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Report: Univision Holds Potential Sale Talks With CBS, Time Warner

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Univision held preliminary talks with CBS and Time Warner over a potential sale, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S.-based Spanish-language broadcaster is said to be seeking at least $20 billion for the sale. That’s far more than the $13.7 billion a group of investors led by Haim Saban paid for Univision in 2007.

A CBS Corp. rep declined comment.

Rumblings regarding the potential pact come months after Univision CEO emerged as one of the few critics of another mega-deal: Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The combination of CBS or Time Warner with Univision could very well be a strategic response to the media business’ consolidation trend, which also includes the prospect of a AT&T-DirecTV deal.

If Univision is indeed on the block, its clout in the booming U.S. Hispanic market would certainly make it a hot property. In addition to a broadcast flagship with ratings that can rival English-language networks, Univision is also owner of a collection of cable and digital properties. Read more at Variety.com

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The New NALIP.org

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NALIP is excited to announce we will be launching a new nalip.org! Mobile responsive, database integrated and social network connected, our new home site will be launching June 15.

The site focus is to feature current NALIP members and Latino content creators through our “Submit Your Work” page, where members who submit their work will immediately be connected with a search optimized network of funders and distribution outlets that will power their projects. Members work and profiles will be part of an integrated media resource guide, easily searchable, cataloged and divided by our four track focuses: narrative, tv, digital, and documentary.

The "NALIP Stream" combines a new approach to our weekly newsletter, which will provide industry news updates, job opportunities, funding opportunities, event invites, and more importantly will showcase our NALIP members work.

Another component to the new site is the integration of our signature programs. You'll be able to access a calendar of events, host your own screening opportunities, and much more! An exciting feature is with your phone number provided we'll be able to text you reminders on our upcoming program deadlines!

Designed to display on your tablet, ipad, phone, and your laptop screen, you’ll be able to check out nalip.org from anywhere!

Make sure you check our this our new platform for Latino content creators, June 15.

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NALIP @ the Los Angeles Film Festival, June 11–19

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Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Los Angeles Film Festival returns June 11–19 to L.A. LIVE. Don’t miss out on red carpet premieres, conversations, live music, free outdoor screenings and films from around the world. NALIP is proud to host "Recommended by Enrique," a mesmerizing, witty fable directed by Rania Atteh and Daniel García, based on a true story set in the small border town of Del Rio, Texas that blurs the borders between dreams and reality.

For more info visit http://filmguide.lafilmfest.com/tixSYS/2014/films/5673

 

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James Franco Wants to Read Your Screenplay

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James Franco is sharing over a decade of insights in an exclusive, new class, Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films. Pick up tricks of the trade from the Academy Award nominee, and then put your new skills into action by writing and sharing your own 8-minute screenplay. To heighten the stakes, James will select his favorite project for a 1-on-1 mentoring session.

This class is definitely geared towards beginners but designed for students of any skill level to find value. Never written for film before? Not a problem, we’ll walk you through our process for getting started. 

Don’t miss this chance to learn screenwriting from one of Hollywood’s most prolific artists. If you're a Skill Share member, enroll by this Friday, 6/13/14 with the code FRANCO20 to receive 20% off.

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ISA

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ISA tells the story of Isa Reyes (Jeanette Samano), an 18 year-old Mexican-American whiz kid who uncovers that she was smuggled into the U.S. as a child, having been rescued from a criminal enterprise that literally steals the dreams of children in order to make billions on Wall Street.  

ISA encompasses the genres of science-fiction, psychological thriller and drama, and is set in a vibrant and contemporary Los Angeles that is seldom depicted. The movie also features a strong Latina protagonist whose epic struggle dramatizes the raw edges of identity, the strange networks that underpin our economy, and the dynamic interplay between faith and reason.  

ISA is the first original movie from Fluency Productions, a division of NBC Universal Hispanic Media and Content. It airs on the following networks:


Syfy – WED, 6/11 at 11:30 pm ET/PT

Chiller – TUE, 6/17 at 8:00 pm ET/PT

mun2 – FRI, 6/27 at 7:00 pm ET/PT

Telemundo – Later this summer

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Robert Rodriguez on Becoming a TV Mogul

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Robert Rodriguez has been making movies prolifically since his 1992 debut with “El Mariachi,” made for $7,000. Last year, he turned his attention to TV, partnering with Univision to launch the English-language El Rey Network, now available in 40 million homes. Its first scripted show, “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” launched March 11; El Rey also shows films, animated shows, reality and sports and plans more original fare.

