Daniel & Diego Vega to Co-Direct “Bienvenido Mr. Hollywood” with Joanna Lombardi

Daniel & Diego Vega are welcoming Mr. Hollywood

The Peruvian brothers and Joanna Lombardi, three of Perú’s foremost filmmakers, have boarded Bienvenido Mr. Hollywood, which promises a complete departure for one of Catalonia’s leading edge cineastes, Mar Coll.

Daniel & Diego VegaCo-created and directed by Coll and Aina Calleja, an editor on Coll’s first series Killing the Father, Welcome Mr. Hollywood is written by Coll, Calleja and Diego Vega, who with brother Daniel broke out with his debut, 2010 Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner, October.

A 2013 Locarno best actor winner for Fernando Bacilio, El Mudo consolidated the brothers’ reputation as top young Latin America auteurs.

Welcome Mr. Hollywood is lead produced by Barcelona’s Funicular Films and co-produced by Daniel and Diego Vega’s Lima-based Maretazo Cine. Lombardi, a former head of fiction at Telefonica Media Networks Latin America, will serve as executive producer.

A key figure on Latin America’s film-TV scene, while at Telefonica Media Networks Lombardi produced a brace of Movistar Play original series by up-and-coming creators including Colombia’s Mauricio Leiva Cock; Peruvian actor-director Salvador del Solar and Colombia’s Carlos Moreno, directors of “Los Prisioneros,” seen at September’s Iberseries; and the Vega brothers’ Movistar original series “El Día de Mi Suerte,” about a downtrodden  impersonator of salsa star Hector Lavoe clinging onto the hope that his luck will change.

Coll burst onto the scene with 2009’s Three Days With the Family, her intimate focus, local setting and knowing description of milieu anticipating by nearly a decade the highly-grounded movies of the Newest Catalan Cinema, such as Carla Simón’s Summer 1993 and 2022 Berlin Golden Bear winner Alcarràs.”

Welcome Mr. Hollywood, by contrast, is a very different proposition. Set in Iquitos, Perú, in the heart of the Amazon, it turns on two best friends, women whose busy lives are suddenly turned upside down by news that a big director will be coming to shoot a sequel to Fitzcarraldo. “The revelation that the lead character is a woman unleashes the wildest version of themselves as they dream of becoming the chosen actress,” the synopsis runs.

Cast has yet to be confirmed. The project is at an early stage of financing. “With this film, we are looking to move out of our comfort zone and talk about cinema as a factory of dreams; as an epic which reminds us of the delirium in which it coverts everything around it, including people’s destinies,” Coll and Calleja said in a joint statement.

The film’s title echoes “Welcome Mr. Marshall,” Luis Berlanga’s 1953 Cannes competition player which satirizes Spain’s desperate desire to escape post-Civil War misery as a dozy Spanish hamlets decks itself out as a typical Andalusian village in an absurd play to attract Marshall Plan aid.

“Welcome Mr. Hollywood” will not have this social satire, said Coll. But it will be a “clear comedy” stocked by characters “whose life is not easy and suddenly see a ticket to paradise.”

“They do not always act out of the noblest of sentiments – but rather vanity, ambition – yet are highly empathetic, allowing us to recognise ourselves in then, and are viewed with a certain tenderness which Berlanga had,” Coll added.

Another influence Coll mentioned is Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Though set in Iquitos, from Diego Vega’s incorporation as a co-writer, Welcome Mr. Hollywood could take place in many cities of the world, Baldó added.

Coll and Calleja know Latin America, more specifically Mexico, well. Though they met in Barcelona, they shared a flat in Mexico City over 2005-07, Calleja working in Mexico until 2016, serving as editor on first features by directors who have become leading lights of its cinema, such as Julio Hernández Cordón (“Gasolina,” 2008), Nicolas Pereda (“Los Ausentes,” 2014) and Katina Medina Mora (“Sabrás Que Hacer Conmigo,” 2015).

Equally, Baldó worked over 1995-98 at Mexico City’s PCTV, a production house which also negotiated international channels with Mexican cable networks.

