Things That Matter

15 Latino Directors Challenging Hollywood’s Huge Diversity Problem

It’s old news that Hollywood has a huge diversity problem (#Oscarsowhite, anybody?). Even beyond the Academy Awards, this year’s Cannes Film Festival left a LOT to be desired when it came to Latino representation. Only one film from a Latino director was up for the Palm d’Or– the festival’s top honor– and only one Latino feature was included in the Directors’ Fortnight. YIKES.

Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that the movie biz is run by white folks. Yes, it sucks, but the good news is there are some truly kickass people of color out there paving the way for the rest of us. I’m talking directors, specifically. You likely know and love the work of famous Latino and Latin American directors like Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez. They’re awesome! But here are some lesser-known directors whose work is worth seeking out and supporting:


1. Patricia Riggen

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Credit: YouTube/ ColliderVideos

Riggen is a Mexican-born filmmaker currently kicking ass and taking names in Hollywood. Best known for her film Under the Same Moon and the super fun TV movie Lemonade Mouth, she’s directed prominent actors such as Eva Mendes, Patricia Arquette, and America Ferrera. In terms of directors, she’s one you for sure need to have on your radar. Her recent film, The 33, follows the real-life story of Chilean miners trapped underground for over two months.


2. Magdalena Albizu

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Credit: Magdalena Albizu, via La Respuesta Media

Albizu’s documentary, La Negrita, focuses on the Afro-Latino experience in the U.S., both in terms of how individual Afro-Latinos define themselves, as well as how they’re viewed and labeled by fellow Latinos. The preview on Vimeo shows how Albizu’s own Dominican parents viewed her embrace of being black (their relationship with the term is, in a word, complicated), as well as the currency of the term “negrita” itself. You can follow Albizu’s journey towards fully funding her documentary via the film’s website.


3. Guillermo Arriaga

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Credit: CC / Wikipedia

Arriaga is an excellent director, and is known for both Spanish-language and English-language films. You’ve likely seen Amores Perros and 21 Grams, both of which he produced and wrote. A true renaissance man, Arriaga is not only lending his perspective and vision to directing and screenwriting, he’s also a novelist. No, we have no idea when he finds the time to sleep.


4. Janicza Bravo

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Credit: MySpace / Janicza Bravo

Bravo, who’s lived in Panama and New York, is not only a director, writer, producer, and actor, she’s also a costume designer, and her eye for style and form is evident across her work. Her first short film, Eat, was nominated for a SXSW Audience Award, and she later took home the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for her film Gregory Goes Boom, which starred Michael Cera and was inspired by a very fraught first date Bravo witnessed firsthand


5. Luis Mandoki

Credit: YouTube / CorreCamara Cine

You’ve either seen or heard of Mexico City-born Mandoki’s films Message in a Bottle and Angel Eyes, starring none other than Jennifer LopezHe’s an extremely successful director who’s crossed over with both Latin hits and American hits. It’s always incredibly inspiring when a director can find success across multiple audiences.


6. Patricia Cardoso

Credit: The LA Times / Ana Luisa Gonzalez

She made one of my favorite films ever, Real Women Have CurvesShe made a film that celebrated a Latina’s body just the way it is, and we all fell in love with this film. It was a time when someone was saying, “Hey! You don’t have to be a model or stick thin. You can just be you.” So. Good.


7. Aurora Guerrero

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Credit: IMDB / mibryant@imdb.com

Guerrero  is a Chicana filmmaker and LGBT director, which makes her a voice for pretty much one of the least represented demographics on this list. Which is also why she’s so important. Cool note: Not only did Guerrero give us the coming-of-age love story Mosquita y Mari, she also assisted director Patricia Cardoso on the film, Real Women Have Curves. YAAAS!


8. Andrés Muschietti

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Credit: YouTube /  RUEMORGUEMAGAZINE

A master of horror, Muschietti is the Argentinean director responsible for giving us Mama, an English-language, feature-length story of his own Spanish-language short film, Mamá, which he also wrote. Both versions will make you scream and cry in equal doses.


9. Carmen Marron

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Credit: IMDB

The Endgame director joins the list of kickass Latina filmmakers. Marron also gave us Go For It!, and any movie about dancing your way to the very top is a-ok by us. We can’t stress enough how important it is that these women get some recognition! Props to the ladies fighting back and giving young Latina directors some inspiration.


10. Rodrigo Reyes

Credit: Colombia.com

A relative fresh face in the filmmaking world, this Mexican director garnered buzz on his documentary Purgatorio, which reimagined the Mexican / U.S. border as a mythical place. He’s also an extremely practical artist. The advice he gave to Filmmaker Magazine? Don’t quit your day job. “I wholeheartedly embrace the truth that it is incredibly rare for someone to be dedicated completely to his or her work.”


11.  Cecilia Aldarondo

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Credit: Filmmaker Magazine

Aldarondo’s documentary subject hit very close to her home: she dove into the life and death of her uncle Miguel, who succumbed to AIDS in the ’80s. The story revolves as much around what isn’t said as much as what is. Her family, she learns, was not exactly forthcoming when it came to details of Miguel’s life after leaving Puerto Rico, and that included details about his partner, Robert… who then became a monk. Through Aldarondo’s lens, a story that feels quintessentially Latino finds new life and depth.


12. José Nestor Marquez

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Credit: Telemundo

If you’re a lover of sci-fi thrillers, you should know José’s name. He’s behind Reversion, a film that tackles the nature of our memories and our increased reliance on technology. A Latino director in the world of science fiction is so important – and gives major hope to science fiction nerds everywhere.


13. Reinaldo Marcus Green

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Credit: Reinaldo Marcus Green / IMDB

An actor, writer, and producer in addition to being a director, Green is an NYU grad who made waves at Sundance with his short film Stop, and earned a much-deserved spot on Filmmaker Magazine’s 2015 list of 25 New Faces of Indie Film.


14. Damián Szifron

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Credit: Víctor Santa María / Wikipedia

A hustler to the nth degree, this man made one of two Latino-oriented films that earned high recognition at Cannes. His film Wild Talesis a series of vignettes that he wrote AND directed. These overachievers, man.


15. Diego Lerman

Credit: Miami Film Festival

While Lerman works primarily in Argentina, his film Refugiado has gained notable traction internationally.


It can totally feel frustrating when we see a lack of Latino represented at film festivals, awards shows, and in our movie theaters. But this list reminds me that there are tons of us out there, working hard and creating art, and it’s totally inspiring.


WATCH: A Group of Students Made a Día de los Muertos Film and It’s Actually Pretty Good

Who are some of your favorite Latino directors? mitú wants to know – leave a comment below!

Korean Dark Comedy ‘Parasite’ Becomes The First Non-English Language Movie To Win The Oscar For Best Picture

Entertainment

Korean Dark Comedy ‘Parasite’ Becomes The First Non-English Language Movie To Win The Oscar For Best Picture

parasitemovie / Instagram

The Academy Awards last night brought many surprise wins and losses. “Parasite,” a Korean dark comedy about the class struggle in South Korea, swept with four major awards. The movie took home the Oscar for Best Director, Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, and the most sought after Best Picture. The night was history-making as “Parasite” is the first non-English language movie to win Best Picture.

Director Bong Joon-ho made history last night with his film “Parasite.”

“Parasite” was competing for the award against “1917,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “The Irishman,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Director Bong Joon-ho made history with his film. “Parasite” is the first-ever non-English language film to win the award for Best Picture. There have only been 11 non-English movies nominated for Best Picture out of the 563 that have been nominated in the Academy’s history. The award is the only one where all Academy members are allowed to cast a vote for and is presented to the producers of the film. Last year’s winner was “Green Book.”

The unexpected and welcomed victory is an important moment in Oscar’s history and people are taking notice.

In a time when certain voices are being oppressed, the elevation of these kinds of stories and communities is important. Representation matters and film is one way we can show other cultures and participate in major cultural conversations.

Compared to the rest of the movies nominated for Best Picture, “Parasite” had the lowest production budget.

