Tanya Saracho Teams Up with America Ferrera & Gloria Calderón Kellett to Launch DEAR Hollywood to Bring Greater Representation of Latinx Voices

There’s a new project near and DEAR to Tanya Saracho’s heart…

The Mexican-American actress, playwright, dramaturge and screenwriter has teamed up with America Ferrera and Gloria Calderón Kellett joined the Untitled Latinx Project and HARNESS that they respectively co-founded to create DEAR Hollywood.

Tanya Saracho

Saracho, Ferrera and Calderon Kellet, three of the most dynamic creators in Hollywood, brought together two of the most preeminent advocacy organizations to further advance Latinx representation and equity in the industry.

With the acronym standing for Demanding Equal Access and Representation, DEAR Hollywood aims to bring greater representation of Latinx voices, stories, talent and creativity on both sides of the camera and on set and in the corner offices in the film and TV industry.

Planting the flags of equity and education, and set for a soft launch this month, the newly minted organization today unveiled its self-declared, and what should be self-evident, “five pillars”:

  1. No stories about us without us
    2.Greenlight our projects
    3. Represent all aspects of our lives and culture
    4. Put a limit on repeating levels
    5. Hire us for non-Latinx projects

To reach those more than reasonable goals, the plan is that over the next year, DEAR Hollywood will liaison with at least five studios and networks, which means streamers too, to secure a commitment to the pillars above as a pathway to systemic and evolutionary shift in the way the industry sees, treats and works with the Latinx community. A varied community, who, it might be noted, make up a not insignificant portion of the U.S. population, and hence significant consumers of the media industry.

“The entertainment industry has admired the problem of Latinx exclusion for long enough,” Ferrera told Deadline of the impetus behind DEAR Hollywood with the Vida and One Day At a Time EPs. “It is time for all of us to turn our good intentions into real action and build true solutions that empower and resource Latinx storytellers,” the Superstore star added on the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.

A long-time activist, Ferrera co-founded HARNESS in 2016 with Wilmer Valderrama, and Ryan Piers Williams with the goal of using the power and platform of the big and small screen to foster a more just world.

“The rich talent and multi-dimensional experiences within our community are more than worthy of being reflected in their authenticity and full humanity,” Ferrera noted of the goals of the new group. “There is great opportunity for our entire industry in the genuine empowerment of Latinx creators. I am thrilled and honored that Harness is partnering with Untitled Latinx Project to incubate and launch this incredible creator-led initiative to uplift Latinx communities in the stories we see on screen and hire more Latinx talent throughout the entire film and TV industry.”

“It has been one year since we wrote the letter to Hollywood to kick off this initiative and frankly, we haven’t seen the type of response we had hoped for,” exclaimed ULP leaders Saracho and Calderón Kellett bluntly Friday.

“While announcements of diversity, inclusion and equity programs abound, without intentionality and clearly defined action steps, they have little value,” the showrunning duo added. “We are thrilled to work with Harness and eager to collaborate with industry leaders and partners, so we can all move the needle towards Latine inclusion and representation together.”

As well as Saracho and Calderón Kellett, the 2019 formed ULP’s high profile membership includes Leah Benavides-Rodriguez, Tawnya Benavides-Bhattacharya, Linda Yvette Chávez, Valentina Garza, Jenniffer Gómez, Julia Ahumada Grob, Silvia Olivas, Evangeline Ordaz, Sierra Teller Ornelas, Carolina Paiz, Ilana Peña, Dailyn Rodriguez, Gladys Rodriguez, Lindsey Villarreal, Debby Wolfe and Michal Zebede.

Pantaya & Amazon Prime Video Renew Ana de la Reguera’s Eponymous series “Ana” for Two More Seasons

Ana de la Reguera isn’t done opening up about her life just yet…

The 44-year-old Mexican actress’ eponymous series based on her life for Pantaya in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video has been renewed for seasons 2 and 3.

Ana de la Reguera

Anaproduced by VIS, a division of ViacomCBS— is a bilingual comedy created, produced, written, and starring de la Reguera about an aging actress trying to find her place in the world and in Hollywood as she nears her 40s.

