Jesse Garcia to Star in the Eva Longoria-Directed “Flamin’ Hot” Film

It’s a flamin’ hot time for Jesse Garcia.

The 38-year-old Mexican American actor and former Quinceañera star has landed the lead role in Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot from Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment.

Jesse Garcia

Garcia will play Richard Montanez, the architect of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, while Annie Gonzalez of Gentefied will portray his wife, Judy.

Flamin’ Hot tells the true life story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who took inspiration from his Mexican American heritage to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the snack that disrupted the food industry and became a pop culture phenomenon.

Desperate Housewives actress and Telenovela, Grand Hoteland Devious Maids EP Longoria beat out several directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Searchlight with her authentic approach to the project.

“It has been my biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically,” said Longoria in a statement. “I am so happy to have two extremely talented and fellow Mexican-Americans on board in these pivotal roles. Jesse and Annie have a deep understanding of our community and will be able to help tell this story of great importance for our culture.”

Also new to Flamin’ Hot is scribe Linda Yvette Chavez who has come aboard for revisions on the Lewis Colick-penned screenplay. Chavez is the creator of Netflix’s Gentefied and she’s also adapting I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at the streamer for America Ferrera’s upcoming directorial debut.

Garcia appears in the Searchlight Pictures title Under the Same Moon, alongside Kate del Castillo and Ferrera. He has been widely recognized for his role in the highly acclaimed Quinceañera winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. For his performance as Carlos, Garcia was nominated and won the prestigious ALMA Award (American Latino Media Arts) as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 2007. Garcia can also be seen in The Avengers.

Gonzalez is a Chicana actress and East Los Angeles native. She grew up singing with the band Quetzal, (which has been a noted force in the Chicano movement), was one of the original dancers on Jamm X Kids for the WB and has been appearing on TV since the age of 10. She is most known for her roles in Gentefied, Vida, Shameless, and Legion. She was recently cast in the ABC pilot, Bucktown starring opposite Jane Lynch and Nicole Richie. Gonzalez also has a YouTube page with videos dedicated to her thoughts on spirituality, self-love, peace, positivity and living life as a Latina.

Roadside Attractions Acquires North American Rights to Rita Moreno’s Documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It”

Rita Moreno is ready to bring her life story to America…

Roadside Attractions has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It, about the 89-year-old Latina living legend.

Rita MorenoA release is planned for June 18.

Roadside’s deal excludes the television license to PBSAmerican Masters, which will present the exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere of the doc after it hits theaters.

In addition to Moreno, others featured in the Mariem Pérez Riera-directed doc include George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo.

The film covers Moreno’s 70-year-plus career rise and struggles, from her beginnings in poverty on a Puerto Rican farm to becoming a rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, Tony Awards) winner.

She’s the first Latina actress to win an Oscar (for her role as Anita in 1961’s West Side Story). Despite the win, studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent.

“Roadside Attractions, I’m so pleased for your commitment to my story and especially for making it available to a broader audience. Curtain Up!,” Moreno commented.

“Stars like Rita are few and far between, her showbiz story and personal remembrances resonate for a large, diverse audience, and the heights she continues to achieve are a true crowd pleasing uplift after the year we’ve all had,” said Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff.

“Rita is an incredible inspiration to so many, hers is a success story for all women who feel alone as they struggle to assert themselves with courage and bravery against heavy odds,” offered director Pérez Riera. “We are so thrilled to bring Rita to theaters for audiences to spend time with a woman who, when speaking about herself, speaks to and for a lot of us.”

“There were only a small group of distributors we hoped would take notice at Sundance. Roadside was at the top of that list,” said film’s producer, ACT III’s Brent Miller and EP Norman Lear. “We think we’re in great hands with Howard and Eric at the helm and couldn’t be more excited for the world to know the Rita we now know and love.”

American Masters Pictures and Act III Productions in association with Artemis Rising and Maramar Films are producers.

