KEYNOTE: Wilmer Valderrama and Carlos Coto From El Rey Network’s "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" Keynote NALIP Media Summit 2014 on Saturday, June 7


El Rey Network's hottest show, "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series", will be making a splash at the keynote lunch event on Saturday June 7th, at NALIP Media Summit 2014. Actor Wilmer Valderrama & Executive Producer and Showrunner Carlos Coto will join us for a conversation to talk about the groundbreaking series that premiered on the new general entertainment network from Robert Rodriguez in March; giving us insight on how it all came to be and how its original production and creative approach earned them a quick second season renewal and is pushing the boundaries of TV and entertainment.

Wilmer Valderrama, best known as Fez on That 70's Show, has produced, directed, written, hosted & acted in a number of projects; prior to Dusk, Wilmer was recently seen in: NBC's Awake, Larry Crowne, The Dryland, From Prada to Nada, and heard as Manny on Disney's Handy Manny. In the upcoming year, he will be appearing in the films School Dance and To Whom it May Concern. Right now, Wilmer can be seen in the El Rey Network's first series, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, where he plays the much feared crime-lord, Carlos Madrigal.

Carlos Coto is Executive Producer and Showrunner of "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series." Previously, he was an executive producer of the internationally acclaimed spy series, “Nikita.” He has also written and produced for “24,” “Heroes,” “Journeyman,” “The Dead Zone” and “NCIS.” He adapted the graphic novel “Feeding Ground,”a thriller about werewolves on the U.S.-Mexico border, for Ed Pressman Films. Coto was a consultant on the Emmy-winning HBO film “For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story.” He has created several pilots and developed the series “Mortal Kombat: Konquest.” A former computer game designer, Coto worked on “Spycraft: The Great Game,” a CIA-based adventure that was named Macworld’s game of the year in 1995. Cotowas a staff writer for The Miami Herald.


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Pablo Cruz (CANANA Films)


Producer | CANANA Founding Partner

Latest Film: Cesar Chavez - Producer

Pablo Cruz is one of the founding partners and Producer for Canana. Cruz has been integral in building the business and developing Canana’s film and television catalogue with his vision to cultivate young Latin American talent whose vision have an international appeal. Under Cruz, Canana has produced over 12 films and 3 television series in 8 years, including; Sin Nombre, Abel, Miss Bala and Chavez.  Cruz currently splits his time between Mexico and the U.S., as he heads up production in Los Angeles. With Canana US., Cruz has started collaborations on projects with HBO, Showtime, Fusion, ABC and Focus Features. Cruz’ continued support for Latin American cinema and savviness about the Latin American market have led him to form partnership with Participant Media (Pan-American Fund) and IM Global (Mundial – focusing on the sale of Latin American films). In 2011, Cruz was name by Variety as one of their “People to Know”  for the Cannes special issue and in 2012 Cruz was honored by Poder Magazine with the Cultural Empowerment Award. Cruz received a B.A. from New York’s School of Visual Arts and an M.F.A. from the London College of Printing in Film Theory. Cruz currently serves a mentor for Film Independent in Los Angeles.

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Kelly Edwards (HBO)


Vice President of Talent Development and Programming | HBO 

Kelly Edwards is vice president of talent development and programming at HBO, overseeing all diversity programs above and below the line for series, films, Cinemax and miniseries. Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo. Edwards’ career has spanned both television and film having executive produced the one hour series “Sex, Love, and Secrets” for UPN, serving as senior vice president of comedy for UPN, and working with film producers Garry Marshall and Laura Ziskin as their story editor. While at UPN, Edwards co-founded Colour TV, a networking group for diverse creative executives.

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Alejandro Treviño (Maker Studios)


Executive Producer of Brand Integrations | Maker Studios

Alejandro Treviño is a Senior Director of Branded Entertainment at Maker Studios. Treviño is a DGA Director and a graduate of the ITP master’s program at New York University. Treviño explores the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they augment, improve and bring art to people’s lives and transcend one’s reality. This approach has shaped Treviño’s digital work since 1995. He continues to push digital boundaries while exploring the infinite possibilities that new and current communications technologies bring to the world of storytellers.

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Elizabeth Espinosa (Sin Limites)


Reporter/Anchor | CNN Latino, Sin Limites

Elizabeth Espinosa is an Emmy-award winning journalist and is a current contributing anchor and reporter for CNN News and HLN (Headline News). She was recently the host of her own CNN prime-time daily talk show Sin Limites, a program that ran on CNN Latino throughout the U.S. Elizabeth has been a longtime Southern California television fixture and continues reporting for KTLA-TV 5 in Los Angeles and will soon be co-hosting a talk show on PBS SoCal. This year, Elizabeth debuted her own radio show on Clear Channel Media, making her the first and only Latina talk-radio host—on LA and OC’s popular talk radio station KFI-AM640. Listeners can tune in daily to hear “Thompson & Espinosa”—on KFI-AM 640 from 1PM-3PM. @e_espinosa

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Rodrigo Mazon (Hulu)


Content Acquisitions | Hulu Latino | @RodrigoMazon

Rodrigo Mazon is director of content acquisition at Hulu. He joined Hulu to help build and launch Hulu Latino, and is responsible for acquisitions across the Latino and general market content verticals. Launched in 2011, Hulu Latino is the most robust and complete Hispanic and Spanish-language content offering available online, on-demand in the U.S. Today, Hulu Latino provides content from more than 70 partners across Latin America and Spain, including its launch partner Univision, as well as Globo, Caracol, Venevision, RCTV, and TV Azteca. Mazon attended Dartmouth College and received an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

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Trevor Drinkwater (ARC Entertainment)


CEO/Founder | ARC Entertainment

Trevor Drinkwater is the founder and CEO of ARC Entertainment. Previously, he worked with large consumer products companies including Nestle Foods, Warner Bros. and Take 2 Interactive. Starting as an entry-level sales representative at Nestle Foods, Drinkwater quickly progressed to become the youngest general manager in the company’s history. After Nestle, he joined Warner Bros. in Home Entertainment. In 2004, he worked for Genius Products, Inc., and in 2005, was named president and CEO, thereafter completing a transaction with The Weinstein Company to become its exclusive home entertainment distributor nationally. Subsequently, Drinkwater and his team secured distribution agreements with an impressive client base including, WWE, Discovery Channel, and ESPN.

