Loved Rita Moreno in ‘West Side Story?’ You can see her again, in the Spielberg remake

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“Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work,” said the legendary Puerto Rican actress.

It appears Rita Moreno took the West Side Story lyrics “I’ll never stop saying Maria!” to heart. The award-winning actress recently announced that she will not only be starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, but she will also be an Executive Producer of the film.

The Puerto Rican actress captured the hearts of audiences with her performance as Anita in the 1959 version of West Side Story, a role which landed her an Academy Award. But in this go-around she will play the role of Valentina, a reimagined version of Doc, the owner of the corner store where Tony works.

Moreno currently portrays Lydia on the hit Netflix show One Day At A Time, a sitcom about a Cuban-American family grappling with immigration, generational differences, PTSD and parental issues. She has also recently appeared as a guest star on Jane the Virgin, Frankie and Grace and Getting On.

Moreno is one of 15 actresses to achieve EGOT status — she’s won an Emmy, a Grammy, and Oscar and a Tony — yet she says she herself is surprised to be returning to West Side Story.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work,” said Moreno in a statement. “And to be asked by Steven Spielberg to participate is simply thrilling! … I am tingling!”

Steven Spielberg envisioned Moreno as part of his West Side Story remake from the beginning. He said he was so moved by her performance as Anita in the original version that he and his team created an original role for her.

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With Peabody Award, Rita Moreno is first Latina to attain unique ‘PEGOT’ class

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Actress Rita Moreno poses for camera at a Hollywood event

By Nicole Acevedo

Rita Moreno’s alphabet of awards is gaining another letter. The Peabody Awards organization recently announced it will honor the Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer with the career achievement award.

That means Moreno, 87, will become the third person to achieve PEGOT status by winning a Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. Film director Mike Nichols and entertainer Barbra Streisand are the other two PEGOT winners.

“So proud to be the first Latino recipient,” Moreno said on Twitter. She is also the second person to ever receive the Peabody Career Achievement Award. The first recipient was legendary comedian Carol Burnett in 2018.

Moreno, who gained widespread fame in the film “West Side Story,” will be honored at the Peabody Awards annual gala in New York City on May 18.

“Rita Moreno is a unique talent who has not only broken barriers, but whose career continues to thrive six-plus decades after her acting debut,” Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody Awards. “We are delighted to celebrate her many contributions to entertainment and media, as well as her passion for children’s programming and important social issues.”

Most recently, Moreno starred in three seasons of the popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, “One Day at a Time” on Netflix, which was nominated for a 2017 Peabody Award, She also signed on to be an executive producer in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story — a film in which she is also co-starring.

Moreno has also received other prestigious awards, such as The Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

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‘Dora the Explorer’ is all grown up in a live-action movie

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Dora the Explorer Movie Poster

By Gwen Aviles

Last time viewers left Dora from Nickelodeon’s educational animated television series “Dora the Explorer,” the adorable Latina girl was embarking on adventures with her monkey-friend Boots and her talking purple backpack.

Her biggest enemy was Swiper, a thieving fox who could be stopped only if viewers chanted “Swiper, no swiping!” three times.

In “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” an upcoming live-action movie based on the series, things get a bit more complicated for the adventurer, according to the first film trailer that dropped this weekend.

Dora’s parents, portrayed by Michael Peña and Eva Longoria, think it’s time for Dora (Isabela Moner) to gain some stability in her life and decide to ship her off to live with her cousin Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg). Meanwhile, they’ll be exploring an ancient city covered in gold, while Dora attempts to adjust to the structured high school life — a difficult task for a girl who grew up in the jungle.

Just as Dora is starting to get used to school, she and her new friends are kidnapped on a class field trip. In this action-movie reminiscent of the “Spy Kids” series, they must escape and track down Dora’s parents. Luckily for them, a family friend, Alejandro Gutierrez (Eugenio Derbez), arrives to lend them a hand.

WATCH THE TRAILER!

Other talent includes Danny Trejo, who voices Boots, and Benicio Del Toro, who voices Swiper.

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Alfonso Cuarón Made History at the 2019 Oscars

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This year’s Oscars ceremony may not have ended with what would have been an historic win for Roma as Best Picture, but the Alfonso Cuarón film did manage to break a couple of records with its three wins.

Scoring statues for Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director, the black-and-white period film spoken in Spanish and Mixtec was part of a rather multicultural telecast. There were various firsts, with Black Panther’s costume and production designers becoming the first black women to win in their category; female filmmakers dominating the Shorts races; and winners like Rami Makek (Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody) speaking powerfully about being the child of immigrants in this country.

Moreover, in between appearances and speeches by Diego Luna, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo de Toro and Javier Bardem, there was plenty of Spanish to be heard throughout the telecast. So much so that by the time Luna joined chef José Andrés on stage to present a clip from Roma, he went off-script in Spanish (“Buenas noches,” he quipped, “Ya se puede hablar Español en los Oscares!”) before being nudged back into their scripted banter.

 

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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