Netflix Orders Mexican Drama Series ‘Monarca’ From Salma Hayek

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Netflix has greenlit another international series.

The streaming giant has handed out a series order to Mexican drama Monarca, starring Irene Azuela (Quemar las Naves, El hotel de los secretos, Las oscuras primaveras). The new series, which will begin production this fall and will launch globally in 2019, will follow the world of wealthy Mexican elites riddled by corruption, scandal and violence.

Produced by Salma Hayek’s company Ventanarosa, along with Lemon Studios and Stearns Castle, Monarca is described as a high-stakes, multi-generational family saga about a tequila-born Mexican business empire and the battle that ensues when a member of the family decides to fight the dirty system her family helped create.

In addition to Azuela, the series will star Juan Manuel Bernal. Monarca was created by Diego Gutierrez and written by Fernando Rovzar, Julia Denis, Ana Sofia Clerici and Sandra García Velten. Michael McDonald from Stearns Castle will serve as a producer.

“I’m extremely excited to partner with Netflix, and to be working with amazing Mexican talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Hayek. “We are proud to show Mexico as a vibrant, sophisticated and culturally rich nation fighting to control its own destiny.”

Added creator and showrunner Gutierrez: “This is the definition of a passion project for me. Having been born and raised in Mexico, I’m humbled to have the opportunity to tell this story with Netflix and the incredibly talented team of people we’re assembling, both in the U.S. and Mexico.”

Continue onto The Hollywood Reporter to read the complete article.

Culture Circuit: Latinos & Film – A Sundance Film Festival Perspective

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The Sundance Film Festival is known for championing eclectic, independent work from artists around the world. Given their specific diversity-driven initiatives of years past, the 2019 edition of the festival was no exception, particularly with respect to cinema of interest to the Latino community. To the contrary, if you spent any time in the last few days in the snowy, mountainous air of Park City, you saw that this year showcases an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quality cinema from Latin America.

But, like all things involving Latino culture, Latino-related films at Sundance defy reductive simplifications. The picture that emerges is of a vibrant, diverse, and complex community of films and filmmakers. As told through the eyes of these artists, Latinos experience much of the same angsts as all other members of society. At the same time, we have a unique set of anxieties—and a beautiful, distinctive perspective—that makes Latin American cinema rewarding.

For the complete article, continue on to Awards Circuit.

Under Alex Gallardo, New Artistic Direction For Sony Music US Latin

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At a time when Latin music is experiencing unprecedented popularity and Sony leads the Latin category in U.S. market share, according to Nielsen Music, Nir Seroussi’s unexpected exit from Sony Music U.S. Latin — on Jan. 18, after four years as president and another four as managing director — came as a surprise to the Latin music community. Sony did not give a reason for the change, although both the label and Seroussi said they were parting on amicable terms.

But the announcement of Alex Gallardo, 43, as the division’s new president puts an artist favorite at the helm of the company and reinforces its commitment to investing in A&R.

“Sony Music Latin Iberia is the home of the artists and will always be. It’s my most important flag,” Afo Verde, Sony Music Entertainment’s chairman/CEO of Latin America, Spain and Portugal tells Billboard. “[Alex] is a consummate professional, musician, A&R, lover of music and all of its creative process from start to finish.”

Gallardo, who spent six years as senior vp A&R for all of the company’s regions and is known as firm and even, will oversee a staff of nearly 100. “What’s important is to understand artists, their needs and motivations, and to create the best environment possible for their creativity to flow,” he says. And his appointment was met with praise from many in the artist community. In a statement, Shakira called Gallardo a “professional” who is “in touch with the musical landscape and understands artists,” while Ricky Martin says, “His focus, knowledge and passion makes artists trust the process.”

To read the complete article, continue on to Billboard.

Schoolteacher Yalitza Aparicio earns Oscar nomination for lead role in ‘Roma’

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Yalitza Aparicio, who was just nominated for best actress in a leading role, gives a compelling and honest performance in her role as the family’s nanny, Cleo.

She is now the second Mexican best actress Oscar nominee.

“From the very first casting call to this morning, my Roma journey has been extraordinary,” she said in a statement to ABC News. “As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen.”

“I am eternally grateful to the Academy for recognizing Roma,” she added.

The 25-year-old told Variety that she related to the character, “because of her background and how she managed to keep going despite adversity.”

However, Aparicio wasn’t on the path to becoming an actress before taking on this big role.

