Edward James Olmos to Appear in The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ New Latin Interview Series “Seen”

Edward James Olmos is making a seen

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched a new Latin interview video series titled Seen, that will feature interviews with Latino/a stars including the 74-year-old Mexican American Oscar-nominated actor.

Edward James Olmos

Hosted by journalist Nick Barili, Season 1 will feature interviews with Olmos, John Leguizamo and Eva Longoria.

“What a dream to host a series celebrating our community leaders like John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos by giving them the recognition they deserve. Not only for trailblazing with their careers, but also for using their platforms to be a voice for our community. I look forward to sharing their journeys, their passions, and their legacy with the world,” Barili tells Deadline.

“This is a step in the right direction to address the lack of representation in Hollywood, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he added.

In the series premiere above, Barili has a one-on-one conversation with Leguizamo about how he navigated the industry over his decades-long career and how he’s confronted stereotypical casting. They also dive into the underrepresentation of the Latino community both in front of and behind the camera, tokenism, colorism, and what’s left for Leguizamo to accomplish.

“The conversation with John resonated with me at my core,” Barili said. “Not only is his show Freak the first time I truly felt seen, but also, he’s broken down walls for our community every step of his career. When Hollywood would only typecast him in stereotypical, one-dimensional roles, he took it upon himself to create, write and perform his own one-man shows that gave Latinos like me a chance to see themselves as three-dimensional characters that we didn’t get to see when we turned on the TV. They were complex, funny, courageous, vulnerable, and made me feel proud to be Latino.”

The second episode will feature an interview with Olmos, airing on January 31. Barili and Olmos pay a visit to the students from the Youth Cinema Project program at Los Angeles County’s Bell Gardens Intermediate School.

On February 7, Barili and Longoria tour her alma mater, California State University, Northridge, where she received a master’s degree in Chicano Studies in 2013 while filming Desperate Housewives.

Barili co-founded the Latinx in Media & Arts Coalition, which focuses on promoting Latinx creatives, increasing access to traditional and new-media platforms, providing resources and opportunities to youth, and cultivating the next generation of Latinx entertainment and creative professionals.

Library of Congress Selects Gregory Nava’s “Selena” Among 25 Films for National Film Registry for 2021

Gregory Nava’s ode to la Reina de la Musica Tejana is being celebrated as an influential film…

The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 films to make the cut for the National Film Registry, with the 72-year-old Mexican/Spanish American filmmaker’s Selena among this year’s selections.

Selena, Jennifer Lopez

This year’s list, considered among America’s most influential motion pictures, features titles spanning from 1902-2008.

The movies have been selected for their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s film heritage.

Several, including Nava’s Selena, explore stories from diverse communities that often carry universal themes.

Selena, the 1997 biographical film of Tejano Music star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez starred Jennifer Lopez in her first major movie role.

Co-star Edward James Olmos told the Library of Congress that Selena “will stand the test of time… (It’s) a masterpiece because it allows people to learn about themselves by watching other peoples’ culture.”

Sylvia Morales’ 1979 film Chicana was also selected to be part of the registry this year.

The film traces the history of Chicana and Mexican women from pre-Columbian times to the present. It covers women’s role in Aztec society, their participation in the 1810 struggle for Mexican independence, their involvement in the US labor strikes in 1872, their contributions to the 1910 Mexican revolution and their leadership in contemporary civil rights causes. Using murals, engravings and historical footage, Chicana shows how women, despite their poverty, have become an active and vocal part of the political and work life in both Mexico and the United States

Three films on this year’s list directly addressed one of the most pressing issues of the day: racially-motivated violence against people of color. The Murder Of Fred Hampton (1971), Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987) and Requiem-29 (1970) told stories of violence against Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans, respectively.

Requiem-29 documents the chilling inhuman treatment of 50,000 Chicanos by police and the death of L.A. Times journalist Ruben Salazar.

The 2021 roster of titles brings the total number in the registry to 825.

Said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, “Films help reflect our cultural history and creativity — and show us new ways of looking at ourselves — though movies haven’t always been deemed worthy of preservation. The National Film Registry will preserve our cinematic heritage, and we are proud to add 25 more films this year. The Library of Congress will work with our partners in the film community to ensure these films are preserved for generations to come.”

