Tanya Saracho Teams Up with America Ferrera & Gloria Calderón Kellett to Launch DEAR Hollywood to Bring Greater Representation of Latinx Voices

There’s a new project near and DEAR to Tanya Saracho’s heart…

The Mexican-American actress, playwright, dramaturge and screenwriter has teamed up with America Ferrera and Gloria Calderón Kellett joined the Untitled Latinx Project and HARNESS that they respectively co-founded to create DEAR Hollywood.

Tanya Saracho

Saracho, Ferrera and Calderon Kellet, three of the most dynamic creators in Hollywood, brought together two of the most preeminent advocacy organizations to further advance Latinx representation and equity in the industry.

With the acronym standing for Demanding Equal Access and Representation, DEAR Hollywood aims to bring greater representation of Latinx voices, stories, talent and creativity on both sides of the camera and on set and in the corner offices in the film and TV industry.

Planting the flags of equity and education, and set for a soft launch this month, the newly minted organization today unveiled its self-declared, and what should be self-evident, “five pillars”:

  1. No stories about us without us
    2.Greenlight our projects
    3. Represent all aspects of our lives and culture
    4. Put a limit on repeating levels
    5. Hire us for non-Latinx projects

To reach those more than reasonable goals, the plan is that over the next year, DEAR Hollywood will liaison with at least five studios and networks, which means streamers too, to secure a commitment to the pillars above as a pathway to systemic and evolutionary shift in the way the industry sees, treats and works with the Latinx community. A varied community, who, it might be noted, make up a not insignificant portion of the U.S. population, and hence significant consumers of the media industry.

“The entertainment industry has admired the problem of Latinx exclusion for long enough,” Ferrera told Deadline of the impetus behind DEAR Hollywood with the Vida and One Day At a Time EPs. “It is time for all of us to turn our good intentions into real action and build true solutions that empower and resource Latinx storytellers,” the Superstore star added on the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.

A long-time activist, Ferrera co-founded HARNESS in 2016 with Wilmer Valderrama, and Ryan Piers Williams with the goal of using the power and platform of the big and small screen to foster a more just world.

“The rich talent and multi-dimensional experiences within our community are more than worthy of being reflected in their authenticity and full humanity,” Ferrera noted of the goals of the new group. “There is great opportunity for our entire industry in the genuine empowerment of Latinx creators. I am thrilled and honored that Harness is partnering with Untitled Latinx Project to incubate and launch this incredible creator-led initiative to uplift Latinx communities in the stories we see on screen and hire more Latinx talent throughout the entire film and TV industry.”

“It has been one year since we wrote the letter to Hollywood to kick off this initiative and frankly, we haven’t seen the type of response we had hoped for,” exclaimed ULP leaders Saracho and Calderón Kellett bluntly Friday.

“While announcements of diversity, inclusion and equity programs abound, without intentionality and clearly defined action steps, they have little value,” the showrunning duo added. “We are thrilled to work with Harness and eager to collaborate with industry leaders and partners, so we can all move the needle towards Latine inclusion and representation together.”

As well as Saracho and Calderón Kellett, the 2019 formed ULP’s high profile membership includes Leah Benavides-Rodriguez, Tawnya Benavides-Bhattacharya, Linda Yvette Chávez, Valentina Garza, Jenniffer Gómez, Julia Ahumada Grob, Silvia Olivas, Evangeline Ordaz, Sierra Teller Ornelas, Carolina Paiz, Ilana Peña, Dailyn Rodriguez, Gladys Rodriguez, Lindsey Villarreal, Debby Wolfe and Michal Zebede.

Peter Murrieta Adapting Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s Forthcoming Novel “Blood And Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta” as a TV/Film Project

It’s a (blood and) golden opportunity for Peter Murrieta.

The Latino two-time Emmy-winning television producer and writer is teaming up with Russell Binder’s Striker Entertainment to option and adapt Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s forthcoming novel Blood And Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta

Peter Murrieta

Set during the harsh and brutal but transformative era of the California Gold Rush, the book tells the story of real-life bandit Joaquin Murrieta, who was dubbed the ‘Robin Hood of the West’.

It follows how Murrieta, a romantic, charismatic young Mexican who, overcome by fear that his beloved Rosita will be forced into an arranged marriage, persuades her to join him as he follows his brother Jesús to the California gold fields where they encounter prejudice, hatred, and explosive violence – transforming Joaquin from an honest, hardworking miner into a bandit and the very spirit of vengeance.

The team said the book blends historical facts with untold family stories from direct descendants of Murrieta.