She’s actually a schoolteacher and only auditioned for the part after going to the audition with her sister, who is a singer and wanted to try for the role herself.

Continue on to Abc News to read the complete article.

Young adults are hyped for ‘Carmen Sandiego’ Netflix series with ‘badass Latina’

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“When I see that cute little girl with her pretty brown skin, it makes me melt,” said actress Gina Rodriguez, who is Carmen in the animated series.

Carmen Sandiego and Maria Vargas Aponte don’t have much in common. One is a fictional criminal mastermind who travels the world to avoid capture, while the other is a very real Texas-based video game blogger who makes an honest living as a computer engineer.

But when Netflix released the trailer for its new series “Carmen Sandiego,” which drops on Jan. 18 and features actress Gina Rodriguez as the voice of the main character, Vargas Aponte watched it “more than 15 times.”

Like other young adults who grew up in the 1980s and ’90s loving computers and gaming, Vargas Aponte relates to Carmen for many reasons, though one sticks out.

“Many Latina characters are secondary characters, but with Carmen Sandiego, we have this badass Latina character,” said Vargas Aponte, 28, who grew up playing a version of the “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” computer game.

Rodriguez, a native of Chicago who is of Puerto Rican descent, views her character as one that bridges cultures, something that resonates among the increasingly diverse younger generations.

“Carmen gets to travel to so many different places all over the world, and you see her empathy and desire to learn other people’s languages and cultures and religions, and she teaches that,” Rodriguez said. “The show fuses two things I love the most, which is art and education, and when I see that cute little girl with her pretty brown skin, it makes me melt. I almost want to cry when I think about it.”

Carmen Sandiego was introduced to the world in 1985 as a character in a computer game.

The character has since appeared in multiple iterations of the game, such as “Where in the U.S. Is Carmen Sandiego?”; “Where in Europe Is Carmen Sandiego?”; “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?” and others.

The character also inspired a PBS game show where middle-schoolers won prizes for successfully answering questions about geography, as well as an animated television series, “Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?” Rita Moreno was nominated for three Daytime Emmys for her voice work as Carmen in the latter series. On Thursday, fans found out that Moreno will be voicing the character of Cookie Booker in a few episodes of the new series.

Duane Capizzi, one of the new show’s executive producers, told Variety that “Gina just wigged out at the prospect of having both Carmens in our show, past and present.”

Though Carmen Sandiego was the center of a sprawling franchise, she was perhaps best known to young people like Vargas Apointe from the educational computer games where she first appeared — and where there were hardly any young women of color.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

First LGBTQ Latinx Talk Show on Nationwide Television

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LATV Network, the original national, bicultural television network — which recently kicked off its second decade of programming — is excited to announce the launch of its groundbreaking weekly talk show “Glitterbomb”, premiering on the network this fall.

“Glitterbomb” is an explosive pop-culture talk show hosted by an entirely gay, Latino, Hollywood-insider panel featuring “Entertainment Weekly” senior editor Patrick Gomez, iHeartRadio personality Alexander Rodriguez, and actor Enrique Sapene.

Their queer Latino perspective — drizzled with wit, humor and first-hand insight into A-lister life — gives “Glitterbomb” a festive and unique flavor that everyone can enjoy. Combining their experience in acting, radio and journalism, there’s no subject too hot to handle and no scandal too spicy to dig into.

“The LGBTQ Latino community has, for too long, been underserved,” says Luca Bentivoglio, LATV’s COO and Head of Programming. “LATV is proud to foster an environment of inclusivity and we are thrilled to be a pioneer in LGBTQ Latino programming by airing the first-ever talk show with an entirely gay Latino cast. As part of our network’s mission to be as inclusive as possible, ‘Glitterbomb’ is a shining example of our network’s commitment to serving diverse and alternative audiences.”

Produced at LATV’s state-of-the-art HD studios in Los Angeles, “Glitterbomb” is an English-language show that features heated discussions about the latest in pop culture news and trends; provides an inside look at the latest celebrity hot spots and events; and welcomes some of the biggest names in entertainment.

“We could not be happier that LATV has given three gay Latinos a platform as big as ‘Glitterbomb,'” co-hosts Gomez, Rodriguez, and Sapene say in a joint statement. “But we hope that people of all races, genders, and orientations will see a bit of themselves in our show — or, at the very least, have a good time watching it!”

About LATV:

LATV is the only remaining Latino-owned TV network in the Hispanic television space. Its programming primarily targets U.S.-born Latinos and the coveted bicultural 18-49 Latino demographic, with content that features originally-produced shows in Los Angeles, as well as licensed content that has never before been seen in the U.S. For more go to LATV.com.