Select titles from 30 years of the National Film Registry are freely available online in the National Screening Room.

Films Selected for the 2021 National Film Registry (chronological order)

Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
Jubilo (1919)
The Flying Ace (1926)
Hellbound Train (1930)
Flowers and Trees (1932)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Evergreen (1965)
Requiem-29 (1970)
The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
Sounder (1972)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Cooley High (1975)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
Chicana (1979)
The Wobblies (1979)
Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Stop Making Sense (1984)
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Selena (1997)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
WALL-E (2008)

Debra Moore Muñoz Signs Overall Content Deal with FX Productions

Debra Moore Muñoz has a new content deal…

The Mexican-American writer and producer, a co-executive producer and writer on FX’s Mayans M.C., has signed an overall deal with the show’s producer, FX Productions, to develop new content for FX through her company Apogee Films, Inc.

Debra Moore Muñoz

Muñoz is a first generation American who was born and raised in Los Angeles. She attended Columbia University in New York City, then returned to LA to begin her career in film development.

She worked on projects like Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Heat and St. Vincent before transitioning into television, serving first as a general assistant, then as a writers’ assistant on Westworld from 2016 to 2018.

In 2019, she was included on the 2019 Black List for her script Refuge, which follows a brother and sister through Central America as they seek safety in the United States.

In 2021, Muñoz joined the writing staff of Mayans M.C., which stars JD Pardo as Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, a new member of the Mayans M.C. charter on the border of California and Mexico. EZ and his brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas) uncover the truth behind their mother’s murder while their father Felipe (Edward James Olmos) struggles to reconcile the choices he and his sons have made. Muñoz was recently promoted to co-executive producer.

“Debra has emerged as one of the brightest writers and producers in the industry and FX was fortunate to have her on the writing staff of ‘Mayans M.C’. since its inception,” said Nick Grad, FX’s president of original programming. “We look forward to collaborating with her for new projects that draw on her enormous talents.”

Frankie Loyal Upped to Series Regular on FX’s “Mayans M.C.”

There are more rides in Frankie Loyal’s future…

The 51-year-old Latino actor/producer has been upped to series regular on FX’s biker drama Mayans M.C. alongside Joseph Lucero and Vincent Vargas for season 4, which is scheduled to return in early 2022.

Frankie Loyal

Loyal, Lucero and Vargas took on larger roles in season 3, which saw their characters Hank Loza, Neron “Creeper” Vargas, and Gilly Lopez, respectively, flourish and develop into fully rounded characters with storylines fans embraced fully.

The trio have been a part of the series throughout its three-season run.

Mayans M.C., a spin-off series of the network’s hit Sons of Anarchy, follows a motley crew of Latino men who found a family in the motorcycle club charter Santo Padre on the California and Mexico border. While the story is about the M.C., it also features powerful female characters that are bold and powerful in their own right.

The character of E.Z. Reyes (JD Pardo) is at the center of the story as he finds his place in the gray area of a world that is mostly black and white.

It’s helmed by co-creator and executive producer Elgin James; and co-stars Clayton Cardenas, Danny Pino, Richard Cabral, Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, Sarah Bolger, Emilio Rivera, Edward James Olmos, Raoul Trujillo, Emily Tosta, and Sulem Calderon.

Loyal, whose character Hank serves as Sergeant-of-Arms to the M.C., guest-starred on FX’s Better Things opposite Pamela Adlon. On the big screen, he starred in The Deep End alongside Tilda Swinton and Goran Visnjic. He will next be seen in the drama feature Die Like A Man.

Lucero made his debut in the 2006 drama Gridiron Gang alongside Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, Moe McCrae, and Jurnee Smollett. He was also featured in Father G and the Homeboys, an award-winning documentary chronicling Father Greg Boyle’s work with Los Angeles’ toughest gang members. Lucero’s television credits include Dirt, ERThe ShieldCold Case, Criminal MindsThe CloserShameless, S.W.A.T., and FBI.

Vargas is a veteran of the U.S. Army that served three combat deployments who continues to serve his country today for the Army Reserve. In 2009, he became a Federal Agent with the Department of Homeland Security and was a Medic with the Special Operations Group.