It will be released by Sundown Press in October this year. Peter Murrieta is also a co-author on the book.

Murrieta, who recently signed a first-look deal with Universal Television, will pen the screenplay.

“In the prefatory note to his epic Western novel Warlock, Oakley Hall wrote that ‘The pursuit of truth, not of facts, is the business of fiction,’” said Mariotte. “I have been fascinated by Joaquin Murrieta for nearly five decades, but it took connecting with Peter – who knows the real truth as much as it can be known— – o be able to tell the story the way it needed to be told.”

It’s not decided if the project will be a film or television program.

Murrieta’s credits include Netflix shows One Day At A Time and Mr. Iglesias. He was also an executive producer on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place and the creator of Warner Bros. series Greetings From Tucson.

Critics Choice Association to Honor Rita Moreno at Inaugural “Celebration of Latino Cinema”

It’s a special celebration for the legendary Rita Moreno

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer will be honored alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda and Demián Bichir at the Critics Choice Association’s inaugural Celebration of Latino Cinema.

Rita MorenoMoreno, Miranda and Bichor will be honored alog with a group of additional honorees, many associated with upcoming 2021 films, still to be announced.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema, to be presented virtually, will take place on Thursday, December 9, 2021 and aims to put a spotlight on the contributions of great Oscar-winning and -nominated artists like Moreno, Miranda and Bichir, but also Latino filmmaking in general, a facet of the motion picture industry that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves during awards season.

Among other things, the CCA’s Celebration of Latino Cinema aims to change that.

“We are thrilled to be launching the first annual Celebration of Latino Cinema which recognizes the talented performers and skilled professionals who create the acclaimed films we are so proud to honor,” said Claudia Puig, a CCA member and co-programmer of the event.

“Films by our honorees represent the diverse and multi-faceted Latino community, and reflect our increasingly inclusive industry” said CCA board member and event co-programmer Clayton Davis.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema will be produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates. Stagedge will be responsible for transforming the show into an immersive virtual experience.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to LA Collab, whose mission is to accelerate Latino access, visibility and representation in the entertainment industry.

Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. She recently co-starred in the Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day at a Time, and her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released in theaters; it will be broadcast on PBS’ American Masters in October. Moreno also co-stars in and executive produces Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

She is a recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts.

Miranda is a Pulitzer-, Grammy-, Emmy– and Tony Award-winning songwriter, actor and director, and creator and original star of Broadway’s Hamilton and In the HeightsA recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Portrait of a Nation Prize, he received an Emmy with Tom Kitt for their song “Bigger” from the 67th Tony Awards. Upcoming projects include Disney’s Encanto and his directorial film debut, tick, tick… BOOM!

Bichir received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2012 for his role in Chris Weitz’s A Better Life, becoming the first Mexican-born actor to be nominated in that category by the Academy since Anthony Quinn in 1957. He more recently received rave reviews for his performance in the film Land, directed by Robin Wright. His film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s Che, Oliver Stone’s Savages, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, Paul Feig’s The Heat, Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway, Ridley Scott’s Alien, George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla Vs. Kong.

Renée Victor to Appear on Gloria Calderón Kellett’s Amazon Series “With Love”

Renée Victor is embracing the love

The 68-year-old Latina actress will appear in a recurring role alongside veteran character actor Pepe Serna in With LoveAmazon’s one-hour romantic comedy series from Gloria Calderón Kellett, her GloNation Studios and Amazon Studios.

Renée Victor

Victor and Serna will appear opposite Emeraude Toubia and Mark Indelicato on the series.

Created and written by Calderón Kellett, With Love follows the Diaz siblings, Lily (Toubia) and Jorge (Indelicato), who are on a mission to find love and purpose. The Diaz siblings cross paths with seemingly unrelated residents during some of the most heightened days of the year — the holidays.

Victor will play Marta Delgado, grandmother to Lily, Jorge and Sol and married to Luis (Serna). She wants to know everything about everybody in the family and while she’s very accepting she is uncompromising about church attendance.

Serna’s Luis Delgado, is Marta’s husband and grandfather to Lily, Jorge and Sol. He’s the founder of the family’s Mexican restaurant, Casa based on his mother’s recipes. Still very attracted to his beautiful wife, Marta.

The series, which falls under One Day at a Time creator Calderón Kellett’s overall deal with Amazon, had been fast-tracked since the pitch stage with the goal to launch it during the 2021 holiday season.

All episodes will be written and executive produced by Calderón Kellet. The pilot will be directed and executive produced by Meera MenonWith Love is produced by Kellett’s production company, GloNation and Amazon Studios.

