By Bel Hernandez
Hollywood Reporter “Relative Unknown”? In Your World Maybe
I was excited to hear that Gabriel Chavarria, who burst into the scene with his smoldering looks and acting chops in Carlos Portugal’s East Los High, landed the starring role in Universal Picture’s untitled lowrider film (wait are we back to 80’s tiered gangbanging, lowriding films?) However, I was intrigued with the Hollywood Reporter’s headline announcing the news: “Relative Unknown Nabs Lead in Universal’s Lowrider Drama”. Sorry to break it to you Hollywood Reporter but there is a world in entertainment that exists beyond your pages. Gabriel Chavarria may be a “relative unknown” to you but media platforms covering Latinos in entertainment have been all over this and he is known not only our readers but to East Los High fans around the world. Get a clue, there is a world of entertainment that is not “known” to you maybe, that does not make it “unknown”.
Dear HBO Latino: U.S. Latinos Films Also Count
HBO just released their “Spring Line-up” of Spanish Language films. Once again all the films that will be screening during the months of January, February, March and April are Spanish-language films from Mexico, Latin America and Spain. I understand that that is your concept for HBO Latino but you need to re-think that. So you acquire films from Spain and Latin American countries and screen them here in the U.S.? Great. How about doing that for U.S. Latinos? Not one of your films on the list included a U.S. Latino filmmaker, yet you want U.S. Latinos to tune in? What about including these Latinos? If you want that audience you also allow them to present their stories? Aren’t they Latino enough for you HBO Latino?
Everyone Loves [Another] Drug Lord Story?
At least that is what USA Networks is counting on. Taking its cue for the success of Telemundo’s telenovela Queen of the South which starred Kate del Castillo in 2011, USA Networks (a NBCUniversal property) starts production on the series based on Arturo Perez-Reverte‘s best-selling novel La Reina Del Sur about the story of the real life of Teresa Mendoza and how she became the 1st lady of a Mexican drug cartel. The cast for Queen of the South is headed by the talents of Alice Braga, Hemky Madera, Justina Machado in the lead roles. and many others.
Indies Start off 2015 with Awards Nominations and Theatrical Releases
If the start of 2015 is any indication of what is to come for independent film, bring it on! According to the trades This year for the first time the nominations for indie films have surpassed the major films for some of the industry awards nominations.
Indie films by Latino filmmakers with theatrical releases starting off in 2015 include Oscar Torre’s Pretty Rosebud will get a theatrical release.
We look forward to the indie films down the pipe line that are currently doing the festival circuit, for one David Llauger-Meiselman Stike One which will be premieing at the VIVA Latino Film Festival on February 19th and in Phoenix, AZ on Jaunuary 29th Fanny Veliz’s film Hombound will be screening. Spreading the message of Indie films rule across the nation.
Also, Luis Reyes takes a look back at the films with Latino participation in 2014.