He has starred and produced several films including Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace (co-executive producer), Not a War Story (executive producer), and Dads in Parks (writer). Vargas pulled double duty since season 2 on Mayans M.C. as recurring star and technical advisor.

Eva Longoria Among Celebrities & Entertainment Figures Encouraging World Leaders to “End the COVID-19 Pandemic Now”

Eva Longoria is urging on world leaders to take action to end the ongoing coronavirus pandemic…

Tuesday morning, just before President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations for the first time, more than 80 celebrities and entertainment figures, including the 46-year-old Mexican American actress, producer and activist, issued an open letter to world leaders calling for them to end “the COVID-19 pandemic now.”

Eva Longoria

The letter, which mentioned the United Nations General Assembly Session specifically, was posted on the website of CARE, an organization dedicated to ending poverty worldwide.

It was signed by a raft of boldfaced names including Longoria, Debra MessingAlyssa Milano, Anne Hathaway, Malin Akerman, Debbie Allen, Jordana Brewster, Connie Britton, Ciara, Peter Dinklage, Richard Gere, Dolores Huerta, Joel McHale, Iman, Edward James Olmos, Laura Linney, Julianna Margulies, Joel McHale, Idina Menzel, Ana Ortiz, Adam Shankman, Michael Sheen, Adam Shulman and Sarah Silverman.

Specifically, the letter calls COVID-19 “a manmade pandemic of apathy.” It states that “Only 2% of people in low-income countries have received a single dose.” The signatories call on “global leaders to make 7 billion vaccine doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccinate 70% of the world by next summer.”

Those are lofty goals given the world’s most highly vaccinated countries, like the U.S., remain well under 70%.

It also asks leaders to “invest in last-mile delivery systems, public education, and frontline healthcare workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms.”

Here’s the full letter:

An open letter to world leaders on ending the COVID-19 pandemic now.

None of us are safe until all of us are safe.

We call on leaders gathering at the United Nations General Assembly Session to boldly act
together to end COVID-19 everywhere.

COVID-19 is now a manmade pandemic of apathy. Only 2% of people in low-income countries have received a single dose, leaving the world’s most vulnerable to face COVID with no
protection. This situation also lets new variants, like Delta, emerge and ravage the lives of
millions.

We are joining with CARE to call on global leaders to make 7 billion vaccine doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccinate 70%
of the world by next summer.

To get this done the world community must also invest in last-mile delivery systems, public education, and frontline healthcare workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms. Millions
of doses could go to waste because low-income countries don’t have the support they
need to get vaccines to vulnerable people.

We can save millions of lives — and trillions in further economic damage — by meeting this moment with the resources and political will needed to end COVID-19 for everyone,
everywhere. Because none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

Malin Akerman
Debbie Allen
Dorothy Amuah
Morena Baccarin
Adriana Barraza
Troian Bellisario
Bobby Berk
Jordana Brewster
Connie Britton
Karamo Brown
Gloria Calderón Kellett
Ciara
Tena Clark
Kim Coates
Madison Cowan
Alexandra Daddario
Peter Dinklage
Melinda Doolittle
Tan France
Richard Gere
Duff Goldman
Tony Goldwyn
Fiona Gubelmann
Anne Hathaway
Ingrid Hoffmann
Anders Holm
Dolores Huerta
Osas Ighodaro
Joel McHale
Iman
Edward James Olmos
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja
Ellie Krieger
Iskra Lawrence
Annie Lennox
Lola Lennox
Esther Lewis
Laura Linney
Kimberly Locke
Eva Longoria
Anja Manuel
Julianna Margulies
Catherine McCord
Joel McHale
Spike Mendelsohn
Idina Menzel
Debra Messing
Alyssa Milano
Sepideh Moafi
Tamera Mowry-Housley
Yvette Nicole Brown
Christina Ochoa
Ana Ortiz
Helen Pankhurst
Jessica Pimentel
Julie Plec
Adina Porter
Zac Posen
Leven Rambin
April Reign
Holland Roden
Sheila Shah
Adam Shankman
Omar Sharif Jr.
Michael Sheen
Adam Shulman
Sarah Silverman
Hannah Skvarla
Todd Snyder
Kimberly Steward
Curtis Stone
Christy Turlington Burns
Laura Vandervoort
Gabby Williams
Michelle Williams
Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Russell Wilson
Scott Wolf
Kelley Wolf
Bellamy Young
Rachel Zoe

Diego Luna to Receive 2021 Platino Award of Honor

Diego Luna is being celebrated for his platinum career.