About the hosts:

PATRICK GOMEZ is currently a Senior Editor at “Entertainment Weekly”. As a veteran “People” magazine writer and member of the Television Critics Association, the Texas native has appeared on “Today”, “Extra!”, “Access Hollywood”, “E! News”, HLN’s “Michaela”, and “Nightline” and can be seen frequently on “Good Morning America”.

ALEXANDER RODRIGUEZ is an on-air personality and entertainer. His sense of humor shines on his nationally syndicated radio show, “On The Rocks”, “where celebrities and cocktails” on iHeartRadio and Universal Broadcasting Network. The show is broadcast live weekly from Sunset Gower Studios in the heart of Hollywood. The Southern California native also serves as Entertainment Editor for “Bear World Magazine”, a national LGBT online media source.

ENRIQUE SAPENE is an actor, host and producer. The Venezuela native has entertained audiences internationally as a reporter on Univision, NBC, ABC and Telemundo. As an actor, he has recurred on the Amazon Prime series “Borderline” and his telenovelas ” Pecadora”, “El Alma Herida”, “Eva la Trailera”  and “Tomame o Dejame” have sold worldwide. In 2017, Enrique joined the cast of the docu-series “My Life is a Telenovela”, which aired on WEtv and E! Latin America and is currently available on Hulu.

Discovery en Español Launches “GO Originales” Digital Content Made Exclusively For Its GO App

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Discovery en Español announced today the launch of “GO Originales”, a series of short-form content only available on the Discovery en Español GO App. The new digital programming lineup will focus on genres including Auto, Adventure, Food, Travel and Lifestyle, as well as Tech and Innovation. Discovery en Español GO currently features more than 1,600 hours of content, including full seasons and series of fan favorite shows.

“There has been a steady demand from advertisers for original digital premium content that delivers a great story, said David Tardio, Vice President of Ad Sales, Discovery U.S. Hispanic. “With GO Originales our goal is to satisfy this need and open the doors to more innovative opportunities for clients to connect with Hispanic audiences in their language and screens of choice.”

GO Originales will kick off this month with eight original series, each with a running time between
7 to 12 minutes. The lineup includes:

Auto and Adventure

Enfangados: The show immerses viewers in the world of off-roading in the mud beyond the adventure and deep into the depths of its community, heritage and family. Duration: 10 minutes.

Chrome divas: This episodic series provides an inside look at this all-female motorcycle club – as they struggle to juggle mommy duties and their careers with their thirst for adventure and passion for adrenaline. Duration: 10 minutes.

Conóceme América: Sales guru and motivational coach Wilder “Willy” Rizo embarks on a mission to meet a million people in America. To do this, Willy sells his house and decides to travel in an RV with his family to explore the people and towns of North America. Duration: 8 minutes.

Food, Travel and Lifestyle

Viaja X menos: Mexican-born Alex Tienda, a free-spirited adventurer with over half a million followers on YouTube takes audiences along on his adventures as he visits different corners of the country. His goal is to show viewers how they can explore top U.S. destinations in 48 hours while on a budget. Duration: 10 minutes.

Gastronomía clandestina: Actor, presenter, chef, and former MasterChef Latino runner up, Andrés de Oliveira takes viewers on an underground foodie adventure to discover pop-up restaurants and secret, password required dining establishments. Duration: 10 minutes.

De chuparse los dedos: Grace Ramirez, a former MasterChef USA contestant and creator of the award-winning brand La Latina, tours the U.S. in search of the most finger-licking finger food in the country. Duration: 10 minutes.

Sigue sus pasos: Cristina Sarnoff, an American-Cuban documentary filmmaker born in
New York City tracks the morning rituals of inspiring Hispanics. The shorts follow how these individuals kick start their day to set themselves up for success. Duration: 8 minutes.

Tech and Innovation

TEC + Humanas: Award-winning TV network personality Poncho de Anda delves into how innovative Latinos are fusing the world of technology and humanity. The show aims to inspire and encourage viewers to continue to push technological advancements, while keeping in touch with the human aspect. Duration: 7 minutes.

The Discovery en Español GO App is available on iOS and Android platforms and launching later this month on Roku and Amazon Fire. Aside from GO Originales, other App content includes live and next-day anytime, anywhere access to series and specials, including past seasons of popular network shows like Mexicánicos, Alaska: la última frontera, and Crimen casi perfecto among others.

