battle with drugs and almost losing his whole career.

In the past, Jam has been open about his struggles. “Music is my therapist, and this album was therapy for me,” he told Apple Music. According to a press release, the singer discusses making his first album at just 13, drugs, and his 25-year career.

Jam also worked on a drama series for Netflix titled El Ganador, where he shared some of those dark moments in his life.

"El Ganador is the story of my life," he tells VIBE. "How I battled drug and alcohol addiction, my mom and dad had the same problems [and] how we all got out of it. We're trying to tell the youth and the world what route to take. Right now, there are a lot of kids that need to get out of that street/thug mentality and make it right. I am living proof that if you do right, right will come to you."

Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo will debut on Friday (Oct. 25), a week before Intimo drops. Jam will also appear in Bad Boys III starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, which hits theaters January 2020.

Watch the trailer for Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo above.

Continue Reading

Premiere: Sebastian Yatra Promotes Bad School Girl Behavior In New Visual For “Mañana No Hay Clase (24/7)”

Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra continues to push boundaries by intermixing his classical ballad sound with the hedonistic rhythms of reggaeton and Latin trap. Through glimpses of a sunny Southern California fantasy, the 25-year-old artist teamed up with Dalmata and Ñejo on “Mañana No Hay Clase (24/7)” at Los Angeles’ iconic Pink Motel for the single’s video.

Three beautiful schoolgirls cause mayhem inside a 7-Eleven style convenient store and beachy skate parks. Like the song’s title suggests, there's no school tomorrow, so what’s the point of behaving? The visuals, directed by Pedro Araujo, are filled with the staples of Cali life, like sunshine, skateboarding, and chill vibes.

“Mañana No Hay Clase (24/7)” was produced by Mauricio Rengifo and Andres Torres (who produced Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito”). Yatra stepped into the scene with his 2018 major-label debut album Mantra. He experimented with both urban and classic sounds. He doesn’t like labeling his sound but prefers to experiment with what feels right.

“We never said, we do ‘this’ type of music, I just make songs to make you wanna party like crazy or make you get intimate with a girl you like,” he tells VIBE. “All these songs have a purpose and each of them are written for a different moment in life. All these beats make you feel different things.”

Watch the video for “Mañana No Hay Clase (24/7)” above.

Continue Reading

Top Stories