Entertainment

Atlanta Will Be The Site Of The First Latino-Owned And Operated Production Studio

Areu Bros is set to be first major Latino-owned and operated movie production studio in the United States and it’ll be located in Atlanta, Georgia. Ozzie and Will Areu, both brothers, will head the production studio in hopes of opening the door for a string of new Latino-produced content. Ozzie Areu was the long-time president of Tyler Perry Studios but left the position in hopes of starting his own company. The new studio is huge news in terms of representation that the company will have in giving Latinos roles and positions in production.

The Peach State is one of the most popular locations to film so it comes as no surprise it’ll be the site of the new Latino-owned production studio.

The location was once home to filmmaker Tyler Perry’s film studio until he moved locations in early 2018. Ozzie bought the location right after for an estimated $18.5 million. The 56-acre studio is located in southwest Atlanta and includes a backlot with a suburban neighborhood with 11 homes that can be used during filming. Ozzie says when he drove by the old studios in January 2018 he knew he had to buy the location.

“The studio was for sale for a while, and I was obviously still working for Tyler,” Ozzie told WABE Atlanta. “And I just had that moment, that overwhelming, ‘You have to buy this.”

The new production studio is expected to also give economic boost according to Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Santiago Marquez. He told WABE Atlanta that he sees many opportunities for the studio in terms of jobs and Latino representation. “The vision that they have of creating Areu Bros., a Warner Bros. for Hispanics,” Marquez said. “It’s that American dream of dreaming big and then going for it.”

Ozzie began his work in the entertainment industry as a security guard at Warner Bros. studios.

CREDIT: Areu Brothers

Both Areu brothers grew up in Orlando, Florida and were brought up in a Cuban household. At the age 14, Ozzie moved to Los Angeles to get into the entertainment industry. After getting a job as a security guard at Warner. Bros studios, he worked as a producer on the television show “Friends” and alongside names like Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Ozzie’s position as Tyler Perry’s executive assistant in Atlanta is what launched him into the limelight. Shortly after he was promoted to president of Tyler Perry Studios where he was behind some of his most successful films like the “Madea” films. Will would eventually join his brother as a producer in Perry’s films that would position them both at the top of the company. The Areu brothers now want to follow Perry’s movie formula and create their own films that showcase Latinos and other minorities.

The studio gained a valuable new partner last year who will help with content and music, Gloria Estefan.

CREDIT: Areu Brothers

Last JuneEstefan, a Grammy Award-winning singer and actress, joined Areu Bros. as a partner and member of the executive leadership team. Estefan will help with creating content for the company across various platforms including music, television, film and short form content.

“Gloria has always been a strong and empowering voice for the female and Latino communities, and we can’t wait for her to use that voice to find new voices,” Will, told Variety. “As first-generation Cuban Americans, my family and I have been fortunate to travel on the trail that Gloria blazed, showing us that there is no ceiling to human potential.”

The recently launched studio will try to outdo Hollywood by bringing Latinos to the forefront of the entertainment industry.

Latino characters made up only 6.2 percent of speaking characters in the top 100 movies in 2017 and the Areu brothers are hoping to change that poor statistic. The studio will focus on finding and developing talent in front of the camera and behind it. Ozzie says he wants to help more Latinos in Georgia break into the entertainment industry, he feels this is a step in that direction.

“Latinos and minorities, they’re a big presence at the box office, however, they don’t normally get to see themselves in specific roles, outside of stereotypical roles,” Ozzie told WABE Atlanta. “Being in the industry for a long time and having friends in the industry who are Latinos or women, I’ve heard a lot about it. I’ve seen some things. I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to be different and to really put my money where my mouth is. And go all in.”


READ: Latinos Are Still Waiting For Their Own Movie Moment As Hollywood Tries Casting More Diverse Films

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

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A post shared by America Ferrera (@americaferrera)

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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Chloe Zhao Makes Historical Oscar Win By Becoming First WOC And Second Woman To Win Best Director

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Chloe Zhao Makes Historical Oscar Win By Becoming First WOC And Second Woman To Win Best Director

In its 93 years, the Academy Awards has only ever recognized only seven women in the category of Best Director. This is despite the fact that women have had a long and lasting presence in film history. This year, two women were honored with nominations at the Oscars this year. Emerald Fennell was nominated for her work on “Promising Young Woman” starring Carey Mulligan.

This year, Chloe Zhao, the director of “Nomadland” became the second woman in history to win the best directing award in nearly 100 years.

She is also the first woman of color to win the award.

Zhao won Best Director at the Oscars and became the first woman of color to win the award.

“When I was growing up in China, my dad and I would play this game. We would memorize classic poems and text and try to finish each other’s sentences,” Zhao explained during her acceptance speech.

She went on to recite a line of poetry in Chinese and then translated it in English, “People at birth are inherently good.”

“I have always found goodness in the people I met,” she said. “This is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves.”

In addition, Zhao won directing awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.

Despite the presence of women in the entertainment industry, only seven women have been nominated for awards.

American filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for her 2009 film The Hurt Locker. Directors Lina Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties”), Jane Campion (“The Piano”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) are the only other female directors to have ever been nominated for the best-directing award.

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