John Leguizamo to Take Part in Upcoming CBS Special “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event”

John Leguizamo is helping to honor this year’s coronavirus pandemic warriors…

The 56-year-old Colombian actor and stand-up comedian will take part in CBS’ upcoming special Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event. 

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo is among a roster of new additions to the special that includes José Andrés, Arturo Castro, John Leguizamo, George Lopez, Isabela Merced, Rita Moreno, Ana Navarro, Freddy Rodriguez and Wilmer Valderrama.

 

The event will be produced and hosted by Eva Longoria. Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan are also set to co-host.

 

The star-studded lineup will join the show, created by Henry R. Muñoz III and directed by Ron de Moraes, to celebrate Latinx culture while also shedding light on those in the community that have been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic and those who play an essential role in fighting COVID-19.

Apart from the array of Latinx voices speaking at the event, the event will also feature musical performances, comedy pieces and docu-shorts aimed to spread awareness on the Latinx experience.

 

The special follows Longoria’s recent launch of a lifestyle site for the Latina community, She Se Puede, that covers fashion, health, culture and voting.

 

Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event will broadcast Monday, October 26 from 9:00-10:00pm, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Audiences can also stream the event live and on demand on CBS All Access.

Ricardo de Montreuil to Co-Write & Direct the Social Thriller “Daniel”

Ricardo de Montreuil is ready to thrill…

The 46-year-old Peruvian filmmaker has signed on to direct and co-write the social thriller Daniel with first-time feature writer Owen Renfroe.

Ricardo de Montreuil

The story follows, Daniel, an unlicensed Latinx doctor who works for a dying billionaire on his private, remote estate. When he suddenly uncovers a sinister secret about his boss’s foster daughter, he must fight for the life he worked so hard to build. The film is the first social thriller to tackle head-on the plight of Latinx professionals and the struggles they endure in dealing with systemic discrimination.

Daniel explores the very real struggles that minorities and disenfranchised groups have to endure in America, at a historic time when these pressures are finally getting broadly exposed,” said de Montreuil.

Montreuil broke onto the scene when he was tapped by Blumhouse to direct the coming-of-age drama Lowriders in 2016. The film stars Demian Bichir, Eva Longoria and Gabriel Chavarria and earned strong reviews with Montreuil landing a number of jobs following its release.

He’s currently attached to direct several episodes of the new George Lopez and STXtv series Once Upon A Time In Aztlan.

STXtv Developing Chicano-Themed Series “Once Upon a Time in Aztlan” to Star George Lopez

George Lopez has a little Timeon his hands for an ode to California’s Chicano culture…

STXtv is developing Once Upon a Time in Aztlan, a new television series anchored by the 59-year-old Mexican American actor/stand up comedian.

George Lopez

The project includes the participation of  famed photographer Estevan Oriol and iconic Los Angeles-based artist Mister Cartoon aka Mark Machado.

Michael Connolly, under his Mad Hatter Entertainment banner, brought the elements together. 

Lopez is in final talks to star and executive produce the project through his Travieso Productions, with Javier Rodriguez writing the pilot. Oriol and Cartoon will executive-produce.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Cartoon, Estevan, Jada and Michael for this series and developing a show with STXtv,” Lopez said. “Cartoon and Estevan are the DaVincis of our community; they have been the street chroniclers of our uniquely Chicano story … our American story. I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of the team to expand their canvas to capture the diverse stories and people that make our culture and community so amazing, colorful and vibrant.”

This authentic L.A.-based series examines a family coming to terms with the falsehoods of the American Dream and their ability to defy expectations.

“I want to create a vision of Los Angeles inspired by my tattoos and murals that enriches and showcases the culture, opening it up to new audiences,” Cartoon said. “Putting together the dream team of Latino street culture and a collection of creative minds headed up by George Lopez, who is born and raised in L.A. and is an icon of our community. George’s experience and sense of humor acts as a foundation for this team.”

The pilot will be directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, who helmed Eva Longoria and Demián Bichir in the Blumhouse/Imagine East L.A.-set drama, Lowriders.During that production, he worked closely with Oriol and Cartoon, who were also involved in the production. 

Oriol and Cartoon’s longtime collaborators Mark Suroff and Marco Valadez, who produced LA Originals, also will serve as executive producers with Connolly.

“I’m looking forward to developing this with Cartoon, George, Jada and Michael,” said Oriol. “STXtv truly gets what it takes to develop a real show that can only be made in LA. This is the dream team. Period. It doesn’t get more authentic than this and I’m proud and privileged to be invited on this ride.”

Lopez recently released his first Netflix comedy special

He previously starred in Lopez for TV Land and Saint George for FX. And he had a talk show that ran from 2009-11. While his hit comedy George Lopez, whichended in 2007, ran on ABC, STXtv will zero in on buyers in the cable and streaming markets.

Cartoon is L.A.’s legendary tattoo artist, designer and cultural icon whose stylish and influential global work has been featured on countless celebrities including Kobe BryantEminemDr. Dre50 CentBeyoncéLewis HamiltonSnoop Dogg and many others. Cartoon also designed the logos for Cypress Hill and Eminem’s Shady Records, and his résumé includes cutting-edge designs for Nike, the LA Clippers and T-Mobile and others.

Oriol is an internationally celebrated photographer, director and urban lifestyle entrepreneur. Beginning as a tour manager for Cypress Hill and House of Pain, he developed a passion for photography as he documented life on the road to become hip-hop’s best-known chronicler; his work has been showcased in bestselling books, select galleries, and institutions, including the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives,Mesa Contemporary Art CenterPetersen Automotive Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ and New York’s Art in the Streets exhibit. He has photographed Eminem, Kim Kardashian, Cypress Hill, Dennis HopperBlink-182Forest Whitaker, Robert De NiroAl PacinoKendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Danny Trejo, among many others. He most recently executive produced the film Lowridersand directed the hit Netflix documentary L.A. Originals.

L.A. Originalswas critically acclaimed and extremely successful, introducing new fans to the world to Oriol and Cartoon.

Netflix Renews Carlos Santos’ Latinx Dramedy “Gentefied” for Second Season

Carlos Santos isn’t leaving his gente

Netflix has picked up an eight-episode second season of its half-hour Latinx dramedy Gentefied, starring the 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor.

The series hails from Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the duo behind the Sundance Film Festival darling Gente-fied: The Digital Seriesand Macro.

In celebration of the renewal, Gentefied‘s cast and creators will reunite for a live virtual table read, hosted by George Lopez, on Wednesday, May 20 on Netflix is a Joke YouTube channel. They’ll be raising awareness for Proyecto Pastoral, a nonprofit in Boyle Heights that is addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on the low-income families and residents they serve in the Boyle Heights community.

Created by Chicano first-gen writers Lemus and Chávez, Gentefied is a half-hour dramatic comedy adapted from the 2017 Sundance digital series of the same name. Described as a badass bilingual series about family, community, brown love, and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins who struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather, and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the Spanglish dramedy navigates important themes like identity, class, and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. But most importantly, Gentefied settles once and for all how to pronounce Latinx.

In addition o Santos, who portrays aspiring chef Chris Morales, the series also stars Karrie MartinJJ Soria and Joaquín Cosio.

Lemus and Chávez executive produce with Charles D. King of Macro, America Ferrera of Take FountainTeri Weinberg of Yellow Brick RoadKim Roth and Aaliyah Williams.

George Lopez Bringing First Comedy Special to Netflix Next Month

George Lopez is bringing the laughs to Netflix

The 59-year-old Mexican American comedian/actor is headed to Netflix with his first comedy special on the streamer. 

George Lopez

George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half will premiere on June 30 on Netflix.

Filmed at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, in George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half, Lopez humorously explores race, politics, and life lessons to be learned from the Latino community; especially the elders. The special dissects cultural differences, emotional support animals, gender reveal parties, elevator etiquette and more. 

Lopez created, executive produced starred in comedy series George Lopez, which aired for six seasons on ABC

He recently starred in comedy special George Lopez: The Wall, Live from Washington, D.C., filmed at the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, which aired on HBO

On the film side, Lopez will next be seen with Bobby SotoShia LaBeouf and Lana Parilla in The Tax Collector, an indie thriller written and directed by David Ayer.

George Lopez to Take Part in Comedy Fundraiser for Feeding America

George Lopez is helping to feed America

The 59-year-old Mexican American comedian and actor will take part in the Byron Allen-driven comedy fundraiser for Feeding America.

George Lopez

The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, May 10 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET, with NBCbroadcasting the show. 

In addition to Lopez, the program will include participation from Sebastian Maniscalco, JB SmooveJim GaffiganJudd Apatow, Jack BlackCedric the EntertainerWhitney CummingsJim GaffiganBrad GarrettWhoopi GoldbergKevin James, Sarah Silverman and Kenan Thompson.

Others taking part include Kevin HartChris RockAdam SandlerEddie MurphyBilly Crystal, Marlon WayansHowie MandelTiffany HaddishBrad GarrettTaraji P. HensonLouie AndersonMargaret Cho, Kenan ThompsonMarc MaronJon LovitzCaroline RheaByron AllenBilly Gardell, Tim MeadowsJamie KennedyBill Engvalland Sheryl Underwood.

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group television production division Entertainment Studios and Funny or Die will be producing the live-streaming comedy event.

