Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Wins Peabody Award

Jayro Bustamante is celebrating a special award…

The 44-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter has won a Peabody Award for his critically acclaimed horror film La Llorona.

Jayro Bustamante

The Peabody Awards recognize the year’s most compelling and empowering stories in broadcasting and streaming media, with topics that in the year 2020 included COVID-19, racial equality, immigration and social justice.

Bustamante’s La Llorona is a reworking of the well-known Latin American folk tale about a weeping woman. The film relies on the lyrical potential of the ghost story genre. The power of this gripping project is its inventive approach to visualizing the pains of a nation’s collective memory.

“It’s a quietly powerful indictment of justice delayed and a visceral embodiment of accountability politics that rightly centers Guatemala’s indigenous population,” said the jurors of Bustamante’s film.

A total of 30 awards were handed out this year for the Peabodys, presented by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

There were 60 nominees this year, with winners selected by 19 jurors who considered 1,300 entries across TV, podcasts/radio and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and multimedia programming.

Here’s the full 2020 winners list with Peabody jurors’ comments:

ENTERTAINMENT

Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
BBC Studios Americas Inc. and Amazon Studios

This anthology series by Steve McQueen focuses on Black West Indian immigrant stories in post-war Britain. It honors the sacrifices made, hardships endured, culture asserted, and battles fought—the small and large acts of courage and confidence—all for the dreams of possibility and becoming. Portrayed through the poetics and intimacies of everyday life, the richness of culture and music, and the collective power of social movement and political action, Small Axe is a stunning emotional testament, offered as both political prism and intellectual history.

I May Destroy You
 (HBO)
HBO in association with BBC, Various Artists Limited, and FALKNA

One of the year’s most critically-acclaimed series is the provocative brainchild of British screenwriter, director, producer, and actor, Michaela Coel. The story centers on her character Arabella, who awakens from a night on the town with fragmented memories of having been sexually assaulted. With a compelling narrative that mirrors the structural rhythms of psychological trauma, the show defines the emergent subgenre of consent drama and takes center stage in a developing cultural conversation around complex issues of sexuality and consent, freedom and abuse, friendship and trust.

La Llorona (Shudder)
La Casa de Producción

Jayro Bustamante’s reworking of that well-known Latin American folk tale about a weeping woman relies on the lyrical potential of the ghost story genre. The power of this gripping film is its inventive approach to visualizing the pains of a nation’s collective memory. It is a quietly powerful indictment of justice delayed and a visceral embodiment of accountability politics that rightly centers Guatemala’s indigenous population.

The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)
Showtime Presents Blumhouse Television, Mark 924 Entertainment, Under the Influence Productions

Part fiction, part history, and part dramatic satire, this Showtime limited series boldly yet humorously examines the enigmatic abolitionist John Brown. With Ethan Hawke’s rich and complex portrayal of a madman who would become a martyr, Brown’s competing legacies are given ample room to coexist. The miniseries can’t help but follow in his wake and give us an irreverent history lesson that feels fresh and pressing for our times.

Unorthodox (Netflix)
Studio Airlift and RealFilm for Netflix

A riveting thriller, the series takes a hard look at how a religious community enforces strict gender roles to maintain its identity no matter the human cost. With the raw and authentic Shira Haas as Esty, Unorthodox merges a stark portrayal of religious oppression with a coming-of-age story that resonates with gritty, desperate innocence.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
CBS Studios

With filming restrictions in place, Stephen Colbert decided to move production of his CBS Late Show to his home outside of Charleston, a remarkably successful transformation of the late-night television model by a host inviting us into his home, rather than his typical comforting presence in our living rooms and bedrooms. Amidst suffering in a global pandemic, a public fed up with police violence against African Americans, and a morally contemptuous president fighting for his political life, Colbert’s kindness, gentle spirit, and deeply felt ethical nature provided a nightly salve the nation desperately needed.

Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Apple/Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros Television and Universal Television

What this presumably Ugly American, fish-out-of-water tale offers us is a charming dose of radical optimism, with an equally endearing Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso. It turns out that more than simply a sports coach, Ted is remarkably good at honest communication with others, affecting change by being a deeply good human, one with his own quiet anxieties and pain. The Apple TV+ series is the perfect counter to the enduring prevalence of toxic masculinity, both on-screen and off, in a moment when the nation truly needs inspiring models of kindness.

