Yalitza Aparicio Among the Latino Professionals Invited to Join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS)

Yalitza Aparicio’s joining The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has released its annual list of invitations to join the organization, with the 26-year-old Mexican actress and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples among the 819 extended an invite.

Yalitza Aparicio

Aparicio, one of Time magazine’s100 most influential people in the world in 2019,earned an Oscar nod in the Best Actress category for her performance in Alfonso Cuarón‘s 2018 Spanish-language drama Roma. With the nomination for her actig debut, she became the first Indigenous American woman and the second Mexican woman to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

But Aparcio isn’t the only Latino/a to make the list…

Other invitees in the Actors branch include Bobby Cannavale, who appeared in The IrishmanOverboard’s Eva LongoriaKnives Out star Ana de Armas and Gringo actor Yul Vazquez.

Invitees in the Music branch include Andrea Guerra (Hotel Rwanda) and Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, who worked on the music for Clint Eastwood’s films Richard Jewell and The Mule.

The Directors branch sent out invitations to Latino filmmakers Icíar Bolláin (Spanish), Felipe Cazals (Mexican), Sebastián Cordero (Ecuadorian), Luis Estrada (Mexican), Alejandro Landes (Colombian-Ecuadorian),Jorge Alí Triana (Colombian) and  Andrés Wood (Chilean).

This year’s new class demonstrates The Academy’s commitment to erasing the stigma of not being inclusive, particularly in terms of women, international members and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities.

The organization reports this year’s class breakdown is 49% international, 45% women, and 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial. 

The overwhelming number of those invited to join the Academy end up accepting. 

The total active membership in 2019 was 8,946, with 8,733 eligible to vote. Total membership including active, voting and retired was 9,794.  Today’s additions will take the membership count past the 10,000 mark.

AMPAS says members can voluntarily  disclose their race/ethnicity, sex or can choose “prefer not to.” So, demo stats may not be 100% accurate. AMPAS also “recognizes and respects” the personal choice in identification, but doesn’t track LGBTQ+ or differently abled, although a source says, while protecting privacy and not forcing answers, they are “working towards it.” In other words this is no longer your father’s Academy.

 “We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We are committed to staying the course.”

“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences.  We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” said Academy President David Rubin.

Here’s a look at some of this year’s Latino invitees:

Actors
Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”
Bobby Cannavale – “The Irishman,” “The Station Agent”
Ana de Armas – “Knives Out,” “Blade Runner 2049”
Eva Longoria – “Overboard,” “Harsh Times”
Yul Vazquez – “Gringo,” “Last Flag Flying”

Casting Directors
Libia Batista – “Eres Tú Papá?,” “Viva”
Javier Braier – “The Two Popes,” “Wild Tales”
Eva Leira – “Pain and Glory,” “Biutiful”
Yesi Ramirez – “The Hate U Give,” “Moonlight”
Yolanda Serrano – “Pain and Glory,” “Biutiful”

Cinematographers
Óscar Faura – “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “The Imitation Game”

Directors
Icíar Bolláin – “Even the Rain,” “Take My Eyes”
Felipe Cazals – “El Año de la Peste,” “Canoa: A Shameful Memory”
Sebastián Cordero – “Europa Report,” “Crónicas”
Luis Estrada – “The Perfect Dictatorship,” “Herod’s Law”
Alejandro Landes – “Monos,” “Porfirio”
Jorge Alí Triana – “Bolívar Soy Yo,” “A Time to Die”
Andrés Wood – “Araña,” “Violeta Went to Heaven”

Documentary
Cristina Amaral – “Um Filme de Verão (A Summer Film),” “Person”
Violeta Ayala – “Cocaine Prison,” “The Bolivian Case”
Julia Bacha – “Naila and the Uprising,” “Budrus”
Almudena Carracedo – “The Silence of Others,” “Made in L.A.”
Paola Castillo – “Beyond My Grandfather Allende,” “Genoveva”
Paz Encina – “Memory Exercises,” “Paraguayan Hammock”
Mariana Oliva – “The Edge of Democracy,” “Piripkura”
Iván Osnovikoff – “Los Reyes,” “La Muerte de Pinochet (The Death of Pinochet)”
Tiago Pavan – “The Edge of Democracy,” “Olmo and the Seagull”
Bettina Perut – “Los Reyes,” “La Muerte de Pinochet (The Death of Pinochet)”
Marta Rodriguez – “Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future,” “Campesinos (Peasants)”

