Sofia Carson Teams Up with Diane Warren on “Applause,” Official Single for Female Empowerment Film “Tell It Like a Woman”

Sofia Carson is ready to tell it like a woman…

The 29-year-old Colombian American actress/singer has teamed up with superstar songwriter and 13-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren on “Applause,” the official song for the star-studded female-powered feature Tell It Like A Woman.

Sofia Carson“Applause,”  performed by Carson, will be released later this year as a single through Disney Music Group label Hollywood Records. An accompanying music video was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, starring Carson.

Warren’s song is described as “the defining sound of the film and intended to serve as a hymn for female empowerment.” The filmmakers say they’ll be embarking on an Oscar campaign for the track.

Tell It Like A Woman is comprised of seven segments, making a feature length film. The segments are directed by female directors from different parts of the world, shot in Italy, India, Japan, and the U.S.. Genres include drama, comedy, docudrama and animation.

Tell It Like A Women’s filmmakers and actors include Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Hudson, Pauletta Washington, Cara Delevingne, Catherine Hardwicke, Margherita Buy, Marcia Gay Harden, Eva Longoria, Leonor Varela, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anne Watanabe and Mipo O.

The intertwining segments comprise: Unspoken, directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi and starring Buy; Lagonegro, directed by Lucia Puenzo and starring Longoria; Elbows Deep, directed by Hardwicke and starring Delevingne, Harden and Jasmine LuvSharing A Ride, directed by Leena Yadav and starring Fernandez and Anjali LamaA Week In My Life, directed by Mipo O and starring Watanabe; and Pepcy & Kim, directed by Henson and starring Hudson and Washington.

The project is the result of a collaboration with We Do It Together, a non-profit film production company that advocates for gender equality, founded by producer Chiara Tilesi. Producers are Tilesi, Andrea Iervolino, Lucas Akoskin and Monika Bacardi.

 

Samuel Goldwyn Films has closed a deal with Italian outfit Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment to acquire U.S. distribution rights to the project.

Samuel Goldwyn Films plans to release the movie in theaters this winter and says it is lining up an awards campaign.

Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz Extends Overall Deal with Sony Pictures Television

Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz is staying with Sony…

The half-Colombian American television producer, director and writer has extended her overall deal with Sony Pictures Television.

Brigitte Muñoz-LiebowitzMuñoz-Liebowitz is the executive producer and showrunner of Gordita Chronicles, the coming-of-age HBO Max comedy series, which premiered this past week.

Under the new multi-year pact, Muñoz-Liebowitz will continue to develop scripted comedy series across cable and streaming, as well as run Gordita Chronicles if the series, which is drawing solid early reviews, is renewed for a second season.

Muñoz-Liebowitz already has a number of projects in the works, including Birthright, which she is co-writing with Lindsay Golder.

Created by Claudia Forestieri, Gordita Chronicles is set in 1980s Miami and tells the story of the Castellis who move from the Dominican Republic in pursuit of the American dream.

In shepherding Gordita Chronicles, which Muñoz-Liebowitz executive produces alongside Forestieri as well as Josh Berman, Jennifer Robinson and Chris King of SPT-based Osprey Productions, Eva Longoria, who directed the pilot, and Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana for Cinestar Pictures, she draws on her personal experience.

Muñoz-Liebowitz, who grew up in Santa Clarita, CA, is the daughter of a Colombian immigrant mother who came to the US when she was 12, and a New York Jew father. Raised by her mom, dad and her Colombian grandmother, who only spoke Spanish, in a predominantly white neighborhood, “I was one of the brownest people in my class and the only person with two Zs and a tilde in their name, and I had very much a feeling of being the weirdo outsider,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said. “A lot of the things I really connected to when I read the original script were those feelings, and I also really saw my own family in the story of the Castellis and Gordita Chronicles, so many of the stories my mom had told me about when she came to the United States were some of the same exact stories in the show.”