Diana Maria Riva to Star in HBO Max’s Family Comedy Pilot “The Gordita Chronicles”

Diana Maria Riva is beginning to chronicle

The 51-year-old Dominican American actress has joined the cast of HBO Max’s upcoming family comedy pilot The Gordita Chronicles, from Josh Berman’s Osprey Productions, Zoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures and Sony Pictures Television.

Diana Maria Riva

Riva, who recently started in NBC’s short-lived comedy Sunnyside, joins a roster of new cast additions that includes Juan Javier Cardenas, Savannah Nicole Ruiz, Noah Rico and Cosette Hauer.

They join newcomer Olivia Goncalveswho will lead the comedy written by Claudia Forestieri and directed by Eva Longoria.

The Gordita Chronicles centers on Carlota “Cucu” Castelli (Goncalves), a willful 12-year-old Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold. Cucu leaves her home and her parochial school in Santo Domingo to live in Miami and pursue the American Dream during the hedonistic 1980s after her father, a marketing executive with a large airline, gets transferred there. Cucu meets head-on the challenges of being an immigrant in a strange new world with humor, bravado and some really bad choices.

Riva will appear as Adela, Cucu’s mom. The actress appeared as Detective Ana Perez in Netflix’Dead to Me. Her additional roles include Man with a PlanKajillionaire, and McFarland, USA.

Cardenas takes on Victor Castelli, Cucu’s dad. He played Dante in The Walking Dead and Ben in S.W.A.T. His credits also include Snowfall, Damnation, Scandal and Lusa.

Ruiz will appear as Emilia, Cucu’s older sister. High School Musical: The Musical actor Noah Rico joins the cast as Yosmel “Yoshy” Hernandez, a Cuban refugee and Cucu’s first friend in Miami.

Lastly, Hauer joins as Ashley, a needy go-getter desperate to fit in, but nevertheless always sticks out.

Brigitte Munoz Liebowitz serves as executive producer and showrunner. Berman, Chris King and Jennifer Robinson executive produce for Osprey Productions. Longoria executive produces via her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana executive produce for Cinestar Pictures. Forestieri is co-executive producer. Sony Pictures Television is the studio.

Eva Longoria Named to Television Academy Foundation’s Board of Directors

Eva Longoria is joining the board…

The 46-year-old Mexican American actress, activist and former Desperate Housewives star has been appointed to the board of directors at the Television Academy Foundation.

 

Eva LongoriaThe foundation’s programs include an annual internship program, a media faculty conference and the College Television Awards in addition to its extensive archive of oral histories of TV legends, The Interviews.

Longoria will work alongside foundation chair Cris Abrego and the board to further the group’s work promoting inclusion in the TV industry and providing educational and professional development programs for students with diverse backgrounds.

“We are thrilled to welcome two exceedingly accomplished, inspiring and engaged trailblazers to the foundation’s board,” Abrego said in a release announcing the appointments. “As leaders in their respective fields, their expertise and thought leadership will help drive the Foundation’s initiatives and champion the advancement of aspiring professionals from underrepresented communities to ensure a more inclusive, next-generation television talent pool.”

Longoria has been has been leading the charge of diverse and female representation in the industry since her role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, both in front of the camera and via her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, which recently teamed up with ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group for their First Time Directors program highlighting BIPOC and women filmmakers to produce 50 films across the group’s portfolio of networks and streaming services.

Eva Longoria to Direct & Executive Produce HBO Max’s “The Gordita Chronicles” Pilot

Eva Longoria has lined up her next directorial project…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress/producer will direct and executive produce The Gordita Chronicles pilot at HBO Max.

Eva Longoria

The single-camera family comedy hails from Josh Berman’s Osprey ProductionsZoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures, and Sony Pictures Television, where Berman’s Osprey Prods is under a deal.

Written by Claudia Forestier, The Gordita Chronicles centers on a willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican who struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American Dream.