Executives
Ozzie Areu
Barbara Peiro
Frank Rodriguez
Mimi Valdes

Film Editors
Alejandro Carrillo Penovi – “Heroic Losers,” “The Clan”
Alex Marquez – “Snowden,” “Savages”

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Mari Paz Robles – “I Dream in Another Language,” “Cantinflas”
David Ruiz Gameros – “Tear This Heart Out,” “Amores Perros”
Susana Sánchez – “The Liberator,” “Goya’s Ghosts”

Marketing and Public Relations
Inma Carbajal-Fogel
Emmanuelle Castro
Fernando Garcia
Dustin M. Sandoval

Music
Andrea Guerra – “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Hotel Rwanda”
Arturo Sandoval – “Richard Jewell,” “The Mule”

Producers
Edher Campos – “Sonora, the Devil’s Highway,” “The Golden Dream”
Nicolas Celis – “Roma,” “Tempestad”
Alex Garcia – “Kong: Skull Island,” “Desierto”
Enrique López Lavigne – “The Impossible,” “Sex and Lucia”
Álvaro Longoria – “Everybody Knows,” “Finding Altamira”
Mónica Lozano – “I Dream in Another Language,” “Instructions Not Included”
Gabriela Maire – “Las Niñas Bien (The Good Girls),” “La Caridad (Charity)”
Luis Manso – “Champions,” “Binta and the Great 
Gabriela Rodríguez – “Roma,” “Gravity”
Mar Targarona – “Secuestro (Boy Missing),” “The Orphanage”
Luis Urbano – “Letters from War,” “Tabu”

Production Design
Sandra Cabriada – “Instructions Not Included,” “The Mexican”
Estefanía Larraín – “A Fantastic Woman,” “Neruda”

Short Films and Feature Animation
José David Figueroa García – “Perfidia,” “Ratitas”
Oscar Grillo – “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsieur Pett”
Otto Guerra – “City of Pirates,” “Wood & Stock: Sexo, Orégano e Rock’n’Roll”
Isabel Herguera – “Winter Love,” “Under the Pillow”
Summer Joy Main-Muñoz – “Don’t Say No,” “La Cerca”
Juan Pablo Zaramella – “Luminaris,” “The Glove”

Sound
David Esparza – “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Equalizer”

Visual Effects
Leandro Estebecorena – “The Irishman,” “Kong: Skull Island”

Members-at-Large
Daniel Molina
Carlos Morales
Jesse Torres

Arturo Castro to Star in Quibi’s Comedy Series “Flipped”

Arturo Castro has Flipped out!

The 33-year-old Guatemalan actor is set to star in Flipped, a new comedy series from Groundlings alums Steve Mallory and Damon Jones, and Funny or Die, for Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s short-form video platform Quibi

Arturo Castro

Castro will star opposite Eva LongoriaAndy GarciaWill Forteand Kaitlin Olsonin the series, which is currently in production.

Written by Mallory and Jones, Flipped centers around chronically underemployed couple Jann (Forte) and Cricket Melfi (Olson), self-proclaimed home renovation “experts” who are more than confident they are television’s next great home design celebrity duo. Flipped follows the clueless pair as their dreams of basic cable fame and glory are derailed when they get themselves kidnapped by members of a drug cartel, (Garcia, Longoria, and Castro) and are forced to renovate their sprawling homes.

Ryan Caseis directing the project.

Castro is the creator, writer, executive producer, and star of Comedy Central’s Alternatino.He’s known for his breakout role as Jaimé on Broad City, which aired for five seasons on Comedy Central and will soon be seen in the live action version of Lady and the Trampwhich will be released on Disney+.

Longoria co-stars in the live-action feature film Dora and the Lost City of Gold and will next be seen in the feature film Sylvie opposite Tessa Thompson. She is an executive producer on ABC’s summer drama Grand Hotel.

Garcia recently filmed Brian Petsos’ upcoming feature Big Gold Brick, Words on Bathroom Walls, directed by Thor Freudenthaland Redemption Day, a feature film directed by Hicham Hajji.

