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.

Trailer Released for Lissette Feliciano’s Debut Feature “Women Is Losers,” Starring Lorenza Izzo

Lorenza Izzo isn’t ashamed of a Losers role…

The trailer for Lissette Feliciano’s debut feature film Women Is Losers, starring the 32-year-old Chilean actress, has been released.

Lorenza Izzo, Women is LosersIn September, HBO MAX had acquired the film, which it will stream exclusively on October 18.

The film is about young Latinx single mother Celina Guerrera in 1960’s San Francisco and her journey to rise against sexism, discrimination, and poverty to chase the American Dream.

In addition to Izzo, Women Is Losers stars Simu Liu, Chrissie Fit, Bryan Craig. Steven Bauer, Liza Weil, Cranston Johnson, Alessandra TorresaniAlejandra Miranda, Shalim Ortiz, and Lincoln Bonilla.

Feliciano wrote and produced the film with David Ortiz.

Women Is Losers had its world premiere at SXSW this year, in addition to winning at the Oxford, Cleveland, and Columbus film festivals and official selections at Mill Valley and Urbanworld Film Festivals.

Amazon Studios Orders Pilot for George Lopez’s Drama Series “Once Upon a Time in Aztlan”

George Lopez’s Time has come…

Amazon Studios has ordered a pilot for the drama series Once Upon a Time in Aztlan from STXtelevision, starring and executive produced by the 60-year-old Mexican American actor/comedian via his Travieso Productions banner.

George Lopez

Written by Javier Rodriguez, the one-hour drama 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.

Rodriguez executive produces with 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. Matthew Carnahan joined the package in the writers room and serves as EP.

Ricardo de Montreuil is directing the pilot and will executive produce along with Oriol and Cartoon’s longtime collaborators Mark Suroff and Marco Valadez, who produced the hit documentary LA Originals, which Oriol directed. Oriol’s work has been showcased in The Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, The Petersen Automotive Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and in Los Angeles’ and New York’s Art in the Streets exhibit, among others.

Matthew López Becomes First Latino to Win Tony Award for Best Play

Matthew López has earned his place in Broadway history…

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter’s The Inheritance was named Best Play at the Tony Awards, earning him his first career Tony.\

Matthew Lopez

Lopez’s acclaimed elegiac two-part drama about the AIDS scourge was inspired by E.M Forster’s Howards End.

López, after thanking and acknowledging three queer artists who inspired him (Forster, Terrence McNally and Miguel Pinero), noted that he was the first Latinx playwright to win a Tony Award for Best Play.

He said that while the Latinx community made up 19% of the U.S. population, the number drops to only 2% on Broadway. “This must change,” he said.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Audra McDonald, were livestreamed exclusively on Paramount+. The presentation honored the outstanding shows, performances and artistry of the 2019-2020 Broadway season, which was brought to a halt in March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the complete list of honorees:

74th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS WINNERS LIST

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
A Christmas Carol
Music: Christopher Nightingale

Best Book of a Musical
Jagged Little Pill
Diablo Cody

Best Orchestrations
Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine and Justin Levine, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Choreography
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Direction of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Best Direction of a Musical
Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Andrew Burnap, The Inheritance

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Adrienne Warren, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play Charles Fuller

Best Play
The Inheritance
Author: Matthew López

Best Musical
Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Special Tony Awards were presented to:

  • The Broadway Advocacy Coalition, an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to use storytelling as a way of dismantling the systems that perpetuate racism. The organization was founded in 2016 by several Black members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation’s pandemic of rac:ism and police brutality, and has since grown into a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community advocates to create lasting impact and collaborations on policy issues ranging from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration.
  • David Byrne’s American Utopia, the Broadway theatrical concert production described by the Tony Awards administration committee as “a jubilant celebration of live music, community, and connection.” The production recently returned to Broadway for a limited engagement.
  • Freestyle Love Supreme, created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale, was developed in the basement of The Drama Bookshop in 2004 and slowly worked its way to Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 2019. Directed by Kail, the acclaimed show features a comedic improvisational musical structure, and a rotating cast. Freestyle Love Supreme will return to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement at the Booth on Thursday, October 7.

Tony Honors For Excellence in the Theater were previously announced for:

  • Fred Gallo, President of PRG Scenic Technologies. Gallo, a former stagehand and production carpenter, co-founded Scenic Technologies leading to the formation of his company PRG, one of the world’s leading suppliers of scenery and automation for theatrical productions.
  • Irene Gandy, the first Black female press agent member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, and a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and a producer for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra MacDonald.
  • Beverly Jenkins, a professional stage manager for over 30 years, currently the production stage manager for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown.
  • Woodie King, Jr., founder of the New Federal Theatre, a groundbreaking company with a mission to integrate artists of color and women into the mainstream of American theater.

The 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award was previously announced for:

  • Actress Julie Halston for her work and advocacy in raising funding and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

Anitta to Appear in Billboard’s Facebook Watch Series “12 Hours With…”

Ready to spend 12 hours with Anitta?

Billboard has announced a brand-new Facebook Watch series centered on the 28-year-old Brazilian singer, Maluma, Prince Royce and Mariah Angeliq, spotlighting the four Latin hitmakers during Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month.

Anitta

The four-part series, titled 12 Hours With…, will dig deep into the four artists’ stories about how their heritage and roots helped build a foundation for their music careers and how they’re shaping culture and building on generations of Latin influence across the globe.

Maluma will star in the first episode, “12 Hours With Maluma,” which will premiere October 5 at 9:00 am ET on Facebook Watch and simulcast on Billboard.com and the Facebook app.

Anitta’s episode will premiere October 7, while “12 Hours With Prince Royce” will air on October 12 and Mariah Angeliq’s special will round out the series on October 14.

Billboard‘s “12 Hours With…” Facebook Watch series was produced by The Intellectual Property Corporation.

Learn more about Facebook’s Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations here.

Critics Choice Association to Honor Rita Moreno at Inaugural “Celebration of Latino Cinema”

It’s a special celebration for the legendary Rita Moreno

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer will be honored alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda and Demián Bichir at the Critics Choice Association’s inaugural Celebration of Latino Cinema.

Rita MorenoMoreno, Miranda and Bichor will be honored alog with a group of additional honorees, many associated with upcoming 2021 films, still to be announced.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema, to be presented virtually, will take place on Thursday, December 9, 2021 and aims to put a spotlight on the contributions of great Oscar-winning and -nominated artists like Moreno, Miranda and Bichir, but also Latino filmmaking in general, a facet of the motion picture industry that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves during awards season.

Among other things, the CCA’s Celebration of Latino Cinema aims to change that.

“We are thrilled to be launching the first annual Celebration of Latino Cinema which recognizes the talented performers and skilled professionals who create the acclaimed films we are so proud to honor,” said Claudia Puig, a CCA member and co-programmer of the event.

“Films by our honorees represent the diverse and multi-faceted Latino community, and reflect our increasingly inclusive industry” said CCA board member and event co-programmer Clayton Davis.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema will be produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates. Stagedge will be responsible for transforming the show into an immersive virtual experience.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to LA Collab, whose mission is to accelerate Latino access, visibility and representation in the entertainment industry.

Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. She recently co-starred in the Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day at a Time, and her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released in theaters; it will be broadcast on PBS’ American Masters in October. Moreno also co-stars in and executive produces Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

She is a recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts.

Miranda is a Pulitzer-, Grammy-, Emmy– and Tony Award-winning songwriter, actor and director, and creator and original star of Broadway’s Hamilton and In the HeightsA recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Portrait of a Nation Prize, he received an Emmy with Tom Kitt for their song “Bigger” from the 67th Tony Awards. Upcoming projects include Disney’s Encanto and his directorial film debut, tick, tick… BOOM!

Bichir received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2012 for his role in Chris Weitz’s A Better Life, becoming the first Mexican-born actor to be nominated in that category by the Academy since Anthony Quinn in 1957. He more recently received rave reviews for his performance in the film Land, directed by Robin Wright. His film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s Che, Oliver Stone’s Savages, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, Paul Feig’s The Heat, Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway, Ridley Scott’s Alien, George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla Vs. Kong.

Ozuna Teams Up with National Football League (NFL) for Special Latinx Content

It’s a touchdown for Ozuna.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the 29-year-old Puerto Rican singer/songwriter has teamed up with the National Football League for special content geared towards Latinx NFL fans.

Ozuna

The NFL has introduced new partnerships, collaborations and activations that are “designed to celebrate la cultura Latina” throughout the NFL season, including working with Ozuna.

The Puerto Rican chart-topping artist joined the NFL to advise on its season-long content vision her career, music, love and upcoming projects.for reaching Latinx fans.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CT42HAGpG3l/

Additionally, Ozuna, along with NFL legend Victor Cruz, will be featured in the campaign and support promotional initiatives.

“I’m honored to be partnering with the NFL on such a groundbreaking new initiative to highlight the diversity of their fans, especially now during Latinx Heritage Month,” said Ozuna about the partnership. “For the NFL to acknowledge, support, and encourage our culture is meaningful.”