The U.S. Hispanic GO Apps (Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia GO) have seen consistent growth since launching last year with an average monthly growth of +21% in users +34% in streams. 

About Discovery en Español

Discovery en Español connects Spanish-speaking viewers in the U.S. to the world and all its wonder and possibilities. It provides quality programming focusing on bold storytelling across core genres including adventure, ingenuity, natural history, investigation and current affairs. Created by Discovery Communications, Discovery en Español is widely distributed on Hispanic tier packages throughout the country. It also reaches audiences across screens on the ‘’Discovery en Español GO’’TV Everywhere app. For more information, please follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/discoveryenespanol, Twitter @DiscoveryenESP and Instagram @discoveryenespanol.

Netflix greenlights series based on Selena, the ‘Queen of Tejano Music’

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“Selena will always have a lasting place in music history and we feel great responsibility to do justice to her memory,” said Selena’s sister.

Netflix has ordered a scripted drama series based on the life of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla.

The series is described as a coming of age story following Selena as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching and life-changing choices she and her family have to make as they navigate success, family, and music.

“Selena will always have a lasting place in music history and we feel great responsibility to do justice to her memory,” said Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister. “With this series, viewers will finally get the full history of Selena, our family, and the impact she has had on all of our lives. We are excited to partner with Campanario and Netflix to give fans a never-before-seen glimpse at our story and highlight why Selena will remain a legend for generations to come.”

Moises Zamora will serve as writer and executive producer on the series. Jaime Davila, Rico Martinez, Suzette Quintanilla, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., and Simran A. Singh will also executive produce. Campanario Entertainment will produce. The majority of the creative team behind this series previously secured a put pilot commitment at ABC for a series inspired by the musical legacy of Selena back in January.

“Selena and the entire Quintanilla family are an inspiration to many and especially to me, a millennial of the same heritage,” said Jaime Davila, president of Campanario Entertainment. “Selena’s career achievements are legendary, but our scripted series will focus on the incredible story of a Mexican-American family and how an extraordinary young woman transcended categories and borders to become a global star. I can’t imagine a better partner than Netflix to celebrate Selena and her family’s lives.”

Continue onto NBC Latino to read the complete article.

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Named One of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business

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Sylvia Acevedo has spearheaded bold initiatives and lead innovative industry collaborations as CEO of the world’s preeminent leadership organization for girls.

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), was today named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, a powerful group of thought leaders from around the world. The rocket scientist, entrepreneur, and lifelong Girl Scout was cited for her vision and creativity—evident in GSUSA’s forward-thinking programming in STEM and the outdoors and such timely initiatives as the G.I.R.L. Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts, which aims to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls to lead through civic action; and the Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn, which invites the organization’s more than 50 million alums to connect with one another to enhance their career development.

When Sylvia Acevedo was a girl in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a Girl Scout troop leader encouraged her to build a model rocket for a science badge, sparking a lifelong passion. Many years after that pivotal experience, Acevedo, a true go-getter, became a rocket scientist. Throughout her career she held leadership positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, IBM, Apple, Autodesk, and Dell. Since taking on the role of interim CEO of GSUSA in 2016 followed by permanent CEO in 2017, she has brought her bold and innovative thinking to the 106-year-old organization, infusing Girl Scout programming with STEM in response to girls’ requests as well as the cultural and economic need to prepare more girls in the U.S. for STEM careers.

“To be included in this group of incredible change-makers is a true honor,” said Sylvia Acevedo. “The modern world advances rapidly, and I am committed to making sure girls have a hand in designing our collective future. At Girl Scouts, we know that girls are America’s great untapped resource, and we’re unleashing their creative potential so that they can lead and succeed in whatever path they choose. No matter what a girl’s interests—technology, music, medicine, finance, civic leadership, the military, entrepreneurship—she can use the skills she builds at Girl Scouts to be a force for good and make a creative and real impact on her community, the country, and the world.”

Continue onto PR Newswire to read the complete article.

Pat Manuel will make history as the first transgender male to fight professionally in the U.S.

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When Patricio Manuel steps through the ropes and into the boxing ring just after 6 p.m. Saturday, few in the crowd at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio will know what a long and torturous trek he made to get there.

They won’t know about the resistance overcome or the months of physical rehab endured. They won’t know how hard it was to get those chiseled biceps atop a super featherweight’s thin frame. They may not even know that, at 33, an age when undefeated champions Rocky Marciano and Andre Ward had already retired, Manuel will be making his pro debut.

