Ruizpalacios’ “Güeros” Wins the Main Competition Section at the Los Cabos International Film Festival

Alonso Ruizpalacios continues his winning ways…

The Mexican director and screenwriter’s latest film Güeros won the main competition section at the third edition of the Los Cabos International Film Festival.


Güeros, a road movie revolving around a trio of Mexican slackers, has found success on the festival circuit with wins in Berlin, Tribeca and most recently at Mexico’s Morelia festival.

In Los Cabos’ Mexico First section, the jury prize went to Arturo Gonzalez‘s Llevate Mis Amores, a portrait of Mexican women who provide food to U.S.-bound Central American migrants.

Special guests at the festival included Rosario Dawson (The Captive); Mexican directors Diego Luna (Chavez) and Guillermo Arriaga (The Burning Plain); and actors Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater, who were on hand for the closer Boyhood.

Among the deals announced in Los Cabos, director Mark Kassen (Puncture) will be helming Criminal Enterprise for Dummies. As for acquisitions, Cine Tren picked up Latin American distribution for Justin Benson‘s Spring and Germany’s Media Luna grabbed world rights to Internet Junkie.

The five-day event often turned political as actors and filmmakers used the stage to demand justice for the violent disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero.

Los Cabos ran from Nov. 12-16. The annual event brings together industry people from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Dawson to Announce This Year’s Spirit Award Nominees

Rosario Dawson has the spirit, yes she does…

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban American actress, who has earned critical acclaim for her work in Chris Rock’s Top Five, has been tapped to announce this year’s 2015 Spirit Award nominees, according to Film Independent president Josh Welsh.

Rosario Dawson

The Sin City: A Dame To Kill For star will be joined by Mexican actor Diego Luna, who directed Dawson in his Cesar Chavez biopic Chavez.

They’ll announce the nominees at 10:00 am PT on Tuesday, November 25, at the W Hollywood.

Spirit Award winners will be announced on February 21 under Film Independent’s signature tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

Luna’s “Chavez” Claims an Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival

The future looks like bright for Diego Luna’s biopic on Cesar Chavez

The 34-year-old Mexican actor-turned-director’s film Chavez about the life of the life of Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist earned an audience award at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival.

Cesar Chavez

Chavez, which stars Michael Peña, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich, took home the audience prize in the Narrative Spotlight category.  

The film premiered in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival last month.

Here’s a look at the SXSW Film Festival Audience Award winners:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITIONAudience Award Winner: Before I Disappear
Director: Shawn Christensen

Director: Diana Whitten

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHTAudience Award Winner: DamNation
Director: Ben Knight & Travis Rummel

Directors: Diego Luna

VISIONSAudience Award Winner: Yakona
Director: Anlo Sepulveda & Paul Collins

MIDNIGHTERSAudience Award Winner: Exists
Director: Eduardo Sánchez

EPISODICAudience Award Winner: Silicon Valley
Director: Mike Judge

SXGLOBALAudience Award Winner: The Special Need
Directors: Carlo Zoratti

FESTIVAL FAVORITESAudience Award Winner: The Case Against 8
Director: Ben Cotner & Ryan White


Audience Award Winner: Big Significant Things
Designer: Corey Holms

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN Audience Award Winner:  True Detective
Designer: Patrick Clair for Elastic

Ferrera’s Drama Project “Damascus” Gets Pilot Commitment at CBS

America Ferrera may soon be back on the small screen…

Three years after the series finale of ABC’s hit dramedy Ugly Betty, the 29-year-old Honduran American could return to television full-time as the star of another hour-long project.

America Ferrera

Entitled Damascus, the drama project, which sparked a heated bidding war, has landed at CBS with a put pilot commitment.

In addition to starring, Ferrera will also executive produce, with CBS Television Studios coming on board as studio.

Written by Nick Osborne, Damascus is the story of a crusading nun (portrayed by Ferrera) who practices law on behalf of the least fortunate, and has her beliefs tested when her life collides with an elitist corporate lawyer. As the two set out to help those in need of justice, they come up against a secretive and powerful organization that’s determined to destroy them.

The project expands Ferrera’s relationship with CBS and CBS Television Studios as her only major post-Ugly Betty television role has been an arc on their drama The Good Wife.

Ferrera had been highly sought after for pilots in the past three seasons but had been focused on feature film roles and finishing college as her USC studies were interrupted by her casting in Ugly Betty, a role that earned her an Emmy award.

She recently wrapped work on Chavez and XY.

Dawson In Talks to Star in “The Ever After”

Rosario Dawson could soon be married to a new film project…

The 34-year-old Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban American actress is in talks to star in The Ever After, which is described as a hard examination of a marriage.

Rosario Dawson

The film, to be directed by Mark Webber, will star Oscar winner Melissa Leo with Warm BodiesTeresa Palmer and Webber in the lead roles.