Brigitte Munoz Liebowitz serves as executive producer and showrunner. Longoria executive produces via her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana executive produce for Cinestar Pictures.

Sony Pictures Television is the studio.

Longoria will be making her film directorial debut with Searchlight’s Flamin’ Hot, an inspiring biopic about the janitor turned executive who created the flaming hot Cheetos snack. She’ll also direct the workplace comedy 24/7 and star alongside Kerry Washington for Universal and direct the action comedy Spa Day for Sony.

The former Desperate Housewives star made her television directing debut on Devious Maids in 2014. Her television producing/directing credits also include ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Versus, and episodes of Black-ish, The Mick and Telenovela.

Longoria made her pilot directing debut with the CW’s Glorious.

 

Paramount+ Rebooting Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer” as Live-Action Series

Dora the Explorer is getting the live-action television treatment.

The Nickelodeon series will be rebooted for Paramount+.

Dora the Explorer

Dora the Explorer, which ran for eight seasons, will return in live-action form aimed at kids 6-11.

The series follows Dora Marquez, a 7-year-old Latina with a love of embarking on quests accompanied by her talking purple backpack and Boots the monkey.

Kathleen Herles, Caitlin Sanchez and Fatima Ptacek have previously voiced the character of Dora on the long-running animated series.

A live-action film adaptation of the series, starring Isabela Moner, was released in 2019. Dora and the Lost City of Gold also starred Eva Longoria.

Eva Longoria to Star in the Anthology Feature “Women’s Stories”

Eva Longoria is telling stories

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress has joined the all-star cast of the anthology feature Women’s Stories, whose segments will be directed by filmmakers including Catherine Hardwicke.

Eva Longoria

Longoria joins a roster of cast additions that includes Cara DelevingneMargherita BuyMarcia Gay Harden, Leonor Varela and Jacqueline Fernandez.

The film will be comprised of six segments directed by female directors from different parts of the world, shot in Italy, India and the U.S. They will range in genre from drama to comedy, docu-drama to animation. The cast will be all female.

The first four segments have been mapped out: Unspoken will be directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi (Me, Myself & Her) and star decorated Italian actress Margherita Buy (My Mother), the seven-time David di Donatello award-winner; Lagonegro will be directed by Lucia Puenzo (La Jauria) and star Desperate Housewives and Overboard actress Longoria; Elbows Deep will be directed by Twilight filmmaker Hardwicke and star model and actress Delevingne (Suicide Squad), Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock) and Jasmine Luv (Starter Pack); and Sharing A Ride will be directed by Leena Yadav (Three Cards) and feature Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandez and transgender model Anjali Lama.

Producing are Iervolino Entertainment (Waiting For The Barbarians) and non-profit production company We Do It Together, which campaigns for gender equality.

Chiara Tilesi, founder and President of We Do It Together, said of the project: “At We Do It Together, our mission is to enhance and change the image of women in films and media, from object to subject. We are dedicated to telling stories of women, both in front of and behind the camera. That’s why Women Stories is so important to us – we have brought together female directors, from all over the world, who collaborate and share personal stories from their own point of view. We are telling the stories of these heroines and their aspirations: from health workers to mothers, artists and business women, to name a few. We also want to be inclusive and have as many different perspectives as possible, which is why connecting globally is so important to us. Now more than ever, especially after the latest UN policy brief The Impact of Covid-19 On Women, it has emerged that gender inequality is still a very present reality and, unfortunately, we remain far from a solution. Some of the achievements that were made, are at risk of being erased once again. This is why it is so important for us to continue to tell stories about women, by women, but for everyone. Only together can men and women finally change these paradigms.”

Andrea Iervolino, President and founder of Iervolino Entertainment, added: “It gives me tremendous pride to collaborate with such an astounding ensemble, and to help deliver a message larger than the film itself. It’s important for us that this be done on a global scale, which is why we’re shooting, very carefully and safely, in Italy, India and the US.”

The project was initially announced five years ago in different form as Together Now.