“I am really happy to continue sharing this story and that the audience has received it as we expected,” de la Reguera said in a statement. “The next two seasons will be a lot of fun! Thanks to ViacomCBS, Amazon Prime Video, and Pantaya for all the trust since the beginning of this project. They have allowed me to grow a lot as a creator and I will be infinitely grateful to them.”

In season 2, Ana will try to keep her sanity and continue to deal with her mother who now lives with her in Los Angeles, while starring in a television series of bad 90s sitcoms.

In the third part of the series, Ana must rebuild her life and regain her credibility as an actress.

Series co-stars include Carlos Miranda, Tina Romero, Paulina Dávila, Ali Gardoqui, Augusto Gardoqui, Paly Duval and Eduardo “Lalo” España.

Ana’s forthcoming seasons will premiere exclusively on Pantaya in the United States and Puerto Rico and Amazon Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories around the world.

Season one, which was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Best Television Series Scripted in Spanish, is available to stream now via Pantaya and Amazon.

Ashanti to Star In & Produce the Rom-Com “The Plus One”

Ashanti won’t be going it alone…

The 40-year-old half-Afro-Dominican singer/actress has signed on to star in and produce the romantic comedy The Plus One.

Ashanti

Ashanti will play Lizzie, whose only request of her “Male of Honor” Marshall is that he doesn’t bring his hated ex Marie to her destination wedding. But lovesick Marshall brings her as his plus one, and Marie does everything in her power to wreck Lizzie’s big day.

Filming is scheduled to start in December in Florida.

The film’s director and additional cast members have yet to be revealed.

Ashanti most recently starred in the Sony Pictures Worldwide acquisition Honey Girls, which wrapped in March.

Her movie credits to date include Coach Carter with Samuel L. JacksonThe Muppets’ Wizard of OzJohn Tucker Must Die and Resident Evil: Extinction.

The singer, who has sold more than 27 million records worldwide, will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.

Bad Bunny Named One of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2021 (TIME100)

Bad Bunny is having the TIME of his life…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican superstar has been named one of the Most Influential People of 2021 by TIME.

Bad Bunny

This week, the magazine revealed its annual TIME100, featuring “extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights. … They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem solvers — people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray,” said Edward FelsenthalTIME CEO and editor in chief, in a press statement.

J Balvin was selected as the guest contributor to write about Bad Bunny. The two global reggaeton stars were introduced to each other in 2016 by DJ Luian at one of Balvin’s concerts in Puerto Rico. The rest, as they say, is history.

“When I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s another weirdo like me. I’m not the only one now.’ We immediately went to the studio and cut a song, ‘Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola.’ It blew up,” Balvin wrote in his essay. “He’s a phenomenon when it comes to music, but it didn’t happen overnight; he was working at the supermarket back then, and had to struggle too. We’ve since worked together on an album, Oasis, and the Super Bowl halftime show.”

The Colombian artist describes Bad Bunny’s career evolving from a “little monster” to “Godzilla,” who has reached superstar status and has connected with fans through his “amazing lyrics,” creation of his brand, advocacy for self-expression, and freedom.

“He’s an artist, period. A true artist,” he wrote. “Now he’s at his peak, taking Latin culture to another level. The records he’s broken are amazing. He’s different. Special. People wait for someone to die to say, ‘Oh, he was a legend.’ But I’m telling Benito now: You are one of the greatest artists in Latin music history.”

But Bad Bunny isn’t the only Latinx person to make this year’s list.

Olimpia CoralMelo Cruz, a women’s-rights activist from the Mexican city of Puebla, is a survivor of revenge porn—sexual content that is shared without the consent of those featured within it. She turned her experience into action, and in April 2021, Mexico passed Olimpia’sLaw, federally prohibiting the sharing of such content without the subject’s permission.

Swizz Beatz and fellow hip-hop icon Timbaland have been named for creating the hip-hop phenomenon and game-changing hip-hop battle series, Verzuz.

In a business world still dominated by men, a Brazilian woman, Luiza Trajano, has managed to make Magazine Luiza a massive success. She is the only Brazilian to appear on this year’s list.