The fundraiser will support the hunger-relief organization Feeding America

Additionally, the event will livestream on the Allen Media Group TV networks Comedy.TV and The Weather Channel, as well as on the free streaming service app Local Now.

Pre-recorded comedy segments will be featured during the three-hour event. Committed to appearing are Hart, Sandler, Murphy, Rock, etc.

Allen, founder/chair/CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group, said the benefit will help hungry people who are straining the resources of the nation’s food banks during the pandemic shutdown. 

“Laughter is often the best medicine, and we are extremely motivated to bring attention to issues of food insecurity, and to assist in providing meals to families across the country who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said Wednesday.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has created is shining a light on the fragile nature of people’s household budgets,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks. “Millions more of our neighbors are turning to food banks for help and we cannot thank Byron Allen and Allen Media Group enough for their support to raise funds and awareness of our work.”

Aimee Garcia Joins Voice Cast of Marvel’s “M.O.D.O.K.” at Hulu

Aimee Garciais joining the Marvel Universe

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress will be part of the voice cast Marvel’s animated supervillain family sitcom M.O.D.O.K. at Hulu.

Aimee Garcia

With executive producer Patton Oswalt starring as the constantly foiled Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, the adult-centric comedy is set to debut this year on the Disney-controlled streamer.

She joins a list of newcomers to the animated series that includes Sam Richardson, Wendi McLendon-Coveyand Ben Schwartz.

“I’m blown away by our insanely talented and hilarious voice cast, who have all brought their specific kind of magic to this weird and wonderful corner of the Marvel Universe,” EP and showrunner Jordan Blumsaid of the additions to the series.

Karim ZreikMarvel Television StudiosSVP Original Programming & Production added in a statement today: “Patton and Jordan have done a phenomenal job in laying the groundwork for this exceptional ensemble. We’re thrilled to include this cast in the Marvel family,”

M.O.D.O.K.follows the extremely dysfunctional home life of the ex-A.I.M. member, who made his comics premiere way back in 1967.

In addition to Richardson, McLendon-Covey, Schwartz and Garcia, the cast additions include Melissa FumeroBeck Bennetand Jon Daly.

In Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.,the megalomaniacal supervillain M.O.D.O.K. (Oswalt) has long pursued his dream of one day conquering the world. But after years of setbacks and failures fighting the Earth’s mightiest heroes, M.O.D.O.K. has run his evil organization A.I.M. into the ground. Ousted as A.I.M.’s leader, while also dealing with his crumbling marriage and family life, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing is set to confront his greatest challenge yet: a midlife crisis!

Garcia will play Jodie, M.O.D.O.K.’s wife and mother to his children, has had a late-in-life awakening — excited to pursue her mommy-blog turned lifestyle-brand empire and discover who she is as an independent woman in her forties. There are just too many things to do in this world and not enough time to waste being held back by negativity. And unfortunately for M.O.D.O.K., the thing weighing her down the most… is him.

Fumero will portray Melissa. Even with her father’s “features,” 17-year-old Melissa has risen the ranks to become the Heathers-like queen bee of her school and a star in the world of teen figure skating. Every popular kid either wants to date her or avoid her terrifying wrath. But for all of her success, Melissa secretly yearns for her father’s approval.

Garcia’s previous credits include television credits include George LopezDexterVegasand Lucifer.

Fumero’s television credits include Brooklyn Nine-Nineand One Life to Live.

George Lopez Returning as Host of the Playboy Jazz Festival

George Lopezis back at the helm…

The 58-year-old Mexican American comedian/actor will host the Playboy Jazz Festival when it returns to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on June 6-7.  

It’ll be Lopez’s eighth anniversary as festival host.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s first wave of announced performers includes R&B/funk legends the Isley Brothers featuring Ronald and Ernie IsleySt. Paul and the Broken BonesTerri Lyne Carrington and Social ScienceMusiq SoulchildFemi Kuti & the Positive ForceThe Crosscurrents Trio with Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain & Chris PotterBokanté; all-star female jazz group Artemis with Renee RosnesAnat CohenIngrid JensenAllison MillerNoriko Ueda and Nicole GloverCimafunkIncognitoLean on MeJosé James Celebrates Bill WithersAzar Lawrence with the Azar Lawrence Experience and Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child.”

The full talent lineup for the 42nd annual Playboy Jazz Festival will be announced on February 18, along with the complete schedule for the Hollywood Bowl’s summer 2020 season. 

Presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the seventh straight year, the Playboy Jazz Festival is produced by FestivalWest Inc.

Order forms for Bowl subscription-holders have been released with single tickets going on sale on February 18. 

For more information, visit https://www.hollywoodbowl.com/concerts-and-events/playboy-jazz-festival/.