Along with Dawson, part-Mexican American rapper/actor Kid Cudi, Phoebe Tonkin and Hart of Dixie’s Jaime King are also in talks to join the film.

Webber’s sophomore directorial effort The End of Love was nominated for a Sundance Film Festival 2012 Grand Jury Prize.

Dawson most recently starred in Danny Boyle’s Trance. She’ll next appear in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Chavez.

Peña Cast in David O Russell’s Next Film

Michael Peña has lined up his next big project…

The 37-year-old Mexican American actor has been cast in director David O. Russell’s next film.

Michael Pena

The Sony Pictures drama, which was formerly known as American Bullshit, is inspired by the true story of a notorious financial con artist and his mistress/partner in crime, who were forced to work with an overly ambitious federal agent to turn the tables on other con artists, mobsters and politicians.

Peña joins a cast that includes Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence.

The film is set for a December 13 release.

Peña, whose recent credits include a Spirit Award-nominated role in David Ayer’s End Of Watch and Gangster Squad, recently completed voice work on DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo, which is set to be released in July. He also just wrapped the Diego Luna-directed Chavez.

He has also been cast as the lead in Fox’s drama pilot The List.

Russell’s film is set for a December 13 release.

Ferrera to Star in the Relationship Drama “X/Y”

America Fererra didn’t have to go far to audition (and land) for her latest role…

The 28-year-old Honduran-American actress and former Ugly Betty star has landed a role in her husband Ryan Piers Williams’ latest film X/Y.

America Ferrera

The writer-filmmaker previously directed his wife in 2010’s The Dry Land, a film that earned Ferrera an Imagen Award nomination for best actress.

X/Y, which is being called a relationship drama, will take a look inside the lives and minds of an interconnected group of friends in New York City. The character-driven film explores the challenges people face in communicating and connecting.

In addition to starring Ferrera and Williams, the film stars Melonie Diaz, Jon Paul Phillips, Dree Hemingway, Adam Rapp, Ann Dowd and Common.

Production on the film has already begun in New York.

Ferrera will next be seen in Diego Luna’s Chavez, a biopic about labor leader and civil right advocate Cesar Chavez.


Peña Cast in Fox’s Drama Pilot “The List”

Michael Peña is officially on The List at Fox

The 37-year-old Mexican American actor has landed the lead role in Fox’s drama pilot The List.

Michael Pena

The project, from Paul Zbyszewski, Ruben Fleischer and 20th Century Fox Television, revolves around an intense deputy U.S. Marshal who must hunt down the person who stole “the list,” a file with the identities of every member of the federal witness protection program, when people on that list start getting picked off.

Peña’s character is described as a ruggedly attractive, oddly charismatic man, a notoriously quirky maverick who often gets into trouble with the bureaucracy.

Peña, who earned a 2013 Independent Spirit Award nomination for End Of Watch and starred opposite Ryan Gosling in Gangster Squad, recently wrapped up work with Ed Harris on the border drama Frontera.

He’ll next be seen portraying Cesar Chavez in the Diego Luna-directed film Chavez.

Dawson to Star in “Queen of the Night”

Rosario Dawson will be racing against time in her next project…

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican/Cuban American actress will star opposite Ryan Reynolds in the thriller Queen of the Night.

Rosario Dawson

The film centers on the father of an abducted daughter who uncovers a series of disturbing clues eight years later that suggest she’s still alive.

Dawson, one of the best dressed Latinas at this year’s Golden Globes, will play the detective in charge of the investigation, and they race against the clock to rescue the imprisoned girl before the trail goes cold.

Dawson joins Scott Speedman and Mireille Enos in the David Fraser-directed film.

Dawson will soon be appearing in the Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. And she just wrapped Parts Per Billion with Josh Hartnett, Penn Badgley and Frank Langella.

Her upcoming films include Diego Luna’s biopic Chavez and Danny Boyle’s Trance.

Ferrera Returning to Off Broadway…

It’s bye, bye Betty… and Hello, Bethany for America Ferrera

The 28-year-old Honduran American actress will be returning to Off Broadway this season to play the lead in Bethany.

America Ferrera

Written by Laura Marks, the dark comedy is set in an American community hit hard by foreclosures and economic woes, the play revolves around a woman who tests the limits of her own morality as she scrambles to regain her financial footing.

Produced by Women’s Project Theater, the world premiere will be directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

The play is scheduled to run January 11-February 17, 2013 at New York City Center Stage II.

The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning star of ABC‘s Ugly Betty’s last Off Broadway project was in the satirical Peanuts riff Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead back in 2005. Ferrera recently did an eight-week stint as Roxie Hart in Chicago on London’s West End.

Ferrera’s latest projects include appearing with Michael Peña in End of Watch, She’ll next appear opposite Peña in the Diego Luna-directed biopic, Chavez, playing the wife of Latin American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.