DOCUMENTARY

The Cave (National Geographic)
A Danish Documentary Production, in Co-Production with Ma.Ja.De Hecat Studio Paris Madam Films for National Geographic Documentary Films

Director Feras Fayyad’s astonishing documentary tells the story of a subterranean network of tunnels that function as a hospital in Syria, where the besieged residents of war-torn Al-Ghouta come for relatively safe medical care. Most are greeted by Dr. Amani Ballour, a female doctor in her late 20s, who serves as the hospital’s managing physician. The hospital endures everything from the constant fear of daily bombing raids to the heartbreak of children suffocating in war-crime chemical attacks. These haunting and harrowing images are necessary cries for help for these seemingly forgotten victims.

Welcome to Chechnya (HBO)
Public Square Films, Ninety Thousand Words, Maylo Films, BBC Storyville and HBO Documentary Films

Filmed in secret with the use of hidden cameras and cell phones, David France’s documentary details the brutal ongoing purge of LGBTQ Chechens in the closed Russian republic by a government-directed system of abduction, torture, and execution. The film follows undercover activists who risk their own safety to deliver rescued victims to safe houses and provide visa assistance for their refuge. The film employs innovative techniques of artificial intelligence and facial replacement visual effects to protect the identities of the subjects while delivering a harrowing story of ruthless persecution, audacious courage and human survival.

Collective
 (HBO Europe)
Alexander Nanau Production, Samsa Film

In the aftermath of a nightclub fire in Bucharest, the survivors suffering from non-life threatening burn injuries mysteriously begin dying. Journalists from the Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper probe into why, and their enterprising investigation, supported by key whistleblowers, is captured by director Alexander Nanau’s intimate and breathtaking cinema vérité film. What unfolds is a staggering exposure of official corruption that reaches from the highest levels of government and infects the entire health care system.

Immigration Nation (Netflix)
A Reel Peak Films Production for Netflix

Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz’s six-part documentary on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency shows how bureaucrats and officers working across different, seemingly unconnected domains make up a complex and terrorizing system. With rare access to detention facilities, ICE agents on duty, immigrant families, and lawyers and activists, the filmmakers reveal how individual and collective justifications of “we are just doing our job” rationalize a punishing system.

Crip Camp (Netflix)
A Higher Ground and Rusted Spoke Production in association with Little Punk/JustFilms/Ford Foundation

Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht’s film features a group of summer campers who first met at Camp Jened in upstate New York in the early 1970s and went on to become key players and activists in the Disability Rights Movement in the U.S. With an unapologetic spirit and a welcome cheekiness found in its archival footage, the documentary gives us a glimpse into the warmth of the teenagers’ discovery of independence, romance, and themselves, while also offering an inspiring history of a space where people found the strength and the sense of community to take on a fight to change the very world around us.

76 Days
76 Days LLC/MTV Documentary Films

This is a hopeful film that does more than just document the beginning of the global pandemic in the lockdown period of Wuhan, China—the city in which cases of the coronavirus were first reported. It is a film about resilience, compassion, empathy, improvisation, the power of human touch and caring hearts as much as it is about panic, suffering, and indiscriminate victims. Using a direct cinema technique across four hospitals, the film captures frontline workers and the sick and dying while eschewing the story of politics and government action and statistics.

Asian Americans (PBS)
CAAM, WETA, Flash Cuts LLC, Tajima-Peña Productions, ITVS

Renee Tajima-Peña’s five-part documentary series places Asian communities at the center of debates about belonging and citizenship in America. The series asks us to consider who gets to be at the center of these American stories, offering the requisite national, ethnic, religious, political, linguistic, and cultural diversity that make up Asian American communities across the country today. In turn, we move beyond a singular representative testimony and bear witness to varying, complex, and touching portraits of individuals, identities, enclaves, and movements, collectively born in the face of tragedy and in spite of the burdens of trauma.

Time (Amazon Studios)
Concordia Studio, GB Feature LLC and Amazon Studios

This remarkable story of love and the impact of incarceration on a family is detailed through the multiple, often elusive registers of time—slow time, long time, happy time, missed time, hopeful time, and arrested time. In this brilliantly conceived, beautifully realized, and brutally honest chronicle, we travel with Fox Rich and her family toward her husband’s release and their collective freedom. Carefully building and then mining the archive of family memories, home movies, prison visits, high school and college graduations, filmmaker Garrett Bradley proffers viewers the power of dreams and the struggle to shape and sustain love and life across the divides of incarceration.

PODCAST/RADIO

The Promise: Season 2 (Nashville Public Radio)
Nashville Public Radio

Host Meribah Knight examines Warner Elementary, one of the most racially and economically lopsided schools in Nashville, especially when compared with the high-performing, almost all-white school just one mile away. Taking aim at nice, well-meaning white parents in an increasingly gentrified neighborhood, season 2 of The Promise chronicles the decades-long fight against desegregation as well as Warner’s uphill battle to turn itself around. The podcast carefully lays out how the current school system is inherently dependent on the resources white households provide, both creating and perpetuating systemic inequality in the process that most affects Black students.

Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd (The Washington Post)

George Floyd’s death ignited a global movement to end the plague of state violence against African Americans. Rather than focus on his death, The Washington Post sought to answer a simple but enlightening question: “What about his life?” Rather than a straightforward biography, their special podcast episode offers a more expansive view of Floyd’s life, keenly laying out how systemic racism operates across many institutions, creating sharply disparate outcomes in housing, education, the economy, law enforcement, and health care. The Post Reports team sketches a moving portrait of a man and of a nation, one that feels all the more archetypal for its familiar trappings.

Floodlines (The Atlantic)

This captivating podcast is a comprehensive story of Hurricane Katrina and its social, cultural, psychological, political, economic, and environmental aftermath and impact. From the national media’s ready-made criminalization of Black residents and their worthiness to be rescued, to the insensitive early response of national government officials, Floodlines also asks us to consider what happens to place, home, relationships, and community when politics, incompetence, and indifference are at the core of how we regard each other.

NEWS

ABC News 20/20 in collaboration with The Courier Journal: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor (ABC)
ABC News 20/20 + Courier Journal

ABC News 20/20 and The Courier Journal’s two-hour documentary special presents a holistic picture of the events that led to the police killing of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020. Tracing the botched police investigations and operation that resulted in officers arriving at Taylor’s apartment building, this report is a lucid investigation that goes for the granular without losing sight of the systemic and structural fissures that led to her death. Exhaustive forensic reporting paints Taylor as more than the symbol she’s become, yet also reminds us why this case symbolizes how the demands for justice and police reform are so necessary.

PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey (PBS)
PBS NewsHour

The plight of migrants and refugees is often fraught with danger, but the Darien Gap, a treacherous and lawless 66-mile trail through the wilderness on the border of Columbia and Panama, might be the most dangerous path to freedom on the planet. PBS special correspondent Nadja Drost and videographer Bruno Federico put themselves at great risk to join this caravan. What could be more consequential in helping viewers to understand the desperation of these migrants than the image of them stepping over the skeletal remains of those who have gone before them and failed?

PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic (PBS)
PBS NewsHour

Relentless and comprehensive reporting from PBS NewsHour gave us the best news coverage of a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Their work on “Global Pandemic” covered the pandemic’s human toll on five continents, in countries already hit hard by war, famine, and death. In the United States, “Making Sense: The Victims of COVID” put a spotlight on the millions who lost their jobs, the devastating impact on restaurants, and the near shutdown of the travel industry, while shedding new light on how the pandemic revealed and exacerbated astonishing racial disparities in American health outcomes.

Whose Vote Counts (PBS/GBH)
Frontline, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network

From the legal battles over primary election absentee ballots to how the pandemic would exacerbate unfounded concerns over “rampant voter fraud” in November, Whose Vote Counts presents a clear breakdown of the way racial inequities, COVID-19, and voter suppression became interlinked crises in 2020. In collaboration with Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA Today, the team at FRONTLINE and writer Jelani Cobb offer a probing and thorough investigation into the simple question of the piece’s title.

Vice on Showtime: Losing Ground (Showtime)
Vice News

Correspondent Alzo Slade explores how a little-known type of ownership known as “heirs property” leaves African Americans especially vulnerable to losing their property to unscrupulous developers through arcane and ethically questionable legal mechanisms. The abstract maneuvers occur in piecemeal, hard-to-follow fashion, but the cumulative result is that entire families are displaced and inheritances lost. Losing Ground dramatizes how the law so often favors the ruthless and illuminates a dark side of American property rights.

Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure) (ITV)
Fuuse Films

In this rigorously reported film that chronicles the dangerous climate created around Muslims and other groups targeted during Trump’s presidency, director Deeyah Khan investigates the connection between rising hate crimes and state-sponsored racism with stories of those at the center of the storm: the downward spiral of a Kansas farmer serving 30 years for an anti-Muslim bomb plot; the conspiracy-filled world of right wing, armed militia who believe that Islam is infiltrating the United States; the painful reality of Muslims whose loved ones were hunted and killed by white supremacists; and the complex duties of embattled lawmakers such as Minnesota’s Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Full Disclosure (KNXV-TV)
ABC15 Arizona

Digging into Arizona’s “Brady list,” a system designed to track police officers with histories of lying and committing crimes in hopes of keeping police accountable, this hour-long special from ABC15 Arizona offers a stark portrait not only of why the system is broken, but why it has never been fixed. The yearlong investigation, with exhaustive reporting and damning video footage, demonstrates how law enforcement agencies rarely adhere to their own legal standards in keeping and disseminating such misconduct reports.

China Undercover (PBS/GBH)
Frontline

This documentary uncovers the story of China’s arresting an estimated two million Uyghur Muslims and putting them in concentration camps—what experts says is the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic group since the Holocaust. But the report also makes the case that this is a massive experiment in developing the most complete surveillance state in history, as the government employs technologies such as advanced algorithmic facial recognition software and houses marked with digital barcodes to monitor and ultimately detain Muslims whose behavior is “predicted” as threatening.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Cops and Robbers (Netflix)
Chemical Soup, Lawrence Bender Productions, Netflix

Timothy Ware-Hill and Arnon Manor’s animated short film, derived from the Ware-Hill poem, evokes the make-believe childhood game that rings quite differently for young Black kids, whose interactions with police officers do not make for such lighthearted play. Ruminating on his younger years, Ware-Hill paints a portrait of the innocence young Black boys like him are seldom afforded. But if the poem centers on his singular memories, the animated visuals that accompany this piece—produced by 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world—encompass many distinct animated styles, speaking to the shared, lived experience of many.

Facing Race (KING-TV)
KING 5

This audacious series tackles the deep-rooted subject of racial inequality, racism, racial privilege, and the systematic ways in which race structures and impacts the public and personal life of Seattle residents. From criminal justice to health disparities, environmental racism to land policy ramifications for Native American communities, the reporting team covers the magnitude and depth of the story sensitively yet critically. In particular, the series is attentive as well to the powerful emotional and psychological impact of racism and racial trauma, particularly among parents, trans-racial adoptees, and multiracial youth.

CHILDREN’S & YOUTH

Stillwater (Apple TV+)
Apple/Scholastic Entertainment/Gaumont

Designed to get its young audience to embrace mindfulness, empathy, and kindness, and to rejoice in the chance to rejoice in the quiet wonders of the world around them, Stillwater is a calm and soothing balm in the typically frenetic world of children’s television. Its essence is best captured by the patience of voice actor James Sie, who makes the titular character as much a role model for kids as for those parents watching. Structured around a number of parables told by the affable panda bear to his three young neighbors, every episode feels like an engrossing painting come to life that demands you slow down and take care to relish its every brushstroke.

The Owl House
 (Disney Channel)
Disney Television Animation

Alice in Wonderland. Dorothy in Oz. Coraline in Other World. To that list we should now add: Luz in Boiling Isles. Luz crosses a mysterious threshold and finds herself in a magical, colorful land where she finds both the strength and the support group she needs to become who she’s meant to be. The Dana Terrace-created animated series builds a wildly inventive other world that makes room for everyone and gives queer kids a welcome template alongside which to explore their own budding creative energies.

INSTITUTIONAL WINNER

Array

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is as much a center for disruptive institutional and narrative change as it is a production house. Indeed, its creative campus in Filipinotown, Los Angeles is itself a rejection of antiquated Hollywood thinking, not just in foregrounding absent voices and missing representations in front of and behind the camera by people of color and women, but in reimagining how projects are greenlit, created, produced, and distributed, and by whom. In ten short years, ARRAY has built the institutional infrastructure to produce award-winning content. Yet ARRAY is also deeply invested in the social impact of its work, creating educational and learning materials for much of its content. It’s easy to see that DuVernay and her women-led team at ARRAY have not waited for permission to build, create, grow, and envision a different and more equitable future for neglected filmmakers, artists, and social activists. Through brilliant visioning and old-fashioned sweat equity, ARRAY has crafted a new way forward in an industry heavily resistant to change.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Sam Pollard 

A renowned editor, director and producer across film and television, Sam Pollard’s remarkable work critically conveys the historical reach of anti-Blackness, racial injustice and the enduring power of black freedom struggles. With tremendous insight and sensitivity, he mines the rich archives of African American life and culture portraying indomitable stories of struggle and determination. In the process he elevates the ordinary, stresses the pleasures, care, and compassion of Black people and ultimately serves as our guide to the power of Black freedom dreams. A Professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Pollard’s mentorship and teaching of a new generation of documentary storytellers continues his impact in the field and in the world. With his indomitable energy and insatiable curiosity, his generosity as a colleague, mentor, collaborator, his acute sensitivity to the complex modalities of black life and his undying commitment to social justice, Pollard is a virtuoso who continues to identify, document, curate and shape some of the most important and enduring stories that matter.

PEABODY AWARD FOR JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY

Judy Woodruff

With an award-winning career that spans more than five decades, Judy Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, represents the best of television news and is one of the most trusted broadcast journalists in America. In a world where “opinion” programs and personalities often dominate the media landscape, Woodruff has earned her reputation for delivering unbiased, fact-based news stories without the hype. From the beginning of her career, Woodruff rose quickly through the ranks of TV newsrooms, from local Atlanta television news to NBC to CNN to PBS. In 2016, Woodruff became the sole anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. Throughout her career, Woodruff has been an outspoken advocate of the First Amendment, upholding the importance of a free and unfettered press as critical to the survival of our democracy. Never has that been more critical—never has journalistic integrity been more critical—than where we find ourselves today. For her extraordinary contributions to American television, for her groundbreaking work, and for her commitment to telling us the truth, the Board of Jurors is proud to salute Judy Woodruff with the first-ever Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity.

MJ Rodriguez to Star Opposite Maya Rudolph in Apple TV+ Untitled Comedy Series

MJ Rodriguez is taking a bite of the Apple(TV+)

The 30-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress, currently appearing in the third and final season of FX’s Pose, will star alongside Maya Rudolph in Apple TV+’s untitled half-hour comedy series created by Emmy winners Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard.

MJ Rodriguez

Created and written by Yang and Hubbard, the series follows Molly (Rudolph), a woman whose seemingly perfect life is upended after her husband leaves her with nothing but $87 billion.

Rodriguez will play Sofia, the hard-working executive director of the non-profit funded by her absentee billionaire boss, Molly.

Yang and Hubbard executive produce alongside Rudolph through her production company, Animal Pictures, with the company’s Natasha Lyonne and Danielle Renfrew Behrens also executive producing.

Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, will serve as the studio.

Rodriguez stars as housemother Blanca in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning series Pose.

Rodriguez made history in becoming the first trans woman to win Best Actress in Television for her role in Pose at the 2019 Imagen Awards. She was most recently nominated for a Critics Choice Television Award and an MTV Movie + TV Award, and she won two Gold Derby Awards for her performance as well.

On the film side, Rodriguez starred in indie film Saturday Church, which earned her a Tribeca Film Festival nomination for best actress.

Her other television credits include Nurse Jackie and Marvel’s Luke Cage

Tony Plana to Appear on Season Two of OWN’s Drama Series “David Makes Man”

Tony Plana is the new Man on the block…

The 68-year-old Cuban actor and director has joined the cast of OWN’s Peabody Award-winning drama David Makes Man for the upcoming season season.

Tony Plana

The Ugly Betty alum will be one of 10 actors set to appear in recurring roles on the series from Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and Warner Bros. Television.

Plana joins a roster of newcomers that includes Brittany S. HallErica Luttrell, Zsané JhéBobbi BakerPatrice ArenasTrinity CidelBrandi HuzzieRodney Gardiner and Janmarco Santiago.

David Makes Man  returned to Orlando, Florida and continued production in October.

On the directing side, Kiel Adrian Scott is set to return to direct five episodes of the new season while Erica Watson (has been tapped to helm the remaining five episodes in the 10-episode sophomore season, which is set to debut in the early summer of 2021.

Season 2 finds David in his 30s (Kwame Patterson, SnowfallThe Wire), a rising businessman facing an opportunity that will change him and his community forever; the mounting pressure forces David to choose between the instincts that helped him survive or finding a new way to truly live.

Here are the details about the recurring characters for Season 2:

Tony Plana (Ugly Betty, The Affair) plays Joe Padilla, a billionaire real estate developer who brings David an ambitious opportunity, under the guise of redevelopment.