Calleja edited – and took a writer’s credit – on Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada’s 2021 A Film About Couples, part of the Dominican Republic’s growing auteur cinema. She wrote and directed the short Los días en veranos son más largos, which received a special mention at Colombia’s Cartagena Film Festival en 2011. Calleja is currently editing Extinció, her latest short as a writer-director,

After Coll’s second feature, 2013’s We All Want the Best For Her, Coll, Diego Vega and Valentina Viso co-wrote Movistar+ miniseries Killing the Father, which Coll directed and Calleja edited.

Elena Trapé to Direct Coming Soon’s Series “Gwendolyne, Diario de Una Fan”

Elena Trapé is fan-girling

The Spanish filmmaker, whose character-driven ensemble pieces Blog and The Distances marked her as a talent to watch, is attached to direct Gwendolyne, Diario de Una Fan, one of two series being brought onto the market at Ventana Sur’s Spanish Screenings by Barcelona-based Coming Soon Films.

Elena Trape, The screenplay for Gwendolyne, Diario de Una Fan is by Marta Buisán, Jordi Casado and Miguel Ibánez Monroy.

Gwendolyne, Diario de Una Fan’s titular protagonist, now 30, had one of the times of her life – one of the only times of her life – when 15, she was chasing the Sexy Gods, her favorite boy band, around Barcelona, just as they dissolved. Now, however, they’re about to get together again; which she sees as a solution to all her life problems: Useless studies, a dead-end job; a d***head boyfriend, a flat share with her distant and conniving boss.

As her life plunges into life crisis, Gwendolyne thinks that everything will be solved if she gets back stage with the back-on-stage Sexy Gods. That, however, is a misconception.

“This is an absolutely necessary coming-of-age tale, with a protagonist whom we haven’t seen before,” commented Trapé.

“I’ve always been a big fan of scripted British TV,” she added, praising how it “moves between documentary and film, achieving a perfect balance  between veracity and cinematic aesthetics. I love how it risks with its cast, shoots on locations, the light, the hand-held camera, the narrative drive, and above all, how it gets us to identify with its characters, their pains, lives and emotions,” she added, citing Pure, I May Destroy You and Fleabag.

“‘Gwendolyne’ is a comedy of clear female leads, with a lot of music and in which sisterhood plays a key role,” added Coming Soon.

Trapé’s Blog won a Special Mention at San Sebastian Film Festival’s La Otra Mirada prize; The Distances swept Malaga’s Golden Biznaga for best picture as well as director and actress (Alexandra Jiménez) in 2018.

Produced by Coming Soon, Trapé’s next feature, Els encantats, with Laia Costa (Lullaby), shot this summer.

A BCN Showrunners alum, Buisán formed part of the production team on two series from Catalan public broadcaster TV3, El Gran Dictat and La Riera. A dramatist-actor-screenwriter, Casado wrote and directed theater plays Vivo and en-Cadena, and took part in collective creation a-Gig-a-Byte, staged at London’s Rose Theatre.

A graduate of Barcelona’s famed ESCAC film school, the alma mater of J.A. Bayona, Ibañez Monroy co-wrote TV3 series Cites (2016), and Trapé’s The Distances and Els Encantats, as well as Carlos Martín’s El año de la plaga and Laura Alvea’s La mujer dormida, now shooting for Coming Soon.

Figa Films Acquires International Sales Rights to Clara Linhart’s “Os Sapos”

Clara Linhart’s latest project is hoping to get global distribution…

Figa Films has acquired the international sales rights to Os Sapos (Frogs) by the Brazilian filmmaker.

Clara Linhart

Linhart’s previous film Domingo, co-directed with Fellipe Barbosa, premiered at the 75th Venice Film Festival in Venice Days.

The Brazilian production centers on a woman, in her late thirties, invited to an old friends’ get together at a country house. She arrives to find there is no get together and is left instead to spend her weekend with two couples in partial crisis.

In her statement about the film director Linhart says, ‘I want the spectators to recognize themselves in these characters or in the situations they experience. I want people to both laugh and cringe because they can relate. I want to use the camera as a microscope capable of visualizing looks, gestures, and whispers that denote desires, fears, and insecurities.”