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Leonardo Zimbrón (Alazraki Entertainment)


Producer/CEO | Alazraki Entertainment

Leonardo Zimbrón is a veteran producer. He recently co-founded Alazraki Entertainment, along with director Gaz Alazraki. This year, he will launch the first live-action 3D Mexican horror film, Mas negro que la noche. Leonardo is partner and co-founder of Mexico’s Filmadora Nacional, and head of the film department in Mexico’s Peliculas Imaginarias and TRZ Comunicación. He has also served as consultant and producer for several major studios in Mexico. Among the films he has produced include Bajo la Sal, the record breaking No eres tu soy yo, Viento en Contra and Nosotros los Nobles. Previously, Leonardo was head of production at Warner Bros. Pictures in Mexico.

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Elizabeth Gray (LatinWE/NuevOn)


VP of Production & Content Development | LatinWE/NuevOn | @eligray12148

Elizabeth Gray is the most successful and prolific TV producer in the U.S. Hispanic market under the age of 30. Gray started her career in 2003, working in Telemundo network’s production teams in Miami, Los Angeles and Mexico, developing soap operas that resulted in such hits as “El Cuerpo del Deseo” and “Tierra de Pasiones”. She then lead the launch for the new phase of Telemundo’s online/digital content operations. In 2011, she participated in the creation and launch of YouTube's original channel, NuevOn. In 2014, Gray became the head of Latin World Entertainment's production development team for the Hispanic, U.S. Hispanic and digital markets. She also participated in the launch of Latin WE’s partner, CNET En Español, the top technology site in Spanish worldwide.

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Nick Hollensbe (Scripps Networks Interactive)


Digital Video Manager | Scripps Networks Interactive

Nick Hollensbe is manager of digital video for Scripps Networks Interactive where he guides online video strategy for HGTV’s digital properties, specializing in online video, web development and motion graphic design. Previously, Hollensbe managed production, deployment and monetization of video for E.W. Scripps operating units. In 2005, he joined the Scripps-owned Naples Daily News in Florida where he served as the senior video producer. Previously, Hollensbe was as a producer for Eagle Entertainment (now Favorite Color). Hollensbe earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Kansas and has received many accolades for his online video work, including a Webby Award for the online video series “The House Counselor.”

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Milly Bigay (Crackle)


Video Operations Manager | Crackle

Milly Bigay is the Video Operations Manager for Crackle – Latin America, an online distributor of television-quality original series, Hollywood movies, and TV shows backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Crackle launched in Latin America in 2012, serves 18 regions, including Brazil and Mexico on 20 multiple digital media platforms. A Nuyorican from the Bronx and Return Peace Corps Volunteer she relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 and began her career in digital media distribution at Disney-ABC Cable Networks.

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Alison Sickelka (Scripps Networks Interactive)


Senior On-line Editor | Scripps Networks Interactive

Alison Sickelka is senior online editor for, Scripps Networks Interactive's online lifestyle video brand. Alison develops digital programming strategy, collaborates with product, design and UX, and utilizes social media to build the brand's online audience. She also works closely with marketing, sales and the original programming team to meet site priorities. She previously served as website manager for She joined Scripps Networks from where she was assistant online editor. Alison holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University and is completing a master's degree in media management from The New School.

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Nicolas Entel (Sins Of My Father)



He directed and produced the documentary Sins of My Father, which premiered at Sundance, won among others the Havana and Miami FF and was acquired for distribution in over 50 countries. It was exhibited in theaters and by networks such as HBO (US), Channel 4 (UK), Canal Plus (Spain), Discovery Channel (Latin America) and Arte (Germany and France). He is also the founder of Red Creek Productions, for which he has most recently executive-produced
the documentaries Desamparados and Carolina Herrera for Discovery Channel. Entel’s advertising work for the likes of Coca-Cola have earned him several awards including a Cannes’ Lion.


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Gaz Alazraki (Director of First Original Spanish Series on Netflix)


Director | To Direct First Original Spanish Series on Netflix

Gaz Alazraki is a director. He recently co-founded Alazraki Entertainment, an L.A./Mexico based production company, along with producer Leonardo Zimbrón. Previously, Gaz has written and directed two short films that were selected in more than 30 festivals: Volver, Volver and La Hora Cero, which was a finalist in the Tribeca Film Festival. His first film, Nosotros los Nobles, became one of the most successful Mexican movies of all time as it broke a number of box records. In 2004, Gaz started his first production company with Pedro Pablo Ybarra. In 2008, he created an entertainment content development company where he directed more than 200 commercials in six years.

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Robert Darwell (Sheppard Mullin)


Attorney/Partner | Sheppard Mullin

Robert heads Sheppard Mullin’s internationally acclaimed Transactional Entertainment, Technology and Advertising Practice Group. He splits his time among Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville. Robert represents motion picture studios, television networks, and independent producers worldwide in connection with development, production, acquisition and distribution of films, television programming, video games and other content. He has extensive knowledge in the legal and business aspects of the entertainment industry including copyright and other intellectual property matters and clearance/rights issues. Robert always works on exciting titles, such as “American Hustle”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “Selma”, among others.