This year’s seventh edition of the Ibero-American Platino Awards (Premios Platinos) will honor the 41-year-old Mexican actor, director, producer and festival organizer with the Platino Award of Honor.

Diego Luna

An itinerant award show by design, this year’s Platinos will be held on October 3 in Madrid.

Luna will be the youngest recipient of the career achievement honor, joining previous winners Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez, often simply referred to as Raphael, one of Spain’s most iconic entertainers of the 20th century; Adriana Barraza, the Oscar nominated Spanish-English-language crossover star of Alejandro Iñárritu’s Babel and Amores Perros; Oscar and three time Primetime Emmy nominee Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver); Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory); and Primetime Emmy (The Burning Season) and BAFTA (“Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos) nominee Sonia Braga.

A child actor who excelled from an early age, Luna’s first film appearance was in Javier Bourges’ 1991 Mexican Academy Award-nominated short The Last New Year.” He appeared in several telenovelas throughout the ‘90s, joined on screen for the first time by his longtime collaborator and close friend Gael García Bernal in El abuelo y yo in 1992. Alternating between film and television over the next decade, his international breakout came with García Bernal and Spain’s Marbel Verdú in Alfonso Cuarón’s seminal coming-of-age road trip film “Y Tu Mamá También.”

Shortly after, Luna began his Hollywood career appearing alongside Bon Jovi in John Carpenter’s Vampires: Los Muertos and in Salma Hayek’s Oscar-winning biopic Frida.

In the decades since, Luna has continued to work on both Latin American and U.S. productions while also taking turns as a producer, writer and director. He also, again with García Bernal, launched the nomadic documentary film festival Ambulante, as well as their own production label, first Canana in 2005 and now La Corriente del Golfo.

Most recently, he created and hosts the Amazon Original conversation series Pan y Circo and is starring in the Disney+’s Andor, a spinoff series following his Rogue One: A Star Wars Story character Cassian Andor.

He was also recently confirmed as a voice actor for Netflix’s upcoming animated series Maya and the Three, where he will team with frequent collaborator Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life).

Last year’s ceremony was, like so many, forced online by the COVID-19 pandemic. But this time around, the Platinos are planning an in-person event to celebrate the best offerings from the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American screen industries.

At 11 nominations each, the two standout titles are Fernando Trueba’s Colombian drama Memories of My Father and Jayro Bustamante’s Guatemalan thriller La Llorona.

The Platino Awards are promoted by EGEDA (Spain’s Entity for the Rights Management of Audiovisual Producers) and FIPCA (the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers) and have the support of the Ibero-American film academies and institutes as well as numerous sponsors in Europe and Latin America.

David DeSantos to Appear on Fifth Season of CBS’ “S.W.A.T.”

David DeSantos is joining the team…

The 46-year-old Latino actor has landed a recurring role on the upcoming fifth season of CBS’ S.W.A.T.

David DeSantos

DeSantos will play Rodrigo Sanchez, a 20-year LAPD veteran and former SWAT member.

Sanchez is a gregarious, confident, and savvy political climber who left SWAT in pursuit of loftier jobs within the LAPD.

S.W.A.T. stars Shemar Moore as a former Marine and locally born-and-raised SWAT sergeant who is tasked with running a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles.

DeSantos can be seen recurring on Season 3 of the CW’s Roswell, New Mexico, as well as on TNT’s Animal Kingdom.

On the film side, he recently appeared opposite Edward James Olmos and Richard Cabral in Windows on the World.

FX Renews JD Pardo’s “Mayans M.C.” for Fourth Season

JD Pardo is still ridin’ high…

FX’s Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans M.C., starring the 40-year-old Salvadoran and Argentinian-American actor, has been renewed for a fourth season, coming ahead of the third-season finale of the gritty biker drama on May 11.