Paula is played by Thalita Carauta, who put in an award-winning turn in Narcos director Fernando Coimbra’s searing feature debut A Wolf At The Door, a Horizontes Latinos winner at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Her character carries the audience with her as what could have been an idyllic getaway thrusts demands on her to be an agony aunt, diffuse tension, thwart advances of friendship and more.

‘I am not interested in portraying women as victims and men as monsters, but in identifying complementary neuroses that are common to so many couples,’ says Linhardt.

These goals from the director are complimented by a screenplay from Renata Mizrahi.

FiGa and Linhardt will no doubt be encouraged by jury and audience wins at the pix-in-post strand of the 26th Festival Audiovisual do Mercosul. It’s a festival that has brought success previously, with her first feature, La Manuela, winning the best doc prize there in 2017.

Sandro Fiorin, co-founder of FiGa Films told Variety: “We have admired Clara’s work for a long time and it’s a privilege to collaborate with her and the team in Brazil. Her film, though comedic at moments, feels like a pressure chamber in an idyllic paradise – leaving us totally breathless.”

Produced by Linhardt and Fellipe Barbosa’s label Gamarosa Filmes, Os Sapos received support from Brazil’s main federal government production fund, the Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual. Additional co-production credits go to Canal Brasil and Telecine.

Larissa Pacheco Upsets Kayla Harrison to Claim PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship Belt

The third time proved to be the charm for Larissa Pacheco

The 28-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, who twice before had faced two-time defending PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison and had lost both times times, has finally logged a victory.

Larissa Pacheco,Pacheco defeated Harrison, considered the PFL’s most dominant fighter, on Friday night in New York.

The fight was one of six weight division Professional Fighters League season championship finals contested inside Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Harrison (15-1), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, came in as an 8-1 betting favorite. She and the PFL were already making plans for next year, removing her from regular-season competition in order to book her in “superfights,” presumably with a step up in competition. Pacheco might have spoiled those plans.

The fight started well for Harrison, who scored an early takedown and threatened a submission for much of the first round. But Pacheco (19-4) withstood those difficult five minutes and fought back in the second round, using her powerful stand-up skills to land heavy strikes and utilizing strong takedown defense to turn the tide.

The fight appeared to be tied going into the fifth round, and Pacheco was the fresher fighter at that point. She landed some hard punches on Harrison, who eventually landed a takedown but could not capitalize.

All three judges scored the bout 48-47 in favor of Pacheco. Before this bout, Harrison had not lost even a single round in her career. Harrison is No. 8 in the ESPN pound-for-pound women’s top 10, the only PFL fighter in either those rankings or the divisional ones.

When Pacheco was awarded the championship belt and an oversized replica of a $1 million check, she credited her opponent for playing a role in getting her to where she now stands in her career.

“Just like Kayla said before: I’ve always made her a better competitor,” Pacheco said through an interpreter. “Well, she’s always made me a better competitor. She drove me to this moment.”

Jennifer Lopez Reveals Deeply Personal New Album Project “This Is Me… Now”

Jennifer Lopez is revealing a new music project…

The 53-year-old Puerto Rican superstar, who’d completely blacked out her social media accounts, returned to all platforms to announce This Is Me…Now.

Jennifer LopezThe announcement comes on the 20th anniversary of her album, This Is Me…Then, which she co-wrote and co-produced.

Heralding a new era of music for J.LoThis Is Me…Now will chronicle the emotional, spiritual and psychological journey that she has taken over the past two decades. It’s billed as being an emotionally raw and honest project, with a lineup of songs about her life and experiences.

In addition, the autobiographical stories informed by the album will result in other very personal projects she’ll be releasing in 2023.

This Is Me…Now will shine a spotlight on her tough childhood, unsuccessful relationships and the incredible emotional journey she has been on.

“This album is a philosophy, a reflection, a zeitgeist moment. It’s about hope, faith and true love never dying,” reads a press statement.

Lopez’s last album came out eight years ago in 2014, A.K.A.. She has released singles and had her successful, Marry Me, film soundtrack this year.