Edward James Olmos to Take Part in Biden Inaugural Committee’s “Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience, and Promise” Event

Edward James Olmos is preparing to celebrate the resilience and promise of the Latino community in the United States…

President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee has announced a Tuesday night event, featuring the 73-year-old Mexican American actor, director, producer, and activist, that shines a spotlight on the Latino community.

Edward James Olmos

Entitled Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience, and Promise, the event will be hosted by Eva Longoria.

It will feature appearances by Olmos, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Leguizamo, Rita Moreno, Ivy Queen and Becky G.

There also will be performances from Gilberto Santa Rosa and Gaby Moreno, featuring David Garza, Emilio Estefan and All-Star Tejanos UnitedStefani Montiel, Jose Posada, Shelly Lares, DJ Kane and Mariachi Nuevo Santander from Roma High School.

Emilio Estefan produced a performance of One World, One Prayer by the Wailers, featuring Skip Marley, Farruko, Shaggy and Cedella Marley.

The event will take palace on Tuesday, January 19 at 9:30 pm ET

 

It’s part of a series of events that will highlight the nation’s diversity, including the AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers, celebrating the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities; and We Are One, celebrating Black Americans.

Ricky Martin Receives International Peace Honors Recognition from PeaceTech Lab 

Ricky Martin is celebrating a special honor…

PeaceTech Lab presented the International Peace Honors during a virtual celebration on Sunday night to unite and honor leaders and change agents working toward a more just and equitable future, including the 49-year-old Puerto Rican superstar.

Ricky Martin

Martin was saluted for his advocacy for human rights, tolerance and peace at the event, which was hosted by Natalia Jiménez.

“In addition to his artistic contributions, Ricky Martin has made notable strides in the social impact space,” said Sheldon Himelfarb, the president and CEO of PeaceTech Lab, in a press release. “He leverages his social networks to advocate for minority rights and promote civic engagement; through his foundation, he works to end human trafficking, especially of children; and in 2020, he galvanized support for frontline workers across the world. His contributions are invaluable, and it is a privilege for us to be able to recognize him during our International Peace Honors.”

Martin is well known for his activism. He’s the founder and president of the Ricky Martin Foundation, which rallies against human trafficking, protects children and vulnerable communities, and defends the human rights of millions.

But Martin wasn’t the only Latino nominee for the first-event International Peace Honors…

Ricardo Montaner was honored for his humanitarian efforts.

Other nominees included Dr. Anthony Fauci, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, Amazonian Chief Raoni and the “father of the internet” Vint Cerf.

Stephen CurryEva LongoriaSting and José Andrés were presenters, while former U.S. President Jimmy Carter delivered a special message.

Sting also delivered an intimate version of “Fragile,” while Alejandro Sanz performed “La Quiero a Morir,” Camilo and his wife Evaluna Montaner (whose father is one of the evening’s honorees) sang “Amen,” and Laura Pausini performed “Io Si,” the main theme of Netflix‘s The Life Ahead.

Eva Longoria to Take Part in Presidential & Vice Presidential Inauguration Special “Celebrating America”

Eva Longoria is celebrating America in a special way…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress and producer will introduce segments during the two-hour Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inauguration special that starts at 8:30 pm ET on January 20th.

Eva Longoria

While Tom Hanks will serve as the official host the program, Longoria and Kerry Washington will reprise their duties from last summer’s semi-virtual Democratic National Convention, which had the same producers.

The Celebrating America television special will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and more next week.

Biden and Harris are scheduled to give remarks of their own during Celebrating America.

The finale for the five-day America United themed event in a deeply and violently divided nation, Celebrating America has already made public that Justin Timberlake will be busting a move or two onstage. Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and that other Garden State superstar Jon Bon Jovi will be performing also.

More acts and big names are expected to be revealed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee in the next few days.

Along with the TV networks, Celebrating America will be seen on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse as well as the PIC’s social media feeds.