Tanya Saracho Signs Development Deal with UCP

Things are developing nicely for Tanya Saracho

The Mexican screenwriterand Vida creator has signed a development deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Tanya Saracho

As part of the deal, Saracho will develop and create original content for television, as well as podcasts via the studio’s UCP Audio extension. She’ll also establish a lab and incubator program for Latinx voices.

“To say that I’m immensely enthusiastic about this union is not enough. This partnership with UCP is a vital opportunity to keep amplifying the voices and stories that matter to me – those brown, queer narratives which have been missing from the landscape, and which are so important to tell,” said Saracho.

 “I’m also elated and looking forward to establishing a lab and incubator program aimed to nurture, amplify and empower intersectional Latinx voices,” Saracho added. “And on a personal level, it is greatly gratifying to find a home where I already feel so seen and supported.”

Saracho most recently served as creator, showrunner, and executive producer of Starz’s critically-acclaimed Vida, which aired its third and final season this spring. The series featured all Latinx directors in season one, and all Latina directors in seasons two and three, including Saracho, who made her television directorial debut last year. The series had an all-Latinx writers room for seasons one and two, and in season three, the room was composed of all Latina writers.

Vida won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and was also honored by the National Hispanic Media Coalition with the 2019 Impact Award. The series won the Audience Award at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and made its season two premiere as an Official Selection of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“Tanya came on the scene like a comet with such a strong point of view and a drive to tell culturally diverse stories that push boundaries and open our imaginations. Oh, the places we will go with Tanya’s deep curiosity, experience, commitment, enthusiasm, joy and fervor to tell the diverse stories we haven’t explored on television yet. We are such fans of her work on Vida and are thrilled to partner with her,” said Dawn Olmstead, president, UCP.

“One of our goals at Universal Studio Group is to provide access through on the job training and opportunities to empower the next generation of culturally diverse storytellers. Tanya’s program fully embodies that intention and we look forward to supporting her as she mentors aspiring Latinx writers,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman, Universal Studio Group. “This is the first of many programs we will be backing across our three studios.”

Saracho was recently honored by the LGBTQ California Legislative Caucus as their 2020 Pride Month Honoree. She received the Rising Star Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards, and was awarded the New Voice Award by Final Draft.

She’s the founder of Teatro Luna, the first all-Latina theatre company in the country, as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists).

Saracho’s other television writing/producing credits include Devious Maids, Looking and How to Get Away with Murder.

Demi Lovato to Make Special Appearance During This Week’s Virtual GLAAD Media Awards

Demi Lovato’s GLAAD to accept the invitation…

The 27-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress will be taking part in this year’s GLAAD Media Awards.

Demi Lovato

Lovato, who recently announced her engagement to fiancé Max Ehrich, will make a special appearance during the virtual ceremony.

The organization announced that along with a special musical performance from Chloe x Halle, the show will also now feature two new performers; actor and singer Ben Platt, and singer-songwriter Shea Diamond.

In addition to Lovato, stars like Jennifer GarnerLilly SinghCharli XCX, Kandi BurrussTheo GermaineAugust GettyGigi Gorgeous GettyNats GettyHarvey Guillén and Darryl Stephens will also appear throughout the event.

“Among this year’s nominees are a wide range of stories and narratives about LGBTQ people of different races, ethnicities, genders, religions, and other identities that demonstrate the power of inclusion and diversity in fostering positive cultural change,” GLAAD president & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “As this year’s Media Awards go virtual, we hope to send a powerful message to LGBTQ people that in the midst of this culturally and politically divisive time, our visibility and voices have never been more important.” 

Ahead of Thursday’s ceremony, GLAAD is already beginning to announce select winners, including Transparent: Musicale Finale for Outstanding TV Movie

The organization will continue to announce winners on their Twitter account leading right up to the start of the ceremony.

The show will be livestreamed on Thursday, July 30 at 8:00 pm ET via GLAAD’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

HBO Max Developing Claudia Forestieri’s “The Gordita Chronicles”

Claudia Forestieri is getting personal on her next project…

HBO Max has put in development The Gordita Chroniclesa coming-of-age kids and family comedy from the half-Dominican writer, Josh Berman’s Osprey ProductionsZoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures and Sony Pictures Television, where Osprey is under a deal.