As of this year, she has released eight studio albums, one remix album, three compilation albums, one soundtrack, one extended play, 65 singles (including 14 as a featured artist), five charity singles and 12 promotional singles. She has sold more than 80 million records with 15 billion streams worldwide.

The 13 singles on the new album include “Dear Ben Pt. II” and “Midnight Trip to Vegas,” a nod to her marriage ceremony with Oscar winner Ben Affleck back in July.

The original 2002 album has the song “Dear Ben” which is a ballad about Affleck, released when she was previously dating him.

Ana Ortiz In Final Talks to Star in the HBO Max Drama Pilot “More”

Ana Ortiz is thisclose to one more project…

The 51-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress is finalizing a deal to lead the cast of the HBO Max drama pilot More, from Amy ChozickBerlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

Ana OrtizOrtiz, who will star alongside Christian Serratos, replaces Veronica Falcón, who originally was tapped for the role.

The recasting decision was made after the table read, according to Deadline.com

Written by journalist Chozick and inspired by her reporting, More follows the Lorenz family, a tight-knit clan of seemingly flawless Latinas led by mom/mastermind Leona (Ortiz). The Lorenzes are the Vanderbilts or the Astors of the Instagram era. Drawing some parallels to the Kardashians and their “momager” Kris Jenner, the Lorenzes pulled their way up from debt and obscurity to reality TV stardom and forged a billion-dollar mega-conglomerate not from oil or steel but from something more elusive and modern: influence.

Ortiz’s Leona Lorenz is the matriarch of the Lorenz family media dynasty. A former single mom, Leona used her formidable, self-taught business skills to scrap her way to the 1 percent, parlaying her four glistening daughters (Serratos, Ceci Fernandez, Yvette Monreal, Georgie Flores) into a billion-dollar media empire, with a top-rated reality TV show and lucrative brand partnerships. But can this stage mom for the Instagram era acquire more fame and power than even she could imagine, without losing her grip on her daughters?

Chozick and Natalie Chaidez serve as executive producers and co-showrunners.

Best known for her role as Hilda Suarez on Ugly BettyOrtiz recently starred as Isabel, Victor’s mother, on Hulu/Disney+’s Love, Victor. She also co-starred on Whiskey Cavalier, which aired for one season on ABC, and recurred on the second season of Netflix’s Special.

Paulo Londra Releases Sophomore Album “Back to the Game”

Paulo Londra is back in the game…

After releasing a handful of singles throughout the year, the 24-year-old Argentine rapper and singer has officially released his highly anticipated album aptly titled Back to the Game.

Paulo LondraThe 16-track set marks Londra’s first album in three years, following his debut album Homerun (2019), which debuted and peaked at No. 12 on Top Latin Albums.

In his first album, Londra leaned more on his core urban sound using elements of trap, freestyle, dembow, hip-hop and reggaeton. This time around, while he stays true to his essence with a cheeky reggaeton single (“A Veces,” a collaboration with Feid), he also dabbles in punk rock (“Nublado” featuring Travis Barker) and R&B (“Noche de Novela” with Ed Sheeran).

“I’m back,” he wrote on social media. “This is from Paulo to those who’ve always been there, since when I would go to the plaza in Joaco to crossing paths for the second time with Ed Sheeran. As long as one follows their passion, no one can stop you. If you ever felt empty but today you want the people around you to smile or have fun, welcome to the club.”

Earlier this year, Londra officially announced his comeback after forging a new partnership with Warner Music Latin, which marked a new phase for his career.

He marked his grand return to music, dropping one of his punk-rock anthems “Plan A” in March, his first single in three years, with which he previewed the new album and presented a fresh new sound for the artist. Since, he’s released other singles such as “Chance,” “Julieta,” “Party En El Barrio” and “Luces.”

The eclectic, star-studded set also features collaborations with artists like Timbaland, Duki and LIT Killah.

Joely Rodriguez Agrees to $2 Million, One-Year Contract with Boston Red Sox

Joely Rodriguez is seeing Red (Sox)…

The 31-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher has agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, a deal that includes a team option for 2024.