Elisa Loncón Antileo is a Mapuche linguist and indigenous rights activist in Chile. In 2021, Loncón was elected as one of the representatives of the Mapuche people for the Chilean Constitutional Convention. Following in the inauguration of the body, Loncón was elected President of the Constitutional Convention.

A staunch believer in the science of climate change, GM CEO Mary Barra spearheaded General Motors’ (GM) commitment to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

In a sea of despair, a Cuban doctor is a ray of hope. Dairon Elisondo Rojas, who is seeking asylum in the US, provides lifesaving care to fellow migrants in the Matamoros makeshift camp.

The knowledge possessed by Mónica Ramírez‘s giant heart is just what makes her the breath of fresh air needed in a civil rights attorney. Her work through organizations like Justice for Migrant Women is only a fraction of proof of how hard she fights for the migrant worker.

Carolina Miranda Signs with Hollywood Talent Agency Paradigm

Carolina Miranda is ready to ramp up her Hollywood resume…

The 31-year-old Mexican actress and star of Netflix’s Mexican thriller series Who Killed Sara? has signed with Hollywood talent agency Paradigm.

Carolina Miranda

The news comes as the series – which follows Manolo Cardona’s Alex Guzman, who is hellbent on finding out who killed his sister Sara after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and on getting revenge on the Lazcano family – is heading towards its third season.

The first season premiered in March 2021, quickly followed by the second season in May 2021. The streamer also revealed at the end credits of season two, that a new season would be on its way.

Miranda plays Elisa Lazcano, the youngest child and only daughter of César and Mariana Lazcano, who decides to help Alex find Sara’s true killer, even if she has to expose her family’s crimes, and falls in love with him in the interim.

Elsewhere, Miranda, from Guanajuato, Mexico, has starred in several series including Telemundo’s Señora Acero, which was one of the most-watched Spanish-speaking series in the United States, TV Azteca’s Las Bravo, Amazon’s Dany Who and feature films including Infelices Para Siempre.

She’s currently shooting the period drama Malverde, a story about the Mexican folk-lore hero robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. This series is a story based on his life and will premiere on Telemundo in the fall of 2021.

Miranda continues to be represented by Prensa Danna in Mexico for management.

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.

Penelope Cruz’s “Official Competition” Acquired for UK Distribution by Protagonist Pictures

Penelope Cruz’s latest project is headed to theaters in United Kingdom…

The 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress’ Spanish-language comedy Official Competition, co-starring Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez, has been acquired for UK distribution by Protagonist Pictures.

Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Official Competition

The announcement came ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

In Official Competition, Oscar winner Cruz plays renowned filmmaker Lola Cuevas, who is recruited by a billionaire entrepreneur who impulsively decides to create an iconic movie. Banderas stars as Hollywood heartthrob Félix Rivero, and joining them is Argentinian actor Oscar Martínez (The Distinguished Citizen), who plays radical theatre actor Iván Torres.

The Spanish-language comedy, directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat from a script they wrote with Andrés Duprat, will also screen in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival and will open this year’s Perlak Section at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Produced by The Mediapro Studio, the film has already sold to a string of international indie buyers.

“We are incredibly excited to work with such a talented cast and such lauded directors. We’re thrilled to bring this hilarious and witty film to UK audiences at a time when it is much needed,” said Curzon officials.

Protagonist CCO George Hamilton added: “Our friends at Curzon have a prodigious record in delivering high-quality films to discerning UK audiences, making them the perfect partners to distribute this whip-smart comedy, led by A-list talent at the top of their game, and helmed by some of Spain’s most fiercely talented filmmakers. We know Official Competition is in the best hands possible.”

Ruth Franco Signs First-Look Deal with MGM to Develop More Spanish-Language Originals

Ruth Franco is looking to develop more Spanish-language projects in Hollywood.

The Spanish talent manager has signed a first-look deal with MGM to help them ramp up Spanish originals.

Ruth Franco

The multi-year deal will see Ruth Franco Talent and the Hollywood studio develop Spanish-language and English-language scripted series across platforms internationally and in the U.S.