Claudia Forestieri

Written by Forestieri, The Gordita Chronicles, loosely inspired by Forestieri’s life, centers around a Latina reporter looking back on her childhood as a chubby, willful and reluctant Dominican immigrant growing up with her eccentric family in 1980s Miami.

Berman and Chris Kingexecutive produce for Osprey Productions. Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldanaand Cisely Saldanaexecutive produce for Cinestar Pictures. Forestieri is co-executive producer. Sony Pictures Television is the studio.

Forestieri was a producer for Telemundo’s L.A. affiliate where she earned five local Emmys and a GLAAD Media award for her work covering the Latino community. She is an alumnus of HBO’s Access Writing FellowshipNALIP’s Latino Writers Lab and NBC’s Writers on the Vergeprogram. Forestieri is a writer on the upcoming Selena: The Seriesfor Netflix and previously wrote on Freeform’s Good Trouble.

Saldana is next set to star and executive produce From Scratch, a limited series from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshinefor Netflix.

Lovato to Receive Vanguard Award at This Year’s GLAAD Media Awards

There’s no denying Demi Lovato is a vanguard… And, now she’ll have the award to prove it.

The 23-year-old part-Mexican American actress will be honored with the Vanguard Award at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards.

Demi Lovato

Lovato is being feted for her commitment to supporting LGBT youth.

In 2013, the “Cool for the Summer” singer was the GLAAD ambassador for Spirit Day, part of their anti-bullying campaign. Additionally, Lovato’s was applauded for filming the official music video for her single “Really Don’t Care at the annual L.A. Pride parade in West Hollywood.

Previous honorees have included Jennifer LopezJanet Jackson, Kerry Washington and others.

A few of this year’s nominees include Adam Lambert and Le1f for outstanding music artist; Caitlyn Jenner’s I Am Cait for outstanding reality series; and the documentary Mala Mala for outstanding documentary.

The 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on April 2.

Los Tigres del Norte Receive Special GLAAD Award for “Era Diferente”

Los Tigres del Norte have plenty of reason to be GLAAD

The norteño band received the Special Recognition (Spanish Language) Award at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards, held on March 21 at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton.

Los Tigres del Norte

Los Tigres del Norte  earned the award for their single “Era Diferente,” the first gay love song in the band’s 47-year history. The story of a young girl who falls in love with her female best friend, it’s also the first song of its kind in the genre.

Bandleader Jorge Hernandez, who wrote the lyrics while his brothers worked on the music, was surprised by the honor.

“I thought that no one would notice this song,” he told The Advocate. “[But now] people request it. The community is coming out to see us and this brings us great pride that these songs connect with them and brings them closer to us.”

Hernandez has said the idea for “Era Diferente,” from their most recent album Realidades, was born out of conversations with devout fans in the LGBT community over the years who wondered when they would write a corrido (a sung narrative) about them. “This interaction always stayed with me,” added Hernandez, “and I had the idea that one day I would write a song that would talk about this type of relationship.”

The five-member band, which recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hopes to continue to reflect the stories of all Latinos.

“Sometimes in the Latino community we see machismo and problems with acceptance, but this is an area where acceptance is the most important because this is such a large community and we must accept people who love each other and live normal, happy lives,” Hernandez told The Advocate.

Lopez to Receive Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards

It’s a Vanguard moment for Jennifer Lopez 

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican singer-actress and American Idol judge will be feted at the GLAAD Media Awards next month, the LGBT advocacy organization announced Monday.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez, an executive producer on ABC Family’s The Fosters, will be recognized with the Vanguard Award at the ceremony, which will take place at the Beverly Hilton on April 12.

The Vanguard Award is presented to artists and media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Along with her strong support of LGBT issues in the media, Lopez is being recognized for her work on The Fosters, a GLAAD Media Award-nominated drama series about a lesbian couple raising a family of biological, adopted and foster children. Lopez’s inspiration for producing The Fosters came from her late aunt, who faced prejudice because of her sexual orientation and was unable to have her own family.

“Through her work to bring The Fosters to life and by consistently speaking out as a powerful ally, Jennifer Lopez has not only sent a message of acceptance to LGBT adults and young people, but inspired new support for our community among her many fans around the globe,” said GLAAD CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis. “Family is about love, and that’s a message Jennifer has shared with millions through her groundbreaking work on The Fosters.”

Previous Vanguard honorees include Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Kristin Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Hutcherson, Janet Jackson, Eric McCormack, Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor.