HBO Latino’s “Habla Now,” Featuring Diane Guerrero, to Kick-Off the New York Latino Film Festival’s First-Ever Drive-In Showings

Diane Guerrero’s hitting the festival circuit…

The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) has announced the lineup for the fest’s forthcoming hybrid edition, with HBO Latino’s Habla Now, featuring the 34-year-old Colombian American actress and author, as the Opening Night drive-in feature.

Diane Guerrero

The documentary special, the 15th installment of HBO Latino’s award-winning “Habla” series, features testimonials from US Latinos – celebrities, recognized professionals, and everyday Latinos – who share honest stories about being Latino in the U.S.

In addition to Guerrero, the storytellers include Arturo Castro, Nely Galan, Amara La Negra, Cristina Jimenez, Ozzie Areu, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, Mark Hugo Lopez, Mariana Atencio, Laurie Hernandez, Justina Machado, Diane Guerrero, Carmen Carrera, José Andrés and many more.

In addition, Angel Manuel Soto’s Charm City Kings will have its New York premiere at the fest.

Produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and James Lassiter, with a story by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, Charm City Kings marks the feature directorial debut follows the journey of 14-year-old Mouse who desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets.

John Leguizamo’s Critical Thinkingwill also make its New York premiere. The film tells the true story of five Latinx and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson Senior High School who fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher.

This year’s virtual NYLFF will take place from September 14-20.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, festivals around the world have either canceled or pivoted to an entirely virtual program. NYLFF is one of the Latinx-based fests that continued with plans for the annual fest with the appropriate changes.

The 21st edition will be a combination of virtual events and in-person screenings that celebrate Latinx creators.

The fest will also host the first Latino drive-in experience to take place both in New York and in The Bronx.

This year’s festival features nearly 75 films representing more than 10 countries, spanning all genres including features, shorts, documentaries, web series and experimental films.

“Inspired by the resilience of the Latino community, NYLFF is proud to return with a fresh format featuring our first-ever drive-in experiences,” said Calixto Chinchilla, founder of NYLFF. “We are proud to serve as an important platform for Latino creatives to share culturally relevant stories about intersectionality, diversity, and lived experiences in this country. Gracias to our sponsors for continuing to support our community of content creators and movie-goers. While there’s much learned this year, one thing we can all agree, the culture continues!”

Click here the complete lineup for this year’s NYLFF.

Colman Domingo Signs First-Look Deal with AMC Studios

It’s a new deal for Colman Domingo

The 50-year-old Guatemalan American actor, playwright and television/stage director has signed a first-look deal with AMC Studios, the studio behind Domingo’s zombie drama series Fear the Walking Dead.

Colman Domingo,

Domingo made his debut as Victor Strand in a two-episode guest arc during the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff from The Walking Dead.

He was made a series regular at the start of Season 2. He made his directorial debut on the show and has directed two episodes to date.

“From the moment AMC viewers first saw Colman Domingo as the mysterious and dynamic Victor Strand in season one of Fear The Walking Dead,they haven’t been able to look away, and neither have we,” said Sarah Barnett, President of AMC Networks Entertainment Group & AMC Studios. “He has become a core character of the series and, as anyone who knows him knows, his talents go far beyond that one character in that one show. He is a writer, producer and performer who can move effortlessly between film, television and the stage and we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with this extraordinary talent and individual through this first-look deal with AMC Studios.”

Domingo is currently in production on the upcoming sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead and stars in A24’s Zolawhich premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He’s also had a recurring role on HBO’s Euphoria and will be seen in Jordan Peele’s spiritual sequel to the 1992 gothic horror film CandyMan, as well as opposite Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in the Netflix film adaption of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,produced by Denzel Washington.

Domingo, 20-year veteran theater director, co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and for the Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole  musical.

At AMC, he developed a series based on his play Dottwo years ago.

Domingo’s film acting credits also include Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could TalkSelma, Lee Daniels’ The Butler,  Steven Spielberg’s LincolnFirst Matchand Spike Lee’s Miracle At St. AnaRed Hook Summerand Passing Strange

Angel Manuel Soto to Direct the Dirt-Bike Drama “12 O’clock Boys”

The clock has struck 12 for Angel Manuel Soto

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican filmmaker is set to direct the dirt-bike drama, 12 O’clock Boys, starring Teyonah Parris, Jahi Winston and Will Catlett.

Angel Manuel Soto

Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins wrote the initial draft for the script, while Sherman Payne did the rewrites.

The film is based on the Lotfy Nathan-directed documentary of the same title. It follows Mouse, a young boy who wants nothing more than to be a part of the Midnight Clique, a tough group of Baltimore bike riders who rule the summertime streets. As he navigates the challenges of coming of age in a complicated world, he learns the hard way that the choices you make early on can change your life forever.

Filming will begin next month.

Soto made his feature debut in 2015 with La Granja and recently directed Dinner Party, a VR experience that premiered at the New Frontier section of the Sundance Film Festival in 2018.

Pedro Pascal to Star in Barry Jenkins’ New Film “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Pedro Pascal is hitting the street…

The 42-year-old Chilean actor has been cast in If Beale Street Could Talk, director Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to his Oscar Best Picture winner Moonlight.

Pedro Pascal

KiKi Layne stars in the film, which is based on the James Baldwin novel along with Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King.

Layne plays Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first child to term.

Jenkins adapted the book and is producing via his Pastel label with Annapurna Pictures and Plan B.

Pascal, who starred as Oberyn Martell on HBO’s Game of Thrones, was most recently on the big screen in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

He’ll next appear in Sony Pictures’ The Equalizer 2.

Mendonca Filho Named to Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” List

Keep your eyes on Kleber Mendonca Filho

The Brazilian film director, screenwriter and producer will be honored as one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch during the Palm Springs Film Festival in January.The full list, which spans the creative landscape and puts a spotlight on a mixture of independent and studio filmmakers, includes Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.

Kleber Mendonca Filho

Mendonca Filho is being recognized for helming the Brazilian–French drama Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga as Clara, a retired music writer and the last resident of Aquarius building, who refuses to sell her apartment to a construction company that intends to replace it with a new edifice.

The film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

“One of the most exciting things for me about the festival is being able to host Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch brunch,” said Michael Lerman, the festival’s Artistic Director. “Not only is it a fantastic event, but it also nicely compliments our festival program with selections from our Talking Pictures and Awards Buzz sections, as well as the director of our opening night film The Sense of an Ending, Ritesh Batra. It’s an exciting list this year!” 

Here’s the complete list:

Maren Ade, (“Toni Erdmann”)
Ritesh Batra, (“The Sense of an Ending”)
Otto Bell, (“The Eagle Huntress”)
Julia Ducournau, (“Raw”)
Geremy Jasper, (“Patti Cake$”)
Barry Jenkins, (“Moonlight”)
Emmett and Brendan Malloy, (“The Tribes of Palos Verdes”)
Kleber Mendonca Filho, (“Aquarius”)
William Oldroyd, (“Lady Macbeth”)
David Sandberg, (“Lights Out”)

Previous 10 Directors to Watch include Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Christopher Nolan (Memento).

The list debuted in 1996 and the annual event moved to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2011.