Known for her role as the wisecracking Lupita in Weeds, Victor also recurs Flo Gutierrez on Netflix’s Dead To Me. She’s also known as the voice of Abuelita in the Oscar-winning animated feature Coco.

Over a nearly 50-year career, Serna’s film credits include Scarface, American Me, Car Wash, The Black Dahlia, Downsizing and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, among many others. His recent television work includes guest/recurring roles on Criminal Minds and Kingpin.

Rita Moreno to Star in the Feature Film “The Prank”

Rita Moreno is pranking around…

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer, an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Award winner) has landed a starring role in the feature film The Prank, which will be directed by Maureen Bharoocha.

Rita Moreno

Moreno will star opposite Connor Kalopsis and Ramona Young.

The Prank follows two high school students who play a prank on their physics teacher, Mrs. Wheeler, played by Moreno. When she fails them on a test; they teach the imperious, demanding, insulting instructor a lesson by falsely accusing her of the murder of a missing student.

Other cast in The Prank includes Keith David, Meredith Salenger, Jonathan Kimmel, Nathan Janak and Kate Flannery.

Filming begins this month in and around Los Angeles.

The dark comedy is written by Rebecca Flinn-White & Zak White.

“Rita Moreno is a force of nature and an icon who continues to redefine herself,” said Bharoocha. “Her brilliant comedic mind lends itself to the perfect ‘Mrs. Wheeler’, a character we have never seen her play, and one that will no doubt surprise audiences.”

Moreno has won an Oscar (West Side Story), a Tony (The Ritz), two Emmys (for her turns respectively in 1977 and 1978 on The Muppet Show and Rockford Files), and a Grammy (Best Children’s Album for The Electric Company).

Moreno has starred on Broadway and London’s West End, appeared in more than 40 feature films and has performed in numerous regional theaters, including her one-woman show, Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She recently co-starred in the critically acclaimed Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day At A Time.

Her documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, produced by Lear, Lin Manuel Miranda and Brent Miller had its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film, which was met with acclaim from critics and audiences alike, will have its television debut on PBS’ American Masters nationwide on October 5.

Moreno also co-stars and is an executive producer of the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, set to open on December 10.

The recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture, she was also honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

Moreno’s all-Spanish-language album, Una Vez Más, was produced by her good friend Emilio Estefan, and she is a New York Times bestselling author with her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir. Moreno has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

Florencia Lozano to Appear in Netflix’s Drama Series “Breathe”

Florencia Lozano is breathe-ing easy…

The 51-year-old Latina actress, best known for portraying Téa Delgado on ABC’s daytime series One Life to Live, has landed a recurring role in Breathe, Netflix’s one-hour drama series from Blindspot creator Martin Gero and writer-executive producer Brendan Gall, and Warner Bros. Television.

Florencia Lozano

Lozano will recur alongside 40-year-old Colombian actor Juan Pablo Espinosa on the series, which stars Melissa Barrera.

In Breathe, written by Gero and Gall, when a small plane crashes in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, a lone woman (Barrera) must battle the elements and odds to survive. Barrera’s Liv is a razor-sharp Manhattan attorney who finds herself profoundly out of her comfort zone when her plane crashes and she must battle for survival.

Lozano and Espinosa will play Liv’s mother and father, respectively.

Lozano co-wrote and stars in Life After You, which was awarded Best Feature and Best Actress at the Nice International Film Festival. She will next be seen in the feature Here AfterHer previous television credits include the starring role of Claudia Messina on Netflix’s Narcos, as well as Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, among others.

Espinosa most recently starred in Focus Features’ comedy Half Brothers. His other recent credits include Apple TV’s Acapulco, Cocaine Godmother opposite Catherine Zeta Jones, and a recurring role as Luis Carlos Galán on Netflix’s Narcos. In Latin America, he’s known for his work on El Secretario, A Corazon Abierto and La Fan with NBC/Telemundo, among others.

Mark Indelicato to Star in Gloria Calderón Kellett’s Amazon Series “With Love”

There’s a new Love in Mark Indelicato’s life…

The 26-year-old part-Puerto Rican actor and Ugly Betty alum will star opposite Emeraude Toubia in With LoveAmazon’s one-hour romantic comedy series from Gloria Calderón Kellett, GloNation Studios and Amazon Studios.

Mark Indelicato

Created and written by Calderón Kellett, With Love follows the Diaz siblings, Lily (Toubia) and Jorge (Indelicato), who are on a mission to find love and purpose. The Diaz siblings cross paths with seemingly unrelated residents during some of the most heightened days of the year — the holidays.

Indelicato’s Jorge is the pinnacle of style, the life of the party, and he is fiercely protective of his sister Lily and his Mexican-American family. After years of dating, he finally has found a man good enough to bring home, but he’s nervous about it.

The series, which falls under One Day at a Time creator Calderón Kellett’s overall deal with Amazon, had been fast-tracked since the pitch stage with the goal to launch it during the 2021 holiday season.

All episodes will be written and executive produced by Calderón Kellet. The pilot will be directed and executive produced by Meera MenonWith Love is produced by Kellett’s production company, GloNation and Amazon Studios.

Actor and LGBTQ+ activist Indelicato is best known for his pivotal role as Justin Suarez on all four seasons of the ABC comedy Ugly Betty. He can currently be seen in HBO Max series Hacks opposite Jean Smart.

On the film side, he co-starred in Gregg Araki’s Sundance feature White Bird in a Blizzard.

Emeraude Toubia to Star in Gloria Calderón Kellett’s Rom-Com Series “With Love”

Emeraude Toubia will be sharing the love

The 32-year-old half-Mexican actress has been cast as the female lead in With Love, Amazon’s one-hour romantic comedy series from Gloria Calderón Kellett, her GloNation Studios and Amazon Studios.

Emeraude Toubia

Created and written by Calderón Kellett, With Love follows the Diaz siblings, Lily (Toubia) and Jorge, who are on a mission to find love and purpose. The Diaz siblings cross paths with seemingly unrelated residents during some of the most heightened days of the year — the holidays.

Toubia’s Lily is a hopeless romantic with a tightknit Mexican-American family who is on a mission to find real love after breaking up with her perfect-on-paper boyfriend.

The series, which falls under One Day at a Time creator Calderón Kellett’s overall deal with Amazon, had been fast-tracked since the pitch stage with the goal to launch it during the 2021 holiday season.

All episodes will be written and executive produced by Calderón Kellet. The pilot episode will be directed and executive produced by Meera MenonWith Love is produced by Kellett’s production company, GloNation and Amazon Studios.

Toubia, best known for her series-regular role as Isabelle Lightwood on Freeform’s Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instrumentsis set to star next alongside Gina Rodriguez and Karla Souza in the road-trip comedy feature Like It Used to Be.

She will serve as co-executive producer on Lifetime Christmas movie Holiday in Santa Fe.

Justina Machado to Star in Amazon Studios’ Pilot “The Horror of Dolores Roach”

It’s a scary time for Justina Machado

Amazon Studios has given a formal pilot order to The Horror of Dolores Roach, starring the 48-year-0ld Puerto Rican actress.

Justina Machado

Based on the hit Gimlet podcast and written and directed by podcast creator Aaron Mark, The Horror of Dolores Roach originally was developed by Mark as a one-woman play starring Daphne Rubin-Vega.

It’s a grotesque Sweeney Todd-inspired tale of eat or be eaten — a macabre urban legend of love, betrayal, weed, gentrification, cannibalism and survival of the fittest.

“Magic Hands” Dolores Roach (Machado) is released from prison after 16 years and returns to a severely gentrified Washington Heights with $200 and the clothes on her back. With her boyfriend missing, her family long gone and her apartment now occupied by strangers, Dolores finds respite in the dilapidated storefront Empanada Loca around the corner — the only remnant of her former life.

Roxann Dawson is attached to direct and executive produce the pilot, which has been casting for the past four months. The project, in development at Amazon since 2020, hails from Blumhouse Television, which won the rights to adapt the podcast in 2019 in a competitive situation, and Spotify.

Mark penned the pilot script and will executive produce alongside Home Before Dark co-creator Dara Resnik and Rubin-Vega. Jason Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold of Blumhouse Television and Chris Giliberti and Justin McGoldrick of Spotify also will executive produce.

Machado most recently starred in the One Day at a Time reimagining, garnering multiple award nominations and winning two Imagen Awards for her role.

She previously shared in a SAG Award for her role in the Emmy-winning HBO series Six Feet Under.

Her other television credits include Jane the Virgin and Queen of the South.

Her work in film includes Blumhouse Productions’ The Purge: Anarchy, Netflix’s All Together Now and the indie Pedro.

On stage, Machado made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical In the Heights, created by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Gloria Calderón Kellett Developing “With Love” as First Series Under Overall Production Deal with Amazon Studios

Gloria Calderón Kellett is bringing the Love to Amazon…

The 46-year-old Cuban American television writer/creator’s GloNation Studios and Amazon Studios have set With Love as the first series under Calderón Kellett’s overall deal with the streamer.