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Javier Chapa (Texican Media)


Writer/Producer | Texican Media

Javier Chapa got the film bug in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M where he was asked to train "military extras" on Ed Zwick’s, Courage Under Fire. This inspired Chapa to move to Los Angeles where he quickly learned the importance of finding a voice that would distinguish him from other filmmakers. Growing up on the South Texas border, Chapa felt a connection and need to make content for Latinos. Since then he has produced, written and directed numerous Latino projects for film and television. He most recently created and produced, Aztec Warrior, an action-comedy starring Luis Guzman and Eugenio Derbez to be released by Pantelion/Lionsgate in 2014.

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Jorge Aguirre (Writer/Producer, Disney Junior)



Jorge Aguirre is an East Coast based writer and TV producer who creates work for kids. He is currently the co-executive producer and co-creator of a new animated series for Disney Junior. He has also written for Disney’s HANDY MANNY and IMAGINATION MOVERS; Nickelodeon’s DORA THE EXPLORER, GO, DIEGO, GO, and DORA AND FRIENDS; and PBS’s MARTHA SPEAKS. He’s also the writer of the graphic novel, GIANTS BEWARE (MacMillan/First Second Books), which the New York Times called, “A rollicking fun story.” Its sequel will be published in 2015, and he is working on a third book in the series.

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Adrian Carrasquillo (BuzzFeed)


Editor of Latino Coverage | BuzzFeed

Adrian Carrasquillo is the editor of Latino coverage at BuzzFeed, the social news and entertainment company. The idea of growing Latino coverage at BuzzFeed is to tell important stories on a powerful national platform that aren't being told without pandering to the U.S. Latino audience or segregating the content into a separate section. Latino is mainstream and Latino is American and it's about time the media reflected that. He also is a reporter covering immigration, race and culture. Previously, he helped launch NBC Latino at NBC News, where he managed social media and was a reporter. He loves his cat Patches who is 16 years old.

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Stephanie Aaronson (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)


Vice President, Education and Community Impact | Corporation for Public Broadcasting | @amerigrad

Ms. Aaronson leads the implementation of the public media initiative “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,” which is helping communities ensure more students graduate ready for college and careers. Ms. Aaronson also leads the grant program “Veteran’s Coming Home” to help the transition to civilian life, and “Next Door Neighbors” designed to improve dialogue among immigrant and refugee populations. Prior to CPB, she was Senior Director, PBS, leading communications and serving on corporate strategy and operations teams. She has held public affairs and production positions at Hallmark Channel, Lifetime Television, Discovery, Rutledge Broadcasting, and National Empowerment Television.

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Richard Perez (Cesar's Last Fast)


Director/Producer | Cesar’s Last Fast

Richard produced and directed the feature documentary film Cesar’s Last Fast which premiered in US Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and took the Audience Award at the 2014 San Diego Latino Film Festival. Currently Mr. Perez is a senior staffer in the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program where he oversees a portfolio of creative partnerships. Before joining the Sundance staff Mr. Perez was an executive producer at Brave New Films and produced and directed the documentary film Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election. Mr. Perez graduated from Harvard College, cum laude, in Visual and Environmental Studies.


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Marco Ramirez (Orange Is The New Black)



He has had plays produced at Center Theatre Group, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays. Honors include Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship, TCG’s Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, and two WGA Award nominations. He’s currently an artist in residence at The Atlantic Theatre Company, and is under commission at both Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group. He lives in Los Angeles, where recent television writing credits include Seasons 3 and 4 of Sons of Anarchy (FX), Seasons 1 and 2 of Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz) and Season 1 of Orange is the New Black (Netflix).

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Julio Ricardo Varela (Latino Rebels)


Founder | Latino Rebels

Julio Ricardo Varela is a pioneer in digital media and Founder of Latino Rebels, a collective of like-minded friends since 2011 dedicated to honest commentary about US Latinos. Today the site is a required destination for followers of Latino media. Recently, Julio was Digital Producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream,” an award-wining community-driven news program. He also wrote regularly for NBC Latino, becoming the site’s top opinion writer. A Harvard graduate and native of Puerto Rico (and El Bronx), Julio and the Rebeldes have been featured in several outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, Le Monde, Face the Nation, Fusion, Univision and Telemundo. He calls Boston home.

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Alexandra Blaney (Shine Global)


Director of Marketing and Production | Shine Global

Alexandra joined the non-profit film production company Shine Global in 2009 and now serves as Director of Marketing and Production. Her passion is to use media and the arts, especially film, to promote social justice. Alex worked on the post production and distribution of The Harvest (La Cosecha), served as Associate Producer on the Academy Award® winning short documentary film Inocente, and is co-Producer on the documentary 1 Way Up in 3D. She also helps develop and manage the outreach and engagement programs for Shine’s films. Alex graduated from Pomona College where she studied International Relations and History.

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Dama Claire (Ease Entertainment Services)


Production Executive | Ease Entertainment Services

Dama Claire is a Production Executive at Ease Entertainment Services, and one of the foremost experts in governmental production incentives, working closely with producers to help identify the best location and production incentive packages to save money. She helped set up location-based financing for “Dear John” in South Carolina, “Looper” in Louisiana, “Two Guns” in New Mexico/Louisiana, and co-produced "Conviction" in Michigan and ”Lone Survivor” in New Mexico. She has also helped draft film tax legislation in various states. Dama Claire began her entertainment career at Warner Bros. working with Malpaso Productions (Clint Eastwood), and has served as West Region Director of Entertainment Tax for Price Waterhouse, Vice President of Tax at Twentieth Century Fox, and with the Domestic Taxation committee of the MPAA. She is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), Producers Guild of America (PGA) and Women in Film. Ms. Claire holds a Masters of Business Taxation (MBT) from the University of Southern California.

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Chris Hastings (World Channel, America ReFramed)


Executive Producer | World Channel

Chris Hastings is the executive producer/editorial manager of WORLD Channel and in charge of content development, acquisition, and production for both. He is an eleven-year veteran of WGBH overseeing an array of projects, most recently as producer and project director of the WGBH LAB, an innovative incubator for up-and-coming filmmakers with programs including the WGBH LAB Open Call and the WGBH LAB filmmakers-in-residence program. At WGBH, Chris is best known for inventing and creating high quality media at low cost, earning him three regional Emmys for the WGBH LAB Open Call program. He received his Bachelors degree from Kutztown State University of Pennsylvania and his Masters from American University.

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Alejandro Duque (YouTube)


Strategic Partner Development | YouTube | @AlejoDuqueT

Alejandro Duque is a strategic partner associate at YouTube. He is part of YouTube’s content partnerships team for the U.S. Hispanic market and in charge of attracting, developing and consolidating Spanish and English content appealing to the Latino segment for Google's video platform. Duque works with different cross-functional teams and YouTube partners to drive product adoption, revolutionize video consumption and help partners succeed on YouTube. Previously, he was part of the client services sales team responsible for growing existing accounts, and later joined YouTube as a solutions consultant for Latin America where he managed the operational relationship of YouTube's biggest partners in Spanish-speaking Latin America.

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Russ Nissen (Ease Entertainment Services)


Director of Film Incentives | Ease Entertainment Services

Russ joined Ease Entertainment Services in 2012. Prior to joining Ease, Russ spent 15 years in Twentieth Century Fox Physical Production, eventually becoming Executive Director of Theatrical Film Incentives. While at Fox, Russ secured film incentives for projects such as “X-Men: First Class”, “Unstoppable”, “Bride Wars”, and “Rise of The Planet of The Apes”. Russ also provided testimony in support of film incentive legislation in six States. Previous to entering the Entertainment Industry, Russ was Vice President of Taxes for National Medical Enterprises (now Tenet Healthcare). Russ is a CPA and holds a Master of Business Taxation from the University of Southern California.

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Demetri Panos (Technicolor)


Vice President of Exhibitor Relations | Technicolor

Demetri Panos is vice president of exhibitor relations at Technicolor. He works with exhibitors, distributors and producers to ensure the best possible movie going experience. He is also an on air host of Anatomy of a Movie, a podcast series that features in-depth discussions and breakdowns of various movies. Previously, Demetri was vice president of exhibitor relations/operations for Lionsgate. There he helped the company evolve from a small, independent studio to a mini-major, working on such titles as Crash, Monster’s Ball, Cabin Fever, the Saw franchise, Hostel, The Descent, Open Water, Kick Ass and The Expendables. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in film from Boston University.

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Edgar Aguirre (Southern California Public Radio)


Managing Director, External Relations and Strategic Initiatives | Southern California Public Radio | @EdgarAguirre

Edgar Aguirre is the Managing Director, External Relations and Strategic Initiatives, for Southern California Public Radio. He is responsible for creation, implementation, lead and management of all SCPR external outreach, marketing, and communication efforts, along with special projects of high strategic importance to the organization.

Before joining SCPR, Aguirre worked briefly as Executive VP & GM for LA Public Media. His main responsibility was providing leadership and vision for a multi-media platform service that was L.A.-centric and multiethnic in its scope and mission.

Prior to joining LAPM in April 2011, Edgar served as Director of Development for the Mexican American Alumni Association (MAAA) and Scholarship Initiatives at Loyola Marymount University. Before that, he was Gift Planning Officer at the California Community Foundation.

Aguirre is the former Chair of the southern California membership chapter of Hispanics in Philanthropy. He also served on the California Lutheran University Alumni Board of Directors, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science in 1999. He is a Jesse M. Unruh California State Assembly Fellow, and completed his Master of Public Administration degree as a Dean’s Merit Scholar from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California in 2005.

Aguirre resides in Van Nuys with his wife Siana-Lea, with whom he's been married to for over 10 years. He enjoys running, tennis, and beer making during his free time.


Thomas Benski (Who Is Dayani Cristal?)


Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer | PULSE FILMS | @pulsefilms

Thomas Benski is CEO and Co-Founder of Pulse Films, an industry-leading multi-disciplinary film and content company which has quickly established itself as a globally recognized and award-winning hub for production and content innovation. Founded in 2005, Pulse has offices in London, Los Angeles, New York & Paris and in 2013 was awarded Outstanding Achievement Award in Barclays/Fast Track 100, which celebrates business growth in the UK and named by Fast Company as the 4th Most innovative company in Music globally after Spotify & YouTube.

Pulse has created an award-winning aesthetic that runs across it's work in Film, Advertising, Music & Branded Content and TV and has been recognized across all disciplines and has been both nominated for, and won many creative and industry awards including Grammy’s, BAFTAs, Sundance, MTV MVAs, SXSW, BTAAs, D&DADs, APA official selection, BETs & RTS among others.

Benski is responsible for the creative and strategic development of Pulse globally, working closely across Pulse's entire output and has continued to drive Pulse's evolution as a truly ambitious modern company, overseeing the recent strategic partnership with Vice Media that will expand the film and entertainment division in the United States, with particular focus on advancing the company’s scripted feature film, scripted and unscripted television and online video productions.


Uriel Saenz (LA Times)


Director of Multicultural Development | Los Angeles Times Media Group | @UrielSaenz

Uriel Saenz is the Director of Multicultural Development for the Los Angeles Times Media Group. There, he is tasked to create new products that reach the Latino, Black, Asian, LGBT and Women audiences. Saenz has been with the LA Times for over 7 years where he has managed to increase visibility of various products, while working in multiple departments; from accounting to brand marketing. Allowing him to view projects with a holistic approach, from concept to completion.

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Mark Valadez (Gang Related)



Mark is a native of Chicago’s southeast side, Mark was born into a family of steelworkers, although his father later became a police officer. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, he cut his teeth as a writer in comic books and authored four novellas in the now defunct Fright Time series for young readers. While still in college, he adapted Stephen King’s short story “Popsy” for the graphic novel anthology J.N. Williamson’s Illustrated Masques. In 2009, he was selected to participate in the ABC-Disney TV Writing Program. He has since worked as a staff writer on the TNT series “Perception,” and more recently, Fox’s “Gang Related.”

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Michael Smith (Cooking Channel)


General Manager | Cooking Channel

Michael is the General Manager of Scripps Networks Interactive’s newest lifestyle media brand, Cooking Channel. He currently oversees the creation, integration, and programming and marketing of the network. He has been with Scripps Networks for the last 15 years in various marketing and creative roles, including senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy for Food Network. Michael has also been named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Minorities in Cable” every year since 2007. Previously, he worked for Disney/ABC Cable Networks, CBS Television, and Young and Rubicam Advertising. He began his career as a summer intern in the 4A’s Minority Advertising Internship Program.

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Leora Schachter (Food Network/Cooking Channel)


Vice President of Digital Strategy and Planning | Food Network/Cooking Channel/

Her responsibilities include managing audience development, ecommerce, mobile product strategy, and portfolio advertising product strategy for all sites in the food category. Schachter has launched three top-ranked mobile apps including Food Network in the Kitchen (an Apple App Hall of Fame inductee), Watch Food Network, and Food Network on the Road. Preceding Scripps Networks, Schachter served as vice president of site strategy for IAC. She also served in various roles management roles for Everyday Health and began her career at American Express. Schachter earned her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a concentration in marketing, and graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in economics.

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Tanya Saracho (Girls/Devious Maids)



Tanya was born in Sinaloa, México and is a playwright, actor, theatre director and TV writer (HBO's "Looking" and "Girls" and Devious Maids) HER PLAYS HAVE BEEN PRODUCED AT: 2nd Stage (July '14), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. PLAYS INCLUDE: Hushabye, The Tenth Muse, Song for the Disappeared, Enfrascada; El Nogalar (inspired by The Cherry Orchard); an adaptation of The House on Mango Stree; Our Lady of the Underpass; Kita y Fernanda, and Quita Mitos. IN DEVELOPMENT WITH: HBO, Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Two Rivers Theatre, Denver Theater Center, and South Coast Rep.

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Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (New Girl/My Name Is Earl)


Writer/Executive producer

Danielle will join NEW GIRL next season as a Co-Executive Producer. She has been under an overall deal with CBS Paramount for the past two seasons where she worked as a Co-Executive Producer on THE MILLERS. Prior to that, she was under successive overalls at NBC for six seasons where she worked as a Co-Executive Producer/Consultant on shows such as WHITNEY, LOVE BITES, 100 QUESTIONS, and MY NAME IS EARL where she worked for all four seasons. She has also worked on GEORGE LOPEZ for ABC, HAPPY FAMILY for NBC and IN-LAWS for NBC. Danielle is a graduate of Stanford University, where she was heavily involved in sports, broadcasting and media, working as a baseball play-by-play announcer for the university radio station. Additionally, Danielle worked in the advertising field for several years prior to receiving her M.F.A. from the UCLA Graduate School of Film and Television.

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Santiago Pozo (Arenas Entertainment)


Founder/Chief Executive Officer | Arenas Entertainment

Founder and CEO of Arenas, Santiago Pozo is considered one of the foremost authorities in marketing entertainment and film to U.S. Latino audiences. In 1988 Pozo founded Arenas, the largest and most recognized Latino company in Hollywood, specializing in marketing motion pictures and television. Over 26 years, Arenas has worked on more than 400 films, including Transformers, The Avengers, Toy Story 3, Shrek, The Conjuring, Son of God, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, along with Selena, My Family, Born in East L.A. Also, Pozo is an accomplished film producer and distributor of such films as Imagining Argentina, Empire, The Three Wise Men, Culture Clash in Americca, and Bless Me, Ultima. Santiago is a member of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Alumni Council and a member of The AMPAS.

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German Michael Torres (GMT Films)


Producer and Development Executive | GMT

He’s worked with Warner Bros., ABC, NBC, Universal, Columbia Pictures, SyFy Channel, among others. Previously he spent 8 years developing and representing writers and directors responsible for such content as Bourne Identity, Big Love (HBO), and Ugly Betty. His show From Beyond was the first Latino paranormal docu-series, which aired on mun2 & SyFy Channel. Currently he is producing a TV series with Julia Roberts, ABC Studios and Lifetime TV, and is working on a 2 new series for Discovery Channel. He produces content with a universal theme and a great story for all formats. He started producing reality series several years ago and has produced and sold over 10 series for a variety of networks and production companies.

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Erica Deiparine-Sugars (ITVS)


Managing Director of Programing | ITVS (Independent Television Service)

Erica oversees the operations and activities of the programming department in selecting and developing content that becomes part of the ITVS portfolio. She has worked extensively with media arts communities nationally, collaborating on media programs for non-profit organizations, schools, public television and the US Department of Education before joining ITVS in 2008. Erica’s background is in documentary film and broadcast television production.