And if they don’t know any of that, they surely won’t know that Patricio used to be Patricia — he was a she — and in the four-round bout against Hugo Aguilar, a journeyman boxer from Mexico, Manuel will make history as the first transgender male to fight professionally in the U.S.

“It feels like a long time coming,” said Manuel, who fought for the last time as a female in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. “But I’m still like, ‘Wow, we’re finally here. Finally at this point.’

“I just feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position. To be able to enjoy all the sacrifice, all the work, all the doubt that came through over the years to really be here in this moment.”

If you feel like you’ve read this story before, it may be because you have. Fifteen months ago, after losing his coach, getting kicked out of a gym and seeing his dream of fighting as a man stymied by bureaucracy — no one was quite sure how to license a transgender boxer — Manuel split two amateur bouts and was set to turn pro before suffering a broken bone and torn ligament in his right thumb.

Eric Gomez also read that story and as president of Golden Boy, Oscar de la Hoya’s boxing promotion company, he was uniquely positioned to help.

“It really inspired me,” he said. “This is a story that is bigger than boxing. It’s a very tough sport. You compound that with what Pat went through. The inner struggles, the process of transition and to keep wanting to fight?

“Just that drive is impressive. It’s very different than any athlete I’ve met. And I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”

So Gomez — along with a number of politicians, including state assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Dean Grafilo, director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs — cut through the red tape to help get Manuel licensed. Golden Boy then arranged a bout, matching Manuel against the winless Aguilar (0-5) on an eight-fight card topped by a super featherweight world championship elimination bout matching Rene Alvarado of Nicaragua against Carlos Morales of Los Angeles.

“We haven’t talked about doing any more fights,” Gomez said. “His dream was to debut as a professional fighter. Everybody has a right to follow their dreams. Just to be part of this is special for me.”

Manuel, whose ancestry is Irish, Mexican and black, never really knew his father. But his mother, Loretta Butler, and grandmother Patricia Jean Butler were never far away, supporting Manuel through childhood in Gardena and a boxing career that included almost as many injuries as bouts.

And all the while, they sensed something was different about young Patricia, who was named for her grandmother. She preferred boys’ clothes to dresses, kept her hair short and played with action figures rather than Barbie dolls.

“Every Christmas I would be buying toys at Toys ‘R’ Us and everybody would say, ‘Boys at home, huh?’” Loretta Butler remembered.

So one winter Manuel’s grandmother got creative with her gift-giving, buying Patricia a boxing club membership. Although female fighters were rare, Manuel took to the sport and its hyper-masculine ambience quickly, moving to the Commerce Boxing Club and spending long hours working with Roberto Luna, who trained three Olympians.

Manuel was to be his fourth. But in the 2012 women’s Olympic Trials, Manuel had to withdraw after one bout — a one-sided lightweight loss to Florida’s Tiara Brown — because of a shoulder injury.

Even before the trials, Manuel had thought of transitioning to male, but the hope of representing the U.S. in the first Olympic boxing tournament for women held him back. After the trials, there was no reason to wait. On the trip home, Manuel told Butler that her daughter would soon become her son — then waited for the response.

It was one not of surprise but relief.

“Pat has always been a male,” his mother says. “It’s just Pat was not assigned properly at birth.”

Continue onto the Los Angeles Times to read the complete article.

Smithsonian will have its first permanent Latino gallery

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“Latino history is American history,” said Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center.

In a first for the country, a permanent gallery dedicated to the Latino experience will open in the Smithsonian National Museum of American history, Smithsonian officials announced Thursday.

The Molina Family Gallery will open in 2021, thanks to a $10 million gift from the California family whose name the gallery will carry.

The space will be dedicated to celebrating the experiences and history of U.S. Latinos and feature 4,500 square feet of bilingual stories for all audiences.

“We’re thrilled to finally be realizing the dream of having a Latino gallery at the Smithsonian,” said Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Access to the gallery will not be limited to those who can visit the physical space. The Molina Family Gallery will also have a distance-learning component where people will be able to learn about Latino history from anywhere around the world through podcasts, mobile broadcasts and a forthcoming Smithsonian Latino Center app.

Although most of the exhibits are still in development, the planned inaugural exhibition, “Making Home: Latino Stories of Community and Belonging,” will examine how Latino culture has shaped the United States. The gallery will include rotating exhibitions featuring multimedia activities, first-person narratives, objects and other interactive content.

Continue onto NBC Latino to read the complete article.