America Ferrera Joins 200+ in Penning Letter in Solidarity with the U.S. Latino Community in the Trump Era

America Ferrerais speaking up…

The 35-year-old Honduran American actress and former Ugly Betty star is among the A-list celebrities who’ve signed a letter to support the Latino community in light of recent deadly attacks and political targeting.

America Ferrea

Ferrera is among 200 actors, musicians, artists, activists, and labor and civil rights leaders that have signed the letter, which has been published in newspapers including The New York TimesEl Nuevo HeraldLa Opinión and El Diario.

Other top names include Eva LongoriaDiane Guerrero, Alex Martinez Kondracke, Mónica Ramírez and Olga Segura, along with Jennifer LopezGina RodriguezLin-Manuel MirandaCarmen PerezAnthony D. RomeroWilmer ValderramaZoe SaldanaSalma Hayek PinaultRicky MartinRosario DawsonDiego Luna, Dolores Huertaand Sandra Cisneros.

This comes amid a raft of incidents including the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that left 22 individuals dead and injured 24 others, the sweeping ICE raids that took 680 individuals into custody in Mississippi, the continued separation of families, and the inhumane living conditions of those detained.



“As a Latina, my heart breaks with every attack on our dignity, humanity and lives. And as an American, I fear for the future of my country when our culture and policies lack a basic decency and respect for human life,” said Ferrera. “We all have a responsibility to show up in this moment and demand decency for one another and for our country.”

“We’re facing a moral crisis in our country, and we chose to use this moment to raise our voices, and speak up,” said Longoria. “Integrity starts with looking in the mirror and this letter calls on everyone, not just our community, to choose humanity and decency over hate and violence.”

“This piece is to remind us of our shared humanity,” added Orange Is The New Black star Guerrero. 

“We don’t have to look far to see what family separation and hateful rhetoric is doing to the people in our country. If we do not act, we will be complicit in one of history’s greatest tragedies.”

First Trailer Released for Isabela Moner’s “Dora and the Lost City of Gold”

Welcome to the jungle, Isabela Moner… 

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold, starring the 17-year-old Peruvian-American actress.

Dora-the-Explorer-Isabela-Moner

The live-action film is based on the popular Nickelodeonanimated series, Dora the Explorer.

In addition to Moner as the title character, the film also Eva LongoriaMichael Peña and Eugenio Derbez.

After spending most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, Dora prepares to leap into her most challenging adventure yet – high school. Always the explorer, she quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego (half-Dominican American actor Jeffrey Wahlberg), a mysterious jungle inhabitant (Derbez), and a rag-tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold.

The film is directed by James Bobin. The screenplay is written by Nicholas Stollerand Matthew Robinson, from a story by Tom Wheeler.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold arrives in theaters on August 2.

Moner’s previous credits include the films Instant FamilySicario: Day of the Soldadoand Transformers: The Last Knight.

Susan Santiago to Star in The CW’s Drama Pilot “Glamorous”

Susan Santiago is livin’ theglamorouslife…

The Spanish actress will star opposite Peyton ListBrooke Shields and Ben J. Pierce in The CW’s drama pilot Glamorous.

Susan Santiago

The project hailsfrom Damon Wayans Jr. and his Two Shakes Entertainment, writer Jordon Nardinoand CBS Television Studios.

Written by Nardino and directed by Eva Longoriain her pilot-directing debut, Glamorous centers on Marco (Pierce), a gender-nonconforming recent high school graduate who lands the gig of a lifetime interning at a cosmetics company whose products he panned on YouTube.

Santiago will portray Julia, a no-nonsense lawyer who has raised her son in a loving and supportive environment where he’s always been held to the highest of standards. As her son leaves the nest for the first time, Julia fights to keep him on the ambitious (if colorless) path in life she is absolutely certain is best for him

List will play AlyssaSays, an over-the-top YouTubepersonality with a competitive edge who finds an unexpected home at the same cosmetics firm as Marco.

Santiago was recently seen in the critically praised The Hate U Give and is best known for her guest-starring and recurring appearances on Grey’s AnatomyLongmireScandalHow to Get Away With Murder and Criminal Minds. Her producing debut, Illegal, in which she also stars, will premiere in competition at the upcoming Pasadena Film Festival

Benicio del Toro to Voice Swiper in Paramount Pictures’ “Dora the Explorer” Film

Benicio del Toro is taking a big swipe…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican actor and Oscar winner will voice the villainous fox Swiper in Paramount Pictures’ Dora the Explorer film.

Benicio del Toro

The film has finished shooting in Australia, but del Toro will provide the voice-over to the fox who always tries to undermine the young explorer.

On the animated series, Dora is known to wave Swiper away from his thieving activities by getting the television audience at home to scream “Swiper no swiping.”

The movie follows a high school-bound Dora leading her friends and her sidekick Boots the monkey on a Goonies-type adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lostIncacivilization.

Isabela Moner from Instant Family stars alongside Michael Pena and Eva Longoria as her parents, as well as Eugenio DerbezAdriana Barraza, Q’orianka Kilcher and Temuera Morrison.

del Toro’s previous credits include Traffic, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Sicario.

James Bobin directs the feature live-action take of the classic Nickelodeon cartoon series.

The film hits theaters on August 2, 2019.

Wilmer Valderrama to Host This Year’s ALMA Awards

Wilmer Valderrama is steppin’ up to the podium…

The 38-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor will host next month’s ALMA Awards, which celebrate Latino achievements in American entertainment and media.

Wilmer Valderrama

In a statement, Valderrama said Latino achievements and contributions need to be spotlighted more than ever at what he called a “critical” time.

The ALMAs — American Latino Media Arts Awards— are back after a three-year hiatus in time for the 50th anniversary of UnidosUS, previously known as the National Council of La Raza.

UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. In 1995 it created the ALMAsas a way to promote fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry.

Eva Longoriaand Gina Rodriguezwill be among the honorees at the awards show. Rodriguez, star of the CW’s Jane the Virgin, will share the awards spotlight with the show’s cast.

Activists Samantha Fuentesand Jamie Margolinwill also be honored. Fuentes survived the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, and Margolin founded the Zero Hourmovement to address climate change.

The November 4 ALMA ceremony is airing live at 8:00 pm ET on sibling TV channels Fuseand FM.

Former Fifth Harmonymember Ally Brooke Hernandezand singer Amara La Negrawill perform.

Fuse Mediamade a multi-year agreement to become the exclusive multiplatform media home of the ALMAs.

Jencarlos Canela to Appear in ABC’s Soap Opera-Drama “Grand Hotel”

Jencarlos Canela has landed a Grand new project… 

The 30-year-old Cuban Americansinger, songwriter and actor is reuniting with his former Telenovela co-star Eva Longoria on ABC’s Grand Hotel, executive produced by the Mexican American actress/producer.

Jencarlos Canela

Canela will recur on the drama series from ABC Studios as El Rey, a popular Miami recording artist who’s sexy, charismatic, energetic, and amusingly cocky. He’s a major player both in the industry and with the women. He is offered a chance to be a staple performer at the hotel.

Written by Brian Tanen and based on the popular Spanish format series Gran HotelGrand Hotel is a soapy drama set against the backdrop of a Miami Beach hotel, centering on the family who owns the business, the staff who run it and the explosive secrets they hide under the perfect exterior.

Longoria and Ben Spector executive produce via UnbeliEVAble Entertainment alongside Tanen, as well as Ramon Campos and Teresa Fernandez-Valdes via Bambu Producctiones, showrunner of the original Spanish show.

Canela starred opposite Longoria as Xavier Castillo on Telenovela, which aired for one season on NBC. Canela also starred as Jesus Christ in the Fox musical The Passion.

Grand Hotel is slated for a midseason premiere on ABC.

Justina Machado Wins Imagen Award for Best Actress – Television

Justina Machado is celebrating her big Day

The 33rd annual Imagen Awards were announced over the weekend, with the 45-year-old Puerto Rican actress taking home one of the big prizes.

Justina Machado 

Machado was named Best Actress – Television for her starring role on Netflix’s One Day at a Timewhich earned the award for Best Primetime Program.

It’s her second consecutive award for portraying Penelope Alvarez on the series.

The Imagen Awards are presented by the Imagen Foundation, an organization that encourages and champions the positive portrayal of Latinos in entertainment.