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Nikkole Denson-Randolph (AMC Theaters)


VP, Special & Alternative Content | AMC Theaters

Nikkole oversees the strategic development and implementation of AMC Theatres’ specialty programming initiatives, as well as alternative content programming. In 2010, she orchestrated the launch of AMC independent, a highly popular film program designed to provide AMC Theatres’ guests with diverse on-screen storytelling including socially and culturally relevant stories that represent their very own interests. Prior to AMC, Denson-Randolph served as Director of Business Development for Starbucks Coffee Company and the President of Magic Johnson Entertainment. She holds a bachelor’s from the University of California at Davis, a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from The University of San Francisco, and has been a member of the California State Bar since 1996.

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Anna Almendrala (Huffington Post)


Editor | Huffington Post

Anna is an editor for the Huffington Post and has been with the news site for almost five years. She was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in New Zealand and California. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2006 with a double major in Rhetoric and Spanish. After college, Anna worked as a Marketing and Distribution intern for Sojourners, a faith and social justice magazine in Washington D.C. After the intern year, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as a social media fellow with Brave New Films, a progressive film company. She lives with her husband in West Hollywood and writes about health topics for the Huffington Post.

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Ross Babbit (Travel Channel)


SVP of Programming and Development | Travel Channel

He oversees all creative and editorial direction to the network’s team of producers and programming partners, and is responsible for developing series and specials as well as program partnerships. Babbit previously served as SVP of programming, overseeing the production team for popular series such as Bizarre Foods America, Hotel Impossible, Mysteries at the Museum and Trip Flip. Babbit joined Scripps Networks in 2004 and held several positions across multiple brands, including HGTV, DIY Network and Food Network. He’s also served as a writer, producer and/or director for The CBS Early Show, Comedy Central, ESPN, Lifetime, CBS News Productions, and 20th Century Fox.

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Angie Romero (Variety Latino)


Writer/Editor | Variety Latino | @angiejromero

Angie Romero is a writer, editor and content producer with expertise in entertainment journalism and US Hispanic culture. She is currently the Editor of Variety Latino, a multiplatform brand that provides unparalleled access and culturally relevant content for Spanish-speaking entertainment enthusiasts. The new venture is a partnership between Univision and Variety. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Fusion, Latina Magazine, Glamour, USA Weekend, VIBE, Complex, and The Washington Post, among other outlets.

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Inez Gonzalez (CSUF)


Director of the Latino Communications Initiative (LCI) | Cal State University – Fullerton (CSUF)

Inez Gonzalez is director of the Latino Communications Initiative (LCI) at Cal State University, Fullerton. The LCI supports communication students and professionals to develop cultural competency in the U.S. Latino market through relevant courses, research and a broad spectrum of educational opportunities. Inez gained her media expertise during her nine-year tenure at the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a leading Latino media advocacy organization. Her last years there she served as the executive vice president. She is a fellow of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Leadership Training Institute and a board of director for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), among other prestigious affiliations.


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Christine Dávila (Ambulante California)


Director | Ambulante California | @IndieFindsLA

Christine Dávila is the director of Ambulante California, the recent U.S. expansion of the traveling documentary film festival. She has been a programming associate for Sundance Film Festival since 2008. Other programming experience includes L.A. Film Fest, San Francisco International Film Festival and San Antonio's CineFestival, as well as an indie film series for L.A.’s Downtown Independent Theater. A champion of up and coming Latino talent, Dávila tracks filmmakers and the festival scene on her blog, and is a contributor to Indiewire's LatinoBuzz column. She curates a collection of films on streaming platform, Seed & Spark, under the conversation “Mas American”.

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Holly Gabrielson (TBS)


Director of Unscripted Programming | TBS

Holly Gabrielson is director of unscripted programming for TBS, 2013’s number #1 basic cable network with 18 to 49-year-olds. Gabrielson was part of the team that launched TBS’s first foray into late night, “Lopez Tonight”, and later, “Conan”. Her recent work includes the series “Deal With It”, “King of the Nerds”, “CeeLo Green’s the Good Life” starring CeeLo Green and The Goodie Mob, and the comedy competition “Funniest Wins”, hosted and executive produced by Marlon Wayans. Prior to joining Turner, Gabrielson developed movies and miniseries at Lionsgate Television.

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José Carlos Mangual (Pink Sneakers Productions)


Producer | Pink Sneakers Productions | @PinkSneakers

José Carlos Mangual is the vice president of production for Big Vida Entertainment, Pink Sneakers Productions and Open Water Studios. Previously, he produced the award-winning 2005 Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam and San Sebastian Film Festivals official selection feature film, How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer. A number of domestic and international film projects followed, including the honor of producing the official George Washington biopic, We Fight to Be Free, currently being projected at the Ford Orientation Center in the Mount Vernon Estate, our first President’s home. José Carlos also oversaw the physical production of all of Original Media’s West coast reality shows, including multiple seasons of “L.A. Ink”, “The Rachel Zoe Project” and “BBQ Pit Masters”.

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Alex Rivera (Writer/Director)


Writer/Director | @Alex_Rivera

Alex Rivera is a filmmaker who, for the past fifteen years, has been telling new, urgent, and visually adventurous Latino stories. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, a science-fiction feature set on the U.S./Mexico border, won awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, was screened at the Museum of Modern Art, and had a commercial release in the U.S, France, Japan, and other countries. Alex is a Sundance Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow, and was named one of Variety Magazine’s 10 Directors to Watch. His recent collaborations have included work with Manu Chao, La Santa Cecilia and Aloe Blacc.

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Dawn Page (TV News Producer/Public Relations Executive)


TV News Producer/Public Relations Executive | @dawnpagenews |

Her experience in media communications spans more than a decade, including TV network executive positions in public relations and marketing – and as TV news producer, on-air talent and print journalist.

Currently, she collaborates as a freelance field producer for CNN's East coast news shows. She also worked at CNN Latino as a producer/booker and successfully executed marketing and publicity efforts in Los Angeles to create brand awareness.

Dawn began her career as a news producer/reporter for Telemundo Phoenix. Then, she went on to work as an entertainment correspondent for the network. The next chapter in her career was in Los Angeles, working as a print journalist for La Opinión. Her work as a publicity executive includes the launch of LatinAmerica Broadcasting in Arizona. And as a Communications Manager for LIUNA, she spearheaded national media campaigns on immigration, politics and worker rights initiatives.


Pili Montilla (TV Host/Actress/Producer)


TV Host/Actress | @pilimontilla

Pili Montilla is an Emmy nominated TV host, actress, producer, blogger and social media expert. She has made a name for herself as the “go to” host in the bilingual entertainment world. Pili has interviewed everyone from Sandra Bullock to Jenni Rivera to Calle 13, Ricky Martin and Gwen Steffani. A former MTV VJ and the host of LATV’s “En la Zona” and “En Concierto”, she has built a solid reputation as a music reporter in the mass market and in the independent music scene. Pili recently created, produces and hosts the Emmy nominated music show “Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla”. As an actress, she can be seen in the comedy “200 Cartas” and the thriller “Desconocidos”.


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Nancy Stone (CA Film Commission)


Program Director | California Film Commission

Nancy Rae Stone currently oversees the multi-million dollar state program which seeks to retain California’s signature industry. Her experience in the film business gives her the ability to work with filmmakers seeking tax credits, as well as a full understanding of the challenges of producing film and television projects. Stone’s credits as a studio executive and independent producer include The Last Seduction, Air Force One, Spy Game, Bring It On, Family Man,13 Days, A Lot like Love, and the recently executive produced Words and Pictures with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.

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Jorge Hernandez (NY Film Commission)


New York City Film Commission | @madeinny

Jorge Hernandez is the associate director of interactive marketing and new media in the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting in New York City. He has been working to bring film and television productions to the city since 2006. Hernandez is part of the team that created the “Made in NY” Marketing Incentive, which provides free advertising in New York City to qualified productions. Jorge was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, raised in Atlanta, GA, studied at The George Washington University and started his career in New York City at The Weinstein Company.

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Kevin Clark (George Mason University)


Professor/Director, Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity | George Mason University | @KevinClarkPhD

Kevin Clark is a Professor and Director of the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity at George Mason University. Previously, he was part of a San Diego-based educational software start-up company. Kevin has over 20 years experience as a designer and consultant in the areas of educational game design, interactive media, and diversity in digital media. He has worked with: PBS KIDS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), DHX Media, Common Sense Media, Fred Rogers Center, and Disney Junior. Recently, Kevin was named a White House Champion of Change for his work with educational digital media and youth of color.

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Linda Simensky (PBS)


Vice President of Children’s Programming | PBS | @PBSProgramming

Linda Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners, PBS station programmers, and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production, and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS programming. Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda has worked with renowned producers to develop hit shows that now reach 82% of all kids ages 2-8 in the U.S. – from CURIOUS GEORGE and DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, to WILD KRATTS and WORDGIRL. Linda is currently working on the PBS KIDS preschool math series, PEG + CAT and ODD SQUAD. Building on PBS KIDS’ mission to offer educational media content to kids across all platforms, Linda also works closely with PBS KIDS’ interactive team to build a cross-platform media experience for kids across all PBS KIDS media properties. Before joining PBS, Linda was Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw development and series production of "The Powerpuff Girls," among others. She began her career working for nine years at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show." Linda is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of children’s programming; she has presented at numerous animation and television conferences and her work has appeared in several books on animation and children’s media. She also teaches Animation History at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Jackie Gagne (HBO)


Vice President, Multicultural Marketing | HBO

Jackie Gagne leads all HBO, HBO Latino, Cinemax and Max Latino-targeted marketing efforts to multicultural segments, including African American, Latino, Asian and Gay/Lesbian audiences. She provides strategic and creative oversight for all multicultural marketing and business initiatives including consumer advertising and promotions, PR and digital presence.

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Carlos Reza (Producer, East Los High)


Producer | East Los High

Carlos Reza is a producer and first assistant director. He has produced 26 episodes of the hit Hulu digital series “East Los High” and is currently co-executive producer in Season 2. He has been in love with cinema since he was 9 years old. He snuck into a movie theatre in El Paso when he was 11, fell in love with horror movies, and decided he was going to work in cinema. It was not until he joined the film department at CSUN when he felt his life finally took direction. His first and only internship as a production assistant gave him the foundation that lasted well after graduation. He learned more in six months on set than what he learned earning a B.A. in film. He worked his way up through the assistant director department in the non-union world, and finally arrived in the DGA in 2012.

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Sergio Agüero (Executive Producer, Y Tu Mamá También)


Executive Producer

Sergio Agüero is a producer and executive producer of independent movies that have grossed $180 million in worldwide box office, among them: Quarantine, No Reservations, and Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nominee Y Tu Mama Tambien. He is currently developing television network series with leading showrunners based on international formats and Latin intellectual property, such as Fox’s “Red Band Society”and NBC’s “Gen One”. He is always looking to produce universally appealing entertainment with a Latino protagonist and/or theme such as Pantelion’s upcoming action comedy “Aztec Warrior”, and America Ferrera and Wilmer Valderrama’s “The Dry Land”. Agüero was formerly an agent at Endeavor and an executive vice president at Trimark Holdings.

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Cris Abrego (Endemol US)


Co-CEO | Endemol North America

Cris Abrego is Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Endemol North America. Abrego is recognised as one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S. He co-founded 51 Minds in 2003 and the company went on to create a new genre of ‘celebreality,’ starting with breakout hit "The Surreal Life.." This was the first of a multitude of series for VH1, many of which set new ratings records for both the channel and cable television as a whole. These include "Flavor of Love" (3 seasons with Flavor Flav), "I Love Money" (2 seasons), "Gotti’s Way" (2 seasons), "Lala’s Full Court Life" (currently in its 4th season), "Marrying The Game" (in its 2nd season) and runaway hit "TI and Tiny: The Family Hustle" (in its 3rd season). Endemol acquired a majority stake in 51 Minds in April 2008 after which Abrego continued to diversify the company's output, creating and producing programming for a wide range of networks including E!’s "Scouted," CBS’ "Same Name" and CMT’s "Top Secret Recipe" and "Redneck Island". Most recently, Abrego was the executive producer for ABC’s “Whodunnit?" along with CSI creator Anthony Zuiker; as well as for Fox’s "Does Someone Have to Go?.” @EndemolUS

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Matt Dysart (Sheppard Mullin)


Associate | Sheppard Mullin

Matt represents producers, financiers, sales agents and distributors on all aspects of motion picture development, production, financing, and distribution. Mr. Dysart’s experience includes negotiating rights acquisition and talent services agreements, distribution agreements, and single and multi-picture production financing arrangements (including debt, equity, bridge, gap and tax credit financing). Mr. Dysart also works with start-ups and established media and tech players on cutting-edge content production and distribution deals reaching across a variety of digital platforms. Additionally, Mr. Dysart has extensive experience working with studios, brands and talent on product placement/integration, sponsorship and endorsement campaigns.

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Beatriz Acevedo (MiTu Network)


Co-Founder/President | MiTú Network

Beatriz is a Founding Partner and President of MiTu Network & HIP Entertainment Group. She is a digital pioneer, Latin media expert and network approved showrunner, who brings over 20 years of entertainment experience to both companies, having created, developed and produced original, primetime television programming and numerous digital series in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Her productions which have earned her three Emmy awards, have aired on: Food Network, MTV, USA Networks, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, Travel Channel, E!, Fox Sports, Televisa, TV Azteca, among many others. Beatriz is a proud and passionate Mexican native, as well as a modern mom, who juggles her two kids in addition to her two companies.


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Maria Escobedo (WGA-W)


Chair | WGAW Latino Writers Committee

Maria is a New York native with a BFA from NY’s School of Visual Arts. She studied screenwriting at NYU, playwriting at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, and earned a TV Writing Fellowship from ABC/Disney. A former writer on GREY’S ANATOMY, developed an original TV pilot for Nickelodeon and has written original movies for Lifetime, Disney Channel and several animated shows on Nick Jr. and Disney Jr. Maria wrote and directed the feature indie film, RUM AND COKE, available on Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. And very proud to have worked for two of the most influential women in television: Shonda Rhimes and Dora the Explorer! Maria is currently pitching a TV series with producer Ed Bernero (Criminal Minds, Third Watch).


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Flavio Morales (Big Vida Ent.)


Executive Vice President | BIG VIDA Entertainment

He is the Executive VP of a full service production company focused on content for the U.S. Latino market in English and Spanish.

Prior to BIG VIDA, Morales spent eight years at mun2, a NBCU/Telemundo cable network where he served as Senior Vice President, Programming and Production. Under Morales’ leadership, mun2′s creative content received extensive industry recognition, including a Peabody Award.

Prior to joining mun2, Morales served as Director of Programming for LATV, from its initial inception. Previously, he was advertising giant Wieden & Kennedy’s Latino liaison for clients such as Miller Genuine Draft, and Round Table Pizza. Flavio got his start at the age of 17 in East LA creating a public access show called ILLEGAL interns.


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Edward Allen (Pantelion Films)


Chief Operating Officer | Pantelion Films

Edward is COO of Pantelion Films, a joint-venture between Lionsgate Entertainment and Grupo Televisa that is focused on producing and distributing films to Latino audiences around the world. Prior to this, he worked in business development and content acquisitions for Celestial Tiger Entertainment, a Hong Kong-based media company owned by Lionsgate. Before his career in entertainment, Edward worked in the finance industry as an asset manager in New York for Citibank, Standard Asset Management and Rayner & Stonington. During this time he regularly expressed his opinions about the capital markets on CNBC, Fox News, Bloomberg TV and Yahoo Finance.

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Margaret Guerra Rogers (Free Range Brain Ent.)


Co-Founder | Free Range Brain Entertainment

Margaret Guerra Rogers is a producer, writer, music supervisor, and former studio executive. She has contributed or is currently contributing to works as diverse as the feature films Real Women Have Curves, The Price of Glory, and Tortilla Heaven; television series such as “The Wonder Years”, “Tour of Duty”, “Elvis, The Early Years”, “Highlander”, “The Outsiders” and “Welcome to Los Vargas"; documentaries such as Tales of Masked Men, Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart, and Chicano Rock; specials such as The Billboard Latin Music Awards and “Simplemente Jenni”; and the web series “East Los High”. As co-founder of Free Range Brain Entertainment and Coda Music Services, Margaret is currently in pre-production with the web series “Mexicans in Outer Space”.

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