Brittany S. Hall (Ballers) plays Nicole, a sophisticated and honest architect who has been dating David but loves her freedom as well.

Erica Lutrell (Westworld, Salvation) plays adult Marissa, a Miami-based marine biologist, activist, and protector of the land and sea. When her former middle school friend-turned-nemesis further threatens the ecological balance of South Florida, Marissa sets out to prove that corporate greed is toxic for everyone.

Zsané Jhé (Good Trouble, Black Lightning) adult Shella, an entrepreneur extraordinaire. She leads the charge for the residents of The Ville in the fight against the real estate redevelopment company trying to gentrify their homes.

Bobbi Baker (House of Payne) plays Robin, Gloria’s loyal and level partner. Together they run Robin’s Nest in Little Havana, a foster home for LGBTQ+ youth.

Patrice Arenas (Celestial) plays Denise, an office assistant at the Edwards Firm (where David works). She keeps things moving at the office while also learning the moods and tempo of her boss.

Trinity Cidel plays Trenise, the gifted daughter of David’s brother, JG. She is calm, introspective, and more like her uncle David than her own father.

Brandi Huzzie (The Demon in the Dark) is cast as Trisha, the long-time girlfriend of JG and mother of his child. Together they raise their daughter Trenise.

Rodney Gardiner (The Warriors) plays Corey Roberts, a Miami district commissioner and politician. Corey offers to work with David and Joe to help push their Ville redevelopment project, but they will have to do it his way.

Janmarco Santiago (The Fate of the Furious) plays Elan, Joe Padilla’s entitled nephew and David’s unrequested assistant.

The new recurring cast members join the previously announced new series regulars Kwame Patterson (SnowfallThe Wire) as adult David and Arlen Escarpeta (The Oath) as adult JG alongside returning series regulars Akili McDowell (young David), Alana Arenas (David’s mom Gloria), Travis Coles (Mx. Elijah) and Cayden K. Williams (young JG) for Season 2.

Liza Colón-Zayas Lands Recurring Role on the Fourth Season on HBO’s Drama Series “In Treatment”

Liza Colón-Zayas is heading to treatment

The 48-year-old Puerto Rican actress has landed a recurring role opposite Uzo Aduba in the upcoming fourth season of HBO’s Emmy-winning drama series In Treatment.

Liza Colón-Zayas

In Treatment, which ended a three-season run in 2010, is returning for a fourth season as a reimagined half-hour series. The series is in pre-production under COVID-19 guidelines, with a 2021 debut planned to air on HBO and stream on HBO Max.

The reimagining brings a diverse trio of patients in session with the observant, empathetic Dr. Brooke Taylor (Aduba), who is wrestling with her own issues.

Colón-Zayas will play Rita, Brooke’s longtime confidant and friend who supports Brooke as she contends with her own demons after a life-altering loss.

In addition to Aduba, Colon-Reyes joins Anthony Ramos, who also recurs.

The HBO Entertainment production is produced in association with Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions and Sheleg.

Colón-Zayas, an original member of The LAByrinth Theater Company, earned the 2020 Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards.

On television, she recurred as Principal Fallow on the Peabody-winning series David Makes Man.

Soledad O’Brien to Talk About The Media on This Week’s Episode of Peacock’s Late-Night Comedy “Wilmore”

Soledad O’Brien is ready to talk ship with Larry Wilmore.

The 54-year-old half-Afro-Cuban American broadcast journalist and executive producer will appear on this week’s episode of Wilmore, the Peacock late-night comedy fronted by Wilmore.

Soledad O’Brien

The episode, which will focus on the media, will also feature The West Wing star Bradley Whitford and Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd.

O’Brien is the host of Matter of Fact, a nationally syndicated talk show produced by Hearst Television. She is chairwoman of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production company and distributor that she founded in 2013. She’s also a member of the Peabody Awards board of directors, which is presented by the University of Georgia‘s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 

She previously worked as an anchor for CNN, and has worked as a correspondent for Al Jazeera America and HBO‘s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Wilmore is going into his sixth show since launching on the streamer. Other topics he has tackled include protests, voter suppression, police, class, and comparing where we are to the 2016 presidential election.

Guests have included U.S. women’s soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe, Charlamagne Tha God, Andrew Yang, Roy Wood Jr. and Chloé Hilliard as well as his Peacock peer Amber Ruffin.

AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

Steven Canals Developing Drama Series “In The End” for ABC

It’s the beginning of The End for Steven Canals

ABC has put in development In The End, a drama from the 39-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican screenwriter, producer and Pose co-creator and his Story Ave. Productions, and 20th Century Fox Television, where Canals is under a deal.

Written and executive produced by Canals, the project centers on Kiona Brown, who, incapable of living life to the fullest, makes the only logical choice – to embrace death as an end-of-life doula. With an eclectic list of patients – including cancer survivor Mariana Cortez – Kiona soon discovers the secret to a new beginning is to embrace what happens…in the end.

Steven-Canals


In The End 
is among the first projects for Canals under his overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

Canals co-created and executive produces the Emmy– and Golden Globe-nominated and Peabody Award-winning drama series Pose, named one of the Best TV Programs of the Year by the American Film Institute in 2018 and 2019. It will return for a third season in 2020.

A 2015 graduate of UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting program, Canals began his journey as a storyteller in high school, producing the documentary short Turf Violence: What’s It All About?co-funded by HBO Family. He went on to earn a BA in Cinema, and a Masters in Student Affairs & Diversity from Binghamton University. While attending UCLA, Canals served as a Research Assistant at Hungry Jackal Productions. In 2016 Canals was a staff writer on Freeform’s Dead of Summer, the same year his short film, Afuera, premiered at the LA Film Festival.

He made his TV directorial debut with the eighth episode of the second season ofPose titled “Revelations.”

Fuse Acquires Rights to Immigration Documentary “Colossus” About Jamil Sunsin & His Family

Jamil Sunsin’s oh-so-timely immigrant story is heading to the small screen… 

Fuse has acquired the broadcast and streaming rights to Campanario Entertainment’s immigration documentary Colossus, about the Honduran American teenager and his family.

Colossus,

At a time when children are being put in cages, families are being separated at the border and the president of the United States is degrading immigrants, Colossus is more relevant now than ever. 

The documentary, which made its premiere at DOC NYCin 2018, puts America’s treatment of immigrants and separation of families into perspective by following 15-year-old Jamil Sunsin and his struggle after his undocumented parents and older sister are deported to Honduras and they are separated. As the only U.S. citizen in his family, Sunsin finds himself alone in the country. After a visit to see his family, he navigates the personal turmoil caused by immigration policies affecting his parents and sister, the political realities in Honduras, and must decide whether to continue his education in America or return to Honduras to be with his family.

“From the moment that we met Jamil Sunsin, we knew we had to tell his story and that of his sister Mirka who was raised in the U.S. believing she was an American citizen,” said Jaime Dávila, the film’s executive producer and president of Campanario Entertainment. “Family separation and the root causes of the refugee crisis are major issues in our country today, and with Fuse bringing the Sunsin family’s experience to a wider audience we have an opportunity to advance this conversation as a community.”

The documentary, directed by Jonathan Schienberg, is set to make its broadcast premiere on February 26 as part of Fuse’s Peabody and Emmy award-winning Fuse Docs franchise.

Co-founded by Dávila, a former development executive at Bravo, and Jaime Dávila Sr., former TelevisaCOO and Univision President and Chairman, Campanario Entertainment develops and produces broad appeal scripted and unscripted content driven by Latinos and Latinas in front of and behind the camera. They are the company behind the forthcoming Selena: The Series and the Amazon Prime Original, Como Sobrevivir SolteroThey also produced the Bravo reality series Mexican Dynasties.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Among the High-Profile Guests on Apple’s New Biographical Docuseries “Dear….”

Lin-Manuel Mirandais a realDear

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer, and playwright will appear on Apple’s new biographical docuseries Dear….

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Dear…takes an inventive and cinematic approach to biographies of the most iconic figures in society today by using letters written by those whose lives have been changed through their work. 

In addition to Miranda, widely known for creating and starring in the the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, the 10-episode series will profile internationally recognized leaders including Oprah WinfreyGloria SteinemSpike LeeYara Shahidi, Stevie WonderAly RaismanMisty Copeland, Big Bird and more.

The docuseries, inspired by Apple’s “Dear Apple” spots hails from Emmy and Peabody Award-winner RJ Cutler and Matador Content. The series will premiere globally this spring on Apple TV+.

The “Dear Apple” spots feature a mix of Apple Watch users who personally write a letter to thank the tech giant for the watch technology that has helped them live healthier lives. In one spot, a man notes how the watch’s SOS feature helped him call for help when he was injured in a car crash.