Gloria Calderón Kellett

The one-hour romantic dramedy, created and written by the One Day At a Time co-creator, had been fast tracked since the pitch stage with the goal to launch it during the 2021 holiday season.

Additionally, Calderón Kellett has set up three other series projects for development at Amazon Studios through GloNation as part of her deal. The wide-ranging slate includes Shakespeare-themed high-school drama Verona, co-created by Calderón Kellett; Glowing Up, a half-hour adult animation musical series based on the graphic novel Mismatched, a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma; and Dating the Lopez Ladies, a half-hour animated comedy created by Calderón Kellett.

Glowing Up and Dating the Lopez Ladies follow Calderón Kellett’s foray into animation with the well-received special episode of One Day At a Time, which was produced during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Meanwhile, With Love and Verona mark a return to the hour-long side for Calderón Kellett, who previously worked on Devious Maids and iZombie.

With Love follows the Diaz siblings, Lily and Jorge, who are on a mission to find love and purpose. The Diaz siblings cross paths with seemingly unrelated residents during some of the most heightened days of the year –the holidays.

“I started writing as a way to create characters and stories that represented myself and the community I love,” Calderón Kellett said. “After such a heavy year, there was nothing I wanted more than to see a happy, warm, loving family that looked like mine, celebrating trauma-free and falling in love. So, to be bringing that family to life as my first project with Amazon Studios feels especially personal and is incredibly exciting. I cannot wait to share With Love this holiday season!”

The holiday series is currently in prep, with production set to begin in June. Its pilot episode will be directed and executive produced by Meera Menon.

With Love is a special project and Gloria at her best, creating a world with a vibrant family at its center, hysterical circumstances, and so much heart and soul. We’re so proud of what’s to come of this series and can’t wait for the world to fall in love with it,” said Marc Resteghini, US and Global Head of Development for Amazon Studios.

Here are details about the three other projects from Calderón Kellett’s GloNation Studios in the works at Amazon:

VERONA
As Shakespeare so famously wrote, all the world’s a stage… and never is that truer than as a teenager, when you are performing for yourself, your peers, your parents, and social media. Verona is an hour-long drama series which takes the classic Shakespearean stories you know and love out of the renaissance and into present-day high school. The highs are still high, the lows are still low, but one thing is certain… high school drama is about to get a lot more poetic. We follow the Del Castillo sisters Nico, Delilah, and Inez as they play out familiar stories interweaved together in fair Verona where we lay our scene.
Created By: Roja Gashtili & Julia Lerman, Kelly Younger and Gloria Calderón Kellett.
Writers / Executive Producers: Roja Gashtili, Julia Lerman

GLOWING UP
Based on the graphic novel Mismatched (a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma), Glowing Up is a half-hour adult animation musical series centered on Evan Horowitz, an out and proud Latino/Jew amateur matchmaker and wannabe makeup influencer. Evan is an old-school romantic who dedicates himself to getting true love to trend at his high school in Queens — through singing, dancing, and contoured cheekbones. A big gay musical comedy that focuses on love and celebrates LGBTQIA+ youth.
Writers / Executive Producers: Debby Wolfe & Marcos Luevanos
EPs: Gloria Calderón Kellett and Will Graham (for Field Trip)

DATING THE LOPEZ LADIES
A half-hour animated comedy series following plus-sized powerhouse Ilana Lopez. She’s a 25-year-old artist who runs a wildly successful comic strip about dating called Sharp Curves following the misadventures of her alter-ego Gabby. Gabby becomes all too real and is the devil on Ilana’s shoulder in life as well as on the page. When Ilana’s mother, the 49-year-old glamorous divorcee, Sofia visits, she points out that fictional Gabby has more fun than real-life Ilana. It makes Ilana and her friends energized to start a date club and take their romantic conquests seriously. Inspired by the young people, Sofia decides to join her daughter and friends in date club! Adventures and hilarity ensue.
Creator/Writer/EP: Gloria Calderón Kellett

Calderón Kellett, a leading voice in Latinx storytelling on television, was executive producer/co-showrunner, director and actress on Netflix/Pop’s One Day At A Time, which was universally praised for its authentic and nuanced portrayal of the the Latinx experience.

She began her TV writing career as a staff writer on the CBS comedy series How I Met Your Mother, rising to co-producer and earning an ALMA Award for one of her scripts in 2008. She then worked as a writer-producer on such series as CBS/Sony Television’s Rules of Engagement, Lifetime’s Devious Maids and the CW’s iZombie before taking on One Day at a Time.