Netflix to Premiere Season 2 of JJ Soria’s “Gentefied” in November

JJ Soria is returning to East L.A. in November…

Netflix’s half-hour Latinx dramedy Gentefied, starring the 40-year-old Mexican American actor, is returning for Season 2 on November 10.

Gentefied

From creators Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the series follows East Los Angeles Latinos on their respective and collective search for the American Dream.

Season 2 picks up after the emotional debut season’s finale that saw Erik Morales (Soria) and his girlfriend Lidia (Annie Gonzalez) welcome a daughter, Delfina. As Erik realizes his grandfather Pops (Joaquin Cosio) is missing from the hospital celebration, it is revealed that he has been arrested for an outstanding warrant and his beloved pick-up truck is being impounded.

The streamer teases the return will tackle Erik and his cousin Chris’s (Carlos Santos) struggle to keep Pops in the country while dealing with new love, new babies, estranged fathers, and tracking down Bad Bunny at a Halloween party. They’ll fight to thrive, but along the way will question where they truly belong in a world made up of borders, family separation, and the potential loss of their beloved taco shop, Mama Fina’s.

Gentefied is a Netflix production also starring Karrie Martin Lachney, Julissa Calderon; and newly added season 2 cast Melinna Bobadilla, Manuel Uriza, Ivana Rojas, and Clarissa Thibeaux.

The series is executive produced by Lemus, Chávez, Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez of MACRO, America Ferrera of Take Fountain, Aaliyah Williams, Kim Roth, and Teri Weinberg of Yellow Brick Road.

Rita Moreno to Star in the Feature Film “The Prank”

Rita Moreno is pranking around…

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer, an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Award winner) has landed a starring role in the feature film The Prank, which will be directed by Maureen Bharoocha.

Rita Moreno

Moreno will star opposite Connor Kalopsis and Ramona Young.

The Prank follows two high school students who play a prank on their physics teacher, Mrs. Wheeler, played by Moreno. When she fails them on a test; they teach the imperious, demanding, insulting instructor a lesson by falsely accusing her of the murder of a missing student.

Other cast in The Prank includes Keith David, Meredith Salenger, Jonathan Kimmel, Nathan Janak and Kate Flannery.

Filming begins this month in and around Los Angeles.

The dark comedy is written by Rebecca Flinn-White & Zak White.

“Rita Moreno is a force of nature and an icon who continues to redefine herself,” said Bharoocha. “Her brilliant comedic mind lends itself to the perfect ‘Mrs. Wheeler’, a character we have never seen her play, and one that will no doubt surprise audiences.”

Moreno has won an Oscar (West Side Story), a Tony (The Ritz), two Emmys (for her turns respectively in 1977 and 1978 on The Muppet Show and Rockford Files), and a Grammy (Best Children’s Album for The Electric Company).

Moreno has starred on Broadway and London’s West End, appeared in more than 40 feature films and has performed in numerous regional theaters, including her one-woman show, Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She recently co-starred in the critically acclaimed Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day At A Time.

Her documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, produced by Lear, Lin Manuel Miranda and Brent Miller had its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film, which was met with acclaim from critics and audiences alike, will have its television debut on PBS’ American Masters nationwide on October 5.

Moreno also co-stars and is an executive producer of the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, set to open on December 10.

The recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture, she was also honored by her peers as the 50th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

Moreno’s all-Spanish-language album, Una Vez Más, was produced by her good friend Emilio Estefan, and she is a New York Times bestselling author with her first book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir. Moreno has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

ABC Gives Series Order to John Ortiz’s Drama “Promised Land”

John Ortiz is headed to the Promised Land

ABC has picked up drama series Promised Land, starring the 53-year-old Puerto Rican actor’s for the 2021-22 season.

John Ortiz

In addition to Ortiz, the Latinx family drama also stars Christina Ochoa.

Written by Matt Lopez and directed by Michael CuestaPromised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.

Ortiz stars as Joe Sandoval, the patriarch of the Sandoval family, a wealthy vineyard-owning family in the Sonoma Valley.

Ochoa portrays Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals.

The cast also includes Cecilia Suárez as Lettie Sandoval, Augusto Aguilera as Mateo, Mariel Molino as Camila Sandoval, Tonatiuh as Antonio Sandoval, Andres Velez as Carlos, Katya Martín as Juana and Rolando Chusan as Billy.

Lopez executive produces with Adam Kolbrenner of Lit Entertainment Group, along with Maggie Malina and Cuesta. ABC Signature is the studio.

Promised Land
 is the second drama pilot picked up to series at ABC this cycle, joining music-themed drama Queens, headlined by Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez and Pepi Sonuga.