Joely Rodriguez Rodriguez gets a $1.5 million salary next year, and the Red Sox’s option is for $4.25 million with a $500,000 buyout.

He can earn $250,000 in performance bonuses each year for games pitched: $50,000 each for 30 and each additional 10 through 70. In 2023, he also can earn $800,000 in roster bonuses: $200,000 apiece for 30, 60, 90 and 120 active days.

Rodriguez’s contract allows him to become a free agent when the deal expires.

The left-hander was 2-4 with a 4.47 ERA last season for the New York Mets, striking out 57 and walking 26 in 50⅓ innings while allowing three home runs.

Rodríguez is 5-9 with a 4.56 ERA in 157 relief appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies (2016-17), Texas Rangers (2020-21), New York Yankees (2021) and Mets (2022).

He spent 2018 and ’19 with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.

Gavi Becomes One of the Youngest Goal Scorers in FIFA World Cup History

Gavi has kicked his way in to the World Cup history books…

The 18-year-old Spanish midfielder has become the third-youngest goal scorer in FIFA World Cup history and youngest since Brazil legend Pele in 1958 with his 74th-minute strike in a 7-0 win against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

GaviWhen he stepped on the field to start the game, the Barcelona prodigy also became the youngest player (18 years, 110 days) to appear for Spain in a major international tournament (World Cup or European Championship).

“I never dreamed to be here at this age,” Gavi said through an interpreter. “I’m so happy to be here. This is only one step. I need to keep going.”

Pele was aged 17 years, 249 days when he scored in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup final win over Sweden. He holds the record for the youngest to score in a World Cup when scoring 10 days earlier in the quarterfinals.

Mexico‘s Manuel Rosas is the second-youngest scorer, aged 18 years and 93 days when finding the net in the inaugural 1930 tournament.

Spain led 4-0 when a driving run from Alejandro Balde pierced the Costa Rica defense and after goalkeeper Keylor Navas’ partial clearance, Alvaro Morata found Gavi on a late-arriving run.

The teenager struck it with the outside of his right boot and it deflected in off the right post in what was one of the most impressive displays of skill in the tournament so far.

His overall contribution earned him FIFA‘s player of the match award.

“It was a great game. We started from the first minute to win this game and I’m really happy,” Gavi said. “Now I’m waiting for the next one. I’m really happy to win MVP but today we all did a really great game and I’m really happy for all of them.

“I know I’m the youngest in the team and I respect everyone, but on the field it’s different and I bring out my best. I’m proud to be in that podium.”

It was a historically dominant win for Spain, who didn’t allow a single shot and recorded the most passes (1,043) and highest possession percentage (81.3) in a World Cup match since at least 1966.

Spain’s victory was the most lopsided win at a World Cup since Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 in 2010.

Robert Trujillo & His Metallica Mates’ Helping Hands Concert to Air on Paramount+

Here’s your chance to watch Robert Trujillo in guitar action for charity…

The 58-year-old half-Mexican American musician and his fellow Metallica band mates’ Helping Hands benefit concert will air on Paramount+, Pluto TV and MTV’s YouTube channel.

Metallica“We’re looking forward to celebrating the achievements of All Within My Hands at this year’s Helping Hands Concert & Auction and we’re psyched to tell you that it will be streamed live, thanks to our friends at @paramountplus!” the band wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday (Nov. 22).

The sold out December 16 show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will be hosted by late night’s Jimmy Kimmel and feature an opening set from Greta Van Fleet.

The event will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET and stream live on Paramount+, with simulcasts on Pluto and YouTube.

It will also feature an auction that kicks off on December 5 to benefit the foundation, with 100% of the ticket and auction proceeds earmarked for those in need via a number of national and local charities.

Among the organizations that All Within My Hands has partnered with over the years are: the American Association of Community Colleges, Feeding America, Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.

This year alone the foundation has handed out $100,000 to Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen to help those hit hardest by Hurricanes Ian and Fiona in Florida and Puerto Rico in October, as well as $20,000 to the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in August and $100,000 to World Central Kitchen’s efforts to feed Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s unprovoked war on their country.