JD Pardo

Co-creator Elgin James took over as showrunner for the third season following the firing of his co-creator Kurt Sutter.

The fourth season will air in 2022.

Mayans M.C. follows the life of Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, played by Pardo, a newly patched member of the Mayans M.C. charter on the Cali/Mexi border. Once the golden boy with the American Dream in his grasp, EZ and his brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas) are closer than ever after uncovering the truth behind their mother’s murder while their father Felipe (Edward James Olmos) struggles to reconcile the choices he and his sons have made.

After U.S. Assistant District Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) threatens to deport Felipe, EZ and Angel chose to leverage incriminating information to protect him rather than to free rebel leader Adelita (Carla Baratta) from federal custody, leaving her to give birth to Angel’s son while in handcuffs. Meanwhile, Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino), is left reeling over the loss of his mother to apparent suicide, while others quietly suspect foul play.

Additionally, the Mayans seek vengeance on their rivals, the Tijuana M.C. Vatos Malditos, after a surprise attack on their club. When the smoke clears, they discover the body of a Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original – there will be hell to pay.

Michael Irby, Raoul Max Trujillo, Richard Cabral, Emilio Rivera, Sarah Bolger and Sulem Calderon also star.

Mayans M.C. is executive produced by James, Michael Dinner and Sutter. The 10-episode third season is produced by 20th Television and FX Productions.

“Elgin James, his creative collaborators, this incredible cast and crew delivered on another epic season of Mayans M.C.,” said Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX Entertainment. “Through three seasons, Mayans has told stories that resonate well beyond the border where the club thrives and survives, inviting fans inside their world and giving them a seat at the table.”

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival to Host Special Screening of Anthony Ramos’ “In The Heights”

Anthony Ramos will be reaching new heights sooner than expected…

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival will host a special screening of “In The Heights,” starring the 29-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor.

Anthony Ramos in In The Heights

The screening will take place on June 4 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

It will come ahead of the world premiere of the Jon M. Chu-directed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical five days later to open the Tribeca Film Festival.

It’s a coup for the L.A.-based fest, which is run by the Edward James Olmos-founded Latino Film Institute.

The preview is taking take one week before In the Heights premieres on June 11 in theaters and on HBO Max.

The news comes as LALIFF and Tribeca said they are partnering as a celebration of their 20th anniversaries this year.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to Paz Vega’s Coming of Age Film “Chasing Wonders”

The wonders of Paz Vega will be heading to U.S. theaters…

Arclight Films’ Chasing Wonders, starring the 45-year-old Spanish actress, has locked North American distribution with Gravitas.

Paz Vega

Directed by Paul Meins, the coming of age film will have a theatrical and on-demand release on June 4. Arclight is handling global sales for the film.

Set in the lush wine country landscapes of Australia and Spain, the heart-warming tale follows 12-year-old Savino, who, encouraged by his maternal grandfather to live a life of hope and possibility, takes off on the adventure of a lifetime to find the magical Emu Plains. His journey leads him to the heart of the human condition – learning to understand our parents’ past but not to be defined by it.

In addition to Vega, the film also stars Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos, Quim Gutierrez, Carmen Maura, Goya Award-winner Antonio de la Torre, Australia’s Jessica Marais, and making his feature film debut, Michael Crisafulli as Savino.

Australian award-winning screenwriter Judy Morris wrote the screenplay, which was shot over a five-year period.

Chasing Wonders made its World Premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival last year and has been selected for the Gold Coast Film Festival, where it will screen on April 18 and 22.

Chasing Wonders is an uplifting story of familial love and loss and a powerful exploration of the path to understanding and acceptance. This heartwarming film with top international stars and spectacular landscapes is exactly what audiences yearn for. We are thrilled to have our longtime trusted partners at Gravitas Ventures bringing the film to North American audiences and are certain that their team will make this beautiful film shine bright,” said Arclight Films Chairman Gary Hamilton.

“With an ensemble that includes veteran screen icons alongside exciting new talent, the filmmakers craft an inspiring coming of age story on a canvas of breathtaking vistas across multiple continents. We look forward to North American audiences taking the journey,” said Tony Piantedosi, VP of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures.

Hianlo Films presents Chasing Wonders in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, a Met Film and SLA Films production.