With a Florida immigrant family pursuing the American dream at the center and a story told through the eyes of a school-age child, Gordita Chronicles draws parallels to ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat. Besides the Castellis coming straight from their country of origin vs. Washington DC where the Huangs moved from with their U.S.-born children, “our tone is slightly different,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said. “We tried to, not speaking about content necessarily, but we really tried to go for a different sort of comedy style, which is a bit more cinematic, referencing a lot of the movies that we grew up watching in the 80s that we looked at and were aspiring to when we thought of the American dream, the John Hughes movies and Chris Columbus films.”

Those include 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as Home Alone, which came out a few years later.

“The pacing also is quite a bit slower,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said, adding that Season 1 chronicles the family’s first few months in the new country.

Muñoz-Liebowitz says she’s always wanted to be a TV writer ever since she was a child. With an educator mother and a small business owner father, she didn’t have any connections in the business, so “I had to figure it all out for myself,” she sad.

She finished USC with a degree in screenwriting but then switched gears by going to graduate school at Columbia University for producing.

“I discovered after going to USC that at that time, the kinds of stories that I wanted to tell were not attractive to studios because they were stories about people of color, that my that kind of humor wasn’t really à la mode.”

She worked briefly as a line producer and a production manager in New York in indie film and commercials while taking comedy classes. Her first television job was as a script coordinator under Jonah Nolan and Greg Plageman on the pilot for Person Of Interest and then she became a writers assistant on the series, moving to Los Angeles.

“So I actually learned about TV writing from drama writers on a sci-fi procedural,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said.

During her time on the series, Muñoz-Liebowitz kept applying to the NBC Writers On the Verge program while taking classes at the Groundlings and Improv Olympic West. She got into the NBC program on her third try. Her first job out of that was on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which led to a string of writing gigs on TBS’ People of Earth, NBC’s Abby’s, Disney+’s Diary of a Future President, HBO Max’s Love Life, and the Sony TV-produced One Day At a Time, on which she served as a Co-Executive Producer.

One Day At a Time was a wonderful experience because it was, I think, the first really safe space to be able to be myself entirely as a woman Latinx comedy writer, and watching [co-creator/EP] Gloria Calderón Kellett just be herself and push for the show and the content that she wanted was really inspiring.”

Muñoz-Liebowitz’s work on One Day at a TIme also got the attention of Sony TV brass who signed her to her first overall deal in 2020.

“Brigitte was a superstar for us on One Day At A Time and we quickly made a development deal with her to solidify our relationship,” said Glenn Adilman, EVP Comedy Development, Sony Pictures Television. “She did an incredible job running the amazing first season of Gordita Chronicles for HBO Max, where she helped build a very strong room of diverse writers and supported creator Claudia Forestieri’s great vision. We are beyond excited to have Brigitte tell her stories and continue our wonderful relationship together.”

Those stories include Birthright, about a Latinx woman who converts to Judaism for her fiance, then gets dumped at the altar and has to decide, am I still Jewish?

“It’s a comedy about identity and the different spaces we can we can fit into in our lives,” said Muñoz-Liebowitz who produces the project with her co-writer Golder as well as Israeli company MA Productions.

While all of her existing projects in development are comedy, Muñoz-Liebowitz said that she loves watching dramas and is open to revisiting her TV beginnings by tackling a drama under her new deal with Sony TV.

“Sony has been so incredibly supportive of all the projects that I brought to them,” she said. “They’ve been such wonderful creative partners, I’ve just felt like they’ve had my back and supported my vision.”

HBO Max Releases First Trailer for “Gordita Chronicles,” Starring Olivia Goncalves

Olivia Goncalves is heading back to the 80s…

HBO Max has released the first trailer for its coming-of-age series Gordita Chronicles, starring the Latina Hollywood newcomer.

Olivia Goncalves

The series, which is about family, opportunity, love, resilience and boldly defying the status quo in pursuit of the “American Dream,” will premiere on Thursday, June 23 on HBO Max.

