Mexico Enters Tatiana Huezo’s “Prayers For The Stolen” into International Feature Film Oscars Race

Tatiana Huezo is praying for Oscar glory…

Mexico has entered the 49-year-old Salvadoran and Mexican filmmaker’s Prayers For The Stolen as its submission to this year’s International Feature Film Academy Awards race.

Tatiana Huezo

The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this year, receiving a special mention in the Un Certain Regard program. The film was also a multi-award-winner at the San Sebastian and Athens film festivals. Netflix picked up rights and will release in select theaters and online in November.

Vaguely based on Jennifer Clement’s 2014 novel, the film is set in a solitary town nestled in the Mexican mountains, where the girls wear boyish haircuts and have hiding places underground. Ana and her two best friends take over the houses of those who have fled and dress up as women when no one is watching. In their own impenetrable universe, magic and joy abound; meanwhile, their mothers train them to flee from those who turn them into slaves or ghosts. But one day, one of the girls doesn’t make it to her hideout in time.

Ana Cristina Ordóñez González, Marya Membreño, Mayra Batalla, Norma Pablo, Eileen Yáñez, and Memo Villegas star.

Huezo wrote the screenplay. Producers are Nicolás Celis (Roma) and Jim Stark (Mystery Train).

First Trailer Released for Guillermo del Toro’s Remake of the 1947 Film Noir Classic “Nightmare Alley”

Guillermo del Toro is sharing his nightmare

The first teaser trailer has been released for Nightmare Alleydirected and co-written by the 56-year-old Mexican Oscar-winning filmmaker.

Guillermo del Toro

del Toro’s latest project is a star-packed remake of the 1947 film noir classic, which is based on the 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham.

“I am prepared to offer you folks one last chance to witness this supreme oddity…. Is it a beast — or is it a man?”

So says Willem Dafoe’s carnival barker in the trailer, which also stars Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper and two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who take over the roles originally played by Tyrone Power and Helen Walker.

Cooper plays Stan Carlisle, an ambitious young carny who has a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words. He hooks up with a psychiatrist (Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.

The big-name supporting cast includes Academy Award nominees Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara and David Straithairn, along with two-time Emmy nominee Ron Perlman.

The film co-written by Kim Morgan marks Del Toro’s first time behind the camera since 2018’s The Shape of Water, for which he won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars.

 He also produced Nightmare Alley along with his Shape of Water collaborator J. Miles Dale.

The film will open in theaters on December 17 via Searchlight.

Luis Gerardo Méndez to Star in Netflix’s Comedy “Me Time”

Luis Gerardo Méndez is ready for a little me time

The 39-year-old Mexican actor and producer has joined the cast of the Netflix comedy Me Time starring Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg.

Luis Gerardo Méndez

Jimmy O. Yang and Regina Hall are also on board.

John Hamburg will write and direct the film, with Hamburg also producing through his Particular Pictures along with Hart and Bryan Smiley for HartBeat Productions. Hart first announced the casting on his social media.

The film follows a stay-at-home dad (Hart) who finds himself with some “me time” for the first time in years while his wife and kids are away. He reconnects with his former best friend (Wahlberg) for a wild weekend that nearly upends his life.

Méndez recently executive produced and starred in the comedy Half Brothers, which was released theatrically on December 4, 2020. He will be seen next in season 3 of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico and in Los Enviados, the first series to be co-produced with Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter, Juan José Campanella, and his production company 100 Bares.

Netflix Acquires Worldwide Right to Benicio Del Toro’s “Reptile”

Benicio Del Toro will be shedding new skin online…

Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to Black Label Media’s Reptile, starring the 54-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar winner (SicarioTraffic).

Benicio del Toro

Del Toro will star opposite Justin Timberlake (PalmerThe Social Network) in the project.

The film picks up following the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, following a hardened detective (Del Toro) as he attempts to uncover the truth in a case where nothing is as it seems. In doing so, he finds himself dismantling the illusions in his own life.

Prolific music video director Grant Singer is helming the film in his feature directorial debut. He wrote the script with Benjamin Brewer.

Del Toro won an Academy AwardBAFTA AwardGolden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the jaded but morally upright police officer Javier Rodriguez in the film Traffic.

Antonio Banderas to Star in Millennium’s Crime Thriller “The Enforcer”

It’s enforcement time for Antonio Banderas

The 60-year-old Oscar-nominated actor will star opposite Kate Bosworth and 2 Chainz in Millennium’s crime thriller The Enforcer.

Antonio Banderas

Richard Hughes is on board as director for the project, which is being sold at the Cannes virtual market.

Written by Peter Iliff, the story follows an enforcer who discovers his femme fatale boss is now engaged in crimes even he wouldn’t commit. This puts a young runaway at risk and the enforcer must now put everything on the line to safe the girl from the crime organization he has spent his life working for.

Banderas is the enforcer while Bosworth is the femme fatale. 2 Chainz is a crime kingpin.

Banderas received an Academy Award nomination for his work in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory. He’s currently appearing in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

Salma Hayek to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek will have a permanent place in Hollywood

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress and producer is among the 38 honorees invited to join the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Salma Hayek

Hayek, who moved to Hollywood in 1991, rose to acclaim in films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in Frida.

But Hayek isn’t the only Latin honoree this year…

Tessa Thompson was selected in the Motion Picture category.

The 37-year-old Afro-Panamanian American actress gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame.

Her other credits include Sylvie’s Love, Men in Black: International, and Creed.

Ashanti has been selected in the Recording category.

The 40-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress was first discovered as a teenager and later signed to Murder Inc. Records in 2002.

That year, she was featured on Fat Joe‘s “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule‘s “Always on Time,” both of which became two of the biggest hit songs of 2002; Ashanti became the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously when “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” were at numbers one and two, respectively.

Other Latin artists selected include Los Huracanes Del Norte and Angelica Vale.

These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominees at a meeting of the Walk of Fame selection committee and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors this week. Radio personality Ellen K, chair of the selection committee (and a past Walk of Fame honoree), announced the new honorees on the Walk of Fame’s website.

The selection panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, handpicks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world. “The panel did an amazing job choosing these very talented people,” said Ellen K. “We can’t wait to see each honoree’s reaction as they realize that they are becoming a part of Hollywood’s history with the unveiling of their star on the world’s most famous walkway.”

Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before their selection expires. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced 10 days prior to dedication on the Walk of Fame website.

Here’s the full list of Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2022 honorees (using their full names as shown on their list):

Recording: Black Eyed Peas, George E. Clinton Jr., Ashanti Douglas, DJ Khaled, Avril Lavigne, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Martha Reeves and Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle, posthumous).

Motion pictures: Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, James Hong, Helen Hunt, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Tessa Thompson and Carrie Fisher (posthumous)

Television: Byron Allen, Greg Berlanti, Ricky Gervais, Peter Krause, Robert Odenkirk, Holly Robinson-Peete, Norman Reedus, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Ming-Na Wen and Kenan Thompson.

Live theatre/live performance: Patti LuPone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and Angelica Vale

Radio: Richard Blade

Sports entertainment: Michael Strahan

Demián Bichir to Star in Jonas Cuaron’s Feature Film “Chupa”

Demián Bichir is getting mythical…

The 57-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actor has joined the cast of Jonás Cuarón’s feature Chupa alongside Dominic MaricheAdriel Manzano and Isabella Patron.

Demián Bichir

The film follows teenager Alex (Mariche), who while visiting his family in Mexico, gains an unlikely companion when he discovers a young chupacabra hiding in his grandpa’s shed. In order to save the mythical creature, Alex and his cousins (Manzano and Patron) must embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Cuarón and Tim Sexton wrote the most recent screenplay based on an original script by Marcus Rinehart, Sean Kennedy Moore and Joe Barnathan.

“Demián, Dominic, Adriel and Isabella all bring a genuineness to the characters they play,” says Cuarón. “Growing up in both Mexico and the US, I’m fortunate to have my own life experiences to inspire the stories that I tell. It’s even more special to have found a cast that is able to lend an additional layer of authenticity to Chupa.”

The film is part of 26th Street Pictures’ first look deal at Netflix. 26th’s Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe are producing. EPs are G. Mac Brown and Brendan Bellomo.

Columbus said, “A story is only as good as the actors who can make it come to life. Demián is an acclaimed actor and after an extensive search, we’re thrilled with the true talent we’ve found in Adriel, Isabela and Dominic, all of whom lend heart and authenticity to their roles. We can’t wait for people around the world to meet them and see just how special they make this film.”