Library of Congress Adds Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” to National Film Registry

One of Patricia Cardoso’s most iconic films is being celebrated in a special way… 

The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual selection of 25 films added to the National Film Registry, with the Colombian filmmaker’s Humanitas Prize-winning film Real Women Have Curves—a landmark of Latinx cinema—among the chosen.

Patricia Cardoso

Real Women Have Curves is one of an unprecedented seven titles directed by women, the most in a single year since the inaugural registry in 1989. 

Real Women Have Curves

The comedy-drama—released in 2002—starred America FerreraLupe Ontiveros and George Lopez. It’s the story of a first generation Mexican-American girl (Ferrera) and her passage to womanhood. Although she wants to go away to college, she must battle against the views of her parents, who think she should stay at home and provide for the family. As a compromise, she works with her mother (Ontiveros) in a sewing factory over the summer and learns some important lessons about life, helping her make a decision about her future.

It’s based on the play of the same name by Josefina López, who co-authored the screenplay for the film with George LaVoo. The film gained fame after winning the Audience Award for best dramatic film, and the Special Jury Prizefor acting at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. According to the Sundance Institute, the film gives a voice to young women who are struggling to love themselves and find respect in the United States.

But it’s not the only LatinX film selected this year…

Zoot Suit, directed by Luis Valdez, made the list. 

Starring Daniel Valdez and Edward James Olmos, Zoot Suitis the1981 film adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. It weaves a story involving the real-life events of the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial — when a group of young Mexican-Americans were charged with murder — resulting in the racially fueled Zoot Suit Riotsthroughout Los Angeles.

The film was nominated for the 1982 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Meanwhile, some of the selected films feature Hispanic artists…

Purple Rainstars Mexican American actress/singer Apollonia Kotero; and Platoonstars part-Spanish American actor Charlie Sheen,  

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the annual selections, which were chosen based on cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage and guarantees the film will be preserved under the National Film Preservation Act. The films must be at least 10 years old.

“The National Film Registry has become an important record of American history, culture and creativity,” said Hayden. “Unlike many other honors, the registry is not restricted to a time, place or genre. It encompasses 130 years of the full American cinematic experience — a virtual Olympiad of motion pictures. With the support of Congress, the studios and other archives, we are ensuring that the nation’s cinematic history will be around for generations to come.” 

The 2019 selection brings the number of films in the registry to 775 and spans a century of filmmaking, from 1903 to 2003. 

Jacqueline Stewart, chair of the National Film Preservation Board’s task force on diversity, equity and inclusion, commented, “With this year’s National Film Registry selections, Dr, Hayden recognizes the importance of amplifying cinematic voices and stories that have been marginalized for far too long. I look forward to continuing research and dialogue with the Librarian, board members, film communities and the American public to ensure that the registry reflects the full spectrum of our society.”

Here’s the full list of this year’s selections:

Amadeus (1984)
Becky Sharp (1935)      
Before Stonewall (1984)
BodyAnd Soul (1925)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Clerks (1994)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Emigrants Landing At Ellis Island (1903)
Employees Entrance (1933)    
Fog Of War (2003)         
Gaslight (1944)  
George Washington Carver At Tuskegee Institute (1937)
Girlfriends (1978)
I Am Somebody (1970)
The Last Waltz (1978)
My Name Is Oona (1969)
A New Leaf (1971)        
Old Yeller (1957)
The Phenix City Story (1955)
Platoon (1986)   
Purple Rain (1984)        
Real Women Have Curves (2002)
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)      
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Zoot Suit (1981)

Imagen Foundation to Honor Luisa Leschin with Writing Honor at This Year’s Imagen Awards

Luisa Leschin has the writestuff…

The 66-year-old El Salvadoran & Guatemalan television producer, actress, and voice-over artistwill be honored with the Norman Lear Writer’s Award at the 34th Annual Imagen Awards, which will be held August 10 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Luisa Leschin

Leschin is an industry veteran who has produced shows like George LopezEverybody Hates Chrisand East Los HighShe currently is the co-executive producer of the Netflixoriginal series Mr. Iglesias starring Gabriel Iglesiasand Sherri Shepherd.

“Norman Lear is a towering legend in the entertainment industry having create some of Hollywood’s most ground-breaking sitcoms,” said Leschin. “He has inspired every writer to think beyond the norm and is someone I have always looked up to. I’m beyond honored.”

Leschin has had her hand in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. She began her career as a ballet dancer then turned to acting, having appeared in many iconic TV series including Beverly Hills 90210Love BoatER,QuincyFalcon CrestHill St. Blues and others. On the feature side, she has appeared in Saturday Night Fever and True Confessions.

The Norman Lear Writer’s Award honors those that have exhibited efforts towards increasing diversity within all aspects of the entertainment industry. Past recipients include Gloria Calderon KellettPeter Murrieta, John LeguizamoFred Armisenand Roberto Orci.