Pixar’s Coco took the trophy for Best Feature Film and Best Director for Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina.

Other winners included Overboard stars Eugenio Derbez and Eva Longoria, as well as a tie for Best Supporting Actress in television for Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Stephanie Beatriz and Suits actress Gina Torres.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Best Feature Film: Coco(Disney Pixar)
Best Director: Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco(Disney Pixar)
Best  Actor  –  Feature  Film: Eugenio  Derbez,  Overboard (3Pas  Studios  and  Pantelion, Lionsgate MGM)
Best Actress – Feature Film: Eva Longoria, Overboard(3Pas Studios and Pantelion, Lionsgate MGM)
Best Primetime Program – Drama: Station 19(ABC; ABC Studios)
Best Primetime Program – Comedy: One Day at a Time(Netflix)
Best Primetime Program – Specials, Movies & Mini-Series: The Long Road Home(National Geographic; Phoenix Pictures, Finngate Television, and Fuzzy Door for National Geographic)
Best Actor – Television: E.J. Bonilla, The Long Road Home(National Geographic; Phoenix Pictures, Finngate Television, and Fuzzy Door for National Geographic)
Best Actress – Television: Justina Machado, One Day at a Time(Netflix)
Best Supporting Actor – Television: Jorge Diaz, The Long Road Home(National Geographic; Phoenix Pictures, Finngate Television, and Fuzzy Door for National Geographic)
Best Supporting Actress – Television (TIE):
 Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine(Fox; Universal Television, Fremulon, Dr. Goor Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment)
Gina Torres, Suits(USA Network; Universal Cable Productions)
Best Young Actor – Television: Jenna Ortega, Stuck in the Middle(Disney Channel; Horizon Productions, Inc.)
Best Variety or Reality Show: Pati’s Mexican Table(WETA/American Public Television; Co-production of Mexican Table LLC, WETA Washington DC, and FRANK)
Best Children’s Programming: Elena of Avalor(Disney Junior; Disney Television Animation)
Best Documentary: The Pushouts(Curious Matters, LLC)
Best Informational Program (Local or National): Noticias Telemundo: “Nuestra Gente Extraordinaria” (Telemundo Network)
Best Short-Form Non-Fiction Program: ESPN Features – SC Reportajes – “Hoops Sagrado” (ESPN Deportes; ESPN)
Best On-Air Advertising: Broken Crayons (brokencrayons.us; Republica

Jaime Camil to Star in the Bilingual Comedy “My Boyfriend’s Meds”

Jaime Camil is off his Meds

The 45-year-old Mexican actor, singer and television personality and Jane The Virgin) and Sandra Echeverria are set to star in the English and Spanish-language comedy My Boyfriend’s Meds.

Jaime Camil 

In the film, Echeverria plays Jess, a talented, high-powered marketing executive who falls for Hank (Camil), a charming mattress store owner she meets while shopping for a new mattress. When the two go on a surprise trip to an island resort, Hank forgets to bring the prescription medicine he takes for a string of disorders, meaning he is no longer able to control his various symptoms.

Production is underway in Mexico on the film, which is being made by Lionsgate and Televisa JV Pantelion, Hands of Stone producer Fuego Films and Mexican outfit Traziende.

The film will also star Brian Baumgartner, Ana Belena, Kevin Holt, Daniel Tovar, Pamela Almaza, Juan SolerJames Maslow, Brooke Shields and Jason Alexander.

Argentinian filmmaker Diego Kaplan (Desire) is directing from a screenplay by Gary Marks & Randi Mayem Singer.

Camil plays Gina Rodriguez’s father on hit CWseries Jane the Virgin and recently voiced the character of Chupacabra in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.

Echeverría recently starred in comedy Mas Sabe El DiabloPor Viejo and Telemundo series La Querida Del Centauro and voiced the character of Maria in The Secret Life of Pets.

Pantelion recently teamed up with MGM and 3Pas Studios on remake Overboard with Eugenio Derbez, Anna Faris and Eva Longoria.

Fuego is developing a biopic of baseball star Roberto Clemente from O.J.: Made In America director Ezra Edelman. Traziende’s recent releases include American CuriousCómo Cortar A Tu Patán and Más Sabe El Diablo Por Viejo with up-comers including Como Novio De Pueblo.