Documentary Premieres on April 24th on PBS
There is a Spanish language programming boom right here in the heart of Hollywood. It is comprised mostly of imported telenovelas from Mexico and Latin America on Univision and Telemundo. However back in 2005 ABC decided to to entice Spanish language viewers to use the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) option on their TV sets and watch Desperate Housewives in Spanish, on their network. Five bilingual actresses became the Spanish voices for the most famous females on TV between 2005 and 2011. The new PBS VOCES documentary Now en Español, which premieres Friday, April 24, 2015, 10:00-11:00 p.m., follows these hard working bilingual actresses, with lives sometimes as dramatic as their counterparts, over the course of several years.
The five dynamic women (Marabina Jaimes, Marcela Bordes, Gabriela Lopetegui, Ivette Gonzalez, Natasha Perez), are featured in Now en Español as they struggle to pursue their Hollywood dreams while balancing the responsibilities of paying rent and raising children. The film chronicles their lives as they audition for parts and work in the dubbing studio while striving for a career that offers more prominent — and on-screen roles. Each actress is at a different stage on the path to success but they all have to confront the precarious nature of their careers when the dubbing of Desperate Housewives is cancelled and their jobs come to an end.
Shot over the course of several years by Latina filmmaker Andrea Meller, Now en Español offers an inside look at the challenges faced by many Latino actors while offering a warm and engaging portrait of five gutsy women as they follow their dreams against all odds.
Meller is based in L.A. but born and raised in New York after her parents emigrated from Santiago, Chile. She is co-director the Emmy-nominated Hard Road Home (Independent Lens/PBS) and directed 156 Rivington (Sundance Channel). Her films have screened at SXSW, SilverDocs, and the New York International Latino Film Festival, among others. Andrea is a fellow of the Film Independent Documentary Lab and the PBS/CPB and NALIP Latino Producers Academies.
The documentary is currently doing the festival circuit. It screened at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in January and are now on to Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Montana, CineFestival in Texas and the Chicago Latino Film Festival. For more info on the schedule go to their website and/or follow them on Facebook
Now en Español premieres on Friday, April 24, 2015, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) as part of VOCES, Latino Public Broadcasting’s arts and culture series on PBS, presented by PBS SoCaL.
The Women Featured as the voices of the ABC Desperate Housewives
Originally from Mexico City and raised in a family of artists, with acting credits in Mexico working alongside notable Mexican talent Veronica Castro, El Loco Valdez, Chabelo, and Enrique Cuenca “El Polivoz.” In the U.S., she has acted in films, soap operas such as Te Amara En Silencio and the daily TV show Uno Nunca Sabe, and has performed as the Spanish voice of Barbie, Minnie Mouse, and countless anime characters for TV and movies. Marcela has also worked as a dubbing director and casting director and had her own business coaching and teaching voiceover and dubbing.
Born in Mexico into a family of actors, musicians, dancers and singers. She began her career at age ten clocking in more than 6000 performances in her role as Nancy in the play Oliver Twist. After working on telenovelas, comedies and movies she moved to the U.S. in 1992 and quickly started work in Spanish language television as a host, reporter and comedian. At the same time, she entered the world of dubbing and has since worked on more than a thousand programs, such as Tom & Jerry, The Little Mermaid, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Bold & The Beautiful. In 1995, her acting career in American TV and film included roles in Taken, Borderland, In The Flesh, The Mentalist, and 90210.
An Emmy winner and Imagen award nominated host and actress. Jaimes is half Mexican and half Puerto Rican. She won an Emmy Award for hosting the hit PBS show Storytime! and has done over 300 commercials in English and Spanish. She has been either seen or heard on Law & Order, Beverly Hills 90210, Fixing Paco, Melrose Place, CSI Miami, The Good Wife, Weeds, and Dexter. Her movie credits include Machete, Crazy Heart, Wall Street, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. She starred in the Latin-centric animated series Santo Bugito on CBS; hosted and co-produced Let’s Talk, an Internet based Latina-led talk show, and is also a vocalist and lyricist.
In Montevideo, Uruguay, Lopetegui worked professionally as a dancer and starred in the hit television show Horacio y Gabriela, becoming a well-known star throughout the country. She moved to Los Angeles, where she has lived for more than 15 years. In the U.S., Gabriela started performing as a stand-up and improv comedian and doing dubbing work. She dubbed Dr. Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy, Callie on CSI Miami, and Salma Hayek’s character on Ugly Betty. Gabriela has also directed numerous dubbing and voiceover sessions, worked as a language coach, and taught voiceover through AFI.
The youngest of the “desperate” ladies. From a family of artists and advertising legends in Venezuela, Natasha won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the World Music and International Film Festival and performed with Channing Tatum in a famous skit on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Natasha has been a spiritual girl in Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, a gangster on The District, and a patient on ER, She sings and plays guitar around the world and has written songs for Entourage, Jonny Zero and several Latin American movies. She dubbed Kate on Lost, Violet on Private Practice.