Here’s the logline for the series from Sony Pictures Television and executive producers Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana: The year is 1985 and Cucu “Gordita” Castelli (Goncalves) has just said goodbye to all of her friends and family in Santo Domingo. She has moved to Miami with her marketing-executive father Víctor (Juan Javier Cardenas), bold and vivacious mother Adela (Diana Maria Riva) and status-obsessed older sister Emilia (Savannah Nicole Ruiz). While life in America is far from what they imagined — “The song said ‘America the Beautiful,” Cucu says, “I think they oversold it” — the Castellis are determined to take charge of their strange new world. The coming-of-age series is about family, opportunity, love, resilience, and boldly defying the status quo in pursuit of the “American Dream.”

After immigrating from their home in the Dominican Republic, 12-year-old Cucu Castelli (Goncalves) and her eccentric family must discover and define their version of the “American Dream” in 1980s Miami. Cucu meets head-on the challenges of being an immigrant in a strange new world with humor, bravado and some really bad choices.

Noah Rico, Cosette Hauer and Dascha Polanco also star in the series, whose first episode was directed by Longoria. Patrick Fabian and Loni Love are guest stars.

Showrunner Brigitte Munoz-Liebowitz executive produces alongside writer Claudia Forestieri, Longoria, Saldana, Josh Berman, Jennifer Robinson, Chris King, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana.

Eva Longoria’s New Docuseries “Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico” Moved to CNN’s Linear Network

Eva Longoria’s search is switching locations…

CNN has moved the 47-year-old Mexican American actress, director and producer’s Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico from its fallen streaming service CNN+ to its linear network.

Eva LongoriaThe news was revealed by Chris Licht, chairman and chief executive officer of CNN Worldwide, at the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront in New York.

Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico, which was unveiled as one of CNN+’s first series, will be moved to the linear network after the axe of the streaming service.

The series, which is produced by Raw TV, follows the Desperate Housewives star as she explores cuisine in Mexico. From harvesting blue agave for tequila as the Aztecs once did, to slow cooking traditional mole sauce in Oaxaca, Longoria will journey across the country.

It now sits alongside projects like Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, See It Loud: The History of Black Television (w/t), The 2010s from exec producer Tom Hanks, and CNN Films titles like Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down and Little Richard: I Am Everything (w/t).

Eva Longoria Directs Documentary About Oscar de la Hoya & Julio César Chávez Boxing Rivalry

Eva Longoria Bastón is going to war in the ring…

The 46-year-old Mexican American actress, director and producer has helmed La Guerra Civil, a documentary that highlights the clash of boxing champions Oscar de la Hoya and Julio César Chávez.

Oscar de la HoyaThe documentary recently made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

de la Hoya and Chávez first faced off in 1996, then battled each other in a rematch in 1998.

“I call it the golden age of boxing, like this was when boxing was at its best,” Longoria Bastón said during an appearance in Deadline’s virtual Sundance Studio. “Not only was boxing as a sport its best, Oscar and Julio were the best at that time. It feels like a time that’s gone. It feels like it’s so far away. But yet it was like yesterday.”

The bouts attracted huge attention in part because of the incredible skill of the combatants, but also because of the communities the men represented: de la Hoya grew up Mexican-American in East L.A.; Chávez was born and bred in México, a national hero in his homeland. Each fighter boasted ardent followings. But even some of de la Hoya’s family were big-time Chávez fans.

“When you have your uncles rooting for Chávez, it was very strange,” de la Hoya recalled. “But it was fun because Julio César Chávez is such a great, iconic figure in Mexico, and I was coming up after winning the Olympic Gold Medal, winning world titles. So, it’s the young bull against the older, experienced lion. It was a great rivalry.”

de la Hoya and Chávez, who have become friends since their days in the ring, both appear in the documentary. de la Hoya praised Longoria Bastón’s directorial work.