Franco represents a slew of some of Spain’s biggest actors, directors and screenwriters and will develop shows under the deal in partnership with Talent on the Road and World Talent House.

It comes as MGM International Television Productions bolsters its global production slate, which includes projects like Michael Hirst’s Billy the Kid, John Griffin’s sci-fi horror series From, Amazon YA pilot order Shelter from Harlan Coben and The Reunion, an adaptation of French author Guillaume Musso’s novel La Jeune Fille et la Nuit.

Franco said that the deal would be a “turning point” for Ibero-American talent and would create “synergies with the American market”.

Diego Piasek, SVP, Head of Development & Current Series, MGM International Television Productions, said, “In today’s highly competitive market, our partnership with Ruth Franco will give MGM unparalleled access to some of the most prestigious writers, directors and actors from Latin America and Spain, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Together with Ruth we will not only develop local-language originals, but also look to provide a pipeline to Hollywood and beyond for her clients. This is a key strategic partnership for us as we continue to expand our content capabilities and talent relationships on both a local and global scale.”

Manolo Cardona Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Manolo Cardona has new representation…

The 44-year-old Colombian actor, the star of Netflix’s acclaimed series Who Killed Sara?, has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

Manolo Cardona,

The Hollywood agency will represent Cardona in all areas, including his on screen roles and his Mexican production company 11-11.

Cardona plays lead Alex Guzmán in the Mexican mystery thriller, known locally as ¿Quién mató a Sara?, which recently aired its second season and is expected to return for a third season.

In the series, which is one of the streamer’s most successful non-English language dramas, Cardona plays Guzmán, who after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, is hellbent on finding out who killed his sister Sara and getting revenge on the Lazcano family who wronged him.

He’s also set to star in Apple TV+ drama series Now and Then opposite Marina de Tavira.

Previously, he starred in Netflix’s Narcos, Mexican drama Maria Magdalena and Colombian series 2091.

Cardona owns, with his brother, Mexican television and film production company 11-11 and UTA will help amplify the company’s presence in the U.S. market.

Salma Hayek to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek will have a permanent place in Hollywood

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress and producer is among the 38 honorees invited to join the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Salma Hayek

Hayek, who moved to Hollywood in 1991, rose to acclaim in films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in Frida.

But Hayek isn’t the only Latin honoree this year…

Tessa Thompson was selected in the Motion Picture category.

The 37-year-old Afro-Panamanian American actress gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame.

Her other credits include Sylvie’s Love, Men in Black: International, and Creed.

Ashanti has been selected in the Recording category.

The 40-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress was first discovered as a teenager and later signed to Murder Inc. Records in 2002.

That year, she was featured on Fat Joe‘s “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule‘s “Always on Time,” both of which became two of the biggest hit songs of 2002; Ashanti became the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously when “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” were at numbers one and two, respectively.

Other Latin artists selected include Los Huracanes Del Norte and Angelica Vale.

These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominees at a meeting of the Walk of Fame selection committee and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors this week. Radio personality Ellen K, chair of the selection committee (and a past Walk of Fame honoree), announced the new honorees on the Walk of Fame’s website.

The selection panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, handpicks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world. “The panel did an amazing job choosing these very talented people,” said Ellen K. “We can’t wait to see each honoree’s reaction as they realize that they are becoming a part of Hollywood’s history with the unveiling of their star on the world’s most famous walkway.”

Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before their selection expires. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced 10 days prior to dedication on the Walk of Fame website.

Here’s the full list of Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2022 honorees (using their full names as shown on their list):

Recording: Black Eyed Peas, George E. Clinton Jr., Ashanti Douglas, DJ Khaled, Avril Lavigne, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Martha Reeves and Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle, posthumous).

Motion pictures: Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, James Hong, Helen Hunt, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Tessa Thompson and Carrie Fisher (posthumous)

Television: Byron Allen, Greg Berlanti, Ricky Gervais, Peter Krause, Robert Odenkirk, Holly Robinson-Peete, Norman Reedus, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Ming-Na Wen and Kenan Thompson.

Live theatre/live performance: Patti LuPone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and Angelica Vale

Radio: Richard Blade

Sports entertainment: Michael Strahan