Credit: @NorbertElekes / Twitter

The film, which cost about $11 million to produce, became Bong Joon-ho’s first film to gross over $100 million worldwide. The movie earned $167.6 million worldwide with $35.5 million made in the U.S.

“I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now,” producer Kwak Sin Ae said through a translator.

The historic moment has angered some people who wish the award went to an American film.

Credit: @jakeh91283 / Twitter

Earlier during the award season, Bong Joon-ho stated that the Best Picture award was a local award. The statement, which caught everyone’s attention, was an unintentional drag of the Academy while also painting an honest picture of the award’s history.

The U.S. is how to the largest Korean diaspora community in the world. Around 2.2 million people in the U.S. identify as being of Korean descent. The Korean community makes up about 0.7 percent of the U.S. population. South Koreans make up 99 percent of those with Korean heritage living in the U.S.

Yet, a larger chorus of voices are praising the film and celebrating the historic win.

Credit: @allouttacain / Twitter

What do you think about “Parasite” winning the Oscar for Best Picture?

READ: Awkwafina Became The First Asian-American Woman To Win A ‘Best Actress’ Award, But People Are Still Mad At The Golden Globes—Here’s Why

The Nominations For The Billboard Latin Music Awards Are Out And Here’s Who Made The List

Entertainment

The Nominations For The Billboard Latin Music Awards Are Out And Here’s Who Made The List

badbunnypr / ozuna / Instagram

The nominees for the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards are out and some of your faves are claiming several spots on the list. Bad Bunny and Ozuna are leading the pack with 14 nominations each. The two reggaetoneros claimed nominations for the coveted Artists of the Year award. All four nominees for Artist of the Year are male. Here the artists nominated for this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards.

First, let’s breakdown the nominees for Artist of the Year.

Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny had an exceptional 2019. The Puerto Rican artist teamed up with Colombian superstar J Balvin on the collaborative album “Oasis.” The album brought us hits like “Que Pretendes” and “La Canción.” The reggae star also become politically active this year joining other Puerto Rican celebrities to travel to the Caribbean island to participate in protests against former Governor Ricardo Rosselló and Rosselló’s proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation.

J Balvin

The Colombian music star has been everywhere this year. Balvin not only partnered with Bad Bunny for collaborative album “Oasis,” he released a slew of new songs in 2019. The singer teamed up with Maluma to create “Qué Pena” and we spent most of last year jamming out to that single. Balvin is in tied in second place with Daddy Yankee with 12 nominations.

Ozuna

Despite a longterm scandal involving extortion and a sex tape, Ozuna kept things going and delivered high power music last year. The Puerto Rican singer joined Karol G, Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, and J Balvin on “China,” which has garnered more than 1 billion views on YouTube.

Romeo Santos

Romeo Santos spent 2019 collabing with so many different artists. His year of collaborations includes “Me Quedo” with Zacarias Ferreira and “ileso” with Teodoro Reyes. Santos has been nominated for five other awards including Canción del Año, Streaming for “Ella Quiere Beber” with Anuel AA, Top Latin Album, Artista del Año, Masculino, Categoria Tropical, Canción Tropical del Año for “Aullando” with Wisin and Yandel, and Álbum Tropical del Año for “Utopia.”

Here is a full list of nominees in the top categories for the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Artista del Año / Artist of the Year:

Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Ozuna
Romeo Santos

Artista del Año, Debut / Artist of the Year, New:

Jhay Cortez
Manuel Turizo
Paulo Londra
Sech

Gira del Año / Tour of the Year:

Bad Bunny
Chayanne
Jennifer Lopez
Marc Anthony

Artista del Año, Redes Sociales / Social Artist of the Year

Anuel AA
Becky G
Daddy Yankee
Lali

Artista Crossover del Año / Crossover Artist of the Year

DJ Snake
Drake
Katy Perry
Snow

Check out the full list of nominees by clicking here.

READ: Bad Bunny Released A New Song In Honor Of Kobe Bryant And Fans Are Crying