“The way Eva just put it together was incredible. She captured the important moments, those moments that literally divided our cultures because of this fight,” de la Hoya commented. “The Mexican national was my uncles — they were rooting for Chávez. The younger generation was rooting for me, the Mexican-American. So, it was it was pretty heated. Eva just captured it perfectly.”

Longoria Bastón said she grew up following boxing.

“First of all, I’m Mexican as well. Boxing is our opera. We get dressed up, we get to go experience entertainment,” she noted. “Other people have opera. We have boxing. So, I think you can’t grow up in a Mexican household and not be a fan of boxing.”

La Guerra Civil heads to the subscription sports streaming platform DAZN after its Sundance premiere.

“We really wanted to tell a sports story that hadn’t been told before,” said Grant Best, a DAZN executive who is also a producer of the documentary. “Boxing, probably more than any other sport, is not shy, it’s not afraid to connect itself with race and heritage and cultural differences, using its characters, talking through its competitors and to its fanbase… Both Oscar and Eva are perfectly placed to discuss that cultural divide that took place around the narrative of these fights.”

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.

Eva Longoria to Headline CNN+’s Original Docuseries “Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico”

Eva Longoria is on the search south of the border

The 46-year-old Mexican American actress/producer will headline CNN+’s original docuseries Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico, which is slated to launch in 2022.

Eva LongoriaA new iteration of CNN’s popular Stanley TucciSearching for Italythe six-part series will follow Longoria as she travels across Mexico exploring the country’s cuisine.

The streamer’s announcement teases that the multihyphenate’s journey will take her to various regions including Oaxaca, where she’ll slow cook traditional mole sauce, to harvesting blue agave for tequila as the Aztecs once did.

“Partnering with CNN on a culinary-driven expedition throughout Mexico is a dream come true. I am so proud of my Mexican American roots and can’t wait to bring the hidden gems of Mexico to the world through Searching for Mexico,” said Longoria in a statement. “I am a huge fan of Stanley’s journey throughout Italy; he set the bar high, and I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with the magic of Mexico.”

Searching for Mexico will be produced by RAW, the film and TV company behind Searching for Italy.

Putting Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico on CNN+ vs. the linear network which carries the mothership series illustrates the big push CNN’s leadership has been making to build up its streaming platform

Executive producers include Longoria, Ben Spector, and Tucci with RAW’s Tom Barry, Eve Kay, and Jess Orr.

Vertical Entertainment Acquires U.S. Rights to Eva Longoria’s Comedy “Unplugging” 

Eva Longoria will be unplugging next spring…

Vertical Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights to the comedy Unplugging, starring the 46-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star, with plans to release it in theaters nationwide next spring.

Eva LongoriaThe film also stars Matt Walsh, Lea Thompson, Keith David and Nicole Byer.

In the feature directorial debut of veteran film editor Debra Neil-Fisher, husband and wife Dan (Walsh) and Jeanine (Longoria) plan a weekend getaway of “digital detox” without kids, phones, or social media. They need—or think they need—only clean fresh air and alone time together to rekindle their romance. But once they forego GPS to guide them and disconnect from the internet, can they reconnect their own internal servers to spark their marriage?

Johnny Pemberton, Al Madrigal, Joel Kim Booster, and Nancy Friedrich round out the cast of the film, scripted by Walsh and Brad Morris.

Longoria executive produced the film.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better time in the director’s chair than with this marvelous cast captained by Eva and Matt, and our dedicated crew,” said Neil-Fisher. “Vertical is the perfect partner to bring Unplugging to audiences next spring.”

Unplugging unites great talents in front of and behind the camera,” said Vertical Entertainment Partner Rich Goldberg, “and Debra’s storied skills as editor translate to a keen directorial eye for comedy.”

“Having previously partnered on many successful releases (Four Good DaysBuckley’s Chance) we know our friends at Vertical are the perfect distributor to bring the hilarious Unplugging to US audiences,” added Santor, who serves as Productivity Media’s CEO. “Eva and Matt are at the top of their game in this whip-smart, comedic look at relationships in the digital age, and we’re sure audiences will love it just as much as we loved making it.”