How did a filmmaker become a TV mogul?
Ever since “El Mariachi,” the television world has been interested in me: “You can make things fast and cheap. You’re perfect for TV!” But I had creative freedom in films and there were too many maybes in TV. Three years ago, I thought about a network. The Univision people were interested in the fact it was going to be English-language. They wanted to get into that business and they liked that I was going to do the programming.

What’s your mandate? 
We start with an identity based on creative freedom: There won’t be a lot of executives to say “You can’t do that” because there are no executives! It’s a network for the people.

How involved are you?
I do everything but turn on the television set for you. It’s a startup, a small network, so I’m very involved. In the past five months, I’ve directed six hours of television. That’s a lot. I’m also editing and working as the f/x supervisor. I also shot “Matador.”

What’s been the industry’s reaction?
I’ve been approached by a lot of filmmakers and producers who have seen the level of quality and support we’re giving our shows and say, “I have something that I think will fit.” People working here are excited. They like getting a commitment to do 10 episodes, or 13 for “Matador.” It’s not like making a pilot and not knowing its fate.

And what’s your reaction been?
It’s exactly what I was hoping it would be. I didn’t know if it was achievable, but it is!

Check this out on Variety.

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The Pixel Market

THE PIXEL MARKET IS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS!

CALLING ALL CROSS-MEDIA PRODUCERS AND CREATIVES

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Submission deadline Friday 10 July

Power to the Pixel is now accepting applications to The Pixel Market, the prestigious cross-media project finance market taking place during the annual Power to the Pixel: Cross-Media Forum 7-10 October, in association with the BFI London Film Festival.

/ Get your cross-media project financed

/ Hear what leading funders and commissioners are looking for

/ Form new cross-industry partnerships

/ Win CASH prizes!

/ Get invited to exclusive networking events

At The Pixel Market: Day One (8 October) 8 out of 30 producer-led teams will present their projects to a 400 strong live audience and a jury composed of key industry executives (check out the jury of 2013 here) who will give direct feedback around new funding, distributive and co-production avenues available and will decide the winner of the €6,000 ARTE International Prize for The Pixel Market!

At The Pixel Market: Day Two (9 October) all 30 teams will engage in a series of 1-2-1 meetings with over 100 potential funding, distribution and creative partners from across film, TV, online, gaming, publishing, the arts and advertising.

Attending companies in 2013 included ARTE France; Arts Council England; BBC; Bell Fund; BFI; British Council; Canada Media Fund; CBBC; Channel 4; Dazed & Confused; Egmont UK; France Télévisions; Gaité Lyrique; Hypernaked; Indieflix; ITVS; Kickstarter; MEDIA; MediaCom Beyond Advertising; Microsoft Soho Studios; MSN; NFB Canada; OMDC; Penguin Books; Pulse Films; RTVE; The Guardian; The Harmony Institute; Tate Kids; Telefilm Canada; TorinoFilmLab; Tribeca Film Institute; VICE; Vimeo; Xbox Entertainment Studios; Yahoo! Studios and ZDF.

DEADLINE TO APPLY FRIDAY 10 JULY, 18.00 BST!

Head to our website for more information and to apply.

For application questions, please email info@powertothepixel.com or call +44 (0)207 535 6720.

ADAPT TO STAY RELEVANT TO CHANGING AUDIENCES AND THE CONNECTED WORLD!

The Pixel Market is supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the BFI London Film Festival.

 

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Hispanic Moviegoing Looks to Keep Booming in the U.S.

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Hispanic moviegoers are bigger fans of the movies than other cultures in the United States, according to a panel of experts at Sunday’s Produced By conference at the Warner Bros. lot.

“We are a growth business and Hispanics have a lot to do with it,” asserted John Fithian (pictured above), president of the National Association of Theater Owners, during an hour-long panel on “How the Hispanic Audience Can Make All the Difference.”

The speakers urged the 100 attendees to be mindful of the growing impact of Hispanics, who are on pace to reach 30% of the U.S. population by 2050.

Univision’s Peter Filaci presented statistics such as Hispanics contributing 19% of US. box office revenue while representing 17.5% of the population; the 18-49 demographic will see an increase of 5 million Hispanic consumers by 2024, far larger than any other demographic; and that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hipanics to see a movie on its opening weekend by margin of 47% to 37%.

Fithian said Hispanic customers spend 30% more on concessions than the average customer and are the most supportive demographic of luxury theaters and alcoholic beverage service. He also noted that Hispanics represent the highest demographic among frequent moviegoers; a recent report from the MPAA showed that Hispanics amounted to about 25% of those attending the movies at least once a month.

“Hispanics embrace moviegoing much more than other cultures in the US,” said Nielsen exec Ray Ydoyaga. “They believe it’s important to stay in tune with what’s new and they believe it’s important to make a habit of going to the movies.”

Roberto Orci, a Mexico native who’s collaborated with Alex Kurtzman on multiple projects such as “Transformers,” “Star Trek” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” noted that Hispanics have become far more tech-savvy than generally recognized. “A lot of us don’t even use landlines any more,” he added.

Orci’s also producing the upcoming TV series “Matador” for the El Rey Network, aimed at the Hispanic audience and starring Gabriel Luna as a soccer player and CIA mole.

Check this out at Variety.

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Why Andy Garcia Refused To Change His Last Name

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Andy Garcia knows Hollywood isn't the same place it was 30 years ago.

Garcia, 58, was honored with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers' Lifetime Achievement Award this past Saturday. The Cuban-born actor took some time before the NALIP ceremony to chat with The Huffington Post about how diversity in Hollywood has evolved over the years, why he refused to change his last name and why he doesn't frame himself as a Hispanic actor.

Congratulations on being honored with NALIP's Lifetime Achievement Award. How did you feel when you were told you'd receive the award?

It's very flattering, I feel very honored that my peers think of me in those terms. It gives you a moment of reflection when someone approaches you that way for your work. You go about the business of creating a body of work as an actor or producer or director -- and I feel blessed that I've been given the opportunity to do that for the past 30 years or so -- and when you feel that someone is acknowledging the work that you've been doing, it's a great honor. It's very touching.

In recent years there's been a lot of conversation about bringing more diversity into Hollywood. You've been in the business for a very long time. You've found great success in franchises like "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Godfather" -- so, tell me about the changes you've seen along the way.

Well you know, when I first arrived to Los Angeles to look for work as an actor in 1978 -- first, the only places that were places to work in terms of film or television were about five studios, more or less, the major studios that we all know of. Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Fox, MGM and PBS. There were no cable outlets. So the opportunities for actors to work in film or television were much more limited.

And I also think they still had not made any kind of real headway or transition in terms of stereotyping actors because of their cultural or ethnic backgrounds. You were limited as an actor. An actor of Hispanic descent or with a Hispanic surname, I would say, [was] pigeonholed into parts that require a character that they think could be Hispanic or can represent a Hispanic -- whether it'd be Puerto Rican, Cuban, Mexican, it didn't matter. But there weren't that many roles written specifically for characters of that culture or heritage [either]. So combined with the stereotyping of the actor and the lack of roles, there wasn't a lot of work out there.

It was very difficult for [an] actor that comes from a specific cultural background and had certain surnames to, sometimes in the casting process, be able to cross over and say, 'Just look at that person as an actor, don't look at him as an actor of Mexican descent or an Asian or whatever, just look at him for what he can bring to the story and how he can enhance your film by his participation and his talents as an actor or actress.' ... So that's always been the challenge.

The experience for Latino actors in Hollywood has certainly changed drastically, but I'd say it's taken a long time to see significant change.

Many, many years prior to when I was attempting to start a career, there were different eras in Hollywood films. You know, in the '30s or '40s, an actor that had a sort of Hispanic or Latin surname was kind of invoked -- the "Latin Lover" was invoked for many years. It was an asset in a way. And then that kind of disappeared, and actors who had Hispanic surnames felt the pressure to change their last names in order not to be stereotyped and create more opportunities for themselves.

I think as time passed into the '80s and '90s and the opportunities became greater for diversity in film and television, [there were] more places to actually work ... And the audiences asked for and [wanted] to identify with characters of all kind of cultures and points of view and experiences. So the opportunity for an actor now is much greater when you're going to audition for work, and the level of stereotyping, in my opinion, has been reduced tremendously. It will always exist, actors are always trying to break that mold, but it has gotten much better over the years. Now, the fact that you may have a Hispanic surname or you're Asian or any diversified culture like that -- [it's] not as much of hindrance as it once was.

Did you personally ever feel pressured to change your last name?

Yes, yes. From early on, all the agents that I met when I came to town, first thing they would say is 'Change your name.'

Why did you decide not to?

Well, I think that the most important thing as an artist is to [have] a very personal connection to who you are. I always felt that in changing the name I would lose sort of the essence of how I could personalize the work, my point of view. And it would be, in a way, betraying that, betraying my inner self. So on a personal note I was just never prepared to go that route. You think about it very strongly because you want to be able to work, but at the end of the day I decided not to go that route. It's very difficult, I think, when someone asks you who you are and you state your name and it's not really your name.

In the past, however, you've said you don't consider yourself a "Latino actor." Could you elaborate on those comments?

Philosophically for me, I frame myself as an actor, I do not frame myself as a Hispanic-actor. That sort of hyphenation is not where you're coming from. I think people who are successful that happen to be from a Hispanic background are successful because of their talents as a producer or as a director or as an actor and their training. It's about the work that they bring. I think it's important to recognize that you're casting the artist ... what their sensibilities are and what their talents are for a particular project.

Some of the greatest performances have been given by actors who were not of the same cultural background as the characters that they were playing. Even someone like José Ferrer in "Cyrano de Bergerac" or Marlon Brando in "The Godfather" -- Marlon Brando is not Italian. Does it matter? Ultimately it's all about the art form and the actor's ability to personify his parts.

And speaking of portraying characters of other cultures, you're going to be starring as a Spanish expat living in Cuba for your upcoming film "Hemingway & Fuentes." The movie is an original concept of yours and you co-wrote the script with the late author's niece, Hilary Hemingway. Tell me about why you were drawn to produce and direct a film like this.

Gregorio Fuentes was a character that was with Ernest Hemingway for the last 20 years of his life. He was the captain of his boat the Pilar ... My interest in Hemingway and my love of "The Old Man and the Sea" -- why he wrote it, how he wrote it and what motivated him to write, but also to spend the time he did in Cuba in the world of Cojimar -- that was the initial spark for me. For many years, I always wanted to explore that story of what happened, what was the relationship and what prompted him to write the book, which became probably his most famous and recognized piece of work.

And the movie sets out to answer just that and explore the relationship between Hemingway and Fuentes during their fishing trips off the coast of Cuba. As a Cuban-born actor I can imagine you will be bringing a personal perspective to the set.

Well you know I was born [in Cuba] and I spent the first five and a half years of my life there, but I've been very involved culturally with my heritage. I dedicated really all my life [to] its history and its music because it's something that I'm very connected to. So, that is the perspective that I bring -- my connection to it and I guess my understanding of what that world was like in the '50s.

My parents grew up in that era and I grew up in an exile [Cuban] community, which was always profoundly nostalgic and loving and filled with memories from that time period. That stimulated my own interest in it and to this day I still continue to have a profound connection to that era, the 1940s and '50s in Cuba. I left when I was a child, but in my subconscious I sort of lived it as an adult. Through the people who lived [it], sort of through osmosis and hearing their stories and music, you're able to kind of imagine yourself living in that era and understanding its beauties and its tragedies. 

Check this out on Huffington Post.

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Doing Your Doc at the 2014 NALIP Media Summit

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Are you an emerging media maker with a documentary idea, a work-in-progress, or proposal that needs development? Whether you are just beginning, have already shot footage, or have a rough cut and are seeking finishing funds, this session is right for you. Designed primarily for delegates attending the 2014 NALIP Media Summit and content creators in the local communities of Southern California working on their first documentary film, Doing Your Doc is an intimate conversation about project development, process, distribution, and outreach. Reserve your spot now!
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