Bichir’s feature credits include Land, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Midnight Sky, The Hateful Eight and Alien: CovenantHe received a 2012 Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his turn in A Better Life

Mariche starred on television shows like The Good Doctor, See and Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

PBS to Air Sergio Mendes’ Documentary “Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration”

Sergio Mendes is celebrating with friends on the small screen…

PBS will air the documentary Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, about the 80-year-old acclaimed Brazilian musician.

Sergio Mendes

The film, which will premiere as part of special programming on PBS stations this June, is derived from the feature documentary Sergio Mendes: In The Key Of Joy by filmmaker John Scheinfeld.

Mendes, who exploded onto the scene in the 1960s with his group, Brasil ’66, played a big role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop.

The three-time Grammy winner has made 35 albums, including Timeless, produced by will.i.am. Hit singles include “Mas Que Nada”, “The Look of Love”, “Scarborough Fair”, “Night and Day”, “Never Gonna Let You Go” and his famous rendition of “Fool on the Hill”.

In 2012, his “Real in Rio” from the animated film Rio was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Original Song.

In Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, he is joined onscreen by friends and collaborators including Herb Alpert, Common, Lani Hall (lead singer of Brasil ’66), Quincy Jones, John Legend, Gracinha Mendes (Sergio’s lead singer since 1971 and his wife of 46 years), Jerry Moss, Carlos Saldhana and will.i.am.

“I am really looking forward to sharing my life and musical journey through the decades from Brasil ’66 through present day with PBS viewers across the nation,” said Mendes. “I hope viewers will have a joyful and uplifting experience.”

“Sergio’s warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” added director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”

The deal was negotiated by WNED PBS and the film’s distributor Brainstorm Media.

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Rights to Penelope Cruz-Starrer “Madres Paralelas” from Pedro Almodovar

Penelope Cruz’s latest film is going global…

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand to Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas), starring the 46-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress.

Penelope Cruz

It’s the 13th collaboration between the distributor and director/producer Pedro Almodóvar’s production company El Deseo.

Production began in Madrid last month on the film, which reunites the Spanish filmmaker with longtime collaborators Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma.

Parallel Mothers is a drama that centers on three mothers, portrayed by Cruz, Aitana Sánchez Gijón and Milena Smit.

The film expands Almodóvar’s previous depictions of womanhood by turning his focus on imperfect mothers, in a departure from his prior work exploring mothers and motherhood.

Written by Almodóvar, the film also stars Israel Elejalde.

The film is produced by Agustín Almodóvar and Esther García through El Deseo.

Sony Pictures Classics recently released Almodóvar’s short film The Human Voice, starring Tilda Swinton, in theaters alongside a digitally restored re-issue of Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It will be available to stream on HBO Max starting on April 30.

Almodóvar won two Oscars for best foreign language film for All About My Mother and original screenplay for his 2002 title Talk to Her (Hable con Ella).

Cruz has starred in several of Almodovar’s films, including All About My Mother, I’m So Excited!, Volver, Broken Embraces, and Pain and Glory.

Rita Moreno Among the “Cast” for This Year’s Academy Awards Show

Rita Moreno has a special date with Oscar…

The producers of this year’s 93rd annual Academy Awards have cast an ensemble of 15 stars to handle all the presenting duties, including the 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, one of the few artists to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, is part of a “cast” that includes last year’s Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern.

It’s part of the producers’ pledge to do the entire broadcast as if it were a movie itself.

Last year’s Best Director winner, Bong Joon Ho, who made four trips to the stage for Parasite, is also part of this ensemble, presumably to present Best Director.

Other names announced — in alphabetical order — are Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya.

“In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we’ve assembled a truly stellar cast of stars,” said producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh. “There’s so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required.”

This idea of having a set group of presenters rotating in and out of the show is not new. When producer Gower Champion reimagined the 1969 Oscar show, he created what they called “Friends of Oscar,” with 10 stars exclusively serving as presenters (and no host). The format was then repeated successfully the next year, and has been tweaked occasionally over the decades — including for the innovative 2009 show produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, which used combinations of five past winners each to present the acting awards.

Additional talent joining the April 25 live broadcast on ABC will be announced later.