Fabian Alomar to Appear on Chris Estrada’s Hulu Comedy Series “This Fool”

Fabian Alomar is foolin’ around…

The Latino actor has landed a heavily recurring role opposite Chris Estrada in Hulu comedy series This Foolfrom ABC Signature.

Fabian AlomarWritten by rising Latino comedian Estrada and Jake Weisman, Matt Ingebretson and Pat Bishop, the series stars Estrada as Julio Lopez, a self-described “punk ass bitch” who still lives at home and goes out of his way to help everyone but himself. The half-hour series sees Lopez work at a gang-rehabilitation non-profit and his quest to overcome his codependency issues with his family as he navigates working class life in South Central Los Angeles.

Alomar will portray Fabian, a former gang member who Julio (Estrada) convinces to join the program at Hugs Not Thugs. At first skeptical, Fabian decides to sign up and becomes an active member of the organization.

Cast also includes series regulars Frankie Quinones, Michelle Ortiz, Laura Patalano and Julia Vera.

Estrada, Weisman, Ingebretsen and Bishop executive produce along with Fred Armisen and Black-ish EP Jonathan Groff. ABC Signature is the studio.

Known as a professional skateboarder as well as actor, Alomar was recently seen as the Portland President in the FX series Mayans M.C. and in a supporting role in the feature Flamin’ Hot, directed by Eva Longoria.

Jimmy Gonzales to Star in George Lopez’s Amazon Drama Pilot “Once Upon a Time in Aztlan”

Jimmy Gonzales is right on Time

The Mexican actor has been cast as a lead alongside Arianna Williams on Amazon’s Once Upon a Time in Aztlan, the drama pilot from George Lopez.Jimmy Gonzales

They join previously announced cast LopezJesse Garcia and Annie Gonzalez.

Gonzales stars as the morally compromised Hector, whose pursuit of ‘get rich or die trying’ dreams landed his partner Arturo Duran in prison for thirteen years. Since then, he’s further cemented his influence over the Duran family: He has a son with Lola (Gonzalez) and is the de facto father figure for Angela (Williams). Despite his overtures to legitimize himself, he’s a lifelong hustler who’s baiting the attention of the FBI.

Willians portrays the character of Angela, a Gen-Z Afro Latina, who is described as fiercely independent, confident, and always adapting. The face of our modern Los Angeles. The Duran family have hung their hopes on Angela as their luminary, but she’s in deep debt to her nefarious uncle, who’s co-signed her loans to USC. Her father, Arturo (Garcia) returns to her life after a long absence, presenting a challenging new vision of her future.

Written by Javier Rodriguez, the one-hour drama from STXtelevision and Amazon Studios revolves around a Chicano family in the deep suburbs of Los Angeles as they come to terms with the falsehoods of the American dream, and their ability to defy expectations. The pilot will be directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, who helmed Eva Longoria and Demián Bichir in the Blumhouse/Imagine East L.A.-set drama, Lowriders.

Rodriguez executive produces with de Montreuil, photographer/director Estevan Oriol, LA-based artist Mister Cartoon, and Michael Connolly who put the Latinx package together under his STXtelevision-based Mad Hatter Entertainment banner.

Gonzales can currently be seen as the lead in Netflix/Endeavor Content’s Blue Miracle opposite Dennis Quaid. He can next be seen on Fox Searchlight’s biopic Flamin’ Hot as Hector Morales and currently is a recurring guest star on FX’s Mayans M.C.

Other credits include AMC’s Lodge 49, AMC’s The Walking Dead, and David E. Kelley’s Mr. Mercedes.

Williams played a supporting lead in a 2021 Lifetime Movie opposite Denise Richards. Although a relative newcomer to the small screen, she’s worked with Phylicia Rashad, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Ruben Santiago Hudson at the Billie Holliday Theatre.